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On a recent episode of the Metrics & Chill podcast, John Bonini caught up with Jasz Joseph, founder and Digital Marketing Strategist at Jasz Rae Digital. Jasz and John talked about how Jasz’s agency has brought the inbound methodology to clients that sell big enterprise deals.
A results-based digital marketing agency, Jasz Rae Digital works with growth-oriented service-based businesses. Since their clients often sell big, high-ticket deals, the lead volume they deal in is much smaller than, say, a SaaS business. Sales qualified leads (SQLs) just don’t come around every day. That’s what made Jasz realize they needed to create their own SQLs—by bringing in more marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and nurturing them.
Read on for more details, or listen to the full episode here:
“It’s absolutely a change in thought process. Instead of focusing on that bottom of the funnel, where a lot of C-suite executives are always thinking about, you have to take a step back, you have to look at that larger picture.”
When Jasz and the team started working with one particular client in the manufacturing space, they were focused in the usual place—on SQLs. But lackluster lead volume led Jasz and the client to rethink that focus.
“Especially with products or services that are high-ticket items that require a lot of internal buy-in, sales qualified leads aren’t coming in every day,” Jasz explained. “People need that nurturing, they need that education, to understand the why between why they need to purchase.”
That’s what led Jasz and team to shift their strategy upfunnel, to marketing qualified leads.
“It’s not the type of thing where people are going to immediately land on a website, read some copy, and reach out to a salesperson. There’s a long sales cycle,” Jasz said of the client’s business. “Because of that, we really had to pivot our thought process here to say, ‘We’re not generating the number of sales qualified leads we had hoped.’”
That gut check led both Jasz and client to notice an opportunity: They could produce more SQLs by moving their strategy upfunnel—by bringing in marketing qualified leads and using their educational content and nurture strategy to turn those MQLs into SQLs.
“So instead of continuing to try out these tactics to generate more sales qualified leads, perhaps we need to switch our strategy to focus more on people in that middle of the funnel realm,” they thought. The new plane was to “generate some marketing qualified leads, get them in our database, and then nurture them into sales qualified leads.”
When John asked Jasz how they set about bringing in more marketing qualified leads, the answer was simple: Infrastructure and testing.
Building a nurture process to take MQLs downfunnel requires infrastructure. Whether that’s an inside sales team, marketing automation software, or a combination, you need to have the resources to effectively convert those MQLs into sales qualified leads.
According to Jasz, they often leverage marketing automation like Hubspot. “We’re able to automate a lot of this lead nurturing in the form of email marketing campaigns, drip campaigns, to take some of that burden off the sales team. To allow for more of that marketing material, that education, to drop into their inboxes before they start hearing from our sales team.”
And as Jasz pointed out, marketing nurtures tend to lead with a softer touch than salespeople who aren’t accustomed to working with leads so far up the funnel.
As for the tactical side of getting those MQLs in the door in the first place, Jasz told John they’ve seen a lot of success with LinkedIn ads. By drawing on a mid-funnel ebook that was already generating organic traction, they were able to convert new, targeted MQLs on LinkedIn.
“LinkedIn is a place, especially in the B2B world, where people are going to seek information,” Jasz noted. “So if you can offer them an educational, middle of the funnel content piece, we’ve found great success with it. LinkedIn is where people go for information, so if you can serve up that information to them in a very targeted way, you’re gonna find success there.”
Plus, with LinkedIn’s professional focus and robust ad targeting options, they could target based on role, industry, and company size—three key factors for the client’s business.
The other side of the agency’s strategy relies heavily on testing. “Test everything,” Jasz advised.
“We did a lot of testing to figure out what worked. In this case, we found that a video worked better than a static image,” Jasz added. “We also found that the in-platform form got more traction than sending people to a landing page. When people had that extra step of clicking through to the landing page, they didn’t convert as often as when they could just convert right in the LinkedIn platform.”
Those who’ve sold high-ticket products and services before know that the lead volume numbers often don’t sound all that impressive…but the ultimate deal values sure do. With Jasz’s client firmly in that camp, they were thrilled to see new MQLs coming in on a regular basis.
“We’re seeing 2-4 leads per month [from LinkedIn],” Jasz said, “ which is a huge win for them—especially because these were very, very qualified leads. We knew that we had an opportunity for these leads to convert.”
According to Jasz, that confidence in the quality of the leads they bring in came from a constant feedback loop between the agency and their client: “We were having pretty frequent calls at the beginning to say, ‘A new lead came in. Is this a good lead? Is this a bad lead? How do we update our targeting?”
“I really wanted to make sure my client was involved in this,” Jasz explained, “and was A) understanding what was going on and B) was giving us a regular feedback loop.”
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