Why companies employing an Inbound strategy should look to compliment that with an outbound program or in some cases an Account Based Marketing (ABM) Strategy.
For those companies deploying an inbound marketing strategy, there’s a time horizon, often 3-6 months before seeing meaningful results – so it’s important to find ways to reduce the impact of lower lead flows during on boarding and the roll out of inbound marketing (the so called ‘valley of death’).
Companies need to plan out a program of lead generation activities that will keep the sales pipeline filled, which may not be as cost effective as inbound but is necessary in the short term.
Why will lead flow reduce? Whether you are outsourcing your inbound marketing program to an agency such as Intellegentia or implementing using internal resources (or typically a combination of both) it will impact the time you have to focus on lead generation … let’s face it companies implement inbound because the old ways are not working.
So when we engage with clients, we take a holistic approach right from the start that will not only take companies through the initial period until inbound ramps up, but stands them in good stead for the long term as well.
Here are a few pointers
- Set the correct expectations from the start … every stakeholder should be clear on what the vision/goals are, timescales for implementation, benefits and what is expected from every member of the team (internal and external). We insist on a sales and marketing alignment workshop to ensure everyone understands and is bought into the process, both short and long term.
- Work out how to create some momentum … using outbound lead generation events like webinars or physical events is a good short and long term tactic to generate some momentum. We leverage the integration between HubSpot and Gotowebinar to drive engagement and leads, create some initial nurture workflows and create marketing assets that can be re-used.
- Determine how to leverage new content, systems and analytics in strategic target accounts …if your target market is a mixture of mid-market and strategic enterprise accounts, it is important to understand how to use the content being created and marketing automation to engage and sell into different buyers in these key accounts. Setting up and using account based marketing programs can be hugely beneficial to plug the short term revenue gap and to gain significant long term revenue.
As an example of how this could work, we started working with a client (niche software, average deal size £50-100K) on a demand generation program knowing that they were at ground zero in terms of up to date marketing assets and optimisation of their website. So we agreed to generate momentum with a webinar program and PPC to fill the pipeline, in parallel to the inbound implementation. We were very clear on the objectives and had sales on-board with the plan.
A small number of strategic accounts were also identified, and the marketing to them was rolled into the plan.
9 months into the inbound marketing program, we are tracking ahead of target in terms of qualified leads passed to sales and first customer wins through inbound. We are using HubSpot as the marketing automation backbone, and have put in place sales enablement processes to help the sales team take advantage of the leads coming through the funnel.
We are now generating qualified leads through organic (higher quality) paid, and email, and the webinar program has been extended.
So what’s new you may ask? Well is there anything really new in terms of targeting the right people, with the right message/content and measuring/analysing results? Is there anything new in ensuring sales get the necessary insight from marketing to progress to customer win? Is there anything new in selecting your top 5 target companies that could yield massive revenue opportunities, whilst using different lead generation techniques to mid-market companies?
To make it work, we believe you need the right blend of experience in sales and marketing to take advantage of inbound marketing and account based marketing (ABM) strategies.
We take a holistic approach which looks at how to utilise all the possible lead generation and engagement channels and then we determine with clients the best way to qualify and progress leads through to sales, using tools such as HubSpot. We use our technology and professional sales experience to align marketing and sales and help the sales team be more efficient giving them insight, tools, processes and content to help them close business.