Did you know that according to most marketers, 79% of their leads never convert to sales? It’s clear that traditional lead generation tactics aren’t cutting it for marketing professionals. That means it’s time to think a little outside the box. Project management has a lot to teach marketers about nurturing customer relationships, scaling lead generation efforts, and producing better, more organized systems for success. Here’s everything you need to know to increase your marketing leads and convert a higher percentage into sales.
The lead generation business: What’s it all about?
Even if your current client roster is full, every business needs a lead generation process that sets the stage for future prospects to discover, learn about, and inquire about them. In sales terms, this translates to filling up a pipeline so that you’ll always have new business coming through the door on a rolling basis. More leads means more sales, so it should come as no surprise that lead generation is critical for businesses that want to increase sales.
There are three main ways to increase sales:
1. Raise prices
Your industry will determine if this is appropriate and, if it is, how much you can get away with increasing your rates. However, these percentages are often small and are only successful when they’re implemented a limited number of times over the long term.
2. Upsell existing clients
Lifelong customers who are already heavily invested in your brand might be interested in upgrading their existing purchases, but it’s not guaranteed that everyone will have the budget or the interest.
3. Focus on lead generation
Increasing the number of clients you serve is hands down the absolute best way to make more money. With this tactic, the opportunities are limited only by your ability to scale your processes and the tools you use.
Why is B2B lead generation & marketing so important?
In addition to the reasons we’ve already mentioned, it turns out that B2B marketing is more important than sales when it comes to lead generation. In fact, creating a reliable and consistent lead generation system might be the make-or-break factor for your business. As the video below explains, focused effort combined with a clear marketing vision can maximize your lead generation investment and help your business overcome some common sticking points.
The scenarios listed are all helpful examples of present and future strategies you can begin thinking about as we move on to examine what this all means for you as a marketer.
What is lead generation in digital marketing?
The purpose of most marketing campaigns is to reach more eyeballs and encourage that audience to buy. So in terms of digital marketing, the tools you’re already accustomed to using or creating apply here as well. Common marketing materials like podcasts, email newsletters, and landing pages all play a role in well-rounded lead generation strategies.
Is the lead generation process different for marketing than it is for sales?
Marketing and sales are like yin and yang when it comes to finding new business. For marketing to achieve its maximum potential, it needs the support of sales data and analytics to reach targeted demographics and high-value prospects. But if the sales department wants to spread their message and communicate with these audiences, marketing has to lend a hand by getting the word out to the appropriate channels.
In practical terms, that means that while sales provides some information and data, marketing is largely responsible for:
- Creating content that appeals to a number of different customer profiles
- Scheduling, monitoring, and adjusting live outreach efforts to maximize their effect
- Developing outbound strategies for prequalified leads
- Nurturing relationships with prospects who haven’t yet contacted sales
- Maintaining or revamping a digital brand image that’s attractive to new leads
And the list goes on and on.
Marketers who want to go above and beyond in their lead generation strategies can also implement some of these great project management techniques into their campaigns.
18 project management strategies for marketing lead generation
These tips and tricks for maximizing your marketing ROI through project management will help you reach more prospects, better service your current pipeline, and ultimately win more business.
1. Streamline responses to multiple email marketing campaigns all at once through a single platform.
One of the biggest lead generation challenges is keeping up with emails once they start coming in. A lot of communication can slip through the cracks, especially when you’re trying to keep track of all your other projects. But each missed opportunity represents a loss for your lead generation ROI.
Rather than sift through messy inboxes or forwarding messages to the right person just to hear they never followed up, smart marketers use a single platform for all incoming and outgoing communication. In addition to capturing information from every lead, this method helps ensure the right people are responding to the right messages and every new lead gets the attention it deserves.
2. Manage marketing resources better by allocating work more efficiently.
Tight budgets and limited staff aren’t lead generation obstacles when you use project management techniques to maximize all of your resources. By using the right PM tool, you can see which specialists on your team are available to complete tasks within given timelines. You can also see what lead generation efforts have bottlenecked and need to be reassigned to others in your department — or even which campaigns are taking up the most of your budget but bringing in the least leads.
That way, no matter what changes need to be made, your lead generation efforts can always be on track, under budget, and making the best use of your most valuable assets.
3. Use a network diagram for a bird’s-eye view of all your outbound marketing projects in real time.
A network diagram is a visual tool (typically in the form of a graph) that shows all open, pending, and closed tasks alongside assigned responsibilities and overall project workflow. That means that, at any given moment, you can quickly and easily see what’s going on with all of your lead generation campaigns.
