5 LEAD GENERATION BEST PRACTICES

Excerpt From:
Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline 2010 ITSMA and RainToday.com Lead Generation Survey

Katie Espinola Senior Research Analyst ITSMA Julie Schwartz Senior Vice President Research and Thought Leadership ITSMA John Doerr President RAIN Group Mike Schultz Publisher RainToday.com

Employ dedicated salespeople. Choose which tactics you should test – and which tactics may not be worth the work and investment. what tactics you are using. Use offers and “live” experiences to generate leads 3.com Reproduction Prohibited . the chosen tactics will only be effective if there is thoughtful strategy behind them. We define top performers as companies that increased profitability growth. one observation stood out: not all lead generation tactics work for everyone. Moreover.cfm.raintoday. based on deep knowledge of the target audience. we have identified eight best practices of top performing companies. content. although sometimes only for a select few. what your marketing mix is.0438 or visit http://www. To order the complete report call 508-405. Our goal is for you to use this report in discussion as you:     Benchmark yourself against “Excellent” lead generation companies in terms of how much you are spending. is to understand the landscape of possibilities to choose the best tactics that will work for you. increased revenue growth. Segment based on deep knowledge of their target markets 2. Professional and technology services companies will have a better chance of meeting their marketing and sales objectives if they create an integrated plan based on strategy. The top performers: 1. Use the two most effective lead generation tactics: presenting at events and making “warm” phone calls 4. of course. as well as relevant content. what lead generation strategies and tactics can you employ that will put you ahead of the curve? In Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline. what your offers are. Your challenge.com Lead Generation Survey data. 2 SV4579R © 2010 ITSMA & RainToday.” to sell their company’s services and solutions 5. we have presented an overview of five of the most important lead generation best practices gained from our analysis of the data and our everyday work with technology and professional services firms. yet every tactic (even television advertising) works for some companies.INTRODUCTION As we compiled the results from our survey of 859 respondents at professional and technology services companies. So. and rated themselves as excellent or good in their ability to generate leads. in addition to the pipeline inputs (number of leads generated) and outputs (closed deals and revenue) Excerpted from Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline.com/leadgenreport. in addition to “seller-doers. we share five of these best practices. Measure their progress at each stage of the sales pipeline. etc. Defend your lead generation plans to your managers and gain buy-in with your lead generation team. In this research excerpt. In this report excerpt. and tactics. Based on the 2010 ITSMA and RainToday. Budget for upcoming years. we set out to answer this question.

To do this. geography.0438 or visit http://www.8* 3. the actual names of the decision makers.com Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline. specifically:  The composition of the target markets. and establish credibility with regard to its company’s value proposition and track record. High performers segment based on deep knowledge of their target markets How strong is your company’s knowledge of its target markets? Mean Rating In terms of the general profile of our target markets (best industry.2* 3. marketing needs to do its homework. nurture relationships.7* Note: Mean rating is based on a 5-point scale.9* 3. The more knowledge a company has.  The business and company-specific issues of the target audiences.com/leadgenreport. any company has the potential to be well known in its target markets. the better it will be at creating relevant value propositions that capture attention.raintoday. and.com Reproduction Prohibited . where 1=very weak and 5=very strong. Our research shows that the high performers are doing a better job at segmenting and understanding their target markets.3* 3.cfm.4* 2. * Indicates differences are statistically significant.BEST PRACTICE #1: Segment Based on Deep Knowledge of Your Target Markets No matter its size. Source: ITSMA and RainToday. size.8* 3. marketing’s goal is to build contact databases. Companies must also be knowledgeable about their target audiences’ industries.3* 3.6* 3. November 2010 Excerpted from Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline. 4. To order the complete report call 508-405.7* High Perf ormers (N~105) Below Average and Average Perf ormers (N~599) Target markets' industry Target markets' particular business processes Individual organization's business issues Individual decision maker's business issues 3. Companies must know the general profile of their target markets.0* High Perf ormers (N~24) Below Average and Average Perf ormers (N~79) Note: Only asked of a subset of survey respondents.8* 4. other general characteristics) In terms of the actual names of the organizations we should target In terms of the actual titles of decision makers within the target organizations In terms of the actual names of decision makers within the target organizations 3. most important. 3 SV4579R © 2010 ITSMA & RainToday. business processes. the titles of the decision makers.1* 3.3* 3.4* 3. the names of the organizations they should be targeting. Fortunately. Figure 1. most companies agree that segmentation is important to their lead generation programs.8* 4. When it comes to lead generation. The first step is to properly define the target markets and then properly segment them. This segmentation needs to be based on deep knowledge of the target markets. They are more knowledgeable about who they should be targeting and their target markets’ industry and business issues compared to the other companies (Figure 1). and specific business issues at the organizational and individual levels.

