When the first quarter rolls around, most sales and marketing teams kick off the new year with optimism and renewed energy. If your medtech or B2B company operates on a calendar year, there are new goals to meet, new budgets to assign, and plenty to be excited about.
However, without a solid strategy and the right resources, it can be all too easy to see the months slip past without making enough progress on your sales and marketing objectives.
Common reasons that lead generation fails
There are many reasons that lead generation efforts fail to take flight. It could be lack of coordination between the marketing and sales teams. Or, the internal business development team may have competing priorities that result in too few sales calls being made for your product or service. It could even be the tight hiring market that exists right now, making it difficult to staff up your inside sales team.
Whatever the reason, achieving aggressive sales and revenue goals demands focus and attention. Making lead generation and top-of-the-funnel activities a priority in Q1 ensures you keep your sales pipeline filled with qualified opportunities. That early momentum will fuel more sales appointments, discovery meetings and ultimately, more closed sales as the year progresses.
Lead generation best practices for 2023
As your company ramps up for 2023, make sure these four best practices are part of your lead generation efforts.
Set measurable lead generation goals
Looking at your annual numbers—in total—can be overwhelming. Instead, break those figures down into manageable chunks by quarter, by month and even by week. Use your previous sales funnel metrics to work backwards and project the number of new qualified leads, sales appointments and decision-makers you’ll need to reach, in order to meet those goals. Once you have these measurable lead generation numbers in place, the sales and marketing teams can work together to identify the right campaigns and resources that will reach your goals.
It’s also helpful to drill-in with actionable lead generation goals for each business development rep. This helps keep their day-to-day activities on track. This could be call attempts, decision-makers reached, records updated and leads generated each day. Tangible numbers help your outbound callers and your sales managers train, coach and motivate sales staff with objective data.
Update your sales prospect lists
When it comes to lead generation in B2B and healthcare, there’s not much worse than wasting time and budget contacting the wrong companies and individuals. But, it’s a common issue because B2B data changes so frequently. That means companies that make list hygiene a priority can gain a distinct competitive advantage.
As you kick off your new year, evaluate the quality, accuracy and completeness of your sales and marketing database. Do you have current phone numbers and opt-in email addresses for your highest priority target audiences? Have you added new verticals, geographies or territories that need new lists? Are you actively updating names, titles, roles and key demographic information on your sales prospects?
There are many ways to clean, organize and improve your prospect lists, and doing this important work will ensure your outbound sales calls and digital lead generation efforts take place with maximum efficiency.
Involve sales and marketing in planning
It’s natural for the sales and marketing teams to have different perspectives. After all, marketing is tasked with taking a big picture view of the company brand, competitors, messages and the marketplace; sales reps, on the other hand, excel at laser-focus on deals immediately in front of them. Bringing harmony to these two goals should be paramount as you open the new year.
It’s especially vital when you’re executing lead generation campaigns. Make sure both marketing and sales have a voice in planning. Look for agreement on what constitutes a qualified lead and key information to collect during the lead generation process. Discuss who will follow up on leads, and in what timeframe, remembering that responsiveness in the first 24 hours is critical. Open and proactive communication before lead generation begins will set your organization up for success.
Assign dedicated inside sales resources
Lastly, don’t overlook the value (and efficiency) in working with dedicated lead generation and inside sales resources. Even if your medtech or B2B company employs your own sales force, there’s a role for external partners like Volkart May in lead generation efforts.
Outsourcing some or all of your lead generation and business development calling frees the internal team for focused, lower-funnel activity, such as product demos, negotiations, travel and of course, closing deals.
An outsourced lead generation partner operates as an extension of your team. These professional callers work to support your goals. There’s no need (or expense) for hiring, training and managing another team, and you can scale the velocity up or down as you need. All it takes is a phone call.