Lead Capture for SMBs: Targeting

March 23rd, 2011 by Sean Dwyer

Generating demand and capturing sales leads are critical to growth. Lead Capture is also the yardstick by which most B2B marketing organizations are measured; everything’s good when sales people aren’t complaining about having too few leads.

Lead Capture Overview

Effective Lead Capture involves the following:

1.       Targeting – Identifying who you want to capture as leads

2.       Positioning & Messaging – Appearing relevant to your target leads

3.       Registration – Inspiring target leads to share contact information with you

4.       Measurement – Understanding Lead Capture program performance and seeking ways to improve

Today, we will be covering: Targeting – Identifying who you want to capture as leads

It is critically important to identify the types of people you want to capture as leads and to understand how, why, when and where they want to learn about products or services like yours. This is fundamental to almost all marketing functions, so hopefully you already have this covered.

Sometimes called “personas,” you’ll paint as detailed a picture as you can of the type of person you consider to be your ideal lead(s), otherwise known as Segmentation and Profiling. Lead Personas include information like:

  • job title/function, geographic location
  • company size
  • company type
  • industry
  • can afford to spend $X on an offering like yours
  • the top 3 challenges/problems the person faces (and that you solve)
  • what competitive products they already use or might also be evaluating
  • what motivates and excites them professionally
  • how they like to communicate (e.g., email or phone, at a business or technical level), etc.
  • their role in the buying process

Since a B2B purchase is often a team decision that may involve evaluators, sponsors, end-users, purchasing, contracts/legal, you may need to create several different target lead personas.

Best Practices:

Capture the Recommenders and Influencers – There are often many people involved in a B2B purchase. You may not be able to create lead generation programs to capture all types or roles. Therefore, focus Lead Capture on those people who have the authority to recommend the purchase of your product. In many cases, these people will also be responsible for the successful implementation or use of your offering. It may be tempting to capture executive-level leads, but a) those can be expensive leads to acquire and b) they often defer product selection/purchasing to subordinates within their organization.

SMBs, Target Mavericks – SMBs, especially earlier-stage businesses, should target people who tend to have a less risk-averse, early-adopter mentality. In the IT world, those people tend to hold “Architect”-level positions. Targeting too high or too low may result in capturing leads that are highly loyal to incumbent or larger vendors.

Next up…Positioning & Messaging


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