From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Segmentation Improves Lead Generation

In the last lesson, you learned how increasing CRM usage improves data accuracy in a way that strengthens customer relationships.

Today you'll see how customer segmentation plus improved user acceptance could double your lead generation response. With this information, you can choose to increase volume or quality of leads, but either way, you'll want to take action today.

For August, we'll focus on turning lead into strong and lasting customer relationships. If you have questions about that subject, then email me at once so I can be sure to answer them in the upcoming month.


Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Double Your Lead Generation Response With Customer Segmentation And Improved User Acceptance

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

To double your lead generation response you need to both improve customer segmentation and increase user acceptance for your CRM application. Without these two critical factors, you won't be able to convert leads into valuable sales. First focus lead generation on individual segments of your larger customer base, and then let user acceptance insure proper collection of response details.

Segmentation Focuses Lead Generation Efforts

Start with lead generation marketing pieces. Each item should talk to a specific customer segment about the challenges they face (but you can solve) while giving them a specific reason to contact you.

Look for segments rather than general buyers; your message should reach prospects when it is highly relevant to their current situation. The more clearly defined your segment of prospects the easier it is to find these buyers and the more you'll know about their situation.

Prospect segments mirror your segmentation of existing customers. If you aren't already grouping customers into logical groups based on their concerns, start doing it now. Even a simple customer segmentation strategy will improve your ability to attract prospects with desires similar to those who have already bought.

Ideally, lead generation would focus on finding individuals like your most profitable segments of customers. You'll generate a better return on your time when your lead generation efforts focus on those who you can serve in a profitable manner.

Now that you focus your lead generation against small profitable segments of your customer base with a highly relevant message, how can you handle responses properly?

User Acceptance Improves Qualifying Details

There is nothing worse than a prospect raising their hand, interested in what you have to offer, but has to wait for additional information. Leads sit in your business today, taking days, and maybe weeks before a response. Too often, it's only a matter documenting the lead or passing along the request to the right people for literature fulfillment.

The more comfortable users are with your customer relationship management (CRM) system, the better they can turn around prospects requests for more information.

More importantly, when users are comfortable with the system, they can ask additional qualifying questions that increase your ability to turn this prospect into a customer. At this time users should also record the source of the lead, this way you'll know which channels are working best for your marketing efforts.

A better understanding of your CRM system means fewer delays in literature fulfillment. Prompt response of materials or callbacks increases your value to potential customers. Take advantage of your systems automated features, teach users how to save time in the solution, and teach users how to assign tasks to the right departments.

If possible, users should also determine what prospects hope to achieve, even establish a dialog that helps them gain other relevant materials. At each interaction point, show prospects that you are paying attention by taking predictive actions that get individuals more of what they need to make a buying decision.

Each time a user connects with a prospect they should be asking qualifying questions or recording actions that further qualify buyers. Proper use of your CRM system insures fewer logistical errors while providing you a better understanding of your lead generation response.

Focus Improves Relevancy To Prospects

Details users collect at each customer interaction come together to provide a better understanding of each prospect and customer segment. Together these points identify what motives prospects to purchase.

Your focus helps improve your marketing message including importance of product benefits, marketing medium of preference, and pre-sales actions that create the most qualified prospect.

You may even find prospects that didn't buy after responding to one campaign may match characteristics of those who purchased through another. Those who don't become customers from the first campaign may become customers after receiving the second. Every interaction should answer additional questions in the prospects mind, questions discovered by proper tracking of lead generation efforts.

CRM user acceptance includes marketing copy testing, turning service inquiries into sales opportunities, and identifying additional customer needs based on actions desired. With segmentation and proper data collection, you'll have a better understanding of what marketing strategies are turning prospects into sales.

Get better results from lead generation efforts by focusing on specific groups of prospects and have a better understanding of your efforts with users familiar with data collection tools. What are you doing to increase your company's skills in these areas?

Copyright © 2004 JWH Consolidated LLC dba Center for Strategic Relations, All rights reserved.
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