Back in the old days (like 2005!), to find information about a product, people contacted a salesperson, visited a retail location, or waited for the company to advertise or email information out. Things have changed dramatically since then. A recent CMS Report story, What is Visitor to Lead Management, cited the statistic that 74% of buying decisions are made in advance of the first sales call. Customers are getting the answers they need way beyond them ever contacting your salespeople. That is astonishing.
So where do these customers get information from to make their buying decisions? Naturally, they get a lot of it from your digital presence – your website, social media talking about your products, etc. It follows, therefore, that your leads ought to be coming from people visiting your website or your Facebook page or Tweeting about you. As a result, you want to make sure the content you are publishing is consistent, comprehensive and can lead a potential customer to the right buying decision. In short your Content Management System is at the forefront of your lead management system.
In the CMS Report article, the author describes the following major themes you should consider when looking at your content system:
- Content Marketing – you need to create relationships with your visitors and customers by “providing relevant and engaging content”.
- Content Performance – use metrics about your content to drive your marketing strategy and messages. Measuring what resonates with your visitors is crucial to understanding how to tweak your marketing efforts.
- Progressive Profile – this is really the heart of “Visitor to Lead Management”. Anonymous visitors must be profiled as soon as they appear. Then as the visitor navigates through your site, use more and more profiling techniques to figure out who that visitor is and target them with engaging content.
These ideas lead to the fact that your content management system also needs to integrate well other other lead management systems, like your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, your Marketing Automation systems and even your help desk/customer support centers.
Once you have mastered Visitor to Lead, then it is time to take on “Lead to Revenue”. This process describes the sales funnel that many people know. Over at Forrester, Lori Wizdo is considered an expert in Lead to Revenue. You can follow some of her research on her blog.