Lead generation basics are the lifeblood of any business. Lead generation is a key component in the process of finding prospects (potential customers) who need or want your products or services. One of the main ways to grow your business is to develop a strategic, organized lead generation program that makes use of multiple strategies, and which is deployed consistently over time.
What Is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of conducting marketing activities that reach potential customers, and generate awareness and interest in your specific products or services. The goal of lead generation is to generate interest from prospective customers and provide their information to the sales team to start the lead nurturing / selling process.
Top Benefits of Strategic Lead Generation Programs
The number one benefit of deploying a strategic, organized lead generation program is to reach out to the specific audience interested in your offerings, and ultimately turn them into paying customers. Some other benefits of strategic lead generation programs include:
- Provides an organized framework that allows for consistently deploying lead generation vs. generating leads in a sporadic, haphazard fashion
- Provides a consistent pipeline of sales leads to generate customers & revenue both now and in the future
- Allows your safes force to focus on what they’re being paid to do: SELL.
Why Strategic Lead Generation Programs Are So Important
There’s a wonderful quote from the author Lewis Carroll, author of “Alice in Wonderland.” The gist of the phrase is: If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do. This wise thought applies to virtually all marketing activities. You’ve got to set your course and goal, and then build a plan to get there. Businesses that don’t have an organized program for how they generate business leads (prospective customers) are generally not as successful as businesses that do.
Here are some interesting statistics on the importance of building a strategic, focused lead generation program:
- 61% of marketers rank lead generation as their number one challenge. (Source: Hubspot)
- Leads are 9 times more likely to convert to paying customers when businesses follow up within 5 minutes. (Source: Ziff-Davis)
- Content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as cold calling at half the cost. (Source: Demand Metric)
DID YOU KNOW:
Marketing professionals say the lack of people, budget & time are the top 3 reasons why they don’t have a strategic lead generation program in place.
(Source: B2B Marketing Community)
The Top Lead Generation Strategies
- A Website With High-quality Search Engine Optimization & Calls To Action – A website that’s properly optimized with targeted, high-ranking keyword phrases, and with clear calls to action is a business owner’s best friend. Examples of calls to action include:
- Sign up to receive emails
- Download a white paper or other information asset
- Schedule a product demo or consultation
- Set up a free trial
- Offer a promotion
- Email Marketing – An effective, affordable lead-gen strategy is using an email marketing platform like Constant Contact to send emails directly to a list of customers & prospects you’ve built over time.
- Content Marketing – Publishing helpful e-books, white papers, check lists, tip sheets & blogs.
- Events – Events are a great way to have face-to-face communications and collect prospect information. (Granted, business events have been greatly hampered by the pandemic.)
- Social Media Marketing – Postings on social media platforms with calls to action can generate leads.
- Chat-bots – Putting a chatbot on your website can garner leads.
4 Steps To Create A Strategic Lead Generation Program
Here are the basic steps to follow to develop a lead generation program that actually does your business some good:
Step 1: Develop & consistently follow your lead response process
Let’s remember: leads are the lifeblood of your business. There should be a clear lead response process, and a person who’s in charge of responding to leads immediately. In roughly 50% of the time, when we start working with new clients, we find that no one’s in charge of responding to leads – and there’s no clear process for nurturing those leads. Here are the most important questions to ask, and then answer:
- What email is used for the lead generation program?
- Is that email working?
- Who is receiving those emails?
- How quickly do prospects get contacted after they’ve reached out?
- Do we have a process in place for fast response to prospects, followed by lead nurturing?
Then put a lead response process in place and make sure the process is being followed by the people responsible for overseeing leads.
Step 2: Assess what marketing programs are already in place & how they’re performing.
The most cost-effective way to get a stronger lead generation program in place is to make use of marketing assets that already are in place – and then power them up so they’re lead-gen machines. Start by assessing what marketing strategies already are in place from the list above. For example, you may have a website…but is it properly optimized with keyword phrases designed to draw in your customers? Do you have a call to action on the website? Review every marketing strategy that your marketing team is deploying and assess if they are generating leads or not. Then improve those marketing programs & strategies to help generate more leads.
Step 3: Set up general analytics and lead generation analytics.
If you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your website, you’re missing valuable business intelligence. Set up needed analytics on your website tied to Google Analytics first, and review the analytics every month. These analytics will give you valuable insights on the pages most visited on your website. Then, you can make changes & upgrades to those pages that help capture more leads.
If you don’t have analytics tracking codes tied to specific marketing activities, you’re missing valuable business intelligence. For any online lead generation program, make sure you have tracking code on specific website pages, or tied to a website landing page set up specifically to funnel leads for specific marketing initiatives.
Step 4: Ongoing prospect outreach, aka lead nurturing.
Develop a specific process for how you’re going to reach out to prospects over time to nurture the relationship.
Lead Generation Basics Summary
When you follow lead generation basics, i.e., best practices, you’re doing your business and your potential customers a big favor. When prospects take the time to reach out to you, it can go one of two ways: you can get on the road to nurturing a relationship with people who want your product or services, or you can turn them off with a lack of response or failure to provide ongoing touch points to bring about a sale.
Need help developing or improving your Lead Generation Program? Contact DeWinter Marketing & PR to help deploy lead generation programs and processes.