…And More Proven Ways to Get Better Lead Management Results
What I Learned at the Marketing Sherpa Lead Generation Summit
Lead Management is focused into three pillars
- Lead Capture
- Lead Qualification
- Lead Nurturing
- Leads are people, not targets
- People are not falling into the funnel – they are falling out
- The marketer’s job is to optimize the thought process of prospects
- To optimize thought sequences, we must enter into a conversation and guide it toward a value exchange
About “The Funnel”:
Gravity is NOT your Friend!
- The funnel image we were taught distorts marketing reality. It must be inverted. People are not falling in to the funnel, they are falling out.
- In fact, they are really climbing up the sides on one or more of a variety of paths of funnel-ascension represented by our various marketing channels.
- There are a series (in some marketing scenarios, literally dozens) of micro-“Yes’s “ that our prospects are choosing on their way up to the macro “Yes”; becoming a Sales lead (and even more before the ultimate “Yes” of becoming a customer).
- AND – Just one “No” along this sequence will cause the prospect to fall entirely out of our funnel.
- Understand why our particular customer prospects says “Yes” and
- Craft each aspect of our funnel sequences to achieve those Yes’s all the way up
- Achieve internal alignment between the Sales and Marketing teams concerning your
Ideal Customer Profile &
Universal Lead Definition
- Discipline the database so you can clearly understand the specific motivations of each lead.
- Conduct a thorough analysis of the data in order to prioritize lead nurturing efforts.
- Establish a responsive scoring system which scores leads based on key behavior triggers.
- Craft targeted content to match the prospect’s motivations at a precise moment in time.
- Deliver leads off to sales once they achieved the optimal intensity (as defined in the ULD).
- Hold Regular “closed loop huddles” between Marketing and Sales to ensure the right balance between quantity and quality.
Details of the 3 Lead Generation Pillars:
- Is this the optimal offer for our customer?
- Is it worth it to them : Is the value > the cost?
- Body copy
- How does each specific channel affect the message?
- Are we clear on the primary objective of the channel – and how are we setting up to achieve this?
- Do we understand the channel’s role /purpose/capacity in relation to:
- Our customers’ thought sequence?
- The channel strategy/expectations?
- Any competitive presence?
- Captures attention
- Convents the attention into interest, and
- Motivates the interest into the next stage in the conversion process
- Internal (Sales & Marketing) Alignment
- Disciplined Data
- Responsive Scoring
- The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
The ICP describes the optimal capacity of a sales ready lead.
It is defined with aspects at the company level (Size, industry, budget, infrastructure, etc.) and
champion person-specific champion level (Role, authority, influence, motivations, their goal, etc.)
- Universal Lead Definition (ULD)
The ULD describes optimal intensity of a sales ready lead.
- Importance and
- Marketing data should drive prioritization of lead qualification efforts.
- The goal isn’t to collect all possible data but enough customer information to predict customer behavior.
- Company level, Person/Champion level as well as behavioral data should be applied to categorizing inquiries or web visitors against your ICP and ULD.
- The principles we learned under Lead Capture combined with a strategic communication between marketing and Sales should determine the “ Must have” versus “Nice to have” data – as well as what stage in the relationship is the appropriate time and the best method to gather this information.
- Most Leads are not sales-ready Leads
- The marketer needs to be able to map the cognitive progression of a lead as she/she moves up the funnel
- The Hand-off to Sales needs to be at the point that the lead achieves the optimal lead Intensity – Not too soon or too late.
- Lead scoring is responsive, based on customer knowledge and behaviors, associating numerical values to these data
- The purpose is to assess the intensity of a lead – its readiness for hand-off to Sales.
- Lead scoring is meant to prioritize, not replace, human touch.
- The right message
- To the right person
- At the right time
- Lead nurturing is not a monologue – it is a dialogue. People don’t buy from companies – they buy from people
- The marketer needs to participate in the lead’s conversation (This includes their internal thought process) and guide it toward the desired conclusion (i.e.: the next step, or the sale)
- Effective Messaging requires Empathy – this is the most important and often overlooked skill of a good marketer.
- A Marketer must be able to empty our own and the company’s perspectives in order to see and feel with the leads’ perspective.
- This enables us to identify with the market and achieve empathetic messaging that will power conversion.
- With complex sales tests have shown that tailoring the specific offer to a specific lead persona yields greater results.
- This utilizes defining and detailing your different buyer personas, over the various stages in their buy cycle and focusing the value proposition that addresses:
- If I am (identify specific buyer persona or prospect category here) , why should I buy from you versus any other of your competitors?
- Objectives in this phase: marketers should seek to build the problem – and awareness of the solution.
- The desired conclusion: “This is something I might need”
- Great content tools here include: email, short white papers, videos…
- Objectives in this phase: marketers should seek to build trust – and establish a relationship
- The desired conclusion: “This is something that is reliable-that I can trust”
- Great content tools here include:, detailed white papers, demos, webinars…
- Objectives in this phase: marketers should seek to apply natural urgency and recognize the point that the lead has matched the optimal intensity and should be handed off to Sales.
- The desired conclusion: “This is something I want”
- Great content tools here include: conversations, quote requests, price promotions…
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