WheatbreadleadsAs an inbound marketer, you are probably driven by the number of leads you generate for your company. Usually, a small percentage of these leads convert into customers, so by logic, the more leads you produce, the more deals the sales team closes. In order to drive growth and generate more revenue for your company, you focus on increasing your leads goal month after month. But what happens when you start to saturate your market or it’s just not possible to hit your new goal with your current resources?

Fear not! All you need to do is start focusing on the quality of your leads. The types of leads you feed to your sales team is a powerful yet overlooked lever that can help marketers deliver. Think about it: if you can increase the percentage of leads that convert into customers, then you don’t need to generate as many leads to hit your company’s sales goals, right? The key to increasing the percentage of conversions is by feeding your sales team higher quality, more nutritious "wheat bread" leads, rather than low-quality, less nourishing "white bread" leads. Below are 4 steps to take to better feed Sales with these more wholesome, multi-grain-type leads to close more deals with fewer leads.

1. Create Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) Content

The first step to turning white bread leads into high quality wheat bread leads is through lead nurturing. Once you’ve initially generated your leads, it’s important to nurture them with content and offers to guide them closer to a purchase. Creating middle of the funnel content will help you achieve just this. Middle of the funnel content is specific and ties in information about your industry to your product. An example of this may be an ebook that discusses how you use your product to overcome an industry-related challenge or even an offer such as a demo that brings your lead closer to a sale.

Often, we inbound marketers forget to produce middle of the funnel content since we are so focused on generating new leads through top of the funnel content that is mainly educational in nature and avoids mentions of our business' products and services. The key here is to aim for a balanced diet. You need to start by generating white bread leads with top of the funnel offers and then use your middle of the funnel offers to turn them into hearty loaves of wheat bread!

2. Determine Which Events Close the Most Customers

Once you’ve created middle of the funnel content, you can start looking at which offers and events are converting more of your leads into customers. If you have closed-loop marketing in place, you can use your data to actually analyze the close rate of your current customers based on offers and events. Typically, events such as free trials or live demos have higher close rates, as these are leads serious about a sale. It’s important to recognize these events and offers, since they generate awesome, wholesome leads. Once you start gathering insights into which offers are more effective at generating wheat bread leads, you can double down on the offers that works and nix the ones that don't.

3. Create Calls-to-Action Promoting High Closing Events

Once you’ve determined the events and offers that convert the highest percentages of high-quality leads, you need to promote these events. A great way to promote an offer or an event, such as a demo, is through calls-to-action (CTAs). Think about placing CTAs in your email messages, on landing page thank-you pages, in blog posts, on website pages, and most importantly, on your homepage. Make these CTAs prominently accessible from all parts of your marketing communications. You want to give potential leads the opportunity to convert into nutritious leads as often as possible.  

4. Communicate and Collaborate With Your Sales Team to Focus on Specific Leads

Now that you’ve set up your marketing machine to generate nutritious, multi-grain leads, sales won’t need as many of those white bread leads to hit their numbers. The last and most important step is to collaborate with your sales team to make sure they identify and focus on working these hearty leads. Be sure to communicate the shift in the quality of these new leads so sales can alter their selling process. As a result of this shift, sales won’t need to waste their time sifting through piles of unqualified leads, but instead work a limited number of qualified leads more deeply to hit their sales number more efficiently.

Do your marketing offers include a healthy mix of white bread and multi-grain leads?

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Originally published Dec 12, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016


Lead Nurturing