Having your website cultivate new sales opportunities, automatically, is what we think online business is all about.
It saves time, means bigger opportunities for bottom-line growth, and takes away the cyclical nature of the business that owners and marketers spend a lot of time worrying about. But, lost in all this is one of the most important and powerful benefits of a successful inbound lead generation system: that it doesn’t just give you more customers, it gives you better customers.
What exactly do we mean by better customers? Here are a few of the most important differences in the prospects you attract with lead generation:
Prospects come to you ready to take action.
In a traditional outward sales-driven organization, leads aren’t really gathered, so much as scraped together from (mostly uninterested) groups of potential clients or customers. Because these “leads” were identified by your sales team, and not themselves, they can be slow to move forward with a proposal or to take any action at all.
Contrast that with what happens when you have web-based leads coming to you. Because they have sought out your company and ideas to deal with a pressing problem, they are often eagerly looking for solutions. That means they actually drive the sales process forward themselves, rather than having their guard up against you.
There are fewer negotiations over prices and budgets.
In the same way, decision-makers place a low value on plans or concepts that aren’t internally driven. No matter how exciting your product or solution is, it’s probably going to be considered “extraneous” or “unnecessary” if the prospect wasn’t actively looking for it themselves. That lends itself to requests for discounts or extensive price negotiations.
With online lead generation, though, you’re getting potential customers who are ready to take action and may even feel an urgency to take the next step. They are looking for the best value, not a reason to avoid expenditures, and tend to haggle with you less (if at all) as a result.
Clients tend to stay with you longer.
When you’re actively looking for customers or clients, your credibility and professionalism can sometimes come out worse for the wear. Even if you have a very successful organization with a large sales team, “knocking on doors” creates an impression that you are just looking for a sale.
But, when you are seen as a source of answers and information, rather than simply a business selling products, it’s easier for clients and customers to view you as an expert. That increases your credibility and trust, along with buyer loyalty at the same time.
Inbound prospects and clients are more likely to refer you to others.
In the same way, buyers that see you as an expert (which is a natural byproduct of a content-based lead generation system) can feel more comfortable talking about you with friends and colleagues. They also don’t have to worry that you’re going to pursue aggressive sales tactics that are going to make them look bad to their colleagues. As a result, customers who come to you through inbound marketing are more likely to refer a new business your way.
Put all of these advantages together, and you have a much higher lifetime value for every new account generated. And so, the ROI from your inbound lead generation plan just keeps going up and up over time, making it more effective in both the short term and the long term.
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