- Connecting The Dots
- Not All Leads Are Equal
Not All Leads Are Equal
Ever felt the pressure to generate more and more leads, only to wonder why your successful lead generation doesn't translate to more deals?
Sam Kuehnle, VP of Marketing at Loxo, shed some light on why focusing on fixing how you get leads is more critical than fixing the number of leads you get.
Sam used to be the VP of Demand Gen at Refine Labs and has a multigenerational background in marketing... he is also super fun to listen to.
How many years do you think passed between creating the terms "Content Marketing" and "Dark Social"?
...and are you sure you know which one came first?
I'll let you know at the end of today's course.
🚀 IMPORTANT NOTE: As you might have seen, we have had to create a 'Wait List' for new clients as we've been fully booked for the foreseeable future.
However, as Saasmic is continuously growing, we now have a few openings. We have some preplanned clients, but if you are part of a mid-market SaaS/tech business and are looking to scale » hit us up.
Why we are not a good fit:
1. If you don't yet have product-market fit,
2. you don't have any marketing activities yet,
3. if you mostly sell to enterprise clients,
4. if you are looking for order takers,
5. if you want to do boring marketing & don't want good laughs,
we are probably not a great fit for you.
However, if you find these insights valuable, the best way to support our work is by inviting your friends to become Dot Connecters and learn more about Connecting The Dots between marketing activities and financial goals.
Topic Of Today
🎙 Episode Highlight: Not All Leads Are Created Equal
📚 Deep Dive: Shifting the focus in Lead Generation
📌 Actionable Advice
💡 Pro Tip
📽️Connecting The Dots: Quality comes from Quantity?📽️
Sam talks about the common misconception that generating more leads and investing more dollars at the top of the funnel will inevitably lead to more revenue at the bottom.
He brings to light the reality that not all leads are created equal, and more doesn’t always mean better.
Thus shifts the emphasis to the importance of focusing on leads that are actually ready to buy, rather than just increasing the number of leads.
🎙 An Episode Highlight: Not All Lead Are Created Equal
He illustrates two common situations:
↳ one where marketing teams are pushed to increase lead generation to meet revenue goals, resorting to methods like pushing out more e-books or webinars,
↳ and another where the leads generated are not necessarily ready to buy, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities.
The crux is, that while Sam’s insights are deeply rooted in digital marketing, the principles he discusses are universally applicable to any sector striving for efficient lead generation and conversion.
1. Not all leads are equal:
More leads don’t necessarily translate to more revenue. It’s crucial to focus on leads that have a higher probability of conversion
Instead of focusing on the sheer volume of leads it's worth assessing their readiness and willingness to convert.
For instance, a lead who has actively engaged with your content, asked pertinent questions, or shown interest in your product demonstrations is more valuable than someone who has just downloaded a free resource.
Sam focuses on discerning between high-intent leads and those who are just in the exploratory phase, as this distinction allows for more targeted and effective marketing strategies, ultimately optimising resource allocation and increasing ROI.
2. Rethinking Marketing Goals:
Shifting from a “we need more” mindset to one of understanding the true impact of marketing on the business is essential. It’s about quality, not just quantity.
The conventional “more is better” mindset often leads to a focus on quantity-driven metrics like the number of leads or MQLs, overshadowing the actual quality and potential of these leads to convert into paying customers.
There needs to be a shift towards value-driven marketing, where the emphasis is on understanding the buyer's journey, addressing the buyer's needs at each stage, and building meaningful relationships.
This way you can align your marketing efforts with business outcomes, leading to sustainable growth and customer satisfaction.
3. Understanding Customer Journeys:
Analysing the journeys of leads that do convert can provide insights into the traits, sources, and inputs that are most effective in generating revenue.
By shifting the focus on understanding the "entire" paths taken by leads who have successfully converted instead of focusing on what "last touch" made them convert 👇
you can identify the most effective sources, traits, and strategies, allowing for more informed and impactful decision-making.
Sam often talks about the importance of understanding the nuances of customer interactions, preferences, and behaviours to tailor marketing strategies that resonate with the target audience.
For instance, in most cases (especially with high ACV products) leads generated through organic search & high-value content may exhibit higher conversion rates and lifetime values compared to leads acquired through (cold) paid ads or generic content, warranting a recalibration of marketing priorities and investments.
2. 📚 Deep Dive: Shifting the focus in Lead Generation
Let’s delve deeper into the transformative insights on lead generation, focusing on quality and understanding the true needs and behaviours of potential customers, with insights from Sam Kuehnle and Chris Walker (CEO of Refine Labs).
Sales role in "Dark Social":
Chris emphasises why understanding and leveraging dark social in sales and marketing strategies makes all the difference.
