May 8

Using Kaizen to improve your lead generation results in 90 days or less

Lead Generation

4  comments

B2B companies need a systematic approach to lead generation, yet, I’m constantly surprised to find that most do not have one. Michael Webb, President of Sales Performance Consultants, and I met a few years back when I began writing my book and he was working on his.

Over time, we came to realize that our approaches to designing and implementing lead generation process were complimentary. Michael uses the Kaizen approach, which is a method of driving improvements based on evidence and data, and for establishing a system that continuously improves results.

I was recently interviewed by Michael for an article: “Using Kaizen to Improve Your Lead Generation Results in 90 Days or Less.” In the article, Michael and I look at the problems with lead generation and share research conducted that addresses these challenges along with the following topics:

  • Collaboration: lead generation and sales Kaizen
  • Creating information offers to generate leads
  • Developing content for lead generation campaigns
  • How to organize a fast attack on lead generation problems
  • Five steps to lead generation success

Read Using Kaizen to Improve Your Lead Generation Results in 90 Days or Less

Here's a quick summary of Michael Webb's Kaizen approach:

  • Define and measure the undesirable results
  • Identify the cause of those undesirable results
  • Devise improvements that addresses the causes.
  • Pilot that improvement to prove that it works.
  • Incorporate the new process in to the management system.
  • Drive to continuously improve the results of the new process.

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing. He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. Great article, Michael & Brian. I do have one question about universal lead definition. You talk about how important it is for marketing and sales to agree on the definition of a sales-ready lead versus an early-stage lead. I agree that’s an important step, but that seems easy compared to figuring out which of your leads meet your universal lead definition.

    For example, we are generating an average of 200 leads per business day from webinars, enewsletters, ebooks, etc., but establishing (ideally in an automated way) which leads are sales ready versus which are unqualified versus which are early stage is a real challenge. I suppose one obvious way would be to pick-up the phone and ask them, but the sheer volume of inbound leads makes it hard to touch everyone by phone. We’ve tried going back and looking at our closed opportunities in Salesforce to identify patterns, but that hasn’t been effective.

    Do you have any tips on how to do this?

  2. That’s a great question. I recommend you implement a more robust lead qualifications process. Here’s a simple lead qualification process that may help you since you have 200+ inbound inquiries per month:

    Step 1 – Create a marketing funnel.
    The purpose of the marketing funnel is to bring inquiries (aka leads) into one spot and qualify them. The marketing funnel creates sales-ready leads and nurtures the leads that aren’t sales ready.

    Step 2 – Create a universal definition of a lead.
    What are the must have questions that you need to know in order for you to feel that a lead is viable?

    * Company size, Industry, Geography,
    * Business situation questions ( # of users, current systems platform, etc.
    * Role in the organization, Authority in the buying process
    * Business need, what’s their question, how can you help?
    * Stage of investigation in their buying process?

    Step 3 – Create a behavior model to prioritize leads based on activity and data
    Apply lead scoring to prioritize your leads follow-up for step 4
    Use your CRM or marketing automation suite to prioritize based on:
    • level or engagement i.e. touch points (repeat web visits, downloads, clicks)
    • based on size of organization
    • Fit
    You can measure all these touch points, but in the end if you want to know something that you likely need to talk to someone and engage them in conversation.

    Step 4 – Use the phone (or email) to qualify high priorty leads first based on scoring
    The phone is the gold standard for qualifying most leads. We found that you can email to to qualify via a one-to-one dialog asking questions (but test this first with your audiences).

  3. I love your advice it is really great, especially this part you wrote in the comment area about creating a universal definition of a lead.

    The problem I have faced when dealing with smaller companies, is the funneling of leads into a consolidated funnel.

    The problem we have is many of our leads come from different sources (person to person from conferences, different phone numbers, locations, emails, chats, facebook, etc).

    The few sales people we have are very hard to discipline since it is a small tight company, and they were the owners first employees.

    Because of this, I really have a hard time applying the great advice you give here.

  4. Tom, I hear your pain. Companies that adopt effective lead management processes generate more revenue from their lead generation investment and have overall higher close rates on marketing generated leads than those that do not. But I’ve encountered very few companies that really do lead management.

    What is lead management? Lead management is a multistage process that manages the conversion of sales leads to customers. Some people say it’s the process of going from “first contact to close.”

    Here’s a few posts that may help you with lead management:

    https://www.markempa.com/lead-management-improves-conversion/

    https://www.markempa.com/why_do_sales_pe/

    https://www.markempa.com/ebook_why_naked/

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