Category: Lead Generation

Is lead generation sales or marketing?

October 13th, 2023 by

The lines between sales and marketing have long been debated when it comes to lead generation.

The age-old question is – which team is ultimately responsible for lead generation within a business?

The short answer is both of them. When both teams work together, that’s the sign of a healthy and functioning lead generation strategy.

Traditionally, sales and marketing have often operated within separate spheres, each with distinct objectives and strategies. Marketing casts a wide net, generating leads and creating awareness, while sales focuses on building relationships, nurturing leads, and ultimately closing deals.

However, there can often be friction or a lack of synergy between these two teams, which means that any lead generation efforts can be inefficient or ineffective.

Here’s where sales enablement comes in—a process that merges the efforts of marketing and sales. Sales enablement recognises that lead generation isn’t a one-sided affair; it thrives when marketing and sales efforts intertwine seamlessly. This approach aligns both teams’ strategies, ensuring a cohesive journey from lead identification to customer acquisition.

Our sales enablement approach bridges the gap between sales and marketing. Sales enablement isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a methodology that enhances the customer experience and streamlines the lead generation process. By leveraging it, we empower businesses to:

  1. Achieve greater results: Uniting marketing and sales under a common goal generates cohesion and clarity, paving the way for success.
  2. Deliver targeted content: Informed by intensive persona research, content becomes highly tailored, resonating deeply with prospects and nurturing them along the buying journey.
  3. Boost efficiency: Streamlined processes and effective communication between teams minimise inefficiencies, maximising both time and resources.

Our process seamlessly combines intensive persona research, meticulously crafted content, and strategic sales enablement techniques. The result? A powerful synergy that turns prospects into warm Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), ready to pass onto sales for nurturing and conversion. This synthesis of efforts amplifies the impact of both marketing and sales, creating a seamless journey that resonates with potential clients and leads them towards becoming valued clients.

Are you ready to bridge the gap between marketing and sales for your business to generate unparalleled growth? Get in touch.

What does AI mean for B2B marketing & lead generation?

October 13th, 2023 by

It’s no doubt that AI will continue to play a huge role in shifting the marketing landscape. Marketers have already started adapting their processes, incorporating AI to increase efficiency and help shape content. What’s more is that marketers are leveraging AI not just to make content creation more efficient, but also to make it more impactful and relevant amongst their target audience.

According to LinkedIn’s recent B2B Marketing Benchmark report, Generative AI, or GenAI, is expected to have the highest usage increase in the next year amongst B2B marketers who already use it. Additionally, it reports that “just under 1 in 2” B2B marketing professionals are currently using AI within their marketing efforts.

Some people are concerned that AI will completely replace many job roles. However, despite the recent advances in AI technology, the human element will still be crucial.

AI will not be able to replace human authenticity, and humans are still very necessary for oversight to ensure quality and accurate output. Especially in terms of recent GenAI advancements such as ChatGPT in use for things like site optimisation, data insights and proxy focus groups – this is merely meant to supplement existing support from an expert, rather than replacing it. The LinkedIn report puts it very well: “AI will not replace you – someone using AI will!”.

In terms of lead generation specifically, having a professional team is still essential, as there are many moving parts to the process.

At Emberson LeadGen, the human element is what sets us apart. While we do possess the cutting-edge technologies and systems to execute our lead flow service to the best degree, what really makes us different is not the technology but the people behind it. We have a group of experienced professionals that have worked together for over twenty years who trust each other and work well together, and they make up the team of 5-7 people who will work on your lead generation campaign at any given time. They look deep beyond the data and screen it to form insights that only humans can do properly, which leads to tangible results.

Many marketers are using AI to automate the laborious lead generation tasks like lead scoring, lead nurturing and data analysis. Programmes and platforms are available to assist with analysing large amounts of data to help find the most promising leads. However, we’ve found that while very good in many ways, these platforms are still lacking the crucial human element to sift through all of it across several platforms and spot those patterns that differentiate a genuine prospect from a bot.

Overall, AI will serve as an additional helpful tool in a marketer’s overall arsenal, particularly when it comes to automating numerous time-consuming lead generation tasks. However, it’s not meant to replace the expertise and skill provided by experienced professionals, and so the best approach would be to incorporate a mixture of both.

If you’re ready to begin accelerating your business’ growth with a continuous flow of quality leads, get in touch.

Marketers’ biggest challenges & how to solve them (Pt 1)

July 26th, 2023 by

Now that we’ve reached the middle of the year, it’ll be common for businesses to begin looking back at the last six months to inform their plans for next year. As a part of this process, they’ll review any challenges that have arisen and how best to address them moving forward.