Excerpted from Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline.com Reproduction Prohibited . and understand individual decision maker’s business issues.raintoday. The top performers know the actual names of decision makers in their target companies. The first step to becoming a top performer yourself is to know your target market. Using this knowledge. 4 SV4579R © 2010 ITSMA & RainToday. Targeting and segmentation are the first steps to any lead generation or marketing effort and must be done with the upmost thought and rigor.0438 or visit http://www. Targeting goes beyond knowing the general profile of the types of clients you want. understand the organizations’ business issues.cfm. top performers select lead generation tactics and offers that speak directly to buyers’ issues.Takeaway #1: Know your target market.com/leadgenreport. To order the complete report call 508-405.

To order the complete report call 508-405. November 2010 Takeaway #2: Provide relevant content at each stage of the buying cycle. To do this. This includes content that is 100% focused on individual prospects’ situation. Having the right content is one of the most important factors in getting a prospect’s attention. Source: ITSMA and RainToday. In fact.com Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline. 7 out of the 10 content types we asked about were rated a 3. Excerpted from Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline. and builds credibility Most Effective Types of Content by Company Performance High Performers Content 100% f ocused on individual prospect's specific situation Client testimonials Client case studies and success stories Average Performers Content 100% f ocused on individual prospect's specific situation Client testimonials Client case studies and success stories Below Average Performers Content 100% f ocused on individual prospect's specific situation Client testimonials Client case studies and success stories Best-practice methodology based Best-practice methodology based on our company's area of on our company's area of expertise expertise Insight into emerging business issues and market trends Insight on the application of technology to solve business problems How-to tips. The high performing companies identify a larger range of content types that are effective to generate leads. It is good to see that the services providers included in this study are in alignment with the buyers. Companies with a range of content types are better able to meet the needs of buyers in different stages of the buying cycle. Figure 2.com’s How Clients Buy research.com Reproduction Prohibited . as well as proof that the company will deliver as promised. Content that directly addresses a buyer’s business issues is most effective.5 or above on a 5-point effectiveness scale.com/leadgenreport. you have to first know what issues are important to your buyers (see best practice #1) and then develop content that meets those issues. provides proof points. Most companies recognize that the most effective content is high on relevancy and proof points.cfm. and advice Note: Effective types of content are those with an effectiveness rating of 3. we know that buyers are looking for relevant. tactics. and Builds Credibility From both ITSMA’s How Customers Choose Solution Providers Study and RainToday.raintoday. 5 SV4579R © 2010 ITSMA & RainToday. personalized content. and client case studies (Figure 2).BEST PRACTICE #2: Use Content That Is Relevant (Focused on the Business Issues). Provides Proof Points.5 and above on a 5-point scale. client testimonials. High performers use content that is relevant (focused on the business issues).0438 or visit http://www.

