Everywhere you look, inbound marketing is identified as the ultimate lead generation tool. While its popularity isn’t without merit, this marketing strategy is not the end-all for lead generation. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why some head executives don’t hit their revenue goals.
Don’t let your bottom line fall victim to overpromising and under-delivering inbound programs. In order to mind the revenue gap, companies need to be designing a comprehensive “allbound” marketing approach that embraces inbound marketing, lead nurturing or prospect development, and outbound marketing tactics to optimize revenue growth.
Inbound Helps Fill Your Revenue Gap, But How Much?
It’s hard to find any recent marketing industry publication that doesn’t jump on the inbound marketing bandwagon. For those that don’t already know, inbound marketing is a methodology founded on the idea of drawing people in toward your brand through the use of form-gated content. Ideally, the perceived value of the resource should be such that the individual is compelled to submit their contact information in exchange for the offer.
Outbound marketing involves the use of advertising, trade shows, and other methods of pushing a message “outward” to generate a response.
While it’s true that inbound marketing does bring some fruitful lead generation benefits, we have seen a negative aspect of this methodology. Because inbound marketing produces more leads in less time than ever before, it is hard to ensure all leads are interested in your business. The dangerous part of inbound marketing is that it can be difficult to diagnose if it is hurting your organization.
If you’re witnessing the following three things, you might be experiencing “inbounditis”:
- Deal sizes slowly decreasing as inbound leads increases
- High-performing reps avoiding inbound lead follow-up opportunities
- The percentage of sales accepted leads decrease while lead quotas increase
When used as a solo strategy, inbound marketing has a tendency produce more lesser-quality leads, it can be detrimental to your marketing and sales collaboration, and it can be harmful to the overall company.
The Key: An “Allbound” Marketing Approach
When you become overly reliant on only one method of lead generation, you run the risk of: a reduced level of marketing ROI, an increased opportunity for your competitors to get ahead, and a jeopardized revenue backbone. Why? At best, a well-run inbound marketing campaign can realistically deliver 35% of your enterprise level sales leads. Where will the remaining 65% of your leads come from?
In addition, the quality of your sales leads is significantly lower because of the marketing automation tools that are used to manage the inbound leads—they’re not built to properly develop or filter leads before sending them off to your sales force. Furthermore, the financial and time cost of a raw inbound lead can be double or more the cost of a qualified outbound lead.
When you combine the power of inbound and outbound marketing, you will be able to account for any gaps in your predicted revenue. An allbound approach enables prospects to engage with your company in the way that works best for them while targeting the right market or markets. Most importantly, you will achieve or exceed your ever important revenue goals. (Click here for an extended look at the Outbound vs. Inbound debate.)
Nurturing is the Secret Ingredient
Regardless of the strategy, nurturing is essential for successful lead generation. Marketing, not sales, should be targeting the right market(s). This is probably one of the least common marketing activities, but it is almost always well worth the time, effort, and cost.
A typical non-allbound lead generation program produces, on average, 50 leads for every 1000 prospects. Lead generation programs that actively nurture produce three times as many leads. The numbers speak for themselves. Creating and maintaining a proven lead generation strategy that includes nurturing will not only improve conversions, it will give you the peace of mind that your company is on track to being self-sufficient and allow you to focus on other pressing aspects of the company.
The unfortunate reality of inbound marketing is in its inability to deliver even half of a company’s overall leads. However, if you combine inbound with outbound marketing and add in lead nurturing, you will be able to fill in your revenue gap.
The data is out there to help you recognize the right marketing mix for your business. It’s up to you to determine where that gap really is, so you can generate leads in a smarter way to drive revenue.