Lead Generation: A Beginner’s Guide to Generating Business Leads
Also abbreviated as lead gen, Lead generation is a process of attracting and converting qualified prospects to fill your sales funnel. Generating leads is any company’s lifeblood. This is why it is very important for a company to come up with a strategy to increase and sustain leads.
Generating leads fall in the marketing department, which is responsible for creating all advertising and outreach material. However, in small businesses, it is common to have salesmen doing their own lead generation. Regardless of the size of the organization, there are several proven techniques for generating sales leads. These includes
- Advertising (TV/Print/Web)
- Telemarketing and teleprospecting
- Web sites and search engine optimization
- Direct mail, fax or e-mail marketing campaigns
- Buying a sales lead list
Traditionally the process of generating the sales leads begins with networking. This is as simple as contacting your friends, coworkers, family or existing clients and asking them if they would be interests in a product or service that you are offering. Besides, networking, web advertising is becoming the most powerful way to generate sales leads. Nowadays when people want information, they surf the web to get what they want. According to Nielsen, web surfers click over a billion online ads everyday selling everything from cars, financial services to travel service. The online ads often lead to short surveys or contact forms that can be easily accessed in real time by sales representatives.
Telemarketing and teleprospecting
Teleprospecting and Telemarketing are two similar but distinct strategies of generating sales leads. In telemarketing, a company will simply hire the service of a telemarketing firm that has operators who read from a prepared script. The operators will sell the product or service to the public over the phone. Unfortunately, telemarketing has gained a terrible reputation for being a nuisance because of calling people during dinner hours, night hours and offering products that have nothing to do with the potential client. On the other hand, teleprospecting is a B2B sales technique that uses trained operators to contact targeted business prospects. According to Meclabs institute teleprospecting is better than telemarketing since the callers do not read from a script. These operators have familiarized themselves with the services or products at hand and are able to gauge the clients interests.
Trade shows are also excellent opportunities for B2B network. A company that sets a table at a trade show collects contact information from dozens of potential buyers and business partners. The company also gets first-hand opinion on your products and services and may even collect valuable testimonials. Apart from attracting new business, trade shows can be used to introduce existing customers to additional products and services they were previously unaware of.
Direct mail is a very flexible medium that lets you sell your products, generate leads, get, more business from current customers and keep in touch with the former customer. This strategy presents your product or services with every benefit of sales over those offered by your competitors in a manner that is a hundred percent consistent.
Website and SEO
Having a custom-made website that helps you in generating leads will boost your sales immensely. You can do this by encouraging prospective buyers to fill out a form for a demo or sign up for a newsletter. Make sure that you will optimize your website to convert browsers into actual leads. Creating high-value content that includes visual content and promoting on social channels helps your business to get more engagement. Google will then consider your content to be of high quality, which in turn boost your SEO ranking. Most Search engines will look for natural links so the more informative your content is, the more likely people will link to it naturally.
Buying a sales lead list
One of the easiest and quickest ways to assemble a large number of sales leads is to buy a sales lead list. There are many direct marketing companies who collect and sell specialty list for certain business and consumer sectors. One of the advantages of this list is that a sales company can get instant access to thousands of names who are likely to convert to potential buyers.
The best Formula for Sustainable Lead Generation
According to a study conducted by Marketo, about 61 percent of market reported that gathering high-quality leads is always a problem to their organizations. The main challenge in planning the lead generation strategy mainly arises from the fact that there is so much information out there making it hard to know which the best strategy to use is. To help you generate new lead ideas, here is the best formula for sustainable lead generation.
How can you hit that lead goal every month? This is a major problem experienced by many companies. Our guide will help you to achieve the number of leads you want every month. The strategy will combine three powerful things to help you achieve your goals. These are
- Getting found
- Converting traffic into leads
- Analyzing the effectiveness of your lead generation
When you devote your time and resources to pursuit these three things, you will find yourself being able to predict your lead flow and thus enabling you to set and hit realistic lead goals.
Have a blog
If you have not already started a blog, start it today. If you have one, write for it consistently. If you do not have an idea of how often you should blog, take a keen look at your competitors. If they blog once or three times a week, outdo them and blog 3-4 times a week. Caution, ensure that you are not winning the quantity game by sacrificing the quality of your content.
