Lead Generation & Nurturing for Your Accounting Firm is vitally important. Regardless of the methodology of lead generation you employ, in all probability your accounting firm will spend considerable time, energy and financial resources on lead generation. Some firms utilize direct mail, telemarketing, referral or customer-based marketing, trade shows, networking and a host of other strategies to generate leads and revenues. Others use their own particular formula for marketing and advertising. Lead generation and lead nurturing are top-of-the-funnel aspects of marketing and sales in every business; yours is no different.
This article is not about the strategy, it is about the process. It is centered on lead generation & nurturing. As an inbound marketing agency our company, Zen Marketing, is in the business of teaching businesses how to generate more leads from their websites using content, but this is not a sales pitch today. Forget inbound marketing for the time being; let’s focus on the best approach to nurture the leads that you have generated.
One of the oldest clichés in the business world is “sales is a numbers game”. The number of customer sales transactions is the direct result of the number of “touches” the suspect experiences to convert to a prospect, to a qualified lead, to a sale. A touch might be an ad in the newspaper, meeting at a trade show, phone call, direct mail piece, or article found on the website. Every business is different; every marketing campaign is different. The sales cycle is what it is for your business; you know best the period of which we are referring to.
Those attempting to generate qualified leads, or prospects, if you will, will quickly learn precisely how long and what number of those suspects and prospects result in completed transactions (aka closed sales). In measuring this a hard truth is exposed: there is major difference concerning “qualified” as opposed to “ready to purchase.”
Here is another truth. There will always be a percentage of “qualified” leads in the lead nurturing process that simply fail to generate a sale, just as there are those that make it all the way through the sales funnel, having received all of the lead nurturing they could ever hope for, and yet fall completely out of the pool of “sales-ready” prospective purchasers.
Statistics reveal that any accounting firm can consider approximately eighty percent of qualified prospects will ultimately make a purchase; however, there is no guarantee the transaction will hit your revenue report.
We won’t be spending a lot of time on lead generation, because there are so much varied approaches that there are hundreds of books on the subject available for download on Amazon. The trick is realizing the difference between a suspect from a prospect; between a “lead” and a “qualified lead.”
Successful business-to-business marketing tactics include a broad and diverse range of tactics. Some of the most widely utilized include:
- Relationship marketing
- Content or Inbound marketing
- Direct or outbound marketing
- Online marketing
- Educational workshops
When it comes to lead generation each tactic yields some amount of leads; but at what cost? And how efficiently are the leads created? The graph below, courtesy of our partner Hubspot®, reflects the sliding scale of the costs per lead. I provide this for information only, and won’t be discussing the benefits of one over the other, as it is for your firm to decide what strategies will be effective.
That said, nearly every any business card collected at a trade show is nothing more than a link to a suspect. Chances are that the person providing the card had a fanciful notion to share it because he or she:
- Behaviorally averse to confrontation- it’s easier and safer for them to simply string you along
- Was too bashful to say that something about your product or service caught their eye and nothing more
- Something from their past was brought to mind as a result of seeing your booth
- They love collecting business cards (you wouldn’t believe the number of cards that are given out and then thrown away when the person gets home)
- They ask for more information, only to gather further information to compare with your competitors