We recently came across an article from Hubspot that provided some very interesting findings. From their survey, they uncovered that the top challenges marketers are currently facing include:

  1. Generating traffic & leads
  2. Sales/marketing alignment

These are two things that are crucial to get right, as they directly impact the growth and overall success of your business. And you can’t have one without the other – if you don’t have a consistent flow of quality leads, then your sales & marketing teams won’t be able to bring in new customers and revenue. And if you do manage to get some leads coming in and your sales & marketing teams aren’t effectively working together, then you’ll most likely not get those leads across the finish line.

So what can you do to tackle these problems? We’ll talk about solutions to create a continuous flow of leads in this post, and then keep an eye out for our follow-up post where we will discuss solutions for sales/marketing enablement.

When it comes to generating leads, there are several things you can do. Here are five simple steps to get you started:

  1. Have clear objectives for your business goals & target market. Once you do this, you can select the channels that are most relevant for you, i.e. LinkedIn or email, depending on where your audience is. Without objectives set, it’ll be much more difficult to focus your team’s efforts and prioritise resources to achieve tangible progress and results. For example, with an objective to generate quality, continuous leads, some of the action points to achieve this could be to explore hiring an agency that specialises in it, or investing in the proper team structure to do this in-house (i.e. analysts, project managers, creatives, etc..), or setting up a robust lead scoring system in order to accurately track where leads are in the funnel and tailor marketing to enable them to move them along.
  2. Start with expert research, a bespoke database and engaging content. It’s important to enlist someone with knowledge and experience to set up your lead generation process. This is a complex process that if not done properly, you won’t get consistent, genuine results. Getting a fit-for-purpose CRM solution that’s suitable for your team’s specific needs will set them up to manage the entire lead nurturing process from start to finish. Also ensure you have somewhere to drive traffic to that you can measure, like a website or campaign landing page.
  3. Regularly share thought leadership pieces that people actually want to read. Many people join LinkedIn to expand their knowledge, so share informative pieces that will inform and educate, establish yourself as an authority within your sector and you’ll soon build up a good network. And due to recent LinkedIn algorithm changes, it’s now easier than ever to get your content in front of a bigger, relevant audience (so long as your background matches the subject matter and the content is genuinely informative or helpful). This is a brilliant way to establish brand awareness in an organic way, and sow the seed for your services early on so that interested prospects will engage when they’re ready to take the next step.
  4. Follow up prospects. This goes without saying, but if you don’t have a dedicated team or person whose primary job is to follow up on and nurture prospects, then it’s likely they’ll never turn into customers. The lead nurturing process is a delicate one and requires a lot of skill – too much too soon will alienate the prospect, while too little too late will lose you a potential sale. That’s why it’s important to have someone with experience continually monitoring this process.
  5. Seek help from the experts. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we really do mean it when we say that expertise in this field is essential. So much can go wrong when there are this many moving parts, and when human behaviour is involved, it gets even trickier. That’s why you don’t want to leave this part of your business strategy revolving around growth to chance. As mentioned previously, whether that’s enlisting a specialised lead generation agency or a consultant to help you set up the comprehensive team you’d need in to do it correctly, you must seek out expert advice.

Ready to supercharge your business growth with a continuous flow of leads? Get in touch.

Keen to learn more about lead flow? Read our top tips blog post here.

Unlocking success: the power of an optimised database for your business

April 4th, 2023 by

Sales are crucial to the growth and success of any organisation. However, managing sales processes and customer interactions can be challenging. That’s where a diligently managed database comes in – one that is consistently updated with vetted data is an essential tool for any business looking to streamline their sales processes, increase customer engagement, and boost their bottom line.

Optimised database management can help with lead generation in several ways:

Keeping Data Centralised

Managing a centralised database of customer information will help you to identify and target potential customers more effectively. Beware though, the data being added must be good quality to avoid inaccurate reporting, ineffective marketing campaigns, and lost opportunities. Avoid this with regular data cleaning and maintenance, and ensure your team follows consistent data entry standards.

To get a deep-dive of your data practices and lists, take a look at our Find & Reach Services which involves a GDPR review.

Scoring Leads

Scoring helps you to identify your most promising leads. This will allow your sales team to prioritise their efforts and focus on the most qualified prospects. However, it’s important to train your team to use the database correctly, encourage adoption within the team and communicate the benefits of using and maintaining it. Keeping workflows simple and focused on the most important tasks, reviewing these regularly and optimising as needed will help your team use it in their day-to-day work.

Alternatively, our highly experienced team can help you with this. Find out about our Prospect Research and Database Build Services.

Automated Nurturing

Send personalised messages and content based on your potential customers’ interests and their stage in the buying process to build relationships and keep them engaged until they’re ready to buy. This is possible when integrating the correct tools to assist with this. Without the right combination of people, process and tools you could experience problems with duplicate prospects, missed opportunities and a lack of visibility into customer behaviour. One example is to integrate your database with your email marketing software to get those perfectly timed messages out to the right people, at the right time.

