If you could diagram the complexity of modern marketing and sales operations the intersecting lines of software, social, content, design, email and data would turn into a morass of cross hatching.
The org chart of today’s sales and marketing departments includes people in overlapping roles in left- and right-brained tasks: creatives, web developers, data analysts, database experts, strategists, sales development reps, email experts, and so on— it might sometimes looks like a cross between a digital newsroom and an app development company. But there’s good reason for that.
Marketing is no longer ad placement. Sales is no longer cold calling. Brands are becoming their own publishers, designers, development experts, all in an effort to reach the busy digital consumer.
Think of the sales lead process as a five-step system:
- Attract: Content and SEO are the magnets here. Make sure your content is both high-value and visible.
Content Tools: blogs, social posts, infographics, case studies, or videos.
- Capture: Once a lead makes its way to the website, use forms (and prospecting and analytics tools) to collect email addresses and turn a prospect into a bona fide lead. Analytics tools (such as website visitor tracking apps) will give you immediate insights into the needs of your lead. Educate your lead about your product or service’s features.
Content Tools: Webinars, guides, demos, analyst reports, eBooks.
- Nurture: This is where you really begin to sell. You want to overcome any hesitation to purchase. Educate and inform, to make your company the trustworthy first choice. Address questions and concerns, and toward the bottom of the funnel, highlight the advantages of your product.
Tools: Case studies, product comparisons, FAQs, demos, training materials, free trials.
- Convert: Show what it’s like to work with you. Finalize purchase, and onboard. Follow through, and make sure the customer is satisfied with the product.
Tools: Drip onboarding programs, user guides, videos, webinars, training materials.
- Expand: Support loyalty and advocacy, expand usage, and upsell.
Tools: Webinars, tips and tricks, newsletters, communities, reward programs, social media.
To complete this process, brands need the right people in the right seats. Talent – and technology – are now vital to any lead management system. And they both require you hire the right players and align them in the same team.
The power player roles you need to fill include Writer, Designer, SEO/PPC Expert, Web Developer, Data Scientist, Social Butterfly, Systems Expert, Collaborator, Strategist, and Analyst. Let’s take a closer look at the first five:
It’s a cluttered content world out there. Brands that find a way to grab attention in a world where billions of megabytes of content slosh through the Internet each day become the lead-generating all stars.
Talented writers that know digital content strategy are the power players you need to win the content contest. Versatile copy experts that can write attention-grabbing blog posts, educational guides, and clear and concise case studies are vital to every part of the lead process. They will make sure you have the ammunition to attract, nurture and convert valued customers.
The digital world is visual. Large hunks of gray text are immediate turn-offs for digital consumers conditioned by a world of Instagram photos and Squarespace websites. Make sure your lead management team includes a designer that can take all your content and turn it into something beautiful and easily digestible. Talented designers can tell stories with photos, visuals and animation. They can make that writer’s 1,000-word blog post look less like the first two pages of War and Peace and more like an integrated multi-media package of visual and written content.
No matter how good your content is, it needs some help to get onto the smartphones and computer screens of your target audience. An SEO expert can decode the reasons why your blog post is buried on page 42 of the Google search results for “demand generation.” An SEO expert can also give you a long-term plan to make your website out-perform competitors in organic search for the terms you want to be found for. When organic search is not enough, a pay-per-click or paid search expert can recommend a search advertising program that will put an advertising boost behind your most important content.
Your website is not some static afterthought to your social media presence. It is where you capture leads, read their digital body language and gain a more complete picture of each lead. But to do this you need not only a great website, but the right prospecting and analytics software, and the right forms to gather contact information. Your website is the hub of your lead generation operation. Make sure you have someone at the controls who knows how to squeeze the most out of it.
Data is such a rapidly progressing part of marketing and sales that the data scientist has become key. An expert at the helm assures that your data is being used effectively and that you are gathering all of the data that is available to you. Put this person at the center of demand generation. Listen to their expertise. And make sure you are tracking with the latest data developments in your industry. With new social media sites, real-time video applications and tools popping up almost weekly, it is critical that your data operation is keeping pace. Data scientists can also determine how data can be leveraged across multiple departments. The same data set you are using to segment email mailing lists might be the perfect information to help guide a hyper-targeted social advertising campaign.
Want to learn about the five other power players on the lead management team? Do you want the guidebook to world-class lead management? Download The Ultimate Lead Management Playbook and build out or beef up the team that makes your company’s lead management plan come alive.