Every business dreams of growth and wants to expand their customer base to above and beyond. This growth isn’t going to come overnight and it is going to take a lot of time and effort as well. In order to become a successful business and experience the growth first hand, a company must focus on lead generation.
The marketing teams put in efforts day in and day out to generate leads that are reliable and can be turned into customers. However, is it an easy process? The answer for this question will be no.
According to a survey conducted by Hubspot, it has been proven that 65% of the companies are struggling to generate these leads. Lead generation process is not easy and is going to consume a lot of efforts and resources as well.
Once a business spends both of these and didn’t get proper results, it is going to cost them a lot. This is the reason why the lead generation strategies should be on point. With extreme competition in the lead generation landscape, the organizations have to be quite careful about their strategies and resources.
While all of this is interesting, there is a lot of information about lead generation on the internet and it confuses a lot of folks here. This is the reason why we have curated this blog post. This will help in giving you a clear picture about everything you need to know about the lead generation process and why it is important for organizations out there.
- What is Lead Generation?
- Lead Generation Process
- Why Should Businesses Focus on Lead Generation?
- Benefits of Lead Generation
- Tips to Generate Leads Online
- Winding it Up
What is Lead Generation?
A lead is a potential customer. This particular person may have shown interest in your product or service by visiting your website or signing up for your email newsletter, etc. When a person does any activity that depicts their interest in your company, it is time to mark them as a lead.
While this is the definition of lead, lead generation can be defined as a “process to turn a normal person into your potential customer.” The main goal is to get them interested in the product or service that you offer at first and then get them to purchase it at the end. Once your lead comes into the purchase cycle, there are a multitude of stages they pass through.
This lead generation process will determine whether the prospect will buy from your business or not so it is quite important.
The entire lead generation process must be completely organic and should be subtle. You shouldn’t make your prospective leads feel like they are being forced to make a certain purchase right!
The lead generation starts with the first interaction of your customer. There is a proper pipeline that will help in turning your potential lead to a loyal customer.
Person showing interest in your product → Interact with the brand → Lead is qualified → Lead is nurtured → Lead is converted to buying customer
It is important for marketing people to take the clients through this lead generation process in a proper way.
Lead Generation Process
This lead generation process changes from one company to another according to their requirement. However, it has certain points that are quite common.
There are two types of marketing processes that businesses adopt for lead generation- inbound marketing and outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing is a type of marketing where the company starts a conversation. Companies push their brand out into the public for marketing purpose. Starting from distributing flyers, brochures to TVCs and newspapers, companies tap into different types of marketing to garner attention.
All of these are the traditional marketing methods that brands have been doing for so long,
Inbound marketing refers to digital marketing. The marketing of your brand online via paid search, social media marketing, content creation and marketing, email marketing, landing pages, online product trials and much more.
With this kind of marketing, the brands are constantly being visible to the internet users whenever they open a website, social media channels, etc. This will make them purchase the product or service. This way customers are going to come to the brands whenever they are interested and not the other way around.
Inbound marketing is on the rise today and is highly preferred by the brands too. The companies don’t have to bother customers to purchase their product, instead customers will voluntarily visit the site, social media channels and companies must target them from there onwards.
The content is primary when it comes to inbound marketing. Companies can work on creating interesting marketing emails, build the social media presence and a lot more. Creating content that resonates with your target audience is the key here.
If you do that, you will surely attract customers attention and it will help your organziation in more than one way.
Know Your Leads
Knowing the leads is quite important for every organization. You just cannot convert a random person into the lead without having insights about their interests, There are times when a person lands on your website by seeing ads on social media or on some other websites in the form of display ads.
These people don’t have any idea about your business or the products/services you offer. When you come across such people, the first thing that you have to focus on is feeding them with the right information about your business.
If your lead came onto your website deliberately and have an idea about the product or service, then you just have to market effectively to turn that lead into a customer.
Qualify the Leads
Not every lead that is interested in your brand is going to purchase your product. There are some leads that are not interested in your product and then there are some who doesn’t want to make a purchase right now.
It is important to qualify such leads to understand which leads you have to put in efforts and which can be addressed later. These leads will be given a score, a highly qualified lead will have better score and low priority leads will have less score.
How to qualify these leads and give them a score?
There is an exchange process that companies opt for when it comes to qualifying the leads. Companies offer some useful resources to leads in order to get some of their important information.
