If you’re actively marketing a business, you’re probably posting blog articles, creating web videos, or distributing white papers in your efforts to reach new leads. But if your sales pipeline isn’t designed to convert leads into paying clients and customers, all of that marketing activity – and your marketing budget – will be wasted. After all, a new lead that doesn’t become a customer is an expense.
So how can you move more of your leads through the sales and marketing process and entice them to become clients? Here’s what you need to know.
Pipeline Marketing In A Nutshell
There’s been a lot of media buzz in recent years around the topic of lead generation. And although generating new leads is great, it’s only the first step in acquiring clients and customers.
Pipeline marketing is an end-to-end marketing and sales style that focuses on generating actual returns. It’s designed to turn prospects into clients and drive sales. It’s a five-step sales funnel that ends in revenue.
With pipeline marketing, you gradually move a prospect from being a lead to being an opportunity.
The Key Difference: Pipeline Marketing Is Sales-Oriented
Lead generation is a primarily lead-focused marketing style, where you strive to generate as much interest in your brand as possible. But just because someone is interested in your brand, that doesn’t mean they’ll buy your products and services.
With pipeline marketing, all of your lead generation and marketing efforts are strategically designed to lead potential clients and customers further through the client acquisition process, from lead to qualified lead to opportunity to paying client or customer. In sales, this process is typically referred to as the pipeline. With a pipeline marketing strategy, the key focus is on the final revenue – not on the marketing activity – which means you land more clients and produce more ROI per client.
Setting Up Your Pipeline For Success
If you want to make the most of your pipeline, you’ll want to institute several key measures. First, talk to your sales team and identify areas in your sales pipeline where current leads get lost or run into difficulties. If you’re losing leads at a certain point in your pipeline, you’ll want to implement some marketing initiatives like a content marketing campaign to stem the loss. You’ll also want to investigate your lead generation metrics and see what kind of engagement your blog posts, emails, and social media are generating. Next, take a look at the middle of the pipeline – what’s happening when your prospects talk to your sales reps or reach out to learn more? Finally, look at the end of the pipeline – what are some of the reasons why people choose to go through your sales process but not buy?
Pipeline marketing can be a powerful new way of thinking about marketing and sales. With its thorough integration of the sales process with the marketing process, it’s a cohesive strategy that you can use to boost your revenues.