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Generating business leads
  • Charles Mackenzie
  • Strategy

Take the friction out of generating business leads

HubSpot, a thought leader and inbound marketing service provider, have for years promoted what they call the funnel. A process for generating business leads and managing marketing and sales leads. However, in recent months this process has been replaced with a flywheel. The flywheel aims to go faster and faster the more momentum you add to it and the more friction you take out of it.

A key insight of the HubSpot flywheel is that delighted customers help your brand to attract new customers. These new customers, onced delighted with your brand’s services, can then attract more customers. As this process continues, more customers keep adding new customers and the flywheel gets bigger and spins faster.

Generating business leads the new way

Generating business leads is key. So what are some of the things that your brand can do to make your customer lead flywheel better?

Craft relevant and personal user journeys

To attract, engage and delight customers you need to know what interests them and build your processes around these interests. Different people of different ages and in different locations use different devices at different times of the day and want to see different things.

There are a number of questions to answer before you can start to craft these user journeys. An example of some questions can be seen below:

  • How can you make content or ads that will appeal specifically to your customer?
  • Do they prefer text, images or videos?
  • What language should you use? Actual language as well as formal versus slang.
  • Which social networks do they use?
  • What websites do they normally use?
  • Which device do they use and when do they use it?
  • Do they want to speak to an individual or do they want to have control of the research and sales process themselves?
  • How do they access the internet and how fast is there internet connection?
  • How old are they?
  • Do they have any discernable interests, passions or needs?
  • What is your solutions or service offering for these individuals?

The answers to these questions will vary depending on your target market. For instance, people at work are mostly on a computer during work hours. Thus a B2B product offering would be best advertised during work hours and the user journey built for desktop computers. Alternatively, a mother with a new born child is mostly likely to use their mobile phone in the evening when their child is asleep. In this case, a B2C product offering would best be advertised in the evenings and the user journey built for mobile devices.

In all circumstances, we highly recommend that you make it easy for your customers to give you their information. If you have a person’s name, a browser cookie, email address or phone number, you are able to re-engage the person and provide them with reasons to trust your brand. Without this information you can do nothing, the person is just an anonymous individual who may or may not be a potential customer. Create prominent calls to action, online forms, newsletter subscriptions, add to cart buttons and sign up buttons to receive online books or other promotional content.

Once your user journeys are complete or if you have existing user journeys, test them. Pretend to be a customer. Have your partner, child, parent, friend or neighbour test them. If you can buy online, make an actual purchase with real money and have your brand deliver a real product. If you offer a service, subscribe to it or sign up for a course. Take a note of your experiences and find ways to improve them. It is important to remember that the real world is different to test environments.

Identify key performance metrics

Digital environments generate an incredible amount of information. However, for you to succeed you need to know what it is that you are trying to achieve. If you can define your objectives, then it is possible to identify the key performance metrics that indicate whether or not you are moving towards your goals.

A good starting point for your performance metrics is the percentage of people who move from one stage of the process to the next. By tracking this information you can begin to understand the effectiveness of your flywheel and which areas are working well or need improvement.

  • What percentage of the people who you attract to your brand engage with your brand? What are the click through rates for your ads, the bounce rates for website landing pages, the percentage of users who complete online forms or download content, what percentage of users comment on your social media profiles or view your video?
  • What percentage of the people who engage with your brand transact with your brand? What is the conversion ratio for online sales or lead enquiries?
  • What percentage of your customers refer your brand to someone else? What percentage of people share your content on social media or forward your emails? How many referrals do your sales team get from their existing customers?

We also recommend that you share this information with your team. This information will empower your team to improve your brand’s sales and marketing process, as well as create buy-in for the objectives you are trying to achieve (like generating business leads).

Add momentum and reduce friction

When you consider your flywheel consider two questions:

  • What can we do that will make a big impact on our sales and marketing process?
  • What can we do that will make things significantly easier for our customer, staff or stakeholders?

Adding momentum and reducing friction for your flywheel is a highly iterative task. The process will grow, change and develop over time. It is not something that you will get right in your first attempt. Thoughts of starting with the perfect sales and marketing process are closer to dreams than reality. Thus you have to take stock of the process you have and begin to make your improvements. It might sound obvious but if you are going to make changes to your process, make changes that will actually make a difference to your brand and to your customers.

Keep the customer at the centre

Lastly, it is worth remembering that your customers are people and that these people are the reason for your brand’s existence. Consider every stage of the flywheel from their perspective and consider how best to delight them. Generating business leads is all about people.

For more information on the HubSpot process of generating business leads click here.

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Charles Mackenzie

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