Lead generation remains the biggest challenge for MSPs.
Year after year, one research study after another proves that IT companies struggle with attracting, generating, nurturing, and converting leads.
But for many, it happens for no other reason than missing out on some critical element of the strategy. For example, many companies we talk to do not post content regularly. Others don’t know how to engage their website visitors. And many others struggle to even realize whom they want to attract in the first place.
So, in today’s post, we decided to help you discover that reason for your business.
Below, you’ll find a short lead generation checklist to help you evaluate your strategy. Use it to define what you should improve in your lead generation.
A word of caution though. For this exercise to work, you must be brutally honest. There’s no point pretending that you’re doing something whereas, in fact, you don’t. Be honest. Name every shortcoming of your strategy. And that’s even if it hurts your ego.
Because only by doing so, you’ll be able to uncover how to generate more leads.
How to use this checklist. We structured each item on the list as a statement you can confirm with a simple yes or no. So, pick yes if you’ve implemented that element fully. Otherwise, select no. And then, add this item to your to-do list.
#1. I developed ideal buyer personas and used them to inform my marketing decisions
Hubspot defines the buyer persona as “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
And needless to say, having an ideal customer profile gives your company clarity about the people you want to attract. What goes with it, you can identify the best channels to connect with them.
Also, buyer personas reveal your leads’ motivations for wanting to hire an IT company. You uncover their pain points – IT-related issues that keep them awake at night. As a result, you can position your company as the most viable solution better.
The above also suggests that, without buying personas, you generate leads in the dark. And sure, you might attract new customers this way. However, you often have to put more effort to acquire them.
- If you answered No –develop buyer personas for your business immediately. You can use this template by Hubspot to begin.
- If your answer was Yes – review your customer profiles. Then, assess how well you’re targeting them in your marketing.
#2. I interview customers about the quality of our service regularly
Buyer personas help uncover how to attract potential customers. Interviews with existing clients, however, reveal:
- What you need to do to convert them,
- Their expectations for your service, and
- How you could engage and retain them for longer.
In short, your customers can tell you what attracted them to your business. And what goes with it, help you identify your strongest selling points to use for lead generation.
- Answered no? Develop a process to allow you to interview customers at least twice a year.
- Otherwise, review what questions you ask to improve the feedback you receive.
#3. I have a CRM or an email list with details of people who engaged with my company in the past
Not every company reaching out to you will become a client.
Some of them will choose another provider. Other leads, however, disappear without a trace. And that’s in spite of being well-engaged with your sales process.
But do you know that you can recover some of those dead leads? You could either re-engage them into your sales process or, at least, learn why they’ve dropped off.
All in all, it would help you generate more business or strengthen your sales process.
But for the above to happen, you need to a.) know who those people are, and b.) have a platform to keep engaging with them continuously.
We recommend two solutions – a CRM system or an email platform.
Most CRMs offer the ability to set up actions and reminders for each lead to remind you to keep in touch. Some grade leads for you, selecting the most viable ones to engage. And finally, many CRMs allow you even to specify follow up messages and set the relationship building with a lead on autopilot.
Many email platforms offer similar functionality – lead grades, automatic follow-ups, and more.
- If you don’t use any of these platforms, sign up for one immediately.
- If you do, ensure that you have follow-up actions specified for your dead leads.
#4. My website explains my services without jargon
True, many of your potential customers would have some technical knowledge.
But you can’t assume that about them all. Your marketing communications, your website, in particular, should explain your services to the non-technical customers too.
Why? Because most of your prospects will use the website to evaluate you. They’ll form an opinion about you based on your content. And for many, it will determine whether they’ll fill in your lead capture form or call you. Simply.
Your website, therefore, should:
- Capture a visitor’s attention,
- Tell them that you provide all the services they need,
- Reassure them that your company is the best solution to their problem, and
- Offer proof for the above.
- Regardless of your answer, review your website copy. Pay attention to how well you explain your services and the unique selling proposition. If possible, hire a copywriter to help improve it further.
#5. I use more than one lead generation strategy
The most popular lead generation strategy focuses on convincing website visitors to call you.
To generate leads successfully, you should focus on convincing website visitors to call you.
For one, not every website visitor is ready to buy. At least, not right away.
Blog content, lead magnets, PPC or social media ads, and many other assets help connect and engage with people potentially interested in your services.
Email marketing, in turn, helps you keep that relationship going until they’re ready to buy.
At a minimum, your lead generation strategies should include:
- SEO, blogging, webinars, and social media to attract top of the funnel prospects,
- Lead magnets to convert website visitors to your email list, and
- Lead capture forms to convert prospects who are ready to buy.
- If you answered yes, identify what other lead generation strategies you could introduce to your marketing campaign.
- If you answered no, start expanding your lead generation with the strategies listed above.
#6. I produce content for every stage of the buying journey
We’ve mentioned content a couple of times in this article already, and for a reason.
Content is the backbone of lead generation today. What’s more, it allows you to attract and connect with leads at every stage of the buying journey.
Blog posts pull prospects at the top of the funnel. These people know they have a problem, and research potential solutions. By providing valuable advice, your articles can also make prospects familiar with your brand.
Long-form content attracts companies at both top and middle of the funnel. The latter will use them to evaluate your company as a potential vendor.
Case studies and other similar content help them complete that task also.
Website homepage, service pages and more connect you with people searching for an IT provider, and so on.
- Evaluate what content assets you currently have for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Then, use the list above to identify gaps and create the missing content.
#7. I optimize lead capture forms regularly
A strong lead capture form would convince the bottom of the funnel customers to engage with you.
Notice we said, strong.
That’s because, often, generic email forms can actually put prospects off contacting you or attract low-quality leads.
Regularly review your lead capture forms’ performance. Also, test different approaches – from copy to form fields – to identify what compels your prospects to act.
Note: We listed suggestions for improving lead capture forms here.
#8. I have a list of places where my audience hangs out online
This question ties in with the buyer personas above. To connect with your ideal clients, you must know where they are first. And we don’t mean the location. And least, not just that.
Every day, your target audience turns to the Internet to find answers to their IT problems and discover new vendors to help solve their problems.
Some use Quora. Others, log into their favorite industry forums. Many customers use Slack channels.
And unless they connect with you there too, you’re going to lose out on a huge marketing opportunity.
But that’s hard to do without knowing where your audience hangs out first, right?
When creating buyer personas, identify your prospects favorite:
- Internet forums,
- Online publications and web portals,
- Their industry-related online communities, associations, etc.
- Social media communities (i.e., Facebook groups)
- Slack and other communication channels.
Then, review each to see how active they are there. Finally, start joining and engaging with the target audience on the most active channels.
And that’s it…
Hopefully, you now have a good idea about what elements your lead generation strategy is missing.
What’s left is to start implementing them one after the other.