By Dwight Morse, Senior Channel Marketing Manager

As marketers, we’ve all been in a position where the sales team is saying that they need more leads, but we’re having a hard time convincing those that hold the purse strings to allocate budget for lead generation. Our plan to promote a joint webinar with a third-party and their mailing list is met with skepticism over the return on the investment. We try to reassure the budget police that the third party will guarantee some number of new leads, but they correctly point out that leads don’t necessarily equate to revenue.

A satisfactory response to the return on investment question requires us to go beyond the creative aspect of crafting a message to an identified persona. We need to focus on the tactical progression of the generated lead toward revenue. What happens to the leads generated by our event? Normally they are parsed by some person or group (e.g., inside sales) that passes them along to the appropriate salesperson.

This “first touch” after the event is the point at which we risk expending an otherwise promising lead. If the prospect is contacted by someone who exhibits little knowledge of them or is handed to a salesperson that isn’t a good match, a bad first impression can end the relationship before it gets a chance to blossom. Although we have spent time and effort, along with money, to produce our event, the lead ends up being treated like those we get from a purchased list.

There is an easy fix to this, and we’ve already done all the work necessary to implement it. When we created the event, we thought about our target audience. Who would come and what pain points motivated them inspired our messaging and content. Enhancing lead progression is a simple matter of sharing this with those that will make first contact. Let them know about the people in the list of leads, what problems we provide solutions for, and what we said at the event. This will make the “first touch” seem like less of a cold call.

Simply sharing an abstract can go a long way toward lead progression. The person on our team that reaches out will feel much more confident and comfortable. Their demeanor fosters trust that leads to more revenue. Events that lead to revenue loosen the purse strings for future lead generation requests. Being tactical can allow us to be more creative :-).

When planning events, make sure that you write down the target audience. Flesh out their pain points and motivations. Create a messaging abstract. This will help you to produce a successful event, and, once shared with inside sales, will help you to generate a return on your investment.


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