6 SV4579R © 2010 ITSMA & RainToday. Comparing the most effective offers across companies by business performance. Engaging any new technology or professional services company is a leap of faith. the most effective way to showcase its knowledge and insight is through live experiences. Articles or white papers authored by company experts are also effective for high performers. we are a sponsor or speaker) Introductory/consultative sales call Articles or white papers authored by experts in our company Note: Effective offers are those with an effectiveness rating of 3. live experiences include in-person events and consultative sales calls. High performers use offers and live experiences to generate leads Most Effective Offers by Company Performance High Performers In-person conf erences and seminars (produced by our company) In-person conf erences and seminars (produced by a third-party.” For high performers.raintoday. The client is never certain of what they will actually get.5 and above on a 5-point scale. Your prospects consider all of these questions (and more) before they buy from you.com Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline. whether the provider is reputable and reliable. Excerpted from Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline. unlike the high performers. It is likely that that the average and below average performers.cfm. It is the combination of the offer and the content (see best practice #2) that leads to superior results. To order the complete report call 508-405. lack the right content behind their offers. touch.BEST PRACTICE #3: Use Offers and Live Experiences to Generate Leads Once a company creates the necessary lead generation content.0438 or visit http://www. Figure 3. we were surprised to see that the average and below average performers don’t even have one offer rated high enough to make the list (Figure 3). Source: ITSMA and RainToday.com Reproduction Prohibited .com/leadgenreport. or whether the process will work with their culture. November 2010 Average Performers None Below Average Performers None Takeaway #3: Create and leverage offers and experiences. Top performers shorten this leap of faith with valuable offers and experiences that allow buyers to see. and taste a bit of what you will provide for them as a client. Think of live experiences as the equivalent of a product’s “free sample.

In the other scenario.cfm. and messaging right. online seminars.  Follow up with the prospect. most companies do not have unlimited time or resources. and company-conducted research reports. The sales process is labor-intensive and sales resources are expensive. more of them will meet their quotas. multi-touch program that yields the best results. and the sales cycle will be shorter.com/leadgenreport. Such offers introduce the company to potential buyers and demonstrate the company’s thought leadership and insight. lead nurturing).raintoday. Excerpted from Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline. Although marketing will never replace sales. making warm phone calls is a two-step process:  “Warm” the prospect. 7 SV4579R © 2010 ITSMA & RainToday. Research from CSO Insights has also shown that when salespeople receive nurtured leads. There could be two scenarios for following up with a prospect. targeted value propositions. sales turns a “warm” phone call into a “sales-ready” lead.Presenting at Events and Making “Warm” Phone Calls BEST PRACTICE #4: Use the Two Most Effective Lead Generation Tactics: Unfortunately. One is marketing (telemarketing or inside sales) makes a “warm” phone call to further nurture and qualify a lead. However. stimulate interest and educate. Based on the analysis of the data by performance. companies should be:  Actively managing a speaker program that gets the company thought leaders in front of prospects  Creating the air cover to build brand awareness and familiarity to “warm” prospects Presentations and speaking engagements at events can stand on their own.g. two tactics stand out: speaking engagements and “warm” phone calls (Figure 4). it is critical to use relevant content. marketing progressively builds a relationship with the prospect through multiple touches that build awareness. Of course. It is the combination of tactics. Through lead nurturing. it can replace certain steps in the sales process (e.. articles and white papers. timing. thus freeing sales to be more productive and allowing sales to engage with buyers when they are further along the sales funnel and more likely to purchase. Lead nurturing is one of the strongest ways to reduce the effort and cost of moving a prospect through the sales funnel. orchestrated as part of a multimodal. identify needs.com Reproduction Prohibited . previously handed over to sales by marketing. at the very least. It takes careful planning and experimentation to get the mix. To order the complete report call 508-405. and engage the prospect in an ongoing dialogue. there is no silver bullet to generate leads. Therefore.0438 or visit http://www. conversion rates and win rates will increase. and proof points to substantiate claims in these offers (best practice #2). That said. The best ways to nurture and educate prospects is through the offers mentioned in best practice #3: the in-person events. Most need a place to start.

com/leadgenreport.raintoday. November 2010 Takeaway #4: Lead generation is a multi-step process. To order the complete report call 508-405. getting your message of value seared into their heads. 8 SV4579R © 2010 ITSMA & RainToday.com Reproduction Prohibited . Getting through to C-level decision makers.Figure 4. and getting them over the tipping point of becoming a serious lead takes multiple touches. time and marketing savvy. High performers use the two most effective lead generation tactics—presenting thought leadership at events and making “warm” phone calls Relevant Content OFFERS In-person events (produced by your company or a third-party) Articles or white papers Online seminars Company-conducted and published research report Presenting/ Speaking at Events “Warm” Phone Calls Source: ITSMA and RainToday.0438 or visit http://www. Excerpted from Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline. Top performers use multiple touches and offers to warm prospects over time.cfm.com Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline.

