As a lead gen agency, there’s a ton of background information that we need to gather before we can write a proposal for you.
That’s because until we’re sure what’s broken, we can’t tell you what needs to be fixed. In fact, I’d argue that any marketing agency that specializes in lead generation that writes you a proposal without asking these questions will probably not get you the results you want. When it comes to lead gen improvement, everybody’s needs are different and cookie-cutter proposals don’t cut it.
So, cutting to the chase, here’s a list of questions our lead gen consultants at Walker Sands Digital will typically ask during an initial call with a prospective client.
In some cases, we will send these questions in advance, and in other cases we will just reference them during the call. Feel free to use them for your own purposes, and if you have any suggestions on how to improve these questions, I’d love to hear them.
Sample Lead Gen Needs Assessment Phone Call Agenda
We have an approach to lead generation that is very effective. There are many components to effective lead generation and it requires a holistic, connected strategy. During this call, our intention is to get a better understanding of your business and identify gaps in your marketing engine that need to be shored up. Subsequent to the call, we will put together a proposal to help you fill identified gaps and move to a much more productive lead gen system.
Questions We Will Cover In the Call
- Give us your elevator speech. We’ve spent some time getting up to speed on your business but it always helps to hear it directly from you.
- How good do you feel your top-level messaging is for your offerings? When people who talk to you, visit your website, or read your collateral materials, do they walk away understanding what you do and how you can help them? How has your messaging evolved over time? [NOTE: This is important because if messaging is weak and/or disjointed, it is very difficult to generate leads.].
- What are the audiences you are trying to reach? How have you segmented prospects? Which audiences are most important to your business plan? [NOTE: This is important because your lead gen program must cater to the individual needs of distinct audiences. “One size fits all” marketing is usually not very effective.].
- What causes a buyer to be interested in your offering? Have you developed buyer personas? What pain points are you solving for each of your audiences? How are you solving them? [NOTE: This is important because triggers and pain points motivate purchase. All of the content you create for marketing should hinge on triggers, pain points and the benefits of working with you, i.e how you can eliminate the pain.].
- What objections do you typically hear from prospects? Do any prospects view you as a commodity offering? [NOTE: This is important because we want to make sure that your lead gen program addresses any possible objections early, to make sure you are not losing prospect opportunities before they engage with you. If you are viewed as a commodity, we have other strategies to employ.].
- Who are your main competitors? How do you stack up against them? From a business perspective? From a marketing perspective? How are you beating them and why might you lose out on an opportunity to a competitor? What are they doing they you admire? [NOTE: This is important because your lead gen strategy needs to reflect competitor activity and positioning.].
- How do you get most of your leads now? From a lead gen perspective, what’s not happening that you want to start happening in the future? Is the issue that you are not getting enough exposure to get leads? Is it that you have plenty of interactions with people but they are not moving along in your sales/marketing pipeline? Is it that you get leads but they are not good leads? [NOTE: For us to be effective, we need to get beyond “I need more leads” and get more granular on root cause.].
- How is your marketing department organized? Who leads marketing for your company? Relative to your company’s other strengths (e.g. product development), how do you rank your marketing? [NOTE: For us to determine how we can help, we need to know your inhouse marketing capabilities.].
- How is Sales organized? [NOTE: If you sell through a channel, our lead gen program will be very different as compared to a program we would create for a client that sells direct.].
- Do you have prior or current experience working with marketing agencies? — please describe.
- Are you executing against a set marketing plan and budget or do you tend to invest in marketing activities on the fly? What is a customer worth to you and how much are you willing to spend to acquire a customer? A lead?
- How many structured marketing experiments (i.e. pilot programs) do you run per year? — please provide a few recent examples.
- What are you currently doing for marketing in the following areas? [NOTE: This inventory of your marketing initiatives gives us a baseline to see whether you are missing out on any key elements that could improve your lead gen yields.].
- PR (Do you have a PR agency or a full-time inhouse PR resource? Is there anything you feel is particularly newsworthy or notable about what you do that should warrant more attention from the media? How often are you putting out press releases? How many media placements did you get in the past 12 months? How many speaking opportunities? How do you use your PR placements to support lead gen? Relative to other marketing tactics, how important do you feel PR is to helping you achieve your business objectives?)
- Web Presence (When did you last redesign your website? Who built the site? How satisfied are you with its current state? Does it reflect your current business model and priorities or is it out of date? What metrics do you track to determine how well your site is doing in terms of advancing your business objectives? How often do you update it? Is it easy to update? Do you feel you have compelling content and calls to action that contribute to lead gen?)
- Content creation (What content marketing assets have you created and deployed in recent months — e.g. webinars, white papers, guides, articles, statistics, infographics, etc.? How do you promote your content? What content do you have on your website that is specifically built for conversion? What content seems to resonate most with prospects? Is your content focused exclusively on your offerings or do you create content that is more broadly designed to educate the market and build rapport with them? If you feel you are not creating enough marketing content, what are the main reasons?)
- SEO (Do you have an SEO agency or dedicated inhouse SEO resource? Do you have an SEO strategy/program that you are executing against? Are you and your team familiar with SEO best practices? What keyword research have you done to date? Does your SEO program cater to all stages of the marketing funnel? How do you feel you are doing on SEO — do you rank well and get traffic for phrases that a prospect is likely to type in to Google’s search engine? How many leads per month do you get from SEO?)
- PPC and Remarketing (Tell us about your PPC marketing programs. Have you invested in PPC and do you have an active program in place now? If so, who manages it? How much are you spending per month? What’s a typical cost per action for you, e.g. the cost to get somebody to fill out a lead form? How many leads are you getting from PPC advertising? Are you investing in remarketing, i.e. showing ads to people after they leave your site? If yes, how have you segmented remarketing lists and what results are you getting?)
- Lead Nurturing / Email Marketing (Do you capture every inbound lead into a CRM or marketing automation system of some sort? If so, is this done automatically or manually? For example, if a lead fills out a web form, does this automatically go into your CRM system? Which backend CRM systems or marketing automation solutions do you use and how well do you think you are using them? Do you regularly and systematically reach out to contacts via email, either informally or formally with a regular newsletter? How effective is that outreach? What metrics do you track for these programs? How would you assess your efforts in this area?)
- Social (What is your strategy with respect to social media marketing? How are you using social platforms like LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Twitter to facilitate lead gen? Do you have an active program to build followers and engage with them in a way that helps to generate more qualified leads?)
- Outbound Direct Marketing to Prospects (Do you have or buy lists of prospects and proactively reach out to them to get them interested in becoming a customer? Please elaborate on how you approach outbound direct marketing. What content assets or offers are you using to get their attention?)
- Other (What else are you doing from a marketing perspective? Events or tradeshows? Print ads? Co-marketing with other companies? Is there anything you would like to have tried but have not yet had a chance to test it? )
- Of all the marketing strategies and tactics mentioned above, what do you think your prospects respond to best? Where do you think you need to improve?
- Last question: With respect to helping you with lead generation, is there any additional information that would be important for us to know about?
Yes, it’s a boatload of questions. But working through these questions allows a company to determine whether it is embracing an integrated, holistic approach to lead generation that taps into the power of the entire digital marketing ecosystem. After walking through these items with a prospective client, we can put together a smart marketing program that, based on our experiences to date, results in a substantial increase in quality lead generation that drives revenues to a new level.