In 2016 according to Forrester we witnessed the near universal embrace of content marketing with 93% of B2B “marketers” claiming that they have at least tested content marketing in some part of their sales and marketing efforts.
And as an outsourced sales and marketing company, we are fully committed to generating more qualified sales opportunities with content marketing and lead scoring. But as outsourced sales company, we understand that the C-Suite and owners of small to medium sized business remain skeptical going all in:
- 82% want to prove content marketing automation is tied to lead generation
- 52% want to ensure they can measure the ROI of their investment
- 35% claim lack of budget
And some of these executives may be correct. This article is meant to help them evaluate if they are right or they consider giving lead scoring with and outsourced sales team a shot.
How to Decide if Your Business Needs (or Is Ready) For Lead Scoring
While 99% of the both the B2B and B2C Fortune 2000 is fully committed to content marketing, lead scoring, and automation systems, small and mid-sized business remain skeptical.
The fact is that lead scoring and automation is not a must have for all businesses. To evaluate if lead scoring is right for your business, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
Do I spend money on leads monthly and then abandon after I get a fresh set of lead?
Is your business spending money on fresh leads every month? Does your sales team attempt these leads a handful of times and then wait for the fresh leads and stop following up with last month’s leads? If you are in a business where deals typically close in 30 days or less from initial interest you may want to continue doing what you are doing. If first touch to close is 30 days or more lead scoring may have significant benefits.
Do I have the minimum sized database and content to get started?
Because 70% of buyers now prefer to learn about new products and solutions by email (sharing educational content) most companies have at least tested content marketing. In fact, 90% of B2B companies now started content marketing in at least a small way. But content is not enough. At a minimum you also need a database of at least 3,000 to 5,000 buyers to get started. You also need to create enough basic educational content to touch these buyers at least 2 times per month for B2B sales and slightly more for B2B sales. If you do not have enough leads you will need to invest in a leads database first. The same goes for content. Content can be as simple as blog posts and short videos. Gabriel Sales offers cost effective packages to help with both.
Is my sales team or outsourced sales team educating buyers that don’t buy?
Is my market so large that I can target and sell to hundreds of thousands of buyers? Have I generated so many inbound leads that my sales team cannot keep up? Is my product so disruptive that everyone would be willing to take a call on the topic? If you have a broad market with tire kickers you should have been scoring leads 5 years ago.
Is my product/solution not an “If” but “When” decision?
Professional Services and software in areas like accounting, compliance, HR, IT, BPO and marketing, printing are not “If” but “When” decisions. Timing is everything. Staying top of mind with buyers so when they are ready to buy is critical so your sales team calls when the window is open. Automation and lead scoring make this possible.
Does my sales team complain about the quality of leads I send them?
Do your sales reps always complain about bad leads? Lead scoring will solve this problem but not on its own. Before launching your lead scoring engine you need to have both sales and marketing agree on what a scored lead is with concrete criteria. Once you agree to these criteria lead scoring will work. It is also a way for you to objectively and subjectively evaluate if you have a sales issue as opposed to a lead quality issue. When Gabriel Sales outsourced sales team set appointments scored leads can help your internal sales team embrace rather than reject leads.
Are my sales engineers and senior sales team educating buyers that don’t buy?
Do you have a great deal of leads that hit the early stage funnel that go through an introductory meeting and/or product demo that never transact? Chances are you have one of two problems. First, your business development reps are not qualifying correctly. Or tire kickers are going straight to senior staff because you don’t have the content necessary to do this initial early stage buyer education. Lead scoring and some basic content that demonstrates your solution can save you tremendous time, money and resources. If a buyer is not interested enough to educate themselves online prior to meeting with your senior resources the prospect is probably not worth their time sell to the buyers yet.
Is there more than one buyer involved in purchasing my solution?
If your sale requires a champion on the buyer side then that champion will need content to educate themselves about your solution so they can move that deal forward. They will also need to share that content with other people on the buying committee. If there are multiple buyers involved in the buying decision they will engage with content more frequently and have a larger digital footprint. Do you have more than one buyer?
Do you have a pricing page, case studies, product pages, demos or demo registrations online?
If these pages are not part of your website or content marketing strategy you should probably consider them. If a buyer hits any of these pages they are strong predictive indicators that your buyer is ready for sales engagement. Notifying your reps or outsourced sale reps when buyers hit these pages can put your team at the front of the line.
How Gabriel Sales Can Help
If you are considering lead scoring for your business, you can begin with us in two ways:
- Sales Ready Lead and Sales Automation Starter Package
- Full Go-To-Marketing Outsourced Sales and Marketing Solution
As a B2B Outsourced Sales and Outsourced Marketing company, we understand that ROI is important. Both of these packages include a free preliminary assessment to see if lead scoring and outsourced sales is the right solution for your business. To learn more about our approach you can also visit the About Us page.