professional salespeople are especially important to this process due to their focus. To order the complete report call 508-405. Nevertheless. However.3 0. company leaders. sales.6 58.com Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline.com/leadgenreport. training. the research shows that many more of the high performing companies have staff dedicated to selling services and solutions compared to the below average performing companies: 70. Excerpted from Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline.e. often those responsible for generating new leads are also responsible for delivering the services.4 41. they hold the lion’s share of knowledge about the market and the company’s clients. professional salespeople or business developers)? % of Respondents High Perf ormers (N=108) Average Perf ormers (N=479) Below Average Perf ormers (N=131) 70. they rely on partners.4% compared to 41. In professional service companies. marketing. in Addition to “SellerNot all professional services companies have dedicated professional sales forces. respectively (Figure 5).” to sell their company’s services and solutions Do you have staff dedicated to selling your services and solutions (i. So what happens when these service providers and leaders get busy with their client work? Lead generation and sales get pushed to the backburner. and managing clients. or “seller-doers” to bring in new business and grow existing relationships.cfm..8 Yes No Don't know Note: Differences are statistically significant. Over time.2 58. Of course. Figure 5. partners.Doers.” to Sell Your Company’s Services and Solutions BEST PRACTICE #5: Employ Dedicated Salespeople. November 2010 Takeaway #5: Put the right people in the right roles. They are also the ones delivering the company’s messages and value propositions directly to the individual buyers. leading sales conversations.2%.0438 or visit http://www.2 41.4 29. 9 SV4579R © 2010 ITSMA & RainToday. Source: ITSMA and RainToday. You need to have the right people in the right roles to feed the funnel and sustain your lead generation engine. High performers employ dedicated salespeople in addition to “seller-doers. and drive. Instead. you must have an engine that continually generates new leads. closing deals. These dedicated sales resources appear to give the high performers a leg up on the competition.com Reproduction Prohibited . Top performers are much more likely to have dedicated salespeople in addition to seller-doers to bring in new business.raintoday. If you want to succeed in lead generation. and other customer-facing employees must work together to reach the company’s lead generation goals.

cfm Excerpted from Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline.com/leadgenreport. an ebook. this report is a must-read. discover the top lead generation tactics.raintoday. or a white paper     And more (see table of contents on following pages) If you’re looking to generate new leads and grow your business. To order the complete report call 508-405. To order your copy of Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline Call: 508-405-0438 Visit: http://www. It will provide you with the information you need to develop a roadmap for lead generation success. a free trial. which ones work best. the complete report includes:   The best kept secret: lead generation tactics that are highly effective in generating qualified leads.com/leadgenreport. an event.Now Available! Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline In addition to the lead generation insights presented in this summary. 10 SV4579R © 2010 ITSMA & RainToday.0438 or visit http://www.000 to spend on their lead generation efforts The best offers to generate leads: learn which offer is more likely to be effective—an introductory/consultative sales call. and how your challenges are different from the rest The $200. and what separates them from the competition Industry-by-industry comparisons: see how your industry differs from the norm.cfm. but the majority of companies overlook What sets top-performing companies apart: learn how top-performing companies increased revenue and profitability growth.com Reproduction Prohibited .raintoday.000 question: find out what your peers and competitors would be doing if they had an extra $200.