Example of resources can be newsletter, e-book, some other resources list or curated blog content. These freebies can be anything and to get these resources, customers have to provide their email, contact number, full name, office, location, etc. Companies ask for the details that they need the most.
The leads are given a score when they provide these details. This is the initial lead score.
Once this exchange is done, if the customer keeps on interacting with the company by visiting their website, checking out more of their resources, etc. then those leads score will be increased.
There will be some leads that doesn’t participate in any activity. These leads are prompted multiple times to interact with the website and they fail to do so almost all the time. In such scenarios, the lead will be given less score and put into inactive bucket.
An efficient CRM like Office24by7 will score all of these leads automatically and give your sales team a detailed list about the prospects who are interested and on whom you have to spend the time and resources as well.
So, you have got a lead who has downloaded your free ebook, checked out your website multiple times. Does this qualify that person as a customer? No right! The conversion of a lead into a customer takes time and also requires some nurturing.
This is called lead nurturing. Here the sales people should start building relationship with the lead and bring them down to the sales pipeline. There are multiple ways to make sure that your lead will stay engaged with your brand.
You can keep sending some sequence of emails to them and if the lead likes all of these, they might interact with your brand and move further down into the sales funnel.
Why Should Businesses Focus on Lead Generation?
The lead generation isn’t something that only marketing team can handle, it is a process that involves your sales and support team too. It is important for you to understand that all the three teams must align and work together.
How does these three teams of an organization work together? Well, let us see more about it in the next segment.
Role of Marketing Team in Lead Generation
Lead generation starts with marketing itself. Marketers create strategies to generate these leads. They conduct different kinds of campaigns and bring in leads into the sales funnel. They don’t necessarily involve in the evaluation, qualifying or scoring these leads.
The marketing team should keep up with the sales pipeline and check which of the leads are being used effectively and which aren’t.
Marketing is the starting point of any organization. So, having these marketing goals that align with the company and sales team will make a difference.
Role of Sales Team in Lead Generation
Once a lead is generated, the sales team steps in and takes care of the lead qualification, nurturing, etc.
The one way sales teams can help the marketing team is by providing feedback on these leads. This way the marketing team will have an idea about the leads that are helping the organization and the ones that are not.
Consistent feedback from the sales team to the marketing team will help them in generating better leads.
Role of Support Team in Lead Generation
The support team interact with customers via calls, emails, etc. They work on outbound basis. The reps chat online, on social media, do a live chat, etc. It is important for these customer support teams to know all the recent developments related to the leads. This way it becomes easier for them to collaborate and work around.
This way sales, support as well as the marketing team will know and stay in the loop when it comes to the leads.
A unified CRM will make this collaboration easy and every one of these team members will know about the lead, activities done related to them and many more.
Benefits of Lead Generation
Lead generation helps an organization in more than one way. One can use it for
- Expanding the market
- Grow the brand followers
- Garner feedback and customer reviews
- Boosting the revenue
- Generating more business opportunities
- Better lead quality
- More visibility and awareness
Tips to Generate Leads Online
These valuable insights may help you with efficient lead generation.
A Website and Landing Page Will Help
Website is the face of your company and if you don’t have one, create it immediately. A website will not only help you with providing business information to the visitors, it will also help generate the leads.
The website needs to be properly optimized. Along with it, you can also set up a landing page. This will help in attracting the targeted customers. Remember to have a very attractive, compelling CTA to make your customers turn their heads towards your website.
Knowledge holds extreme power and you can exchange the industrial knowledge and expertise you have for the details of your website visitor. No one will provide their contact information for free, but if they get something in return, the visitors won’t mind providing the details.
Make use of this, create interesting workshops, ebooks that will help customers in one way or another.
Forms on the Website
You can always add a contact form on the website where customers can provide their details. These contact forms are filled by only those leads who are quite interested in your brand. So, make sure to put up these forms with a compelling CTA.
It is advised to have a person available all the time for live chat with the customers. If the visitors on your website have any doubt, they can discuss it directly in the chat box. You can capture their contact information to get back to them with the answers to their doubts or for more details, deals, etc.
Email marketing is another interesting way to engage with your customers. Make sure that you are drafting personalized emails with a CTA. You can set up a series of emails to create traction among your leads.
Winding it Up
So, leads are important for every business out there. The process is continuous and it should be dynamic. It is important for the marketing team to evaluate their lead generation process time and again.
You will face multitude of challenges while this happens, it is important to change the process as and when required.