Start sending highly focused email campaigns to your database, read how with our Email and Social LeadGen Services.

Improve Collaboration

The marketing and sales teams will have a platform sharing customer information and insights. This can help to keep both teams aligned in their efforts to generate leads and close deals. There’s a wealth of data and insights available to inform your business strategy. Ignoring the analytics is a lost opportunity. Review and analyse the data regularly to identify trends, opportunities and areas for continual improvement.

With tailored dashboards and bespoke reports, you can get frequent insights with the help of our Marketing and Data Insights services.

With a managed database, a business can streamline their lead generation, increase efficiency and ultimately boost sales revenue.

Would you prefer someone else to take care of all of this for you? Emberson LeadGen have an experienced team ready to implement our bespoke approach for your business, no matter how little or how much assistance you need. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.

Navigating the changing landscape of B2B marketing

March 17th, 2023 by

In the digital marketing landscape, there is a significant shift to move away from third party cookies and this presents exciting opportunities for B2B sales and marketing professionals to attract and engage audiences.

This trend began with GDPR, which gave individuals more control over their data and started changing how brands use personal data in their marketing. People are becoming more conscious of the power and value of their data and want to take control. Tech companies are responding by introducing solutions such as Apple’s App Tracking Transparency and companies like Gener8 Ads and Nano Interactive, which offer alternatives to personal identifiers like cookies and trackers.

As a B2B marketer who relies on cookies for building target audiences or running retargeted adverts, it’s essential to adapt to this changing environment. Here are three tips for engaging with your audience differently:

Embrace a symbiotic relationship with your audience

By being authentic, engaging, and useful in your interactions. People still want to engage on social media, follow and trust brands they value and admire. Brands need to earn the right to use the audience’s data.

Speak your audience’s language

Tailor your conversations accordingly. LinkedIn is a business networking platform attracting a youthful audience, and brands need to understand how this generation speaks and what drives them.

Quality is better than quantity when it comes to data

Prioritise individual interactions with people genuinely interested in what you have to say, whether that’s making personal connections or sending interesting emails and articles to those who engage with you. The age of message broadcasting may be coming to an end.

Are you ready to make this shift in your business? Where do you need help to make steps to prepare and implement the necessary changes? Emberson LeadGen are ready to hear about your needs and how they can support your marketing and sales teams, get in touch.

Top tips for generating more qualified leads

November 12th, 2022 by

Over 90% of marketers say lead generation is their most important goal. Nearly 40% of marketers say generating high quality leads is one of their biggest challenges.

Effective lead generation is about getting the fundamentals right – your database, your messaging and your consistency. Let’s take a look at all three.

Focus on your database

When you take lead generation back to basics, your first job is to make sure you’re reaching out to the right people.

Data quality is a bigger problem than you might think, though.

Research suggests 27.3% of a sales person’s time is spent chasing bad data. That’s 546 hours a year (or nearly 70 working days) per sales person.

It might be because a company has gone out of business, the contact is no longer employed there or the contact information is wrong. It might also be because the name on the database isn’t the decision maker you need to be speaking to or they are no longer in the market for what you’re selling. Whatever the reason, it’s a problem.

Regular cleaning and updating of your database is an essential part of effective lead generation.

Focus on your messaging

It’s equally as important to focus on your content/messaging.

This has two elements. The first element is to make sure your messages resonate with your target audience. We believe there are four parts to this.

  • Content that sets the stage and makes your value visible.
  • Content that details your approach and starts the conversation.
  • Content that demonstrates your measurable performance advantage.
  • Content that shares your customer endorsements.

The second element is to be creative and consistent in your branding (including your tone of voice) across all channels. Always presenting your brand consistently has been shown to deliver a 23% average revenue increase.

Commit to consistency

One more piece of the puzzle is consistency. For many businesses, lead generation is an activity for the quiet times. When things get busier again, lead generation slips down the agenda.

But showing up in the right places time after time has a lot of benefits. Your prospects are busy people with a lot of things to remember. When they need what you have to offer, they’re more likely to remember your name if they’ve seen it recently.

In practice, what this means is that you need someone to coordinate your lead generation activity and make sure it happens regularly and reliably.

The value of connecting the dots across people, process and tools

Your database, your messaging and your consistency are all key. The missing ingredient is often joining everything together.

Here at Emberson LeadGen we work tirelessly to connect the dots between people, processes and tools across web, content, campaigns, social, organic search, databases and email.

The result?

A continuous flow of qualified warm leads and actionable insights to help you drive your business forward.

To find out how we could help you generate the qualified leads you need, get in touch.