............................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 2 Uncovering the Standout Performers .........................35 Most Effective Types of Content...................................................... 1 Definition of Lead Generation ................................................................................................................................................... in Addition to Other Tactics.........................................................................................23 Basis of Segmentation: Deep Knowledge of the Target Markets ....... in Addition to “Seller-Doers................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................36 Types of Offers Used .......... 1 How to Use This Report...................................................................................................................................................................44 Changes in the Tactics Used........................................................................................................................................ 2 Lead Generation Best Practices ..................com Reproduction Prohibited ...............................................................................................................................................com/leadgenreport....................................................................................................................... First Step: Segmentation and Targeting ................ Provides Proof Points............................................................. 7 Use Content That Is Relevant (Focused on the Business Issues)....................24 Steps Taken to Gain the Necessary Knowledge .................................................................................... 11 SV4579R © 2010 ITSMA & RainToday.......................................................................................................43 Use of Social Media Channels .....................................................................................0438 or visit http://www..........................Table of Contents for Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline PAGE Foreword ............................. 2 Methodology ........................................................................ Most Popular and Effective Lead Generation Tactics ... To order the complete report call 508-405.............................28 Chapter 3...............................................................................................................................................................................39 Most Effective Offers ........11 Measure Your Progress at Each Stage of the Sales Pipeline..................................13 Top Lead Generation Challenge .................31 Sources for Referrals .................................................................................. to Gain an Understanding of Your Target Markets’ Business Needs ...............cfm............................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 4 Conduct Formal Research.........................48 No Silver Bullet...............................................13 Lead Generation Competitive Environment ........................ But Some Tactics Come Close .......................................................................................................................................................................32 Chapter 4..................................................... and Builds Credibility ..............10 Employ Dedicated Salespeople..............................................................................................................................................................................................................” to Sell Your Company’s Services and Solutions .... Most Effective Types of Content and Offers .........................................................16 Companies’ Performance in the Competitive Environment..................... in Addition to the Pipeline Inputs and Outputs ...................12 Chapter 1......35 Types of Content Used ............... 8 Use Offers and Live Experiences to Generate Leads..........................................................................49 Excerpted from Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline......................... Meeting the Lead Generation Challenge .......................................................................17 Three Groups by Company Performance ....................................... 1 Executive Summary ....................... Using Referrals to Generate Leads ................................................................................................................................ 9 Use the Two Most Effective Lead Generation Tactics: Presenting at Events and Making “Warm” Phone Calls ................................................................................................................23 Defining and Segmenting Target Markets ........................ 3 Segment Based on Deep Knowledge of Your Target Markets..47 Effectiveness of Lead Generation Tactics.............................31 Top Way to Generate Leads ................................................................40 Chapter 5............................................................raintoday........................................ 6 Proactively Tap Your Network and Current Clients to Create Referrals for New Business....................................................................................................18 Chapter 2.............

..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................244 Lead Generation Definition ..............246 About ITSMA .................................81 Target Market .............................................................com ...............................................................................................244 Full Descriptions of Industry Sectors ......................................... Crosstabs by Industry ...............................................................244 Full Descriptions of Online Tactics . 12 SV4579R © 2010 ITSMA & RainToday......................85 Data Analysis ............63 Other Ways to Proactively Create Referrals ......................................................com Reproduction Prohibited ... Crosstabs by Company Size ....................................................................................................................................206 Appendix H...........................................................................................................53 Chapter 7.........................................................................................................................com/leadgenreport.................................................59 Challenges.................................85 Appendix C......................................................................................................... Crosstabs by Company Performance .... Additional Top-Line Results ................63 Other Top Ways to Generate Leads ........61 Lead Generation Budget...........................................................................................................................................000 Question ......................................com..............................................................................56 Lead Generation Metrics .................246 Excerpted from Lead Generation Benchmark Report: How the Best Firms Fill the Pipeline........... 2007 vs...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................85 Data Collection ..........................................................................98 Appendix E............................................................................................................................................102 Appendix F...67 The $200..........................................................................................................................................................244 Full Descriptions of Types of Content .....................................Chapter 6............................................................................................................................. 2010 Respondent Demographics ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ To order the complete report call 508-405........85 Methodology .................................................92 Appendix D.....................................................................................................................59 Sales and Marketing Budgets..............244 Company Definition ................. Definitions and Full Descriptions ...................................................... Methodology and Respondent Demographics .......82 Appendix B.................................cfm.............................. Staffing for Lead Generation .......244 Full Descriptions of Offers............................................................................................245 About ITSMA and RainToday.................................................134 Appendix G.............56 Appendix A............................................66 Online and Offline Lead Generation Tactics .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................79 Use of External Resources .............................................................................................. Lead Generation Measurement .....................................................246 About RainToday........................raintoday................. Company Performance Index ....................................................................................................................................0438 or visit http://www.........................................................................

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