Define Your Objectives and Goals
Define a Lead and Set the Value of Your Raw Lead
Select Appropriate Lead Generation Message and Channels
Develop a Response Process
Maintain a clean database
The self-directed buyer is inundated with information, so it’s vital to find new, creative ways to cut through the static and reach potential customers.
In the age of information abundance, marketing is going through a massive shift.
Sixty percent of marketers state that lead generation is a key pain point for their company.
Determining a good lead is more complex than just targeting people who downloaded your white paper, and your sales reps mustn’t waste their time cold calling unqualified leads when there are ways to narrow down the pool.
Implementing a lead generation program increases brand awareness, builds relationships, generates qualified leads, and closes deals.
If your lead generation strategy has yet to catch up to the age of the self-directed buyer, it’s time to reevaluate.
What Is A Lead?
As a modern marketer, you should know how lead generation has changed and how this critical multichannel strategy fits your marketing toolbox to generate demand and convert new business.
A lead is simply someone who’s demonstrated interest in your business somehow.
You can think of anyone who’s given you their contact information—to attend a webinar, download a free guide, and sign up for your email marketing.
What Is A Lead Generation Strategy?
Where traditional marketing methods such as email blasts used to be enough to draw customers, the increase in competition and information abundance makes it more difficult for companies to track, reach, and engage with potential customers.
Sales lead generation attracts, nurtures, and converts leads (potential customers) into existing customers.
Online lead generation encompasses various tactics, campaigns, and strategies depending on the platform you wish to capture leads.
Define your lead gen objectives based on your sales process and determine the number of leads you need to reach your sales goals and revenue targets.
Essentially, it is an engine that ensures you won’t run out of customers. The lead generation process was limited to a few tools and rules generally known back in the day.
Then the surge of the internet changed sales significantly. New times suggest that there should be no more knocking at the doors that won’t open (i.e., cold outreach).
When you type in “lead generation” in a search engine, you will find millions of sources on generating leads in sales and turning them into customers.
Generating leads is just one part of lead generation. Once you bring these leads in, you must utilize lead scoring and nurturing to qualify said leads before sales can do their job.
Why Should You Be Generating Leads?
In sales, your most expensive resource is your time and or your sales team’s time. An effective lead generation plan makes your sales team more productive.
When you develop a flow of qualified leads for your sales team, they can close more sales.
Define A Lead And Set The Value of Your Raw Lead
Start with the basics and determine what makes a good lead for your company. Leads can be defined in many ways, and there are even more ways to identify a qualified lead.
Make sure that marketing and sales agree on the definition of a lead. Based on your expected close rates, determine what a raw lead is worth to you.
You will use this figure to set specific campaigns’ overall budget and goals.
If a company makes $50,000 per sale for financial services, a raw lead will be worth much more than a company selling a $100 software package.
Leads can be defined in many ways, and there are even more ways to identify a qualified lead.
For example, Marketo defines a qualified lead as “a prospect that is starting to exhibit buying behavior.”
Then, use demographics, firmographics, and BANT (budget, authority, need, and time) to profile and segment your leads.
Align With Your Sales Team
Just as sales and marketing must agree on the definition of a good lead, they must agree about when that lead gets directed to sales.
The first step to developing a lead generation program is determining what constitutes a good lead and making sure sales and marketing are on the same page.
If done correctly, this results in a seamless transition and immediate follow-up for qualified leads.
Sales Qualified Leads
Not all leads are created equal. It’s in your best interest to qualify leads and spend your time on the ones that are the most likely to make a purchase.
First, look at how they have interacted with your content to qualify a lead.
If you’re struggling to deliver high-quality leads, there can be several reasons why your sales team is struggling to convert leads into customers.
Sales and marketing should agree on what constitutes a qualified lead, and when that lead should be handed off, keeping in mind that 96% of people visiting your website aren’t ready to buy yet.
If sales contact them too soon, they may feel put off—buyers today do not want to feel sold to.
Lead quality is important, but it’s a significant challenge for marketers, so it may take some time to start bringing in qualified leads.
Keep your goals, customer concerns, and challenges in mind, deliver content that solves their pain points, and keep nurturing those relationships—soon, you’ll have a funnel filled with qualified leads.
