Tips for Surviving an Economic Downturn

In keeping with the theme of my previous post Making the Most of Your Marketing During Rough Economic Times, below are a few tips from a recent article on MarketingSherpa for adapting your lead scoring and nurturing during the current economic downturn:

  • Quality is better than quantity when it comes to leads – An over-inflated lead database can give you a false sense of security and can end up costing you when you’re sending out email blasts and mailers. Tips on qualifying your prospects:
    • Scrub your lists – Create new rules to filter prospects rather than passing all of them into your CRM or lead-nurturing system. Determine what criteria you would like in your ideal customer and grade prospects accordingly. Check out our Knowledge base for more information on rules and grading in Prospect Insight.
    • Use qualifying questions or online tools to segment your prospects – Ask for information to help segment and qualify your leads. Be cautious to not ask for too much information from your prospects at once though. In Prospect Insight, you can set up conditional profiling and only ask for particular fields once others have been submitted.
    • Look beyond conversion rates – While initial conversion rates can be informative, you should also look at other reporting aspects, including rates for conversions from leads to opportunities, cost per opportunity and cost per deal.
  • Look at recent sales activity to uncover trends – Analyze recent sales proposals (i.e. from the last 3 months or so) to determine which criteria factored into whether the opportunity was won or lost (company size, location, prospect’s job title/department, etc) and then use these criteria to grade your prospects.
  • Use 3rd party data to validate your grading criteria – More general economic data, such as the Federal Reserve Bank’s Beige Book, as well as more specific information (specific industry reports, etc) can be helpful in validating your target criteria.
  • Utilize recent activity in your lead scoring – Increase scores for prospects that have been active recently (in the last 3 months). Decrease scores for those that have not been active recently, but still keep them on your nurturing lists until their activity increases again. Set up rules to “fast track” prospects that are especially active very recently (downloading multiple whitepapers, many page views on your site, etc) so that someone from your sales team can follow up with them right away. Users in Prospect Insight can opt-in to receive daily notification emails that show which prospects and visitors have been active.
  • Talk to your prospects – Utilize data obtained through your lead-nurturing and qualifying systems to guide conversations between your sales team and your prospects. A good conversation is still the best way to determine the quality of the prospect. One thing to be mindful of is to use the database information to *guide* the conversations and not to be creepy with it. It’s fine to bring up topics you know the prospect is interested in based on the information you’ve gathered but it’s usually not a good idea to indicate that you’re aware of all of their actions on your site, etc.