How do we get more qualified leads?
This is the single most common question we are asked at Hinge when talking with management consulting firms. While there are several layers to the answer, it always starts with an assessment of how the firms are getting business now. If it is primarily from existing relationships, will that model hold up for the future?
The power of online
Whether they know it or not, growth for these firms increasingly comes from online sources. More than a quarter (27%) of buyers of management consulting services look online for alternatives. Except for looking within their network and asking a colleague, online search is more than all the traditional search methods combined.
For a complex sale such as management consulting, knowing the power of online channels for lead generation marketing is a big first step. The next level to think about is a firm’s existing web presence. When was the last time the website was updated? How current is the platform in which it is built? And, is the content more of an online brochure, or does it offer opportunities for engaging visitors?
Branding vs. lead generating websites
Websites have certain characteristics based on what a firm is trying to accomplish. If the objective is to establish and maintain a brand, then the site must be designed with awareness and credibility in mind. Visitors must see clear positioning and messaging that convey the firm’s values along with compelling imagery. This is where they get first and lasting impressions about a firm and understand how credible it is for solving clients’ problems.
However, an increasing number of management consulting firms embrace websites with functionality that supports inbound lead generation. In these cases there are frequent calls to action that drive visitors to submit contact forms, provide email addresses and even make a phone call. What motivates these visitors is the content that firms create. Pieces such as blog posts, articles, and ebooks can show the firm’s expertise, what it’s like to work with them, and how they approach problem solving.
The best content tends to be the least self-serving. Think industry issues or regulation – anything that will help prospects perform their jobs better and make their lives easier. Details about the firm’s culture, new clients, or unique solutions and services can be meaningful if mentioned sporadically.
To be certain, there are other channels that lead visitors to the website where all the great content is. Social networks, email marketing, guest blog posts – all of these online sources drive traffic to the website and make it the hub of online activity. A successful website needs the higher-horsepower features that enable lead generation marketing – an investment that is well worth the effort for firms that see their future online.
Check out our Lead Generating Website Guide for more information on building this type of website for your firm.