Lead generation campaigns and the sales process are made up of many types of events and activities, so you might think of it as event driven lead generation.
Creating an events schedule that covers your target audiences and the various stages in your sales funnel provides a structure around which you can in-fill other activities, such as social media and tele-marketing. It can also feed you and your sales team with sales-ready leads and opportunities.
Types of event driven lead generation
Thinking about your marketing and sales activity and the buyer’s purchase activity as a series of steps or events provides something specific to plan, measure and monitor.
These steps can build into your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to provide tracking of past results and planning and evaluating future actions and outcomes. You can then add resource into the plan and evaluate Return on Investment.
Events and activities may be large or small, discrete or regular, from a big trade show to phone calls and white-paper downloads.
One-off activities like new trade shows and exhibitions may be headline activities in your lead generation schedule. They may be great if you are launching a new product or release, or entering a new market and have the resources to handle business as usual as well.
However big events can distort the profile of business activity and results, and lead to a feast and famine situation. The lead-up and follow-through may deprive other sales activities of resource. The flood of new names from an exhibition may be overwhelming for effective follow-up.
Regular activities and events
A series of smaller, regular events creates a much smoother call on resources in the business, and creates a more continuous flow of leads to be followed up. Some examples of regular events include:
- Niche trade-shows and business exhibitions
- Webinars or tele-seminars to generate new business leads
- Webinars for existing customers to stimulate interest in additional products or services
- Regular email newsletter – a main-stay for many businesses
- Business networking to meet professional contacts for referrals and potential customers
Finding the ideal combination of activities to attract and engage new prospects and feed your sales funnel with new opportunities often involves new initiatives, to give you an edge in a competitive market.
Small is beautiful
Smaller, regular, frequent events can provide a valuable back-bone to marketing and sales, and especially to lead generation and customer up-sell and retention.
Having a regular schedule of webinars on a weekly basis with say six people attending each one may provide a much more manageable workload for an entrepreneur or smaller business than either less frequent but bigger events, or doing everything on an individual by individual basis.
Face-to-face meetings are essential in most B2B sectors. However they can be much more effective if the background is well prepared and the early information exchange and qualification has already taken place.
The benefit of a schedule of webinars
A schedule of webinars or tele-seminars provides a steady call on resources and a framework around which marketing and sales can align other marketing operations activities.
Running niche events for a sub-section of your prospects or customers based on a tightly defined need or interest area keeps the webinar very focused. They can be a short time duration, perhaps 15-20 minutes.
The introduction and conclusion can be very clear, and the middle section can be specifically tailored to the demographics, interests, challenges of the audience.
A series of webinars, one building on the previous, can be a great way to cover larger topics, by breaking it down into smaller, bite-sized segments.
Webinars can be recorded and watched at a later stage. This helps when someone has missed the time slot, but do this too often and webinars lose their timeliness and become more like a library of videos.
The challenge can be getting people to sign-up and register, then to actually show-up at the appointed time, and the to do thorough and sustained follow-up to people with different levels of engagement and interest in each topic.
Webinars are a great use of time
The preparation and set-up time for a webinar can, with practice, be reduced to not much more than the duration of the webinar itself.
However, as with all presentations, they are more effective when a good structure is used, leading to better better results, and conversion of more attendees to the next step.
A schedule of future webinars, and an archive of previous ones, is a fantastic sales productivity tool too. Referring a cool or warm prospect to a webinar saves a lot of repetition of basic information by the business owner or sales person.
This creates time for people like you to focus on hot prospects and sales-ready leads.
Are you making the most of webinars and extending the way you use them in your business?