"This has been very valuable in helping me get clients."
-- Van Haas, CEO, Peak Cost Containment
How a systematic approach to B2B lead generation helped Peak Cost Containment get clients
Challenge: meet more prospects
In early 2010, Bay Area business cost reduction expert Van Haas had launched a successful consulting practice, built relationships with referral partners, and honed a valuable service: analyzing companies’ spending patterns and showing them how to reduce businesses expenses by 10 to 30% per year.
To grow, he needed to talk with more potential customers.
"I am not a salesperson by history or personality. I was trying to figure out ways to get out and market this,” Haas said. When Haas looked online, he found Business Communications Group LLC. He contacted CEO Rebekah Donaldson and they discussed the B2B lead generation options.
Peak's website was not generating any leads. "It seems like the site should help people to figure out who we are, what we do – and have it lead to business,” said Haas during their first phone conversation. He needed help to:
- Map the right route to follow with marketing efforts
- Attract high quality leads without high-price advertising
- Cost-effectively nurture prospects, clients, and partners
Mapping the right route seemed tough because of all the marketing and advertising options. There's referral networks, pay-per-click advertising, telemarketing, use of social networking sites like LinkedIn, and direct communications with his contacts. Which would pay off; and which would waste resources?
Solution: attract the best prospects with inbound marketing
Haas' first instincts had led him to hire a company to do some cold-calling on his behalf, but he had not been happy with the results. Donaldson showed him the value of getting a sound marketing roadmap in place and launching inbound marketing efforts. She recommended a 12 week lead generation campaign that included:
- Overall marketing planning
- A campaign to start qualified leads rolling in
- Preparation of lead-nurturing and sales materials
“She opened my eyes that there were a lot of other things I probably should do first. Her whole point was you need to get the messages, the marketing materials, the website optimized; get all the back-end stuff ready so that when people get that email or press release and click through, they are drawn in further.”
Projecting marketing ROI
Haas was concerned at first about the amount of time and money he might have to invest.
“At first I didn’t know if this was the best bang for the buck, if my goal was to get a client,” he said. But he also saw that in the many case studies that Donaldson provided with her proposal, clients said they'd received excellent return on investment. And looking back now, he says the investment was "definitely" worth it.
peakcc.com guides prospects to next steps
Systematic method for reliable results
Haas wasn’t promised any magic. As the driving force behind his own company, he was the source for much of the information that went into the new marketing materials.
“I wouldn’t say that I didn’t have to do anything, or even that it was a breeze on my end. With this kind of project, it can’t be that way. But I think they did the heavy lifting....There was very little I had to do to tweak documents to the point where they were ready to go.”
Strong value proposition as the foundation
In addition to finding the keywords that Peak’s prospects were most likely to search on, Donaldson conducted a thorough analysis of Peak’s current approach toward its audience. Haas received written recommendations and coaching on the competitive advantages that he should leverage, and challenges in audience perception that he might have to overcome.
“It was valuable to have Rebekah as a second opinion to say, 'this claim needs to be backed up' or 'that may not work with prospects.’ She got me to stop and think of what really is important from their perspective,” Haas said. “I didn’t think I would get as much out of the strategy sessions as I did. It really made me re-evaluate things, and made me stake out a clear market position. It really helped me through the whole process to get clear on my value proposition.”
Pulling in new leads
Donaldson's team, including Business Writing Director Robert Celaschi, developed search optimized web content such as case studies, executive briefs and blog material, plus press releases and emails to spread the word about new developments. They provided lead handling recommendations and custom templates for delivering proposals and presentations. Content Marketing Manager JT Long helped Haas sort out the best professional networking and social media activities to pursue.
Prospects appreciate thoughtful nurture emails
“Lead nurturing” is the art and science of crafting a series of emails that get automatically sent to leads after they first convert. The idea is to follow up in a tactful way with genuinely useful information, to deepen understanding and trust.
Haas sent emails with decreasing frequency: day 1, day 3, day 5, day 10 and day 60. Each had a different offer, such as links, answers to frequently asked questions, and an offer to help analyze a prospective client’s expenses.
A click-through rate of 1 or 2 percent would have been about average, and 5 percent would have been great. Haas got an extraordinary 21 percent rate. And nobody unsubscribed, which means he was conducting true permission marketing.
Results: conversions average 20+ leads per month
Vistors who came to the site from organic search had a conversion rate of more than 3 percent by August 2010. Within six months, Peak had 130 leads.
Most importantly, Haas is getting clients. “The things that I have received -- both tangible and intangible to help me get my mind around what my value proposition is and what my talking points should be -- have been very valuable in helping me get clients,” he said.
View one of Peak's inbound marketing tools
Van Haas' tipsheet takes some of the mystery out of cost management and provides quick, easy-to-digest tips on spotting waste and restoring dollars and cents to the bottom line >>
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