Lead generation can seem like an intimidating task, but it’s actually quite simple if you break down the steps and use your creativity to think outside the box. Our guide on how to grow your business with lead generation will teach you everything you need to know about generating leads, including how to identify, contact, and convert them into sales. We also highlight some of the most successful techniques businesses are using right now!
The basic definition of lead generation is fairly simple: it’s when a company generates leads for their sales team. But what is lead generation used for? Lead generation serves many different purposes, including direct sales, fundraising and survey distribution. Regardless of your organization’s purpose, you’ll want an effective strategy in place. The tips below can help you identify what kind of lead generation works best for your company and why your audience wants to give out their information—and ultimately turn them into leads.
Most companies focus on selling their products and services once they have leads, but lead generation allows you to get in front of people who could be interested in your product or service before they know what your company is all about. Imagine that.
According to a study by marketing firm CMI, 76% of all salespeople think more than half of their annual revenue comes from cold calls—that is, calls made without a pre-existing relationship with an individual. Regardless of whether or not that statistic is actually accurate, it’s safe to say cold calling isn’t dead; it just needs a boost from other strategies.
Lead generation also improves customer lifetime value (CLV), which means that even if lead generation requires a significant amount of initial marketing spend, it can still save your company money in the long run. After all, you’re converting non-customers (or prospects) into leads who will eventually turn into paying customers—and you’re spending less per customer along the way. The average cost of acquiring a new customer is $1,900, but lead generation reduces that number significantly: B2B Marketing has reported that content and lead generation campaigns have driven a ROI as high as 100x due to their lower costs and increased efficiency.
Lead generation isn’t just for startups and small businesses; it's a critical aspect of marketing at any company. Marketing professionals understand that lead generation is crucial for closing deals, but they also know it has other benefits that are less obvious. Lead generation can improve customer acquisition costs because it allows you to get in front of customers who have not yet expressed interest in your products or services. Instead of waiting until they are ready to commit, you can help them identify which solution will work best for them and make your business their first choice as soon as they become aware of your products or services. This approach reduces friction throughout their buying process, which leads to a higher conversion rate.
The more you can use your leads to create good leads, the better your ROI will be. It’s not always easy to qualify them up front (and doing so will reduce the amount of data you collect), but there are a few best practices for creating as many qualified leads as possible:
Also, don't just give up once you have contact information. Send out at least one email within 24 hours of receiving an online form submission. Over time, you can fine-tune what works and what doesn't based on your lead quality, conversion rates and other metrics.
Sales pipelines are a common technique for managing relationships and making sure that prospects move efficiently through a process. Routing your leads through multiple steps allows you to have control over where they go and who handles their information. The ability to funnel your leads into different sales stages depends on both your organizational structure and your type of business.
For example, if you're a SaaS company, you can set up lead routing by stages like subscription status or conversion stage. Lead flow isn't limited by internal structures—it's also dependent on external factors like what type of content works best for potential customers and what social media channels they use most often.
Not every lead is qualified or ready for your sales team. In fact, for many companies, a healthy number of leads go cold and fail to convert. So it’s important to manage and nurture these leads on your own using email marketing. Following up can be as simple as replying back that you have received their interest and asking them if they would like more information about your company and/or products/services. If someone declines further communication, drop it—don’t try again later in hopes that they might change their mind at some point down the road.
The key is to break lead generation down into steps and use them as a framework for your campaign. A solid strategy helps ensure that you are generating qualified leads, not just warm ones. Before you can generate leads, you have to know who your target market is and how they make decisions about products like yours. That means doing research—talking with customers, prospects, vendors, and experts in your industry—to understand how businesses purchase products like yours.
Ideally, these best practices will give you a good idea of how to grow your business through lead generation. But don't hesitate to adjust them as needed. No two businesses are alike, which means that no single approach works for everyone. That said, there's no reason your lead generation efforts can't help improve your ROI and help you acquire customers at a more reasonable cost in a shorter period of time. Start working on lead generation today, and you'll find yourself looking back on it as one of your most valuable business tools in years to come. Just be sure not to get too complacent; even with lead generation in place, you'll still need to continue nurturing those leads so they can turn into paying customers down the line.
It can be difficult to tell when and what you should outsource in your business. But if you are experiencing any of these four things then you’ll know for sure!