CMO Problem #1: The Secret to Increasing High-Quality Customer Leads

CMO Problem #1: The Secret to Increasing High-Quality Customer Leads

Big Ideas

View More
January 23 2020
Big Ideas

There is intense pressure on every marketer to generate high-quality leads. Your marketing tactics drive the growth for your business – leadership is always looking for more - and despite what they say, your sales teams know deep down they can’t do it without you.

After 25 years as the founder of a national marketing agency, I can almost predict the exact moment when my client will ask me “Marty, how do I generate more high-quality leads?”

Everyone wants to grow and get bigger, but very few people have found that ‘silver bullet’ to reliably produce enough high-quality leads to drive the kind of growth they’re being held accountable to. 

If this sounds like you, keep reading, I’m going to share one of my favourite strategies and two of my favourite tactics to generate leads.

Lead Generation Starts with a Strategy​

I’m going to focus on inbound marketing for lead generation.

Inbound: “attracting customers based on your content, your ads and your brand authority”.

Marty Inbound Marketing | Sherpa Marketing

Regardless of the industry, the type of business, the size of business, the number one inbound marketing strategy that I recommend to marketing clients is Value-Based Selling.

Value Based Selling​

In order to live this strategy in the CMO Dojo, you have to stop yourself and every member of your marketing team from doing what comes naturally. Stop trying to promote your product or service.

Seriously. You have to put down the pen and start putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. Whether they’re a size 11 loafer or a size 6 running shoe, your number one step is to focus on providing value to your customer.

1. To make this work, you need to first define your ideal customer, as accurately as possible. You might be able to leverage some of your customer segmentation data or recent market research. It could come from long form answers to survey questions or by interviewing your sales team.

The simple thing is to WRITE DOWN WHAT MATTERS TO YOUR CUSTOMERS. Go as broad and deep as you can with this as it will underpin the foundation of your strategy and growth.

If you’re stuck, I encourage my clients to do some simple, meaningful homework. Call up a few of your best customers and ask them questions like:

“What’s the number one challenge in your business right now”, 
“What do you wish you had more time to do”, 
“What are your 3 biggest priorities for the next quarter”. 

Once you aggregate a list of your customers’ pain points, interests and priorities you will be able to see where there is commonality and frequent thematic overlap.

2. Figure out what you can do to provide value to your customers and prospects without making them commit to a transaction with you. That sounds strange because… shouldn’t this be about getting them to commit to a transaction with you? Let’s try some examples to show how this step works.

Example A: Financial Institution - Try providing useful tips on saving and investing through YouTube or a blog. 


Cambrian Credit Union | Sherpa Marketing




Example B: Farm Equipment Manufacturer – Your team might review and recommend various ag tradeshows to help farmers decide which ones they should attend. You might also create and promote an interview series with farmers across the country, showcasing how different farmers create manage risk, grow high yield crops and somehow manage work-life balance. 

Farmer Stories | CMO Dojo | Sherpa Marketing

No matter what way you approach it, the point is to focus your content so that it relates to the target customers and provides value to them.

3. In order for Value Based Selling to be a meaningful strategy, you need to commit. You can’t be a one-hit wonder or your target customers will see right through you – or start ignoring you all together. The Commitment of Step 3 means you have to be consistent, frequent and targeted so that the value becomes recognized as part of your company’s culture. 

IT’s true. As a marketer, you know you have to give a lot before you get anything back in return. But, once you make that paradigm shift, your marketing efforts will create: 

A stronger community,
A more relatable brand
Lasting sources of leads.

Value Based Selling | CMO Dojo | Sherpa Marketing

This isn’t the only strategy you should use, but if you don’t have a solid value-based selling strategy in place, make it a priority to get started this quarter.

Now It’s Time for the Tactics 

Tactics | CMO Dojo | Sherpa Marketing


By now, your leadership team is wondering when is marketing going to do so something that I can see turning those leads into our business. On to the tactics I promised you.

