1. Today for a business to survive and thrive, marketing departments must have a documented content marketing plan. “NO plan” equates to inconsistency and poor inbound marketing results.
  2. It’s vital to create and distribute a variety of compelling content daily to educate, provide value to suspect contacts and help them accomplish their objectives and goals. My recommendation is to create whitepapers, webinars, videos, microsites, direct mail, seminars, blog posts, case studies, social posts, infographics, e-books, e-newsletters, ads, demos, email, comparison tables, etc. for your target personas and vertical industries.
  3. To follow-up impressively fast via phone and email, in seconds or minutes, be aware of all suspect contact buying signals and actions related to each type of content. Have a functioning SFA/CRM such as Nimble, Pipeliner, Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho, Pipedrive, etc. that is seamlessly integrated with marketing automation such as Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, Act-On, etc.
  4. SFA/CRM system dysfunction usually stems from going overboard with customization that requires too much maintenance and training costing valuable time.
  5. It’s critical to have lead scoring that is easy to view and understand in order to prioritize and focus multi-stage follow-up with the right suspects.
  6. The name(s) of suspect contacts opening an email, clicking links, watching a video, visiting a web page, filling out a form, downloading something, or swiping a trade show badge should not be sent directly to Sales Representatives (SRs) to engage. Doing so is a recipe for complaints about the quality of marketing leads and for complaints about Sales not converting leads passed.
  7. My counsel has always been to have an in-house or outsourced lead generation (market development, account development, business development) department that is chiefly responsible for persistent outbound follow-up, nurturing, qualifying, and gathering insightful additional contact and account intelligence before handing off leads to SRs. You will maximize efficiency, increase productivity, and free up more time for SRs. This way they can focus on their core competency and passion for advancing and closing revenue generating deals. You’ll see lower opportunity and closed deal costs and will improve company-wide morale.

Originally published at www.linkedin.com

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