Lead generation is the process of finding potential customers for a company. A solid lead generation strategy finds and attracts customers who are most likely to convert or make a purchase. Read on for tips to help you develop an effective lead-generation strategy.
Lead generation, also called “sales prospecting” or “lead gen,” is how an organization searches for people in its target market and potential customers (prospects). The goal is to draw customers into your sales funnel, guide them through the buyer’s journey, and entice them to convert or make a purchase.
Companies prospect in a variety of ways, such as offering product demonstrations and collecting contact information, cold calling or email campaigns called “outbound sales,” and doing targeted content marketing. A detailed ideal customer profile helps you find and identify potential leads. These strategies are crucial for business owners, from local businesses and small businesses to large business-to-business or B2B companies.
Why is lead generation important?
An effective lead generation strategy increases sales by finding new customers or prospects with the highest potential to become paying customers. A strong lead generation campaign finds high-quality leads, whether it’s your target audience or demographic groups that have a high potential to become customers. Finding these types of leads can improve your sales efforts and increase conversion rates on your marketing campaigns.
Tips to generate quality leads
Quality lead generation efforts help you find the right contacts to introduce into your sales process. Here are tips to help you create a lead generation strategy while working with your marketing team to find the best lead generation tools for your goals:
Adopt an outbound sales mindset. Outbound sales are those in which you have to reach new potential customers where they are. (Contrast this with inbound sales or inbound marketing, where customers find you through referral networks and website visits.) Your job is to connect with these potential customers and let them know how your company can help them solve their problems or add value.
Improve your search engine optimization. People use search engines to find information, and proper use of keywords can help drive traffic to your landing page or relevant site. Utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) can expand brand awareness by making your website rank higher on the search engine results page, improving your visibility and making it more likely that people will come to you. SEO is a very useful digital marketing strategy for getting your eCommerce business to target some of your best potential customers: website visitors who are already looking for answers to the problem your business solves.
Meet in person when possible. As long as it is safe and feasible, B2B sellers and marketers can opt for face-to-face interaction with their potential customers. A great way to do this is to attend trade shows where you can meet potential customers up close and answer their questions in real-time. Even if they aren’t in person, webinars offer another opportunity for customers to get to know you and ask questions about your business.
Qualify your leads. Make sure the potential buyers you’ve approached are qualified leads by analyzing their pain points and determining if your services or products can help them. BANT—an acronym for budget, authority, need, and timing—is a popular method for vetting potential customers. For sales teams, the main goal of BANT is to save time and shorten their sales cycles. A sales representative can use the BANT lead qualification process to eliminate unsuitable leads and focus on those who have a high probability of making a purchase.
Spend more time on high-value goals. Not all potential clients are the same. After you use the sales prospecting method to separate qualified leads from the rest, use that information to allocate resources appropriately. Find ways to personalize your contact with those leads in your email marketing and retargeting campaigns.