References – Ruler Analytics, The Pipeline and Inc.com.

How to execute your best-ever lead generation campaign

October 21st, 2022 by

You’ve got your target audience. You’ve got your messaging sorted. The only thing left to do is roll out the campaign. So what are the secrets of how to execute a lead generation campaign with a flawless rollout that maximises your response rate? Here are the four things I think are key.

Get a database in place

I’ve read that only 20% of leads are ever followed up. It’s easy to see how this could happen. Perhaps a lead called the office but you never got the message asking you to call them back. Perhaps the email was sent to two of you and you each thought the other one was going to make the call. Perhaps you did call them back but after you got their voicemail a few times they fell off your radar.

The solution is to get a decent database in place so nothing slips between the gaps.

We’re system-agnostic. We work with the databases our clients already have in place. It means we can get up and running much more quickly and easily. But if you don’t have a database in place at the moment and are looking for a good place to start, Zoho is a good value option.

Cover all touchpoints

It’s also vital to make sure you’re reaching out across all the channels that are relevant for your audience. This maximises your reach – and the opportunities for your prospects to see your message.

A typical lead generation campaign for one of our clients will operate across web, content, campaigns, social, organic search, databases and email.

Make sure it happens

This is so obvious – but so often forgotten. It’s very easy to prepare a lead generation campaign but to stumble when it comes to getting everything out there.

There are two ways to approach this. The first is to use of one of the scheduling tools that are available these days. Again, we work with whatever scheduling tools our clients have in place. If you don’t have one yet, though, I’d recommend checking out Loomly.

I’d also always advise having someone responsible for coordinating lead generation. They can help make sure every campaign maintains its momentum, which is so important over time.

Get additional support when you need it

The honest truth is that lead generation takes a lot of time if you want to do it properly.

As the inbound marketing company HubSpot says: “Lead generation takes resources, effort, and patience. A business can’t devote 10 hours a week to lead generation and expect to see success. It requires a cross-section of experience, knowledge, and talent across disciplines to create an effective process.”

We know this only too well ourselves. We spend our days generating leads for our clients. Consistently focusing on our own lead generation activity is a work in progress!

It’s why my final piece of advice is to get additional support if you need it. Outsourcing lead generation gives you valuable expertise and frees up time in-house so it’s a win-win situation.

To have a conversation about how we could help your business generate more leads, get in touch.

Unleash lead generation in your business

September 15th, 2022 by

…they need support to generate a continuous flow of leads for their business. Nine times out of ten they know exactly why they haven’t been able to generate the leads for themselves. Typically, it’s one or more of these five reasons.

A start-stop approach to lead generation

It’s the classic trap. When business is quiet, you ramp up your lead generation efforts. As soon as the pipeline is full, you ease off again. This start-stop approach to lead generation results in a start-stop pipeline of leads. You know it’s a mistake but you can’t seem to get out of the habit of working this way.

A continuous flow of leads requires a continuous flow of lead generation activity.

Not enough time to give lead generation the attention it needs

Very often, lead generation activity is the responsibility of several different functions in the business. Unfortunately, all of those functions also have full-time responsibility for something else as well. The result is that no one is fully focused on lead generation so you don’t get as many leads as you need.

If you’re targeting lead generation for growth, it requires focus and attention.

Not having the right mix of skills in-house

The level of expertise needed to run an effective lead generation is often under-estimated, which is why we often see it delegated to junior members of the team. By our reckoning, for maximum lead generation effectiveness you need a strategy expert, a concepts whizz, a creative copywriter, a talented graphic designer, a detective come researcher, a database guru, an insights and analytics specialist and a hands-on project manager.

It’s a level of lead generation resource that few businesses have the luxury of having in-house.

A database with not enough of the right contacts

Your database is one of the fundamentals of an effective lead generation campaign. It’s vital that it has high quality contacts segmented in the right way. Research suggests* that 20% of an average customer contact database is useless, for reasons including duplicate entries and out-of-date information.

The upshot is that poor quality data costs businesses around £575 billion a year, or 30% of the average company’s revenue.

Not closing the lead generation loop

It’s very easy to think that lead generation is all about outreach. It’s really just the start of the story. We very often see businesses that don’t have the systems in place to be laser-focused on following up leads, researching the people who’ve interacted with social posts or visited a website.

Without these systems in place, your lead generation activity is a leaky bucket and you could be missing out on important opportunities.

Generating the continuous flow of leads you need

If any of these reasons resonate with you, let’s have a conversation. Because when you need to solve a problem fast, it’s sometimes best to call in the experts. One client received an order from a lead we generated within the first eight weeks of working with us that covered the cost of our annual contract six times over. If those are the results you need, get in touch today.

Reference

* https://www.salesforce.com/ap/hub/analytics/data-validation-practices/