Update your WebPages regularly
The frequency at which you post and update your content matters a lot in the search engines and to people. Blogging will help you to achieve this but it does not mean you neglect the rest of your website. Update your news pages, event pages, product and service pages as well as the about us pages regularly. This enables you to stay up to date with the pace at which your industry moves. You do not have to update your website as much as you update your blog but make sure that it hs fresh content all the time.
Content Marketing: Create content around topics people cares about
Another tip to generate leads easily is to create helpful content. If you do not do this, people will not read it or share it. This means you will not get found. If you have a problem coming up with engaging topics, you can talk to your customers, prospects, customer sales team and sales team to help you. Advice from these people is first-hand information that will help you to create useful content for your customers every time.
Optimize your content for organic success
Make sure that you create content around keywords people are searching for. You can do this by performing keyword research when determining topics and writing topics. After doing the keyword research optimize the content you publish so that you get found in the search engines. Remember, long tail keywords will contain about seventy percent of organic searches and drive extremely qualified traffic.
Distribute your content using social media and leverage your email list
Being found in the search engine is your main goal but the strategy that will help you to get there and generate more traffic to convert into leads is through the social media. This platform will help people to know you and the products or services you are offering. Make sure you include social sharing buttons on your content and post the content to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn to grow followers and get a broader audience for your website content. If you have people who have opted to receive emails from you, make sure you send them daily or weekly digest of the content you are producing.
How to convert traffic into leads
Create downloadable content assets and other offers
The main aim of having a blog is to drive traffic to your business. You need to convert that traffic into leads. One way of doing this is by offering downloadable contents like whitepapers, webinars, slideshows, ebooks, and other offers like free trials, production demos. This can be acquired free by completing a form.
Create targeted calls-to-action
Another way of generating leads is by inserting all to action throughout your site. This will drive the visitors to landing pages with forms to convert into a lead. For more effectiveness, the call to action should be targeted to the visitor. For instance, if there is a visitor in the product page, they might be interested in a free trial for a product or a service. If the visitor is in the how to blog post, they might enjoy a free eBook that continues with the discussion at hand.
Create optimized landing pages
It is very important to create a landing page that converts your visitors into leads. However, it is important to lay the landing page well to avoid abandonment or gaining a dismal number of leads. You can improve the landing pages with A/B testing. Once you have already laid out a customized landing page by following the best practices, you can generate even more leads if you A/N test. There are many companies that offer advanced landing pages such as A/B testing or use other tools that let you capitalize on success and make incremental improvements that yield more leads.
Before continuing converting traffic into leads, let’s look at how to create an optimized landing page.
There are many benefits of optimizing your website to generate leads. However, this process is not as simple as clicking a button on your homepage and watch the leads pour in. You will need to take a strategic approach and put in place some of the essential things that make the lead generation strategy to work. To understand how to optimize your website, you must gain a basic understanding of the lead generation process. This diagram shows you what components are at play when a casual website turns into a lead.
Complement the successful landing pages with paid research
These strategies will help you to have a landing page that will start receiving tons of leads. You can get more leads by expanding the landing page reach with paid search. Once you have the leads, continue to nurture them appropriately. Remember about fifty percent of the leads have not trusted you fully to start buying from you. You will need to continue nurturing them so that they can move through the sales cycle and become a customer. You can do this by setting triggers based on their onsite and offsite behavior sales team and marketing automation system know when and how to communicate with a lead.
Analyzing the Effectiveness of Your Lead Generation
Analyzing your effectiveness of your lead generation will assist you in putting in place measures for you to maximize your potential. You can analyze the effectiveness of the lead generation process by getting to know where your traffic is coming from. Is your traffic coming from social media? Or is it coming from paid search? Also, how much traffic can you attribute to referrals? If you know where the traffic comes from and the quantity month by month, you will be able to gauge you the effectiveness of your lead generation.
You can also analyze where on your site traffic lands and know which assets drives the most traffic. This will not only help you to know what people are interested in but also helps you to know where you should focus your time to generate your leads. Analyzing, which offers convert, the most, will help you to create content around these topics and offer them more frequently to generate more leads.
Lastly, analyze how high quality the leads are. Remember, all these efforts will bring you more leads, but do you know if it was worth? Analyzing the quality of the leads by tracking how long leads are in the sales funnels and how many leads turns into customers and how much it cost to acquire the lead and customers. You will find out that some lead generation strategies will perform better than others and discover some lead behaviors that indicate that they are more worthwhile to target.