1. I call my first favourite tactic “Buy the list”. If you can narrow down your target market into a tight enough niche, it is quite likely that you can simply buy the list of Names, emails and phone numbers.  In my expertise and experience - if you can buy the list of all your potential customers, there’s almost no better investment you can make. It’s usually expensive, but well worth it. And if you can’t “Buy the List”, there are all kinds of services and contractors that can pull this kind of information together for you to “Build the List”. Instead of paying for marketing that tries to target customers through demographic and industry filters, you have a real-life list. This means you won’t have to pay for a lot of wasted impressions and clicks for customers that aren’t actually in your target market. If you buy or build the list, you can simply target these people directly. 


If getting the list is the first step, the second step is to stack other outbound and inbound tactics on top of it. 

CMO Dojo Yeti

CMO Dojo Tip

You may have to be a little bit careful with using bought email lists on your inbound campaigns, but there are still some clever ways you can leverage it to get massively improved results in your inbound campaigns. I teach tactics like this in my CMO Dojo Facebook group. If you’re a CMO or Director of Marketing and want to get my best tools and training for growing your business, as well as monthly CMO coaching calls, click this link to join for free for the first year.

2. My second recommended tactic is to “Use Lookalike Audiences”. This approach allows you to leverage your own data to get 3 times better results on your marketing campaigns. It’s one of the tactics I recommend most often to clients who aren’t able to Build or Buy a List but have great customer transactional data for their existing customer base.


Lookalike Audience: “an audience that can be built through many of the digital ad platforms such as Facebook”.


Did you know that if you start by uploading an existing audience, Facebook uses its 52,000 points of data to algorithmically find similar people? That means if you upload a list of your best customers, you can build a lookalike audience of people that are similar. Then you can layer additional targeting like geographic restrictions on top of this to further refine who sees your ads. No wasted clicks or impressions and it’s all completely on the up and up when it comes to privacy. I would never recommend a tactic in the CMO Dojo that goes below the line.

You can do some pretty specific targeting using interests, demographics, behaviour and other types of targeting but your competitors have access to these exact filters as well. You aren’t the only one in this Dojo so you have to use your best knowledge of your customers to compete for the call to action.

How do you get started with Lookalike Audiences? All you need is a list of email addresses for your customers and/or prospects. You can take it to the next level, if you break that list into logical groups (for example, you might have separate lists for customers and for your dealers, and in this case, you would create 2 lookalike audiences). 

CMO Dojo Yeti

CMO Dojo Tip

You need a minimum of 100 number of emails in your list to build the Lookalike Audience on Facebook. But I’ve found it actually works a lot better if you have at least 500 emails on the list.

Even if you don’t have the minimum amount, you can still run this tactic in a different way. Other platforms allow you to set specific website events as a condition for putting someone into an audience. 

Let’s use another example:

If people that visited your “pricing” or your “catalogue” page are likely to be a good potential customer, you can create a lookalike audience based off of that group as well.

 Parker Pricing | Sherpa Marketing

Let’s recap our blog lesson on Value Based Selling and Lead Generation from the CMO Dojo:

  • Build a Value-Based Selling Strategy as the foundation for your inbound campaigns. 
  • Figure out if you can BUY THE LIST of your target customers. if you can, DO IT. If you can’t, BUILD IT.
  • Use Lookalike Audiences to outperform your competitors using your customer email list and your website data.
If you are a CMO or a Director of Marketing for your company, I really encourage you to join my private Facebook group CMO Dojo. I do monthly coaching calls and publish all my best marketing training & tools, plus you’ll connect with an incredible network of amazing and smart business leaders - check it out!


Sign up to get the latest content!

If you wish to receive information from Sherpa relevant to you and/or your organization going forward, please provide your first name, email address, and consent.

You may withdraw your consent at any time at the following address below or by clicking unsubscribe.

Sherpa Marketing Inc. Attn: Privacy Officer
500 - 211 Bannatyne Ave. Winnipeg, MB. R3B 3P2, Canada