Mastering lead generation is a sort of holy grail for all B2B marketers. The CMO position should be attuned to new methods in lead generation, especially new digital channels. These methods of outreach will help to expand a business more quickly than perhaps any other method.
Here are a few of the most important aspects of lead generation a CMO should prioritize.
The Self Directed Customer
The proliferation of information online has led to more buyers who are completely self directed. This is true of vendors in a supply chain or bulk customers. Even if the selection in your industry is limited, the prospect will make their decision based on a sales funnel that is alternative to the mainstream.
How your customer finds you is just as important as finding you in the first place. If your lead comes through a website that is not reputable, your business looks bad. Most customers have their own processes to vet vendors, suppliers and other partners. Your CMO should be trying to find out what this process is and get into it rather than trying to generate leads through a generalized opt-in procedure.
Cutting Through the Noise
Marketing volume is not the answer to digital noise, and your CMO must understand this for the sake of your marketing and finance departments. The Internet is growing faster than any single company can scale. Companies literally enter the digital space to the tune of thousands of new companies per day.
Part of the CMO position is about learning how to pick your prospects out of a crowd. Lead generation is a targeted practice – you are not selling commercial services. Email blasts and mass advertising is becoming less effective every year. Placing ads in targeted locations associates you with the right customer from the start, helping you unqualified prospects, which reduces the chance of a low ROI interaction.
Learning Attention Economics
The basic rule of attention economics, or keeping the attention of a qualified prospect, is this: An abundance of information equals a scarcity of attention. There are 5 exabytes of new information being created and placed on the Internet every 2 days, according to Google. It is essential that your CMO learn how to keep the attention of a prospect even within the scope of a qualified ad space.
Your messages must relate to the immediate need of a prospect – these immediate needs are the focus of that prospect’s attention at that time. Learning what these needs are is a function of social media. Prospects will actually tell you straightforwardly what they need if you just listen. Do not be afraid to do a bit of research on a highly qualified prospect before your first engagement. The CMO should lead a concerted effort to discern behavioral trends from a prospect’s social media posts and past purchase history.
The CMO position is quietly but assuredly becoming more expansive as the need for targeted lead generation becomes more prevalent. Make sure that your CMO is empowered with the tools to follow the directives above for best results during the lead generation process. Your CMO should also look to constantly improve the lead generation process as the market changes – you can bet that prospects will only become more picky as the Internet continues to grow and create more noise.