“I don't care how stretched the marketing budget is or how tough the market is…we need more and better quality leads ASAP!”

Ask any marketer responsible for lead generation whether she or he has heard this from someone in senior management or sales lately and you'll most likely hear an exasperated “Yes, of course.”

What's a marketer to do when budgets and staff are stretched extremely thin, qualified prospects have become even more elusive, and resource-constrained sales teams simply need a better mousetrap to accelerate the sales cycle?

Progressive B2B marketers are adopting a new, more cost-effective approach to lead generation. An approach that:

  • Focuses on targeted, multi-channel and carefully sequenced touches
  • Boosts direct marketing campaign ROI,
  • Leverages and optimizes sales team productivity.

Managing an ongoing direct marketing lead generation program that constantly improves lead quality and the cost per customer conversion requires as much preparation as follow-through.

That's why the first portion of this two-part tutorial focuses on five key steps that should be taken long before your first responders fill out a profile capture form. Follow these guidelines and you will lay the foundation for a sustained and constantly-improving lead generation program.

1. Constantly focus on lead quality and the cost per conversion

This starts with targeting--and never ends. When targeting continuously improves, so should your campaign ROI. Whether you work with an agency or manage point-solution vendors in-house, have a solution in place that measures the effectiveness of campaign elements like your lists, creative, offer, and timing of multiple marketing vehicles.

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Jeff Kostermans is CEO of LeadGenesys www.leadgenesys.com a B2B direct marketing and lead generation firm. He is author of the Email Marketing Imperatives and can be reached at jeffk@LeadGenesys.com