Lead generation is the process of capturing information about potential leads and turning it into a sale down the line. It often includes marketing, searching out qualified leads, and strategizing how to capture information about potential sales that will help seal the deal. There is a lot of information available online, so people feel like they are self-directed to develop and qualify potential leads. However, it is up to the sales and marketing teams to work together to generate those leads that capture sales for the business. Find out why it matters, how to do it well, and optimizing the final goal of closing sales.
Why Lead Generation Matters
People buy differently than ever before. Marketers need to find new ways of reaching buyers and feel heard through the noise and chaos of their lives. Instead of finding customers with mass marketing or emails, there is a new focus on customer appreciation, building rapport, and spending more time ‘nurturing leads’ before going in for the close. The rapid pace at which information shifts, changes, grows, and moves forward is astonishing. People move on from information faster than they can process it in their brains. Information over abundance means there is attention scarcity. With ‘attention economics,’ there is new focus on how customers consume information and what they intend to do with it. This is transforming business practices the world over.
Buying and Selling
Information scarcity is a new concept. Lead generation in this concept means marketing has to focus on the names of potential buyers and pass them to sales. From there, buyers are going to speak with sellers and those sellers will speak to them to see if they are qualified leads. Buyers do most of their own research online and this dynamic is shifting immensely. Educational resources abound, so they can learn a lot prior to selecting a product they want. Digital presence is key to selling products to buyers who come more informed than ever, some even ready to make a purchase straight away. Generating leads is different, however. Capturing those hard-to-target buyers or those who don’t spend their lives online is going to be a challenge in generating leads that convert.
Follow the Funnel
Marketing efforts don’t end when a new lead comes along. Many companies do a good job at generating leads, but new leads may not be ready to buy. Leads can get lost, ignored, or snatched up by competitors. Good lead generation marketers invest in lead nurturing practices. This means:
- Building relationships
- Earning trust
- Engaging leads with relevant content
- Waiting for the right timing
The key is not to wait too long, nor is it to drown out the customer. A holistic strategy is going to include strategy and marketing, but also relationship building that keeps the lead close until they are ready to buy.
How it Works
Lead generation is broken into two categories. Sales people can focus on either inbound or outbound marketing strategies. Inbound strategies can include:
- SEO and content that is focused on creating valuable information for potential customers
- Creating high quality content to build trust
- Search engines look for natural links, so information through SEO is more likely to link naturally and be attractive to search engines where people can find it
- Websites that share what is happening, how to get involved, and support calls-to-action
- Blogs that explain more about the work being offered so people can buy in
- Social media content across platforms that attract attention, link to blogs and the website, or sell products and services
Outbound marketing is about having a well-rounded marketing strategy. This should complement inbound efforts and include:
- Email marketing that focuses on events, content, or communications that can be communicated via email
- Display ads that target certain demographics. This means using re-targeted ads, grab cookies, and reach them through educating a targeted audience
- Pay-per-Click ads that a sales person gets paid for each click on the ads that show up on search engines or online. This draws attention to content and offerings, which result in high qualified leads
- Direct mail: for certain consumers, this is a great way to grab their attention when targeted properly. It offers a chance to grab the attention of a prospect with creative, interesting info they would not otherwise receive
Lead generation is a new game in a new era. There are more people than ever vying for the attention of potential customers. The more targeted your approach, the better. Getting a focused campaign is going to do more than throwing things out to see what sticks. Focus on a few strategies, revamp old ones, and try some things on to see what generates those new leads and helps close the deal.