It’s also helpful for looking ahead and planning for even more prospect outreach. And if you’re creating multi-layered social media packages or sharing a variety of content types across a dozen or so different digital channels, a network diagram is especially helpful since you can keep tabs on everything in a simple and clear way.
4. Anticipate and plan for potential lead generation roadblocks before launching your next campaign.
Project management tools made specifically for marketing teams make it easier to visualize simultaneous lead capture and nurturing efforts. That means no matter what new outbound or inbound strategies you add to your game plan, you’ll be able to piece it all together. And you can do so without overscheduling staff but keep team members accountable and foresee potential setbacks.
Once you know where you stand, you can adjust accordingly, eliminating or reducing the effects of these roadblocks before they even happen. Your prospects will see a sophisticated, well-oiled marketing machine, giving them more confidence that their investment in your company is a worthwhile one.
5. Scale your blog post and resource production through systemized workflow templates.
In addition to being fabulous for SEO and brand building, content marketing is a lead generation powerhouse. But it takes a lot of time and effort to generate a high volume of quality materials, which is a must for today’s competitive digital marketing landscape. That’s why it makes sense to use templates when creating original pieces like blog posts, video scripts, or email newsletters.
Not only will templates help ensure all your content is uniform and on-brand, but they will also save your team a lot of time so they can focus on higher (or more immediate) ROI activities while they keep the wheels turning on your outbound content strategy. Projects like blog posts can be pitched, approved, written, and scheduled without all that unnecessary back and forth.
6. Automate all your recurring social media tasks.
Customer acquisition experts say that you should automate every single task you can. And because social media is one of the more time-consuming lead generation tools, it’s a great place to start. Automate asset creation, ad spend, schedule planning, and more. Just about any recurring task you need to complete to draw customers in through major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be added to this list. Just make sure to actually interact with prospects who like, comment, and share your work after it’s posted.
7. Help the entire marketing team get on the same page about lead generation tasks by sharing one communication tool.
Emails, texts, meetings, and phone calls are hard to keep track of. You might lose a message in a long thread, forget to include a decision-maker in a phone call, or assume that the other person completed the task when really they thought you were handling it. It’s messy, it’s disorganized, and it might be costing you more lead generation opportunities than you’re even aware of. This is why a centralized communication tool is so important. Not only does it make it easier to read, tag, and reference exchanges, it can also streamline the entire decision-making process.
For example, you can color-code a message, set it as high priority, and choose to loop in another team member for final approval in a lot less time than it would take to wait around for them to hopefully check their inbox. Then, when the task is complete, the team lead can sign off on it and move on to the next item on that lead generation project’s timeline.
8. Organize all marketing content proposals through one system.
If you’re brainstorming with team members or accepting ideas for lead generating content, you need a system in place that makes it easy to organize it all. Some ideas might be useful immediately, and some might be great for later in the quarter. And while you could put these items on a spreadsheet, a project management platform gives you so many more capabilities you’ll want to use. From tweaking the suggestion to allocating the right amount of time and resources to it, teams who use project management systems can get more organized and creative without taking up any extra time.
9. Reach even more prospects by scaling your lead generation process.
If you can automate your lead generation process, then you can scale it too. Putting out more content, finding more prospects, and nurturing more leads helps you win the entire lead generation numbers game. No matter how big your team is, you can find plenty of ways to better delegate tasks, create repeatable systems, and expand the overall volume of leads you’re able to take on.
10. Increase the performance of existing lead generation campaigns through a project management tool tailor-made for marketers.
Not all project management tools are created equal, and if you’re hesitant to adopt one, it’s probably because you’ve never used one made with marketers in mind. They typically offer:
- Simple, easy-to-read calendars that break down complex projects into bite-size tasks
- Project mapping and task assignments from start to finish with the ability to follow up on individuals as needed
- A range of premade templates that can help your team manage campaigns, develop content, oversee go-to-market plans, and even execute live events
With these tools, you have total control over every lead management effort. You can measure and monitor the progress of live campaigns, adjusting to real-world responses as they come up. So if you’re not yet getting the results you expected, you can quickly fix any missing links and get everyone up to speed, and that campaign will start bringing in even more leads than before without missing a beat.
11. Make it easier to collect and use positive customer testimonials for your marketing campaigns.
An email here, a social media post there can all really add up when you’re trying to generate new leads. It’s no surprise that positive customer testimonials are a lead gen magnet, but they do require their own system. First, you need to collect them in one centralized location even though they often come in a variety of digital forms.
