Generating leads allows you to save time and resources of the seller. A well-prepared database of leads is a guarantee of effective use of time and avoiding idle meetings with uninterested people. You can organize the campaign on your own or use the services of a company dealing in acquiring leads for your clients. Below we have prepared some important information related to this matter for you.
What is a lead
Contrary to appearances, a so-called lead is not just a specific person or company. In general, it is a set of information about the company, person and business situation indicating that in a company that meets the conditions of the target group, there are favorable conditions to start selling. The details will depend on the given company and product or service. Proper definition of a lead is not easy and should be a key element of cooperation between marketing and sales departments.
The purpose of acquiring leads
In short, generating sales leads is aimed at maximizing sales efficiency. This is due to the identification of future customers and estimating their readiness to buy. This allows you to limit or even eliminate meetings with people who are not interested in the offered service or product, and thus significantly save time.
How to generate leads
Basically, the entire process of obtaining leads can be reduced to four steps, you can go through them yourself, or outsource activities to a trusted company:
Defining the lead
The most important stage of creating leads. Their quality largely depends on a good definition – they cannot be too general, and certainly not all contacts can be considered as leads. The components of a good definition should be:
- demographic definition of the company (e.g. industry, turnover, employment, etc.)
- demographic definition of a person (e.g. employment department, position, scope of responsibility, etc.)
- definition of personal situation (i.e. personal emotions and motivations that influence on making a purchase decision)
- definition of a business situation (i.e. a situation in which a company or a specific person finds itself, which makes it an ideal potential customer).
Gathering the information
The marketing campaign ultimately leads to the moment when an anonymous potential customer is asked to disclose his data. This is where the term lead generation or lead conversion applies, and is crucial in a B2B campaign. And here a fundamental question arises – why would anyone reveal their data? The answer is relatively simple – you get something of value in return. It can be, for example, a product sample, conference entry, access to an interesting publication or simply a newsletter subscription. The ways are really different, but the most important thing is for the potential client to feel that he will receive something really valuable and to build trust that results in consent to the disclosure of data. The latter is particularly important in the light of the law, because after the introduction of the GDPR, personal data cannot be processed without the appropriate consent of the person concerned. It is important not to limit yourself to just demographic data – after all, this is only one element of the lead definition. Content marketing plays a key role in this step.
Comparing the collected information with the lead definition A
simple matter – this step includes the decision whether, in the light of the collected data and the previously established definition, the potential lead is really the one we are looking for. This stage is known as lead qualification.
Marking and passing on a lead
Once verified, the lead information (along with all the information that may be important related to the interaction with the contact or data collected about the contact) is usually passed to the appropriate sales person. It is also good to mark this fact appropriately in the database so that you can use this information for further marketing activities or as a basis for determining ROI marketing.
However, it must be remembered that generating leads cannot become the sole target of marketing. The whole idea of generating leads is to create ideal sales conditions for salespeople, which is why the overriding goal is always to provide leads of the right quality and quantity, and not to overwhelm an avalanche of data that no one can get through.
We already have theoretical foundations, it’s time to use a few examples of ways to generate sales leads.
Not very effective method in common opinion. The automation of this process is to blame for this state of affairs – let’s face it, most people will treat automatically generated e-mail as spam. A well-structured, cool e-mail should refer to e.g. an interview, actual needs and not treat the other person only as a lead. Yes, it is more time consuming than simply generating a formula like “Are you interested in xxx because it’s fashionable now”, but it gives you a much better chance for any feedback.
Purchasing a contact list
Actually the easiest way, which is to purchase a list (usually e-mail) of contacts to companies in a given industry. However, it has several major drawbacks. First, it is quite an expensive solution. Secondly, in such a case it is difficult to determine their quality and timeliness. And the icing on the cake – such lists can contain Spam Traps, or “empty e-mail addresses”, which, after sending the campaign, will mark it in various tools as spam, which will actually bury the chances of its success.
Currently, it is probably the most effective method of generating valuable leads. Generally speaking, it is about acquiring leads through specific content, access to which may, for example, require an email. The high quality of the content is very important – no one will leave a contact with something created on your knee during the lunch break. This method is very broad and includes, among others:
- company blogs – an extensive blogpost that thoroughly exhausts a given topic is a great way to get valuable leads. If a text solves a person’s problem, they will no doubt read it, like it, share it, and become a subscriber, even if it was long. Post new content regularly to maintain interest. You can experiment a lot here: subscribing to the newsletter after reading the article, pop-ups, subscribing to the newsletter on the right side, etc. It is important not to irritate the reader with the subscription (e.g. a form that is large for the whole screen, which cannot be closed), or requires from him, giving in return poor content of
- his own medium – for example, a portal, e-magazine or even a YouTube channel. As in the case of blogs, the quality of the content offered is of key importance here. It does not necessarily have to sell services, but it can also target other lead generators, such as courses,
- courses – actually a reliable source of valuable leads. Everyone enrolling in a course is interested in a given topic and may be interested in other services offered by a given company. When organizing courses, partners and media are important which can provide a larger audience.
Why is it worth It?
An extensive database of good-quality leads makes it much easier to reach genuinely interested people with a product or service. Thus, sales efficiency and time savings are increased. Generating leads also helps in creating a marketing base, which is an effective tool for communication with the audience. In addition, leads facilitate a real assessment of the value of marketing activities – tracking the customer’s fate from marketing campaign to sales gives a chance to find answers which specific activities influenced sales and what is their effectiveness.
Goals and Benefits
As mentioned at the beginning, the ultimate goal of lead generation is to maximize sales efficiency. Before that happens, however, the basic goal must be achieved – building a database of potential customers. It is also associated with the expansion of the brand’s reach, which can be both a goal and a benefit. Anyway, well-generated leads are not only better sales, but also a number of other benefits, including:
- obtaining valuable information on the management of brand market strategies (including correct and not very beneficial activities used so far),
- examining the market absorption – finding out what demand is you can count and whether a change of anything in the product or service could increase the potential interest of customers
- creating the first real contact with the customer and turning it into a healthy relationship with him
- optimizing the time and costs of acquiring customers by eliminating unnecessary activities, very often alienating potential buyers instead of attracting them
Generation B2B leads are a great tool to increase sales efficiency. It allows you to build a database of potential customers who will actually be interested in the product or service offered, which saves time and money. Thanks to them, you can establish a healthy relationship with the client. Acquiring the right leads significantly increases the chance of a brand’s success. There are many methods of generating leads, of which content marketing is currently the most effective.