Effective Ways to Generate Business Leads

How to Succeed in Lead Generation?

One of the foundations of a successful business is having a continuous flow of leads. Let’s explore how lead generation can put all the pieces together in building a solid marketing strategy.

Growing a business is a long, arduous process that entails different moving parts to work together. One of the tactics that businesses use to increase their customer base is by acquiring leads. 

In reality, not all people who visit your website or receive your promotions will automatically become customers. That’s because some prospects may not be willing or are ready to buy what you’re selling. 

You need to qualify your leads first to ensure that you have prospects interested in the market to buy your product or service. These good-quality leads can support your business in increasing sales and ROI (return on investment). So first, let’s learn what leads are before we dive deep into the basics of the lead generation process.

What is a Lead?

A lead is a person or business who shows interest in a company’s product or service. Since people or businesses have different needs and preferences, not everyone can be considered a lead. 

However, many companies make the mistake of targeting everyone when they promote their products or services. This strategy often does not yield the best results. Instead, businesses should focus on people who are already interested in what they have to offer.

Generally, leads will hear from the company after opening or submitting their personal information or using the free trial. For example, someone downloaded a free ebook on how to improve their inbound marketing strategies. The company’s team will then contact this lead a few days later to check if they can help this person create inbound marketing campaigns. In this case, it’s less invasive than the team cold calling anyone without knowing if they’re even remotely interested in inbound marketing.

What is Lead Generation?  

Lead generation is a process of attracting leads (potential customers) and nurturing them throughout their buying journey to convert them into paying customers. 

Businesses use this strategy to validate that their sales leads are of good quality and worth pursuing. With lead generation, your main focus is to build trust with the audience by helping them solve their problems or needs. 

There are different lead generation strategies to use. These are:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing 
  • Landing pages
  • Opt-in forms 
  • Coupons 
  • Events and webinars 

These strategies are by no means exhaustive. Today, our digital world offers various options to capture potential customers to your products or services. As lead generation processes may differ depending on the industry, companies stick to strategies that have worked well for them. 

Social media and email might be ideal as a lead generation tool if you’re a beauty and skincare brand. However, these might not work for financial companies. People looking for financial products might want in-depth information about them. Thus, publishing blogs or launching events would be better suited for generating leads.

Lead Generation Process for Startups

The Lead Generation Process

Here are the steps to follow to help generate high-quality leads and convert them into customers. 

Know your target audience

The first step is to identify your target audience. You can’t sell anything to your customers if you don’t know who they are. So, make sure to research and understand your audience; identify their needs, hobbies or interests, lifestyle, etc. 

If you haven’t already, create a buyer persona. It’s a semi-fictional person that perfectly describes your ideal customer. A buyer persona allows you deeper insights into your customers so you can market your products better.

Generate leads through promotional channels

To acquire leads, you need to create engaging content that your potential audience can share on different platforms. Your content can be in the form of blogs, articles, infographics, slideshares, and others. 

For short-form content, it can be in the form of tweets, blog posts, video clips, images that people can easily read or view with no barriers. However, you may need to create long-form content, especially for highly technical products. This type of content requires the visitor to sign up for a form. Examples are white papers, ebooks, and free courses. 

There are several ways to distribute this content. Make sure to share them wherever most of your target audience is active. You can post on social media (Facebook, Instagram) or through old-fashioned email marketing

Once a lead shows interest in viewing your content, then you lead to a sign-up page. They, then, become part of an email list or contact management system.

Build a Sales Funnel

As soon as you know your target audience, it’s time to create a system to collect their contact information. In this step, you’ll funnel all your leads to a landing page or online form that asks them to enter their info in exchange for freebies (e.g., ebook, free trial, or a sample).

Hence, it’s important to invest in CRM (customer relationship management) software to track all your leads. Additionally, this lead generation tool will help in nurturing them along the buying process.  

Nurture Leads

The lead generation process doesn’t end once you’ve added a lead to your contact list or CRM software. You need to nurture them to move towards the sales funnel when the right time comes. 

Essentially, your job at this point is to maintain their interest as part of their email list. Always work to build a long-term relationship with your lead; one that encourages loyalty and trust to your brand. 

You can create email autoresponders that automatically send emails when leads buy products after the free trial or other offers on your website. Generally, nurturing a lead can take a year or more to convert them as customers. Some, even longer. So, be patient and continue to build that relationship through email or phone until your prospect is ready for the next step in the journey. 

Pass to your Sales Team

To maintain a continuous flow of lead from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel, you need to set different stages in the lead generation process. In the first few stages, the marketing team handles the generation and nurturing of leads to keep them engaged with your company. 

The role of the sales team is to move the prospect down the funnel by encouraging them to act. Once a lead finally buys the product, the sales should retain them by enriching their buying experience. 

Evaluate your leads whether they are ready to move to the sales team. In contrast, some may need more nurturing by the marketing team. You know when a lead is sales-ready when they have a high lead score and a great profile based on different data points. Moreover, they show certain behaviors that indicate interests or have the budget or the authority to make such purchases.

Grow your Startup with Lead Generation

A well-thought-out lead generation strategy includes several working parts to convert leads into paying customers. Hence, it’s ideal to be flexible with your process by experimenting with different ideas or approaches. 

Now that you understand the basics of generating leads, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and get started. Link them to your CTA offers or funnel them into your landing pages and opt-in forms. Collaborate with your sales team to ensure that you’re all working with nurturing high-quality leads. Lastly, test and evaluate your results. The more your tweak your lead generation process, the more it will increase your conversion rate and revenues. 

To help you streamline your overall marketing strategy, our Marketing team at Full Scale can help. Our team of content writers, graphic designers, project managers, and software developers will assist you in mobilizing your startup idea from start to finish. 

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