How to Use Personalized Content to Qualify Leads at Every Stage of the Funnel
January 24, 2019 | Elizabeth Rivelli
Finding quality leads is often easier said than done. Gone are the days of making a few phone calls and sending an email blast to catch the attention of interested—and high paying—prospects. Both sales and marketing want their pipelines to be overflowing with leads at all times, and more importantly, they want the right leads that are most likely to convert into revenue-generating customers.
Recently on the blog, we’ve been talking a lot about the quality vs. quantity debate around leads. And if you’ve been keeping up, you’ll know that more leads are not necessarily better: Better leads are better. That can be a tough concept to wrap your brain around, especially because marketers are often very numbers-driven. We like to see volume in our pipeline, but sometimes, we fail to look closer and examine how much of that pipeline is really worth your sales team’s time.
To add a layer of difficulty, marketing is only getting more crowded. Nearly every B2B marketer is competing for the attention of the same prospects. And prospects are feeling the pressure too. B2B buyers today have seemingly endless choices at their fingertips, and they also get overwhelmed by the number of marketers vying for their attention.
The Power of Personalization
So, how can your brand break through the noise and bring in those quality leads that sales wants? It’s simple: By focusing on personalization throughout the buyer journey. In fact, research shows that over 90 percent of buyers are more likely to make a purchase from an organization that provides personalized offerings and recommendations. Putting curated content in front of leads at every stage of the funnel allows you to learn more about their unique challenges, needs, and goals, and helps you understand where exactly they are in their journey.
For marketers, that means two things. On the one hand, personalization can dramatically improve your pipeline and conversion rates when you invest in the right prospects. In fact, one study found that nearly 80 percent of companies that utilize personalization exceed their revenue goals. But, it also means that a one-size-fits-all content strategy won’t cut it. Your prospects want that unique experience when they interact with your content, otherwise they’re more likely to turn away from your offering and take their business somewhere else.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. The term “personalization” means creating more assets, for each persona, at every stage of the funnel, right? Not so fast—it’s actually just the opposite, and it’s made possible by adding interactive, qualifying questions to your content.
To start, dust off your archives of static (and perhaps outdated) PDFs, ebooks, case studies, and similar assets. Use that information to create an assessment or a short quiz that allows your readers to test their knowledge of a certain subject area. Drop in lead-qualifying questions to gather information, uncover buyer intent and determine where that prospect is in the funnel. Once you have that information, you can decide which leads are worth sending to sales, and which ones just wanted to download your white paper for the compelling stats.
Ready to find out how you can use content to provide a personalized experience for prospects at every stage of the sales funnel? Let’s get started.
Top of the Funnel
According to 2019 data from HubSpot, more than 40 percent of salespeople feel that prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. So to reach those early stage prospects that are just testing the waters, you should be using content to support your demand generation efforts. By driving brand awareness and capturing the attention of potential customers, marketers can find more of the top of the funnel prospects they need, and qualify them faster.
A readiness assessment that focuses on a specific topic is the perfect way to put your brand in front of potential buyers and help drive faster lead nurturing. The assessment will reveal to the customer their own level of need in a certain area, and provide a personalized output that helps them decide whether or not your solution is right for them. An assessment allows marketers to learn more about potential buyers, while customers learn about your company’s offerings.
Middle of the Funnel
Prospects spend a lot of time hanging around the middle of the funnel. They understand how a product or service can solve their challenges, maybe they’ve had a discovery call with sales, and they seem convinced to move forward. But for some reason, they’re still on the fence.
Reaching those leads that are lingering in the middle of the funnel is all about nurturing, and a big piece of that is customer experience. Offering a personalized CX shows your prospects that your organization takes the time to understand and address their needs. So send them case studies that help them see how similar companies have excelled since adopting your product. Or maybe invite them to your next live webinar. CX often gets overlooked by marketers, but it’s really important in the buying journey. Research shows that customers are 5.2 times more likely to purchase from companies with great customer service.
Bottom of the Funnel
When that prospect you’ve been nurturing for the past six months finally becomes a valued SQL, you might think your job as a marketer is done. But even though that prospect is now in the hands of your sales team, there’s still more you can do to help get that prospect over the finish line. Remember: Almost 80 percent of MQLs never convert into sales, and it’s usually because the prospect isn’t properly nurtured.
The bottom of the funnel is where interactive content really shines and proves its value. Every interactive quiz your prospect took, every white paper they downloaded, and every survey they completed holds valuable insights for your sales team. When they know about the prospect’s organizational challenges, business goals, budget, subject matter knowledge, existing technology stacks, and so on, they can personalize every touch point and use the right tactics to push them through the funnel and onto their roster of active customers.
Finding high quality leads doesn’t have to be hard, but it does require a bit of work on your end to provide a personalized experience that makes prospects want to complete the sales cycle. Using interactive content allows you to do just that, by creating more engaging experiences that are customized to your target audience. Not only do your prospects appreciate it, but so does your sales team. And with the right tools, it’s easy to start seeing your pipeline fill up with quality leads that are eager to become customers. Learn how you can turn your content into interactive experiences that help drive demand generation, qualify leads and close more deals.