There's no way around it: marketing requires that you have certain technological capabilities. Here's a list of the functionality you need in order to generate leads online (it's long, but there's an important reason for each component):
I know this is obvious, but I had to mention it! Your website is the home base for lead generation. Websites should be fluid as your business grows and develops, so you need to be able to quickly and easily create and update web pages.
Simply put: ALL your stuff needs to look good on the phone or tablets. That doesn't just happen by itself, it requires special technology. Don't waste your money on websites or email marketing that isn't mobile ready. You'll regret it sooner rather than later.
Contact forms on web pages are the lifeblood of lead generation. A web page with a form is called a landing page. When a website visitor fill out a form to get special content, they become a lead - which is the ultimate goal.
When a contact enters your database, you should be able to segment and monitor them based on their interaction with you online. For example, you should be able to easily create a list of all the people that downloaded a specific content offer, or that clicked on a specific link in your email.
Not every lead is ready for a sales call. Once you have a segmented list of leads, you should be able to create automated and targeted sales messages (emails) that guides them through the sales process to get them ready for a voice-to-voice sales conversation.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO isn't just about adding keywords to appropriate areas on a web page (although that covers the basics). Having a system that helps you choose the best keywords and monitors your SEO effectiveness takes it to another level. Your system should have SEO evaluation tools that help make sure each pages is fully optimized.
You should be able to post blog articles to your website - on your domain! I often see blogs that aren't on the website domain which diminishes online authority. You should also be able to categorize your articles and website visitors should be able to subscribe for updates.
Social Media Connections
All your social profiles should be prominently displayed so people can easily connect with you.
Lead generation is about creating content that can be shared amongst the masses. You should have functionality on your website that allows visitors to easily share your content on social media. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to share an article or content offer, but there was no social share buttons. Too bad for them!
Social Publishing and Monitoring
You need a system that allows you to auto-schedule social media posts. You should also be able to see what posts are driving traffic back to your website, and monitor certain keywords to stay abreast of social conversations that are relevant to you and your company.
Emailing contacts and leads is a critical part of promoting your awesome content. You should have a newsletter sign-up on your website, along with ability to add leads from landing pages to your email lists.
You might as well not do marketing if you're not going to measure the effectiveness of your marketing activities. Make sure you have a system in place to measure your results against your goals.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Once you get a lead, you should have a CRM in place to manage the sales process, create opportunities, and forecast sales.
Lead generation requires lots of content creation, and you should have a system and process in place for managing all of your documents. Even better if you can have features that allow you to easily collaborate with others.
Once you get rolling, you'll have lots of different projects going on at once. You should have a system and process in place for managing projects and tasks so things get done efficiently.
Take away: Wow, that's a lot of stuff! But what can you do? Don't fret though, with the right marketing strategy in place, you can get a system that runs pretty smooth - and gets great results to boot!
If you need help evaluating your technical capabilities for lead generation online, let us know.