Not surprisingly, a recent study by InsideSales.com points to a lack of leads as the top challenge for today's business-to-business (B2B) marketers. The need for qualified leads almost always trumps other important efforts such as brand awareness, field enablement, and partner development.
At the same time, B2B prospect pools are smaller and tougher to penetrate than those targeted in business-to-consumer (B2C) campaigns. Hefty deal sizes and lengthy sales cycles inherent in B2B relationships cause marketers and sales managers to struggle in uncovering enough leads to fill their organizational pipelines.
For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the challenge of end-to-end lead turnover and tracking is especially tricky. By adapting "big company" processes for their own needs at critical points in the lead conversion continuum, even the least savvy of marketing functions can ensure a higher rate of return on marketing efforts.
Here are a few simple, proven methods for tracking sales and marketing success.
Tip No. 1: Import and maintain clean marketing data
This first tip may seem trivial, but it can serve as the single point of success (or failure) in any lead generation program. Before investing time and resources into outbound lead generation efforts, evaluate the quality of the data available to you.
Ideally, you may be starting to market to a fresh set of contacts or an entirely new database. Or you may be tasked with cleaning up an old set of records that were tagged as "leads" or "prospects" within a former customer relationship management (CRM) system.