Welcome to another edition of Ask a Fractional CMO, the monthly newsletter where we tackle pressing questions in the B2B marketing landscape. Today, we’re diving into a common question we encounter: “Why do I need a marketing strategy? I just need a campaign right now to bring in more leads.”
This is a recurring question that often surfaces in the B2B world. What happens is that when B2B companies find themselves at a sales plateau, the immediate instinct is to generate more leads, believing it’s the magic formula for reviving sales. However, we believe that when you’ve hit a revenue plateau, this is an important time to take a quick step back, and take the time to really analyze why you’re in this situation, so you can take a thoughtful approach to a solution that works.
The reality is that rushing headlong into trying to generate more leads without understanding the underlying issues could result in a lot of wasted time and money, and then you end up right back where you started.
So when you’ve reached a revenue plateau, we recommend a different approach: starting with an audit of your current lead generation system and customer journey to get to the root of why you’re not getting enough leads, and then taking a strategic approach to fixing the root of your lead generation problem.
So how do you do this? That’s what we talk about in more detail our video answer – you can watch it below:
Below is a summary of the video transcript – for all the details, be sure to watch the video above.
Jen: It’s a question we hear often, and it’s more of a recurring theme than a single question. Many B2B firms, when they reach a sales plateau, immediately focus on getting more leads, thinking it’s the solution to boost sales. Our recommendation is typically to start with a marketing strategy, although we sometimes face resistance.
Nicole: Absolutely. During our meetings with potential clients, we frequently hear, “I just want more leads. Can we try a lead generation project first, and then we’ll consider your marketing strategy?” We get it, especially for companies heavily focused on sales. However, if your current lead generation isn’t effective, diving into a lead campaign without understanding the issues can backfire. We need to evaluate the messaging, lead sources, audience targeting, and other aspects, and that’s all part of the strategic process.
Jen: That’s right. Furthermore, when a company is laser-focused on acquiring leads, it often indicates an underlying problem within the lead generation process. To pinpoint and address these issues, we conduct a comprehensive marketing audit. This includes understanding your ideal client, their customer journey, and what truly resonates with them. If a company hasn’t gathered this information, we may need to go back to basics and build those foundational elements. This is all part of the strategic process and is essential to fix any issues and potential revenue leaks.
Nicole: And don’t forget, during the strategy phase, we also dive into what the company is already excelling at, things that resonate with clients, suppliers, employees, and partners. Often, these strengths haven’t been recognized as differentiators. Uncovering these strengths can inform your messaging and help attract ideal clients and leads.
Jen: Absolutely. For clients who’ve initially approached us with lead generation challenges, they’ve seen the value in this process. Our in-depth client interviews uncover valuable insights that can reshape a company’s understanding of what truly drives clients to buy their products or services. Sometimes, what clients value is entirely different from what the company assumed, and this misalignment can significantly impact lead generation efforts.
Nicole: Exactly. As for our strategy, we’ve made it efficient. It’s now a 60-day program. By day 61, we’re already implementing the strategy. It’s not a prolonged theoretical exercise; it’s a highly actionable plan based on what we’ve learned during the process.
Jen: We understand that many organizations have experienced strategic processes that felt like they dragged on forever. Our approach is designed to be swift and practical. We identify issues in your lead generation processes and provide you with an actionable plan within 60 days, if not sooner.
Nicole: Additionally, we recognize the critical role marketing plays in the marketing and sales partnership. We aim to set up programs and lead generation campaigns that attract leads while aligning with your sales team’s needs. Our goal is to provide your sales team with quality leads that make their job easier.
Jen: So, in summary, the reason we recommend a marketing strategy before diving into a lead generation campaign is simple: launching a campaign without a strategy is like guesswork. It’s unlikely to yield the desired results. As fractional CMOs experienced in B2B organizations, we believe it’s a disservice to companies to skip the strategic phase. Without it, you won’t truly understand what’s wrong with your lead generation efforts and how to fix them.
To help you make important decisions around your marketing investment, we’ve created a comprehensive eBook: The B2B CEO’s Ultimate Guide to Building an Expert Marketing Team in Today’s Complex Marketing World
In this eBook, we walk you through the six most important questions B2B CEOs need to answer in order to build their first marketing team and choose the right marketing model for their stage of business:
You can download the eBook RIGHT HERE
If you have any questions about this blog post or the eBook or would like to schedule a consultation with Jen Kelly, NIM’s Founder and one of the Fractional CMOs to get more guidance around your next steps in marketing, you can send her an email or book a consultation time.