It’s hard to grow an SMB without a steady flow of new customers. But right now, many SMBs report they’re struggling to get potential customers through their doors.

The majority of SMBs say they don’t have the qualified leads they need to hit their revenue targets. They say they’ve no way to prioritise the hottest leads and no process in place to tie marketing activities directly to ROI.

If that story sounds all too familiar, don’t worry. There are three simple cogs your marketing team can put into place, to build a smart, powerful lead-generation machine…


Cog #1: Capture

When you don’t have the resources – and in many cases, immediate brand awareness – of a larger business, you need to be able to educate your prospects effectively.

That means it’s time to create some content. For every content piece your brand creates – whether it’s a workbook, a research report, or a simple blog post – remember to ask the following questions:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What do we want this to achieve?
  • Is it practical and actionable?


Once you’ve published your content online, don’t just sit there waiting for it to be found. In the world of small business online marketing, it’s all about making as much noise as you can. Use social media to drive engagement, scheduling posts in advance, and tracking interactions.

Finally, be sure to embed a lead capture form on your website, that asks prospects for a few choice details (e.g. the size of their org, or their job title). That way, you’ll have the extra info you need to segment and nurture them more effectively.

As an SMB, anything that saves your team time and effort is your friend. So use marketing automation to send follow-up emails and suggest next steps for your prospects, whether it’s checking out another bit of content, or signing up for a free demo.


Cog #2: Nurture

You’ve a slew of leads, but some are far from being ready to buy and some are looking dead in the water.

So, start nurturing. By sending personalised emails, you can reach prospects with the right message for their current status and needs, reviving cold leads, and improving the quality of lukewarm ones. 

Email marketing for a small business is an invaluable skill to master, and remember, marketing automation is on your side. Today, you can use real-time prospect engagement data such as…

  • file downloads
  • clicks
  • link opens
  • website visits
  • and, of course, their lead score

…to automatically drip-feed the content at the perfect moment.


You’ll also want to A/B test different subject lines and body copy. It’s the only way to know what’s resonating with your audience, and incrementally drive up those open and click-through rates.

If you have the right marketing automation solution for your small business in place, it’ll even send your leads to Sales as soon as they’re qualified – along with all the information your sales colleagues need to pick up the phone.


Cog #3: Measure

When you’re growing a business, you need to know that every penny is being well spent.

Measuring the impact of your campaigns will help you iterate with confidence, and make smarter and smarter use of your marketing budget.

Again, a good small business marketing automation solution will help, serving up ROI reports that let you compare across campaigns and channels.

Here are five key metrics to track:

  1. Open and clickthrough rates
  2. Revenue by channel
  3. ROI
  4. Gated vs ungated content
  5. Multi-touch attribution


Let’s get your lead-generation machine up and running!

If you don’t yet have the marketing automation capabilities you need, you should definitely check out what’s possible with Salesforce Pardot. And if you need a more in-depth guide to lead generation, we’ve written one!

You can also watch our webinar to see how companies are leveraging Salesforce's marketing automation solution, to capture more leads, nurture them throughout their journey, and measure ROI across the entire sales funnel.