Fuel Your Lead Generation Engine with Inbound Marketing

eCommerce Sales FunnelIf you’re in sales, how does your inbound sales funnel look?  Are you struggling to fill it up, or is your lead generation process working, giving your more prospects than you have time to call on?  If you identify with the latter, congratulations!  You can stop reading this and fire up solitaire.  for the rest of us, keep reading.  After all, why.   Why not fill the funnel up so you can take a vacation for once right?

Turn The Funnel Upside Down

It is easy to calculate stats after the fact – but when we are in the planning stages, it is useful to predict percentages, in order to give us the best probability of success.  For this funnel visualization, we are going to operate off of 2 assumptions:

  1. Lead Closure Rate:  You’re a very persuasive salesperson – You close, on average, one out of every five leads you talk to.  This is a 20% closure rate.
  2. Site Conversion Rate:  For every 100 people that visit your website or landing page, 10 of these visitors fill out a form and become a lead.  This is a 10% conversion rate.

With these two numbers in mind, we can start to fill up the funnel.  First, decide what your sales goals are, and work out the math to fill up your funnel.

  • Sales Goal:  We want to sell 10 items per month.
  • Required Leads:  I you have a 20% closure rate, then you need to have at least 50 leads per month in order to reach 10 sales per month.
  • Required Visitors:  If you have a 10% conversion rate, then you need to attract 500 targeted visitors to your website’s landing page per month in order to reach 50 converted leads per month.

This is the upside-down funnel.  500 visitors go into the top of the funnel, 10% (or 50) of them fill out an interest form and become a lead, then 20% (or 10) of these leads are closed by your sales people and become customers.  Now – how do we ensure we have these leads every month?

Step 1: Generate Traffic

If you can’t attract those 500 visits per month to your website, you are dead in the water. Attracting traffic is where Inbound Marketing comes into play.  By creating blog posts, posting on social media and creating and/or participating in online dialogue that is focused around your product or service, you will begin to fill up the search engine index with YOUR content.  When your potential customers are searching for information about this product or service, they will find yours.  Once you create content, it is there for good. Setting up a content marketing strategy where you commit to adding content to your website and in social channels on a regular basis will ensure you start to build up valuable content assets that draw highly qualified traffic to your website.

Step 2: Leverage Your Traffic with CTAs & Landing Pages

Getting the visitor is only half if the equation.  You need to give this visitor a way to become a lead.  We do this with Calls To Action (CTAs) and Landing Pages.  Let’s say the reader was attracted to your site through a blog post you wrote about a certain type of widget.  While reading, they see a CTA that suggests they should follow the link to download a whitepaper on this particular widget.  When they click the CTA, they are taken to a landing page where they learn more about this whitepaper, and they are given a form to fill out in order to download this whitepaper.  By using the CTA and Landing page, you have just converted this visitor into a lead!  The more combinations of CTAs and Landing Pages you incorporate into your website, the more leads you will generate!

What Do I Do With All Of These Leads?

This is a great problem to have, right?  You need a complete lead generation system – and when it comes to inbound marketing, there is no better platform than Hubspot to handle these tasks.  Hubspot works at both ends of the process.  First, it is a complete management platform to handle all of your outgoing content such as blog posts, social posts, emails, landing pages and calls to action.  On the other side, Hubspot handles automated email marketing to your captured leads, delivering the downloadable pieces in exchange for the contact information, lead scoring, prospect tracking, analytics and much more.

When you take a great company with fantastic products or service, build a perpetual lead generation engine with Hubspot and Inbound Marketing, and close the deal with talented sales staff, you have a tried and true recipe for success!

About the Author

Marcus Ledbetter has been in the Web Design and Internet Marketing field for over 15 years, and founded ITD Interactive in the spring of 2010 in partnership with ITdecisions of Johnson City, TN. Marcus specialized in inbound marketing and communication strategies to help clients grow their business by attracting and retaining more customers online.

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