To reach specifiers and get their products added to specifications, construction manufacturers must have a solid approach to lead generation. In this NBS Marketing Masterclass, we look at the role of lead generation in the construction industry. We'll focus on identifying which leads are most useful and how you can build them more effectively.
The tips we outline below will help you spot exactly which type of leads you want to build, spot the best approaches to building them, and understand how to maximise the value of every relationship.
Let's explore how building product manufacturers can optimise their marketing strategies to generate more leads and win more deals.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting people to your business and increasing their interest through nurturing, all with the end goal of converting them into a customer. It's a way of warming up potential customers and taking them on a journey towards a purchase.
Who is responsible for lead generation?
Traditionally lead generation has been a responsibility of the Sales team with outbound prospecting activities like cold calling. In the digital era, that responsibility is now shared between both the Sales and Marketing teams. There's also more than 1 type of lead, because the modern lead life cycle can be broken down into six steps.
At the top of the funnel, marketing activities are aimed at building brand awareness and low-level engagement. Prospecting might involve an inbound content marketing strategy, or digital advertising to cast a wide net, attracting prospects and visitors.
The next step is engaging these prospects. This could be done by more targeted, personalised communication such as an email marketing or a marketing automation campaign. Gathering data on these leads can enable them to move into the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) category.
MQLs are leads that are deemed appropriate to be passed on to the sales team. Often MQLs must have shown some degree of engagement as well as having provided contact details. Methods such as lead scoring can be used to identify and quantify lead engagement. These include activity on the company website or interaction with social media or email campaigns.
Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) are vetted leads that have been passed onto the Sales team to determine whether they are interested in becoming a customer. This might involve a phone call or an email.
When you get to the Bottom of the Funnel, only high quality leads or opportunities should remain. These leads now have a relationship with the business and are much more likely to be converted to a customer.
This conversion is the final step. The work doesn’t end there though, after that, it is the job of Marketing and Sales teams to coordinate ongoing retention strategies to ensure they can keep their customers long-term.
Ultimately the business as a whole is responsible for lead generation and everyone has a role to play in it, but Marketing and Sales are the day to day engineers, driving, managing and delivering.
What does successful lead generation look like?
It is easy to think in terms of volume. The more leads the better, right? Not exactly. As a salesperson, you'd rather have 20 qualified leads that will convert easily, instead of 100 unqualified leads who aren't interested.
From a marketing perspective, this needs to be looked at holistically, it’s about making sure you have a mix of both long term and short-term lead types. It's making sure that leads are being passed on to the sales team at the right time but also having a pool of leads that haven't been passed over because they’re being nurtured and taken on a journey so that when it is the right time, they can be delivered.
The construction industry is currently experiencing material shortages and supply chain disruptions due to high demand and global issues. Some manufacturers may be thinking that now is a good time to scale back on their marketing and lead generation. However, this can be a perilous strategy with a long-term effect. Sure, you will save money in the short-term, and perhaps not even notice a difference for the first 6-12 months but this is because it is a long tail between the person making the decision to specify and then the product actually being purchased.
If you redirect your resources away from medium to long term activities like lead generation, you might pay for it in a year or even two years’ time. It's likely that in a year to two years’ time, these challenges will be gone and it will be a much tougher market, so those companies that have neglected their lead generation activities will suffer.
What lead generation tools and tactics can we use?
Every lead generation campaign should have two things: a strategy for targeting prospective customers and the right tools and tactics to execute it. There are myriad tools and tactics you can use for B2B lead generation. Here's some that work for building product manufacturers.
- Inbound lead generation has grown in popularity during the last decade. It fits with the way customers prefer to buy. With inbound lead generation the prospect gets to choose how and when they interact with your company before speaking to a salesperson.
- Outbound lead generation pushes out your brand and products via marketing initiatives such as mass email, social media, display advertising and direct mail.
- Another example is the use of Lead magnets to grow an email list. Once you have a prospect’s email address, you can send them content and start a conversation.
- When a prospect hits your website, on-page lead generation tools are useful to capture their data and add them to your CRM. A common example of this is a lead capture form.
- Search marketing or SEO tools help to increase traffic that stems from paid and organic search to increase on-site leads.
How do we measure success?
In the digital marketing era, there is no place for “winging it”. If you want to thrive it’s a must to keep tabs on metrics relevant to your business goals. If you aren't measuring your lead generation activities, how can you know what needs to be done to improve. Measuring success is different for different teams and will vary based on your strategy. For sales it's revenue targets, for the marketing team it's conversions from a MQL to SQL. The most successful approaches are where an organization is taking business goals and revenue targets and then breaking them down into sales targets before breaking them down further into marketing targets, and then being able to link that to an activity plan and to measure that through. If done right you can actually see how marketing activities are contributing to the bottom line. Of course, that's the dream and usually it needs a bit of flexing and adjustment as you go but that process is something to strive for.
Watch our full lead generation webinar today
If you've enjoyed this summary of the NBS Marketing Masterclass on lead generation, why not watch the full webinar? It's available on demand, is free to watch and a great way to further your knowledge.
Find out how NBS can help youCall us on: 1300 263 553
Email us at: info@theNBS.com.au