'Dark social' refers to a reality where buyers, equipped with ample information, often make decisions independently, sharing knowledge in internal chats, emails, Slack channels etc. without ever interacting with sales, emphasising the shift in buyer’s journey dynamics.
He suggests focusing on strategic, personalised outbound for specific accounts and high-intent website funnel as the main lead sources, highlighting the need to focus on the quality of interactions rather than the quantity of leads.
It's also important to build authority and expertise in social selling strategies. A successful strategy requires credible and trustworthy voices, a deep understanding of the buyer’s world, a proven method for distributing content online, and a long-term mindset.
This way the interactions are not just focused on the quantity but can be strategic, personalised, and of high quality, resonating more with the prospects and potentially leading to higher conversion rates.
Content Strategy & Inbound Demand Guide:
Chris provides a comprehensive guide on creating a content strategy that aligns with inbound demand. He stresses how understanding the buyer's journey and creating content that addresses the buyer's needs and pain points at each stage is crucial.
He also emphasises the role of SEO in enhancing content visibility and driving organic traffic, which as a result of being more exposed to high-quality insights from the business which helps build subject-matter authority is often associated with higher quality leads compared to those acquired through paid ads.
Sam again talks about the pitfalls of focusing solely on lead generation and the importance of understanding the true needs and behaviours of potential customers.
Sam draws out the need to shift from a quantity-focused approach to a more qualitative and insightful strategy. He shares a story where an intern, typically considered a low-value lead, ended up facilitating a meeting with the CEO, proving that every lead can have potential value. He encourages companies to consider the potential value every lead can bring and to be open to exploring opportunities that may seem less promising at first glance.
Rethinking Lead Qualification & Demand Generation Insights:
It's important to not disqualify leads based on their titles and look at demand generation as playing the long game, focusing on generating future demand and positioning the company to be top of mind when prospects are ready to buy.
Just as Donald Miller suggests, making prospects and customers the heroes of the story and providing value through content like case studies and blog posts.
3. 📌 Actionable Advice
Redefine your Marketing Goals:
Move away from quantity-based goals and focus on generating journeys that promote value-based inbound and outbound cadences. Understand the true impact of each marketing motion on your business growth.
Analyse Customer Journeys:
Focus on understanding the current paths of your buyers that have converted to identify common traits and effective strategies. Use these insights to refine your approach.
Focus on Value and Relationships:
Develop assets and interactions that provide real value to your audience. Build relationships rather than just aiming for lead generation.
Don’t disqualify prospects prematurely:
Consider the potential value of every lead, regardless of their title, and be open to exploring all opportunities.
4. 📚 Homework:
Study your buyers: Analyse your existing prospects and identify which ones have the highest conversion rates. Understand what makes them different and refine your strategy accordingly.
Also: ask them. Talk to them, or use forms at conversion to figure out what made them make the decision, and why they chose you among others.
Refine Your Content Strategy: Based on your analysis, adjust your content strategy to focus on value and relationship-building.
Test different approaches to see what resonates best with your audience.
Teach your sales/sdr people for value-based interactions instead of hard sells out of the gate.
Evaluate Your Marketing Goals: Reassess your marketing goals and shift your focus from quantity to quality.
Set revenue-affecting measurable objectives that reflect the true impact of your marketing efforts on your business growth instead of focusing on a number of leads.
5. 💡 Pro Tip:
In the world of digital marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers game, but the real magic happens when you shift your focus from quantity to quality.
By understanding and targeting the right audience, and by providing value and building relationships, you can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your marketing strategies, leading to sustainable business growth.
Remember, it’s not about how many leads you generate, but about how much those leads can be converted and how long they stay on as customers.
Fun fact answer:
So... the concept of “Content Marketing” has been around since 1895. John Deere (yeah the tractors) launched a magazine titled “The Furrow,” providing information to farmers on how to become more profitable, marking one of the first instances of content marketing.
On the other hand, the term “Dark Social” was coined by Alexis C. Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, in 2012 to refer to the social sharing of content that occurs outside of what can be measured by web analytics programs, typically through private messaging apps, email, and other platforms.
Isn't that just fun?
People in 1895 already knew, that it makes sense to educate their buyers on matters relating to their service, instead of simply trying to push their products.
Keep learning and growing! 🚀 ❤️
New episodes of Connecting The Dots & Business Companion are coming out regularly, so stay tuned.
Subscribe to our podcast and keep an eye on your inbox for the next edition of our newsletter as well.
LinkedIn posts worth reading this week:
1. Why you may not be seeing results with your marketing
A shift in priorities may hold the key to more success.