Developing good lead generation for accountants is like mining for gold. It takes time and determination but when you hit the jackpot it is worth the effort.A good accounting firm lead will present a great opportunity to convert the prospect quickly into a customer. A bad lead, on the other hand, will be difficult to convert and could end up costing your business in wasted time and resources. Here, we’ll differentiate on the definition of accountancy lead generation and how it can help accounting firms solidify their business growth.
Leads and Lead Generation
To better under understand accounting lead generation, let’s begin with some definitions about leads and lead generation.
A lead is a sales contact that has expressed an interest in your product or service
Lead generation is the process of identifying and cultivating potential customers for your product or service
How you conduct lead generation for accountancy is one of the most significant determining factors on the quality of the lead. Most lead generation is either ‘outbound’, such as advertising and direct mail, or ‘inbound’, leveraging content and assets so that potential customers come to you. Outbound often involves placing your product or service out to a wide (albeit targeted) audience and essentially seeing what sticks. Inbound marketing grants accounting firms the time to plan your lead generation process and analyse your results. It works better, too. Here are some revealing statistics about inbound marketing's effectiveness:
Compared to outbound methods inbound marketing produces more leads (54%) at a fraction (33%) of the cost.
Organisations employing inbound marketing are four times more likely to be effective.
If a company with inbound marketing takes a considered approach to blogging, you're 13 times more likely to realise ROI
Whatever your chosen method of accounting lead generation, you need to be able to quickly identify the best leads so you can your ensure your investment and time is spent where it will generate the best return for your business. So let's have a look at how to spot those good leads.
Features of a Good Lead
✔ Meets Your Buyer Persona
Simply put, a "buyer persona" means someone who meets what you have defined as your ideal or target customer.
Defining your buyer persona is a worthwhile exercise for any business as it becomes central to the content and business decisions you make going forward. By creating a buyer persona, you establish the problems that your ideal customers will have and then the solutions that your business can offer. This buyer persona template is a great way to help you get started creating yours.
Your content, website, and marketing collateral will be created specifically for your buyer persona so this practice automatically increases the chances of generating a good quality lead from that content. Once you receive a lead in (this could be an enquiry form, telephone enquiry, etc.) spend a bit of time researching the company or individual and decide if they are a match. If they are not, make a decision about how much time and resources you are going to put into them. You may even decide to turn away business which does not meet your buyer persona. This task may feel difficult, but it frees your time to work with good leads and prospects. Remember to let the lead know you do not feel your business is a great fit - they will appreciate your honesty.
✔ Is a Decision Maker
It is likely that you have encountered that frustration which happens when you have spent a lot of time calling, emailing, and generally schmoozing a red hot lead only for them to then say “Thanks, I'll pass this on to my Manager/Director”.
Time is money, and time wasted on the scenario above is costly for any business. To ensure you are speaking to the decision maker, conduct some research on the company.
A great way to do this research is via LinkedIn - have a look at your lead on there and they are likely to be connected to a company, click on the company page and you should be able to find the other employees. If they are not on LinkedIn, have a look on Companies House which can provide a wealth of useful company information.
You don’t want to burn your bridges with a contact within a company but you do not want to waste resource on the wrong person either. If your only contact is not the decision maker, we recommend politely asking if you could be put in touch the best person. If they are a reluctant to pass you on, try copying the decision maker in on an email or email them directly letting them know you have been speaking with your contact.
Here's is a great article on how you can identify and connect with decision makers using LinkedIn.
✔ Has a Problem to be Solved
A good lead will be upgraded to a great lead if they have a problem to be solved and your business can offer a solution. Sometimes these are called ‘sales ready leads’. How easy it is to find out if a lead has a problem to be solved depends a lot on your marketing process and systems. If you have downloadable content on your website on a specific problem-based topic and the lead has downloaded it, you can assume you have pinpointed an issue which you can develop. This strategy is central to the inbound marketing approach we adopt. However, if your business is not yet set up to offer and track this data, you can find out more about the lead's potential problems on a discovery call.
A discovery call is an opportunity for you to bring your knowledge and expertise into play using statements to identify an issue. An example could be “we find that our customers struggle producing automated monthly management accounts, is this a problem for you?” If it is not, then move on. Having five to ten of these statement already lined up will enable you to pinpoint a lead’s problem and offer a solution - turning a good lead into a great lead.
Remember, lead quality can be determined by the method of lead generation. All methods will produce some leads and you need to move quickly to identify the best ones. Ongoing analysis of your lead results and conversions will allow you to refine your lead generation process.
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