Today, traditional lead purchasing often no longer brings companies as many new customers as they might expected. New approaches to winning customers are therefore important. In this article, we explain why companies can hardly do without a business enabling platform (BEP) for lead generation and lead management.
Companies, especially in the software industry, generally continue to rely on traditional lead purchasing. It is not uncommon for performance agencies to be involved, which are supposed to boost the generation of leads with the help of social media ads. Another way to generate leads is to purchase them from online magazines. Articles with downloadable content behind a download barrier are the method of choice here. But does traditional lead purchasing still work to acquire new customers? The short answer: unfortunately not.
New rules for lead management
A few years ago, social media ads and downloadable content from online magazines alone might have been enough to turn a lead into a customer. In the meantime, however, the rules of the game have become stricter. It has become much more difficult for companies to win customers from leads after they have been generated. If you ask software providers, for example, about their experience with lead generation, the answers are varied. Some are not satisfied with the basic lead quality – too many students among the leads, not enough suitable leads. Others, however, do not complain about the lead quality, but cannot or only with difficulty convert the leads further with their sales department. A lack of technology and specialist knowledge about digital sales are factors that play a role in this.
The problem with classic lead purchasing: The initiative comes from the company after the lead has been generated. Today, this cold calling increasingly results in leads falling asleep and not being followed up on. Common statements from sales: “Leads don’t respond when we send an email.” or “Leads can’t be reached by phone”. This is not necessarily surprising: would you remember all the mails you receive in a working day? According to the digital association Bitkom employees receive an average of 26 e-mails. For decision-makers, the number is about twice as high as experience reports in various forums show. So in the worst case scenario your potential customers are flooded with e-mails. And there is simply not enough time to read each and every one of them with a high level of attention, or even to reply to them. The same applies when the phone rings.
Throwing in the towel in this case costs potential new customers. But there is a way to successfully convert a lead into a customer. To do this, it is only important that the sales department changes its perspective.
Change of perspective in lead management
A cold call is always the more difficult start to lead nurturing and lead conversion. Salespeople who want to successfully convert leads into customers should always rely on warm acquisition. This means: Instead of the sales team the lead picks up the phone or writes an e-mail to the sales team. But until that point is reached, it is a longer process that the lead has to go through. The aim is to turn the lead into a real prospect – and it’s not enough just to write an email.
How companies turn leads into new customers today
Today, turning a lead into a prospect is only possible if companies provide the lead with information at several stages of the customer journey. And above all it is important to build trust. A lead only becomes a customer when he or she trusts the expertise of the company offering the service. For example, if a lead downloads a checklist for CMS selection it is not enough to simply send an e-mail with the corresponding checklist and call the lead in the coming days or even contact them once by e-mail and ask about potential interest in a CMS solution.
Anyone who wants to successfully convert a lead today should continue to feed the contact in addition to the initial e-mail – engage in genuine lead nurturing. For example, as the author of the checklist it is advisable to offer further information on the topic of CMS and CMS selection by e-mail, for example in the form of a blog article. Ideally, companies even have case studies that they can recommend to their leads for further information. Last but not least, case studies with other customers help to strengthen trust in a company. Beyond such additional information, e-mail communication should also network a direct contact for the lead, who will then take over further communication with the potential customer.
The long-term process of lead nurturing to lead conversion is not difficult in theory. In practice, however, the process challenges the sales department in companies. Because in order to turn the lead into a customer step by step in lead management, follow-up campaigns are enormously important. And these need the right tech setup.
The solution for modern new customer acquisition: Business Enabling Platform
The right tech setup for a modern and successful lead management is enabled by a Business Enabling Platform (BEP). This platform consists of a technology stack, a content layer and a process layer. What does this mean? Nothing more than the interplay of content marketing, marketing automation, and a multi-level sales process backed by the BEP team. To make the Business Enabling Platform work, the BEP team needs expertise in content production, marketing automation, and process management. And last but not least, know-how from the company’s respective industry.
A BEP is presented to the outside world with a content platform – for example, an online magazine. Here, the BEP team offers relevant content for the company’s target groups. Some content is provided with a download gate to generate the first lead data (Attention: Double Opt-In for DSGVO compliance is mandatory!). The generated data is further enriched by the BEP team and an automated process (follow-up campaigns) is triggered to turn the lead into a prospect step by step. In the ideal case, the lead books an information appointment with the company – the chances of closing a deal are now high.
More Insights on the Business Enabling Platform
In our white paper “Digital Sales with a Business Enabling Platform” we summarize everything you need to know about a BEP:
- What does a BEP do in practice?
- Content strategy and operations for a BEP
- Operating your own BEP or an external one?
- Integration into existing communication architectures
- Process change for the use of a BEP
- Costs of a BEP
Download the whitepaper here for free.