All posts in Lead Scoring

Improving Student Enrollment with B2B Marketing Strategies

classroom desks

The problems of increased competition for students, staff, and research funding are putting a strain on higher education institutions, forcing many to completely re-invent their recruiting methods. With more higher education institutions to choose from, students, staff and donors are having an equally hard time connecting with any one institution; the competition is negatively affecting both parties.

To better serve their customer (i.e. the student or staff or donor), higher education institutions can learn something from the many similarities between their challenges and the challenges in B2B marketing. Consider, if you will, how the challenges of increasing enrollment in the academic sector and improving lead conversion in the business-to-business sector face are really very similar.

B2B and higher education marketing have several common dilemmas, in fact. Both have to market to a variety of individuals, all on an individual level; each must appeal to every customer in a personal way. This is a challenge of mass-customization. Both are plagued by extremely constrictive budgets to achieve their goals, prompting questions of revenue management and ROI. Both are highly focused on conversion; a primary objective is getting more prospects from the “interest” to the “purchase” stage. The ways that B2B marketers approach these problems can reveal tricks for how higher education marketers might do the same.

B2B solves the problem of variety by ignoring it. Where there are no common factors in demography or geography, there are common factors in behavior. While a final purchase decision is made on different variables for each customer, most move though the same buyer cycle when considering that purchase. If you know that buyer journey, you can track what leads a prospect to become a customer, or a student.

B2B marketers have customer life-cycle management tools that they use to track this buyer journey and in fact, many education institutions are already taking advantage of these tools for their own purposes. The data capture available through many of these tools makes it easy to track current student behavior, which gives insights into how to target prospective students. Further adaptation of these tools represents a huge opportunity for higher education.

These same tools also help B2B marketers solve some of their resource-restriction problems. By using a more robust analytics system, marketers are able to identify their “ideal” customer and target them specifically. Without superfluous ad spend on uninterested prospects, marketers also have more money to spend on their ideal customer. Consider the benefits if higher education institutions could identify the “ideal” student and target that student exactly where she is, providing her all the information she needs, before she even asks for it. This would also reduce costs in head-count, as fewer active marketers would be needed to connect with more prospective customers.

With student personas and an idea of the typical student life-cycle, higher education marketers will be able to spot potential students much earlier in their search for an institution and thus guide them to that purchase decision. Not only will marketers be more effective, we will be using fewer of them, and their jobs will be easier. Taking a page out of the B2B marketing hand-book will improve the effectiveness and the efficiency of higher education; we give that strategy an A+.

Lead Scoring Best Practices: Deliver More and Higher Quality Leads to Your Sales Team

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is the process of ranking a lead’s profile fit and level of interest according to a methodology agreed upon by both marketing and sales.  Leads are scored in a number of ways, assigned by points or ranked by using terms such as “hot,” “warm,” or “cold.”  According to Eloqua, this not only helps align the right follow-up to the corresponding inquiry, it also helps marketing and sales teams identify where each prospect is in the buying process.  Lead scoring methodologies incorporate a combination of demographic attributes, lead source and offer, budget, authority, need, and timeline (BANT) considerations.   Continue reading →

What C&A Marketing Automation Rollout Did for a Global Tech Firm [Case Study]

NexsanCaseStudy

We want to revisit the fundamental concept of moving from manual marketing to marketing automation – a process that’s put client Nexsan on a new level of performance with new lead generation and lead management solutions using the right tools and best practices. Before we get to review their efforts, let’s first revisit the need to understand why manual marketing and marketing automation are like day and night in terms of their capabilities for marketing and sales.

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5 Ways to Effectively Manage Leads

manageleads

1. Respond to Leads According to where they are in the Sales Process

Lead scoring is essential to the lead management process. The better understanding we have of the nature of a lead in terms of how sales-ready it is or how ‘hot’ it may be, the better does our decision-making process become. When we know that a lead hasn’t met a particular set of criteria, we know that it is still ‘warm’ and needs more marketing-related activities in order to be ready to be passed off to sales. Leads are very delicate when it comes to engagement, and sophisticated marketers know and value this most. Brash or out of turn action can cause negative effects in the short- and long-term. It is important to respect each lead in the buying cycle and respond accordingly.

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The Role of Supportive Lead Management Processes and the Right Technologies

supportive

Lead management is a combination of the kind of lead nurturing and scoring methods that allow marketers to trigger action in potential buyers by knowing all the associated behaviors of the lead as acquired from its history and activities at each sales cycle stage.

However, what’s important to consider is that there are many best practices that go beyond just lead nurturing and scoring, and these methods can be used to drive revenue growth in significant ways. Best-in-Class performers know that in order to optimize effectiveness, the right tools must be in place in order to automate the many marketing and sales processes that are associated with lead management. The right Marketing Automation platform (MAP) does not only support lead nurturing and lead scoring, but it also gives marketing the freedom to use various supportive elements in the lead management process.

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