Lead generation & qualification tactics

A Frontline talk with Boxever’s Allyson Barr

This month’s Frontline CXO event features Allyson Barr, VP of Marketing at Boxever (one of our portfolio companies!), based in their Boston office. She packs 15 years+ of B2B and B2C product management and marketing experience, at companies like LogMeIn and RAMP.

In this session, Allyson covers lead generation and qualification tactics, budgeting, how to measure success, persona-building, and much more.

The full recording of her talk is below. Follow along on the embedded deck.

Allyson’s presentation deck
Audio recording of the session

Some highlights from the session:

Marketing and sales are tied together.

  • Allyson views marketing as along the continuum as sales — the people she “sells to” are the same people as who she is “marketing to.”
  • Your company’s sales and marketing organisations should both have goals tied to revenue.
  • Marketing and sales should not be siloed with disparate metrics — this will lead to contentious conversations internally.
  • However, it is important to determine allocation and ownership between marketing and sales.

Define the stages of moving leads through your demand funnel.

  • Because your customers’ buying journey is likely to be all over the place, you must be very explicit in the criteria of moving your leads down the funnel.
  • This establishes a common language and understanding of leads’ progress internally.
  • Allyson uses a framework based on SiriusDecisions for Boxever. Customise the stage definitions based on your company’s buying journey.
  • A CRM is necessary during this part of the process, to keep track of leads and their progress through the funnel.

Make decisions on your sales activities based on cost per lead.

  • Budget and plan for your channels/activities by analysing the CPL. Allyson has created ranges — if an activity falls within that range, it is worth her team pursuing.
  • You will ultimately end up with a mix of channels, depending on your industry and what is most effective with your customers. For example, while events and conferences may be the most expensive per lead, it can be the most effective way to reach decision makers in the hospitality industry.
  • Content syndication programs allow you to create and distribute promotional content with third-party partners who can target for a specific audience. For example, Boxever uses Skift to target those in the airline industry.

Build personas to give colour to your customer segments.

  • Allyson included an example of a persona slide — these profiles should include a name, a picture, and general demographic information.
  • It also helps to define these personas’ motivations. For example, Boxever targets those who are professionally motivated, so that they can speak to his/her ego about being a ‘hero’ within his/her company for bringing them in the door.
  • Understand where these customers are hanging out — which social networks, technology blogs, etc.
  • You can pull this information from existing customers and prospects. Ask them 10 questions that fit into these buckets and aggregate that demographic data.
  • You want to look for at least 1–2 ways of grouping your customers — if your customers are very diverse, you can try to group by geography, decision-making influence, or even industry.
  • Once you’ve created these personas, LinkedIn is an excellent tool for targeting in enterprise sales— by industry, executive level, etc.
  • You can also build targeted sales teams on top of these personas, especially if the differences are based on domain expertise (i.e. sales teams selling to hospitals versus universities).

Business development representatives (BDRs) are key to your sales organisation.

  • BDRs are a critical lynchpin between your marketing and sales teams. Their sole goal is to qualify leads for your sales team.
  • The BDR role is oftentimes seen as a stepping stone for a career in sales. However, Allyson finds that the best BDRs are “career” BDRs — they like the role and they are good at the role. While they are excellent at talking to people, they are not the closers.
  • For enterprise sales, the ratio is usually 1 BDR for every 2–3 sales reps.

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