With your hottest leads identified, your business can communicate with these leads confidently, knowing that they are already aware of and interested in your business.
Lead generation plays a role in every business’s marketing strategy.
How Does Pre-Targeting Help Your Lead Generation Efforts?
It boosts your brand awareness. It warms up leads for your cold outreach. It boosts your outbound marketing KPIs: click-through rate, conversion rate, and response rate.
After clicking on the ad, a link should redirect users to a landing page. It’s great if your ad is clicked; however, its primary goal is to be seen.
Set Campaign Goals
Every successful marketing campaign starts with goals — specific ones. “To generate the most leads possible” isn’t a goal.
Use past performances as a benchmark to develop a specific number of visits, leads, conversion rate, etc., that you’ll want to hit in a particular timetable.
If you haven’t kept track, it’s time to start now.
Select Appropriate Lead Generation Message And Channels
Lead generation works differently from one industry to the next. Remember that most prospects need to hear your message more than once, before they respond.
Develop a budget and plan for multiple touches.
Create An Offer
To create a great offer, you need to know who’s going to be using it, and wherein the buyer’s journey they are.
What will you offer to entice the prospect to provide follow-up information for a two-step process? What will you offer to encourage a website purchase for a one-step process?
Do you typically sell to a committee?
Today it’s not enough to create a cookie-cutter offer. You need to be original and truly helpful to your prospects if you expect to get your lead generation marketing results.
Moz does that by creating valuable content and tools that people can use, like Mozbar, Open Site Explorer, and HubSpot does it with templates like this one for creating buyer personas.
A successful client lifecycle requires optimizing the process for converting visitors into leads.
Unfortunately, a hole exists between the traffic generation and the lead generation phase, which often results in one-time visitors who neglect your attempts to capture their information and never hear from you again.
You can seal up that hole with lead magnets.
All the traffic in the world won’t benefit your company if you don’t have a way to collect visitor information.
For example, Leadfeeder client, Reachdesk, found new leads by accessing website visitor information through our platform.
The traditional way to do this is to create a lead magnet that you give away for free in exchange for an email address.
When your lead magnet is ready to go, make it available via a landing page. After website visitors fill out the form on your page, they’ll gain access to the gated content.
Use Least Expensive Tactics First
Anything that gets someone to give you permission to contact them or remarket to them is a lead generation tactic.
For example, let’s say you’re the in-house digital marketer for a company that builds backyard decks.
You can generate leads by creating a free, downloadable PDF guide to deck maintenance.
Because the people who want to read the guide are required to submit their contact information, this piece of content serves as a lead generation mechanism.
Few companies have all the money they need for lead generation. To use your budget wisely, use the least expensive lead gen tactics first and follow up with the more expensive tactics.
Typically the most expensive tactic is your sales staff. You should use your sales staff to generate referrals, but not raw leads.
Lead generation drives content marketing. Eighty-five percent of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal.
Consumers today are more informed, more connected, more influenced and influential in their social circles, and less likely to respond to campaign bait.
Marketing needs to create content consumers want.
Lead generation helps you to direct users to relevant content. Targeting users with content relevant to their position along the buying process yields 72% higher conversion rates.
Approximately 96% of business-to-business customers want content from industry thought leaders to inform their buying decisions.
Think of content as the fuel for all of your marketing campaigns—from email, to social, to event collateral.
You’ll also want to see how your website, landing pages, social media marketing, email marketing, paid programs, and sales tactics fit into the lead generation execution plan.
Creating compelling content is your key to establishing yourself as that go-to, educational leader in your industry.
With your content in place, your business can begin using lead magnets, lead capture, effective landing page design, and lead scoring to optimize lead generation rates and create an overall better-performing inbound marketing strategy.
You will quickly understand how companies hopping aboard the content train are generating 67% more leads per month than those who don’t.
You know what they say: you can catch many flies with honey, but you can catch more honey being “fly.”
A strong SEO strategy is an effective way to drive traffic to your content. If this topic makes your head spin, our SEO Audit guide will simplify it.
SEO is, in a nutshell, the practice of understanding your target audience’s search intent and crafting experiences around those searches.
Call To Action
It takes five to fifteen minutes for most businesses to look for specific information about a lead and five to thirty minutes to write a personalized message based on it.
