Check Gated Content to Build Sales and Marketing Lead Generation

Sales and marketing teams can utilize gated content for strong sales lead generation - -provided they work together on common goals and funnel strategies.

August 16, 2014

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If you've ever flown on an over-booked airplane, you've likely heard the attendants ask passengers to gate check their carry-on bags -- in order to avoid running out of space in the overhead bins. Some travelers are willing to do this, while other travelers don't care to wait for their bags after the flight lands.

Gate-checking your bag avoids the hectic procedure of storing carry-on luggage, though it also forces you to wait for your bag after the flight. You’re essentially accepting some additional effort to gain added convenience. The same concept goes for gating sales and marketing content – some audience members are willing to fill out a form to gain access to unique content, while others will go looking elsewhere for similar content that is free.

This creates a need for sales and marketing to work together to identify what content is worth gating and what isn’t -- and how does the gating of content impact sales lead generation across all areas of the funnel.

What to Gate, What Not to Gate

Deciding whether to place content behind gated forms requires collaboration between the sales and marketing team.

With the marketing and sales teams working together, decide what parameters justify gating content. Here are a few reasons why businesses place content behind digital walls along the buying cycle:

·       Top-of-funnel: Thought leadership content that helps to educate the audience. Most top-of-funnel content should be free, and any gated content should be accessible through simple forms. These leads likely are nurtured by marketing, and not yet passed to sales.

·       Middle-of-funnel: Content more specific to the company, products or services. This content can vary between free and gated access, though the gate is reserved for lengthier content like reports. Most of the leads can be passed on to sales for initial social research and communication.

·       Bottom-of-funnel: Detailed content related to pricing, case studies and demonstrations for willing buyers.

What to do with gated information in sales

The high-value prospects at the bottom of the sales funnel are ripe for engagement, while leads at the top of the funnel may not yet be ready for direct communication. Keep these lessons in mind when mining leads from gated marketing efforts:
·       Never assume that the leads want a cold, direct connection. Just because they filled out a gated content form doesn’t necessarily mean they want to be contacted.

·       Be transparent about your intent. If you are following up on a gated lead, make sure your communication matches the topic they showed interest in.

·       Build a relationship first. If you feel that the leads need some nurturing, connect with them on LinkedIn and monitor their actions first to understand their industry interests, business pain points and shared connections.

Collecting leads from gated content requires consistent collaboration between marketing and sales. If the prospect took the first step on a marketing-related site, allow the marketing team to nurture that lead until it’s ripe for prospecting.

Read more tips on bridging your marketing and sales teams, and connect with us @LinkedInSelling for more sales strategies.

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