Unlocking Success: The Untold Secrets of Lead Generation for Professional Services Organizations
All businesses benefit from generating high-quality leads. However, accountants, healthcare providers, and other professional services organizations face lead-generation challenges that others do not. Even tech businesses such as software as a service (SaaS) firms are not exempted.
Most of these rely on a fractional CMO for professional services to address them.
This article highlights five strategies from these experts:
- Develop a deeper, more precise knowledge of the target audience.
- Quantify the intangibles.
- Shorten the sales cycle and build consistent demand.
- Leverage traditional marketing to grow the online presence.
- Take advantage of technology to optimize lead generation.
Manage the learning curve that comes with scaling your business more effectively. Learn these techniques below. Let’s go!
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1. Develop a Deeper, More Precise Knowledge of the Target Audience
Most professional services organizations and SaaS firms are in niche industries. Although this limits the competition, it also makes differentiation difficult.
Most share similar features and offer the same packages and services. For example, personal injury law firms often provide free consultations and “pay only when you win” agreements. SaaS businesses are likely to have free trials or demos and subscription pricing.
Stand out by diving deeper into the market. When you know your audience well, you can
- Customize services or solutions to address their needs better.
- Align business and marketing strategies quickly as the market changes.
- Develop a more relevant brand.
A fractional chief marketing officer (CMO) helps businesses uncover more in-depth details about their audience using two techniques: analytics and research.
This expert analyzes website data to identify popular content and user behavior patterns. They also perform competitor analysis, client surveys, and industry trend monitoring to learn more about audience preferences and pain points.
Based on the collected data, the team can now pursue more advanced lead generation techniques. These include hypersegmentation, customer persona creation, and content personalization.
2. Quantify the Intangibles
Unlike e-commerce, personal-services and SaaS businesses often involve subjective experiences and outcomes that are difficult to measure. How can one best communicate their unique selling proposition or value?
Besides tracking any hard metric, they can also quantify the intangibles. One tactic is getting the net promoter score, which measures customer satisfaction and loyalty.
It usually begins with a short survey asking leads and customers to rate their chances of recommending your business to others. Using a formula, you can then sort the audience into the following:
- Promoters (9 to 10), who can be brand advocates;
- Passives (7 to 8), who are satisfied with the service but not keen to suggest the business to others; and
- Detractors (0 to 6), who are completely dissatisfied with the experience and likely hurt the brand’s reputation
What you do with the results depends on your goals. Sometimes, they make excellent benchmarks against competitors. Usually, they effectively improve many aspects of marketing and customer support.
3. Shorten the Sales Cycle and Build Consistent Demand
Another huge lead generation challenge for professional services and SaaS firms is the sales cycle. It is typically longer and more inconsistent. Consider an accounting company, for example. Although they get clients all year, they normally experience a surge in demand during tax season.
It also takes time to convert a lead into a client, let alone retain them for months or years. These people are also vulnerable to market shifts. They might choose a cheaper rival or pause production during a recession.
Second, the audience often looks for the “tiebreaker” when faced with similar options. This process takes a while, especially if they are unfamiliar with the services.
A fractional CMO for professional services helps you overcome these hurdles in three ways:
1. Increasing brand awareness
2. Enhancing the collaboration between sales and marketing departments
3. Analyzing data regularly
Although brand awareness and engagement are usually associated with demand generation, they also support lead generation in the long term. For one, it keeps the business top of mind. It also delivers more targeted prospects deeper into the sales funnel.
A fractional CMO leads and guides in developing a more market-oriented content marketing, social media, thought leadership, and public relations campaign.
This professional also bridges the gap between sales and marketing. This is especially necessary when determining the factors influencing lead qualification and scoring.
Last, this part-time C-suite leader continuously uses data to optimize marketing efforts and decide accordingly. These include spotting missed audience segments, knowing the sound tactics competitors use, and determining brewing market trends.
4. Leverage Traditional Marketing to Grow Your Online Presence
Billboards advertising personal injury services are as ubiquitous as trucks and cars on U.S. highways. Despite the controversy over their messaging, many firms still spend money on them because they work.
Even better, businesses can now use these traditional or offline marketing methods to enhance their internet advertising tactics.
Personal service companies embed a QR code in brochures, flyers, and other printed materials. When scanned, these codes open to their website, where prospects learn more about what they offer.
Most service providers, including SaaS founders, still give or exchange calling cards. These nifty advertising tools can also include the site's URL and social media channels. Trade shows and conferences are rich sources of leads for a mailing list. They are also great opportunities for networking and professional branding.
5. Take Advantage of Technology to Optimize Lead Generation
Streamlining lead generation activities saves time, money, and other scarce resources. It also directs people’s efforts to equally important business aspects. These include customer support, employee training, and branding.
Professional services companies and SaaS firms nowadays are lucky to have access to various technologies that help them optimize almost every element of lead generation.
Here are a few examples:
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems to capture lead information, track interactions, and automate follow-up
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify trends and suggest the most effective strategies
- Analytics platforms, such as G4, to measure various metrics, such as website traffic and conversion rate
- Chatbots or virtual agents to engage visitors as soon as they land on your website, answer common questions, and direct them to the next steps
- Edge computing to manage customer data at the edge of the network, cutting latency and improving response time
- Two-factor authentication to securely transmit and store information
As they say, provide good service, and the money will follow. Doctors abide by that, using ChatGPT to enhance their bedside manner. From new plumbers to SaaS teams, they use generative AI to display available schedules. In turn, it reduces or eliminates long hold times.
Lead generation is nonnegotiable for any business but must be modified to fit the company’s needs, objectives, and market.
Use these five strategies to refine your online marketing plan as a service provider. If you need more support and customized solutions, work with Digital Authority Partners (DAP).
We provide a vetted, experienced fractional CMO for professional services organizations. This way, you can scale your business with a marketing strategist to guide you.
Contact us today to learn more.
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