Finish off with a strong call to action (CTA) embedded with a landing page link. This landing page will include everything a new lead has to know, with one more CTA waiting for him.
A landing page is a website page with a specific goal—to facilitate the desired action, e.g., set a discovery call or gather contact information.
Landing pages can be used at least two times during the lead generation process: to create pre-targeting ads and email copy. We suggest using it for both; however, it’s your call.
Create Several Opt-In Opportunities
Whether webinars, free reports, or live demos, don’t stop at just one or two opt-ins. Turn every blog post into an opt-in page.
You can give away recipes, PDFs of your blog posts, worksheets, resource guides, etc.
Try coming up with the best-case scenario — all the things you’d have from a lead in an ideal world.
Let’s say you and your team have decided that customers should include name, email, work phone, company size, and annual revenue. Next, figure out which you could do without.
Do you need to know company size, or will annual revenue do? Is a work phone necessary, or will an email address suffice?
Use Gmail Ads To Target Competitors' Customers
Here’s another tip for generating tons of leads, at the expense of your competitors. Gmail Ads are powerful tools for getting right in front of your target audience.
For a SaaS startup, no audience is more valuable than your competitors’ customers.
With Gmail Ads, you can target your AdWords campaign only to reach people who receive emails from your competitors, giving you direct access to people who already use similar products.
Google gets 3.5 billion searches a day, making it prime real estate for any ad campaign, especially lead gen.
The effectiveness of your pay-per-click campaign relies heavily on a seamless user flow, your budget, target keywords, and a few other factors.
Word of Mouth
Beat The Competition
Maintain A Clean Database
The least expensive tactic is to send marketing messages via email to a house list. For this tactic to work, your in-house list must be up-to-date.
The key to an up-to-date list is database maintenance.
Seventy-nine percent of B2B marketers have not established a lead scoring strategy.
Lead scoring provides your company with real-time feedback on how responsive your leads are to your marketing efforts.
It can also indicate people who are ready to buy from you, but haven’t yet contacted you.
This point-based approach to recognizing and analyzing a company‘s hottest leads will save your business time and money.
There’s no right way to drive traffic — how you do it is entirely dependent on your agency and its audience.
Use your buyer personas to determine where your prospective clients hang out online, then cross-reference those locations with your agency’s most profitable channels.
Measure The ROI of Your Marketing Team
To show your marketing team’s impact, you’ll need to plan out a strategy and determine what to measure, when to measure, and how to measure.
Choose metrics that show how marketing increases effectiveness across the board, generates qualified leads, amplifies sales pipeline velocity, and improves sales and marketing alignment by leveraging lead generation software.
What Is A Lead Generation Funnel?
Suppose you want to grow and grow fast. In that case, you need to prioritize your lead generation strategies and use tactics like the ones we’ve recommended above to get as many qualified prospects as possible into your funnel.
A lead generation funnel, also referred to as a lead funnel, is a systematic approach to generating leads.
It’s the process of funneling your target audience through distinct stages until they (hopefully) decide to make a purchase.
Create content for each stage of your lead generation funnel. Blogs, social media posts, and YouTube videos are great for the top of the funnel.
Downloadable content such as e-books, special reports, and case studies work best for the middle of the funnel.
And free trials and discount offers will help folks at the bottom of the funnel.
A lead generation funnel can range in complexity from surprisingly simple to “I-need-a-degree-in-rocket-science” to understand.
Also, adjust your advertising efforts, landing pages, and sales efforts as needed.
The more you tweak and test every step of your inbound lead generation process, the more you’ll improve lead quality and increase revenue.
Hop-On The Kennected Train
Want a solid lead generation plan? Kennected offers a series of solutions focused on building relationships with key decision-makers to achieve this feat.
Kennected used this process to earn the Two Comma Club Award (for earning $1,000,000) in less than seven months, and a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in America.
Moreover, we helped over 17,000 customers fill their sales pipelines with qualified leads and increase revenue.
Check out our award-winning lead generation resources, free tools, and other items that make modern lead generation easy.
Our LinkedIn lead generation services can help you take your LinkedIn marketing to the next level.
For more information on using this LinkedIn Sales Funnel and Kennected to fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads in less than 10 minutes per day.