Next, you’ll have to sort them. Some will be more detailed than others or reference an aspect of your business that appeals more to top-of-funnel prospects. Whatever the case may be, they’ll all need to get arranged, tagged, and distributed to the appropriate channels. You’ll also need to double-check that you have their permission and the information included in their testimonial is compliant.
Obviously, it’s a complex process. But if you’re working with a project management tool, you can easily get the ball rolling and add these powerful lead generation materials to your established marketing campaigns.
12. Coordinate lead generation efforts with other departments.
Lead generation is a shared responsibility between marketing, sales, and other departments as well. It’s important that everyone, no matter what their role in the process, be on the same page at any moment. If they’re not, it can lead to poor contact handoffs, repetitive messaging, or embarrassing miscommunications with prospects. The solution? A project management hub that caters to a wide variety of collaborators and offers maximum visibility at all levels. Crystal-clear communication feeds effective collaboration, so make sure your teams all have access to the same lead generation project info.
13. Integrate all your team’s favorite marketing and communication apps.
When you’re using multiple programs every day, information can often get lost, and time spent sifting through various tabs to find the right message or data takes away from higher ROI activities that directly impact lead generation. Combining all of these tools into one place can do wonders for productivity across the board. Not only is it more convenient but it’s also easier to use and helps team members focus on higher-priority activities.
14. Strategically create and maintain a marketing lead generation project backlog.
No matter how productive you and your team are, you can’t do everything at once. In fact, it might be better for your long-term strategy if you spaced out lead generation campaigns and took the time to test individual ones. But you don’t want to lose great ideas along the way. And some might take a little longer to develop than others.
This is why you need to create a project backlog. Keep track of notes, edits, and additions for pieces that are scheduled for the next few months to a year out.
15. Set better, more practical lead generation benchmarks from the very beginning of every new campaign.
No matter how much experience you might have in this arena, you’d need to have a crystal ball to see how long your next lead generation project might really take to achieve your goals. The good news is, a project management approach to lead generation marketing is as close as it gets! Using data and reporting to create a visual project timeline, you can easily peak into the future and anticipate what could cause delays and what additional steps you might need to take that you haven’t already thought of. With those in mind, you can adjust your goals and hit more realistic benchmarks throughout the process.
16. Give marketing team members the tools they need to see assigned tasks in real time.
Individual dashboards offer an overview of what each person is responsible for, when their assignments are due, and whether or not they’re waiting on others to start the next phase. Because this is all updated in real time, users can effectively manage their own schedule and get started on new tasks faster than before. A more-productive team can maximize their lead generation efforts without any extra work on their part. In fact, this tactic will actually reduce their workload by eliminating the need for endless follow-ups or possible miscommunications.
17. Templatize successful lead generation models for both digital and physical marketing efforts.
Once you’ve found a lead generation model that works for your business, why not duplicate it for future campaigns? Doubling down on what works can help speed up your efforts. Creating a template that’s identical to your previous process is a smart move. You can even make more than one version, tweak individual components, and use A/B testing to determine how to maximize its potential across a variety of channels.
18. Scale lead engagement through better resource management.
There’s more to leads than just getting them. Once they’ve been acquired, you have to build relationships to ultimately win them over, which can take a lot of time away from your regular lead generation efforts. And if you have a high volume of leads coming in, it might be difficult to keep up with where each one is in the process. But the good news is you can still provide personalized responses at scale no matter how big your staff.
Create pathways for subject-matter experts or customer service reps to directly funnel and receive correspondence that is most relevant to what they do best. Then take a look at your remaining inquiries and find ways to spread the workload to those who have the bandwidth to handle it.
If you’re already using a project management tool, you can quickly review the open assigned tasks to specific individuals. Rather than waste time emailing them back and forth to see if they can take on another lead, you can automatically gauge their availability and assign new relationships accordingly.
Take-home tips: Lead generation tactics
In addition to the information we’ve already covered, here are some things to keep in mind as you use project management to boost your lead generation marketing.
- Experiment and find the right mix over time. These tactics are not one size fits all but can lay a good foundation for your business until you find out what your specific audience responds to.
- The key to most lead generation tactics is to find new ways to organize, automate, systemize, or templatize the processes you already use so they can become more efficient.
- Lead generation software and marketing project management software are must-have tools for maximizing your ROI.
With these tips and ideas, you’re well on your way to maximizing your marketing efforts and finding more new business.
Looking for a tool to help your team carry out these strategies and bring in more leads? Wrike for Marketers is a collaborative work management tool specifically designed to help marketing teams align their efforts, manage their progress, and increase their impact. Start a free trial today.