Are You Leaking Enterprise Leads?

Gone are the days of wasted marketing efforts. Content marketing for the sake of content with no data insights. Accountability-free spending in disconnected campaigns. Events for the sake of events with no ROI.

Now marketing teams need to be green line items on company budgets. Especially teams hunting enterprise leads – the holy grail of all revenue-generating leads.

With the start of a new fiscal year in a month, marketing teams will be off to the races rolling out new marketing plans, product narratives, and implementing new strategies.

But before you roll out your shiny new product narratives and marketing plans – don’t pass GO until you ask yourself: are you leaking leads right now?

Lead leakage is one of the most expensive marketing and sales issues with 80% of leads never being worked on by sales. There’s no point in rolling out relevant content and marketing activities only for leads never to make it to your sales funnel.

Three ways to know if your website is leaking new leads:

First, none of your content is gated. There is a popular movement in marketing right now called non-coercive marketing where you ungate all of your content on your website. Your prospect consumes content without you knowing who they are or where they come from. One day you hope those efforts convert directly to clients. It’s a long, expensive road that yields little understanding of how you can better support your customer in their buying journey.

Why not just do phenomenal marketing instead that accelerates your customer’s buying journey in a meaningful way? So they don’t have to boil the ocean of content on your website. Give them a clear path from the moment they land on your website to a trial, to attending an event and talking with salespeople.

Second, your marketing funnel is full of dead-ends. You may have set up a customer journey but didn’t finish executing it. Blog posts with no webinars for the customer to consume next. Digital assessments that never get emailed to a customer, losing the opportunity to put them into a lead nurturing campaign designed for them. Trials with no product nurture emails. This type of lead leakage is doubly expensive when these new leads came from ads you paid for, only to have them not complete the funnel.

Last, you have one customer journey for everyone. Your LinkedIn ads have generated traffic to the select pieces of content you produced, and off of that your sales team is reaching out to all of those unqualified leads – regardless if they are buyers or users with no budget. No wonder sales hates marketing.

What you want to have instead is a segmentation system that looks like a subway map of customer journeys for each of your ideal customers, both buyers and users with different conversion points and activities required for lead nurturing.

Worried that one of these may be you? Get a free website audit.

So, let’s fix your revenue leaks and start catching enterprise leads.

The one concept to understand — which is the big differentiator for enterprise leads— is lead scoring. This is the secret sauce of how great enterprise marketing teams design thoughtful customer journeys for their enterprise leads. The journeys are full of rich, educational content and activities that convert your prospect into a super fan.

The earlier you start lead scoring the better! As early as your first leads dripping through your website. It becomes much harder to do this when you have to stop and count all of your stacks of content and create strategy around it. It also helps you be strategic about your content from your company’s website 1.0. You can get it right the first time 🙂

A pre-req to lead scoring, is a good CRM system. If you haven’t invested in a good CRM system yet, now is the time to do so. You will need it for everything that comes after the manual work of mapping your lead scoring: marketing automation, lead management, lead generation, and connecting it all into the sales process.

Now, let me show you how I map a qualified lead:

First, you need to figure out the score of a qualified enterprise lead. At a minimum, this is based on three things: how much content you have, the quality of your content, and how many steps you want your lead to take before they cross the threshold from an unqualified lead to qualified.

If you’ve never done this before ask your Head of Sales for a ballpark qualified lead number they used at a previous job. However, don’t get hung up on this number because you will end up adjusting it as you start qualifying leads. The most important thing is that you are actually scoring leads now, not just handing them off immediately to sales after the first thing your enterprise prospect clicks on.

Now that you have that qualified lead score, use google analytics to map out your best performing content and organize it into top of of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of funnel sections in a spreadsheet.

It’s important to learn how to do this by hand as a marketer for three reasons:

    1. It teaches you to think about your enterprise marketing as strategic, not tactical.
    2. Second, sadly most marketing teams are not data driven. I say this from personal experience. The majority of marketers have no idea of the impact of their work. To grow in your career, being able to quantify your work is the number one differentiator between getting to the next level or not. I did a lot of manual calculations in my career to figure out influenced revenue I was bringing companies like Slack. At the very least, it feels good to know you’ve paid for yourself with your work.
    3. Last, doing this the first time is hard because you are most likely retrofitting it, but the next company you go to you will already have a process for scale.

Next, you’ll need to assign number values to each type of content, with the bottom of funnel content being weighted the most heavily. So a webinar could be 15 points, a white paper could be 10, a blog post 5. The goal is to figure out what number combination can your new lead hit from top to bottom of funnel content to cross that qualified lead score.

Next, in your spreadsheet, segment your content either by your top accounts, industries, or line of business. Match the content you already have that will best fit that segment and write out each piece of content from the top of funnel to the bottom of funnel. So you’ll find your best performing financial services blog posts, next your white papers e-books, and lastly your webinars and events. Now you have a full customer journey. Add up all of the content values and see if it hits your qualified lead score.

Now that you have your content funnel for each segment, go back to your website and make sure that each piece of that content has a CTA to the next piece of content. Get rid of those dead-ends. Once you get rid of those content dead-ends you can see where your leads did not convert to the next piece of content, did not collect more lead points, didn’t pass GO.

Here is where the lead score really gets fun for you. Your lead stopped engaging with your content. Let’s say they collected 10 points, and the lead score for a qualified lead is 30. How do we get them to the end of the journey? They are clearly interested but something isn’t working — they didn’t have time to finish reading, they didn’t like the content, the copy didn’t get them excited. It is now up to you to figure this out and be your lead’s biggest cheerleader to get them to the finish line.

Here are three options to keep nurturing your new lead to the finish line:

    1. Put them into an automated nurture campaign of the rest of the segment journey. Help them finish the funnel with an email follow up of the content they skipped, trying new copy and value props to see what resonates.
    2. If you see many leads failing to convert at a specific CTA, swap out that piece of content for something else but with the same point value. See if that unblocks leads to keep moving forward.
    3. If you have a bunch of leads sitting somewhere in the middle, like at 15 points and 30 is the qualified lead goal, round them up by segment and invite them to a webinar or event that will push them over the goal. A handful of points for signing up, and then the jackpot for attending. Now you have a batch of sales-ready leads to hand off.

Now, in that lead batch you are most likely going to have enterprise buyers and enterprise users. Both are important in different ways. First, you can see how deeply you are penetrating a target account and what team or line of business you are engaging. Ideally, your goal is to penetrate the whole account. But this will take a while — and a lot of strategic nurture — in the enterprise.

Second, the enterprise lead buyers should be handed off to sales reps to qualify as sales opportunities, and the enterprise users should be put into nurturing programs that create marketing activities for them to invite more users and broaden internal buy-in and adoption of your product. You want the advantage of a top down (enterprise buyer) and bottoms up (enterprise user) strategy in your pursuit of the enterprise account.

Don’t get discouraged if at the beginning your bag of qualified leads aren’t fully qualified or the wrong fit. You are going to get a mixed bag of leads until you keep refining your product narrative and content.

So how does a product narrative strategy fit in to all of this?

When you have one product narrative strategy you can build out the right content journeys for your segments from the beginning. You really need that top-level product story that anchors everything together and creates alignment. If you don’t have it, you are already one step removed and indexing in the wrong direction with your content. When a plane is of course by 1 degree, it misses its target by 60 miles.

Do you feel like something is not working with your content? I’ll audit your website for free and we can chat how to bring you back on course.

Share the Post: