There’s a phrase in sales that refers to opportunities that fortuitously seem to land in your lap as “a bluebird.” Bluebirds got their name as they appear to “come out of the sky,” a stroke of luck that leads to a sale from out of nowhere. On the surface, bluebirds would seem to be a great thing for businesses, but there’s a problem with this thinking
Thinking of Opportunities as Coming Out of the Sky is Lazy and Dangerous
How likely is it that a prospect happened to truly come from out of nowhere and become an inbound opportunity? Remember that time when a prospect accidentally dialed your phone number and turned into a great customer? Probably not—because it’s unlikely that actually ever happened.
As a marketing firm, I’m proud to say that some of our best clients initially came in as inbound leads, and we’ve been able to then generate qualified inbound leads for those clients. We’ve had initial inquiries come in with a voicemail as broad as “I want to talk to somebody about marketing strategy” that have turned into great clients.
Chalking these leads up to nothing more than luck, rather than taking the time to properly understand where they came from, guarantees that you won’t be able to replicate the activities that actually contributed to that lead. This isn’t what the skilled modern marketer would do, instead this is lazy, in that you don’t want to take the time to understand lead generating activities, and dangerous in that you won’t know how to do it again – and get more leads.
Quality Marketing – Your Leads Annuity
Each time an inquiry comes in that appears to be a bluebird, I look at this as the ongoing payout from our marketing investments. For us, and for many of our clients, those marketing investments that pay out tend to be investments in quality content with staying power like the ancient pyramids (i.e. blog posts, an eBook, presentations on Slideshare, etc.) versus media buys that disappear like vapor the minute they are done.
Track, Analyze, Adjust, Repeat – Or Just Rely on Luck
Sure enough, by analyzing data from website tracking tools, and asking the standard questions about how prospects found out about you (yes, that one’s a special mind trick), you are able to determine how the most-qualified and best-converting leads get to you, and then look at replicating and enhancing those techniques as the ones that are working.
For instance, one of our professional services clients has seen the percentage of inbound leads go from 10-20 percent of all leads to 40-60 percent since we started working with them on strategy and content marketing. But they still struggle with getting sales people to probe for what, exactly, generated the interest. What most salespeople don’t realize is that if they put in the investigative work to get the right answer to the “how did you find us?” question, that it would mean more leads for them down the road.
Finding out that your prospect searched in Google for a specific phrase, found your blog post, liked what they read, and picked up the phone to call you for help is invaluable information to have as you look to optimize marketing efforts toward activities that deliver results.
Or, you could just open the window and hope a bluebird flies in…
Get easy-to-digest tips and detailed content marketing approaches from Right Source and other industry experts in our free content marketing eBook: How to Grow Your Business with Content Marketing.
Learn even more about creating a successful content marketing approach in the webcast: What if You Build It and They Still Don’t Come?
And of course, feel free to drop a comment below or contact me directly with your questions or challenges.