We speak to Spitfire’s head of marketing and head of sales to see two different approaches to quick wins when it comes to the metrics that matter for lead generation.
Marketing and sales want the same thing: quality leads that convert. When you have enough time, you can set yourself and your business up for the slow and steady win, with a long-haul strategy, lead nurturing, and a cohesive, cross-platform customer-centric approach. But some customers need ‘quick wins’ – fast conversions without waiting for their inbound strategy to mature.
Our Strategic Director and head of marketing at Spitfire, Alison Leishman, and CEO and head of sales, Darren Leishman, have different views on how to approach this challenge.
In this Q&A session we delve deeper into the details:
QUESTION: What defines a ‘quick win’ in a lead generation strategy?
ALI: A quick win is an immediate result. It implies immediacy, as opposed to something that takes time to generate quality leads. As Uhuru defines it, “Quick wins are those that deliver the highest impact with the lowest resource requirement.” Customers want to see the needle move. I see it as a data-driven, considered decision to rapidly increase quality leads when the opportunity is present.
DARREN: I dislike the term ‘quick win’ because to me it implies panic; with a robust sales pipeline this urgency to meet targets will rarely come into play. It also comes down to customer needs. What is a fast solution – a day, a year, an hour? Fast compared to what? What’s fast for one might not be fast for another, but essentially clients want to see results in a month. We have monthly reporting meetings with our clients and showing results from one meeting to the next is a ‘quick win’, especially when most inbound marketing takes 6 months to show real results.
QUESTION: Your “always on”, longer-term inbound marketing should give you your quick wins: do you agree?
DARREN: The challenge is that it’s rarely existing clients who are asking for quick wins – it’s more often new clients, starting from ground zero. And if you’re starting from scratch, an always-on strategy won’t give you quick wins. Always on takes time to build traction. For a quick win campaign to work, you need a really compelling offer and strong call to action (CTA) – selling the same thing you’ve been selling for the same price, won’t result in a quick win for sales.
A compelling offer, combined with strong promotional and advertising activities that are well coordinated, will result in improved performance. Having said that if you run a promo or quick win campaign in addition to an already successful always on strategy the results are exponentially greater.
ALI: Your time-based, goal-oriented campaign strategies definitely contribute to your quick wins. It is important that these are embedded in your long term strategy which provides you with a solid base for lead generation. For example, developing a strong, clean and segmented database for emails means a once-off sales email highlighting a special offer delivered to the right segment will be more successful in converting prospects. Turning on paid ads is another example of a quick win, as is solving your bounce rate and optimising your site for SEO.
As Darren said, you need a compelling offer, but you also need to do something different. If you keep saying the same thing with the same CTA, you don’t stand out or become memorable.
QUESTION: Should marketing and sales constantly be looking for opportunities to grab a quick win, and why?
DARREN: Sales should always be looking for the next deal or opportunity to increase revenue and I think marketing needs to support that by asking sales what they need to meet their goals. For example, you often need a sales team to move stock of an existing product to make room for a new model – marketing should work with sales to drive interest from customers with a compelling offer that moves the needle for sales.
ALI: When marketers are analysing data for reporting, they should be aware of the information that could assist the sales team as well as the data that demonstrates to sales a new opportunity.
With inbound we take a whole business approach, and find that discussions with the service department around client queries and complaints can also identify opportunities. Sometimes this leads into longer term wins like product development or adaption, and can also lead to quick wins when the business realises something they were working on in the background is needed on the ground now – so they can accelerate their processes and grab the opportunity by the lapels.
QUESTION: Are quick wins contextual, or are there constant quick win opportunities?
ALI: A quick win absolutely has to be seen in the context of the client. You need to tailor your quick win approach to your buyer personas for them to work – and if you can’t deliver on what your audience wants, then it’s not a quick win. In the end, all of this sits in a macro context.
DARREN: Context is crucial to a quick win, and that includes business context and capacity. For example, I had a colleague in FMCG, his target was set at 160 tonnes of pasta per month... not that big a deal until he found but the factory could only produce 150 tonnes a month! So in the context of the business, this was not possible. You need to know what your buyer personas want and need, and how they want to receive that information. But you also need to look at the big picture (for example, in this economy, can they afford this?) and your business context (what can you actually deliver timeously?).
QUESTION: Should ongoing quick wins be part of a lead generation strategy, and why?
DARREN: You should always be interrogating your strategy and not relying on knee-jerk reactions to get the results you need. Every day lead generation needs to have a measurable goal that is tracked to ensure quick win campaigns are kept to a minimum – short high intensity campaigns are expensive and difficult to sustain.
You’ll put the business under massive pressure if you don’t balance lead generation with your capacity to deliver. By understanding your marketing and sales metrics you are able to plan and forecast more accurately which leads to improved delivery and a better customer experience. Always remember what is good for the customer is good for business.
Forecasting is hard to get 100% right ( just check the weather app) but for your business it is a critical tool to help you plan.
QUESTION: Can you find quick wins in things like content,
which takes energy, time, and resources to produce? How is this a quick win?
DARREN: There are multiple motions you can put in to play. If you need to attract a new audience, targeting a database you can identify with through direct contact, like phone calls or a once off email, can bring in results. Traditional marketing methods like radio, TV ads, and activations all generate traffic and leads – there are lots of tactics you can use to increase leads. You know that at some point you will need to up the activity levels to increase lead volume so plan ahead and have the framework ready to go for when you need it. Think about this like a runner – it’s much easier to sprint when you are already jogging than to sprint from standing still.
ALI: To add to this, if you are not creating and publishing content, content is a quick win. If you have no strategy or CTAs in your content, then yes, content optimisation is a quick win. Although these take time and strategy, the results they yield are immediate and grow exponentially.
QUESTION: What are the biggest quick win mistakes/ assumptions?
DARREN AND ALI AGREE: You need to put clear measurements in place, define what a quick win looks like and decide what will make this strategy a success. You also need to understand that a quick win will need additional effort to be successful – it won’t be you and your business ticking along at it’s normal pace.
Ultimately, the main difference between these two approaches, as Darren points out, is that marketing tends to be more proactive, saying “We noticed this opportunity”, while sales can be more reactive, responding to target-based needs. Both require a robust smarketing relationship, a clear handle on the data, and an understanding of the context around the need.
If you’re managing your inbound strategy well, an awareness of quick win opportunities will allow you to get ahead of your competitors and please your customers.