Generating leads is one of the biggest challenges for businesses today. Fortunately, there is no shortage of lead generation channels to use. In this digital age, there are so many effective ways to increase your sales and find leads.
But the challenge is in utilizing each channel efficiently in order to get the best results. You need to understand how each lead generation channel works and what they are capable of. This will help you decide which channels to focus on.
Here we are talking about some of the most effective strategies for generating sales leads online.
But first, let’s talk about what leads are. Sales leads are individuals or businesses that are also prospective buyers. These are the people who can be converted into a paying customer. A sales lead does not become a prospect until they have been qualified to determine their level of interest.
You can identify leads through marketing, advertising, referrals, social media, networking, and consultations. For your business to thrive, you need to create a steady flow of inbound leads.
There are many ways to generate leads, but cold calling is no longer one of the most effective channels. Many people in sales dread this task because it feels like a waste of time. But with so many better options out there nowadays, it actually is.
Cold calling is no longer “required” to keep your pipeline full. So gone are the days where you are ignored, hung up on, or even yelled at over the phone. Here are a few ways to start generating inbound leads on your own.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to generate leads online organically, whether you are B2B or B2C. This type of marketing involves creating and distributing content that are relevant to your target audience’s interests. The primary intent is not to sell your product or service, but to establish your authority in your domain.
By providing valuable content consistently, you can create trust and credibility. This is considered an “inbound” way of generating leads as opposed to a straightforward sales pitch, which is an outbound model.
Content marketing can be done using a variety of formats. The content you create can include blog posts, infographics, videos, images, GIFs, case studies, and podcasts. Even memes are effective because of their popular appeal and viral potential.
Your goal is to create eye-catching, informative, and interesting content. Videos and pictures are the most effective types of content because they are easy to digest and share.
Written content like articles, blog posts, case studies, and press releases work best when you post them in your website and share the link on social media platforms. This maximizes traffic and boosts your engagement. Creating content for third-party websites is crucial to earning backlinks. These are links that lead back to your website from other sites.
Use content to start conversations with prospects. People who reply to your content are potential customers—don’t forget to engage with them.
Content does not have to be 100 percent original all the time. There is such a thing as content curation, wherein you look for high quality and relevant content online and share them with your audience.
Even if you can’t monetize this content, you can still establish yourself as a helpful source of information. It also helps keep your content calendar full. Schedule your original content in between curated content to keep your timeline full.
Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is a way of generating leads that involves optimizing your website and your content with relevant keywords. It can be intimidating for those who are new, but most marketers know the importance of SEO.
SEO is a technique that will help your website rank higher in search results. This means if you use relevant keywords, your website will rank higher when people search for it on Google—it’s like free advertising.
For this, you need an understanding of how search engines work. SEO is a sustained activity that can boost your online presence, allowing more people to find you. When people use search engines, they rarely look past the first page of results. This means you want to land on that first page and rank as high as possible. Your website needs to have content that matches searchers’ intent.
Unfortunately, every single one of your competitors are already using SEO—and maybe they’ve been using it even longer. This puts you at a disadvantage. Everyone uses SEO, so this is not a lead generating solution that will help you overnight. It is a long term strategy that you need to implement every time you post content. It will also give you big rewards in the long run, especially once you get on Google’s first page.
Social media, when used effectively, is the best source of leads online. This is because almost everyone has a social media profile. There’s a good chance that your target audience is on social media. And when the sales leads start flowing in, it can be hard to keep up.
It may take time to get to this point, but you can start by optimizing your approach to social media. A lot of companies make the mistake of using it like a megaphone to blare out announcements about themselves. But social media can do more than that.
Social media is the best place to establish your brand and build your following. Some companies use it to distinguish themselves from the competition. Others use it to show off their brand’s warmth and humor. Most importantly, companies use it to develop relationships with their audience.
You don’t have to respond to every single comment—just enough to maintain a healthy relationship. Never shy away from a conversation. People are very perceptive to a brand’s voice, and if yours is unique, they will recognize and appreciate it.
You can even use social media to run polls, launch campaigns, start live videos, and announce business updates.
While some people may think that email outreach is no longer effective these days, that’s not entirely correct. A lot of leads prefer using email throughout the day while staying away from social media. It’s a relatively old channel of communication, but it’s not as outdated as cold calling.
Email is alive and kicking. This is because email is simple, straightforward, and easy to use. In fact, email is often the first point of entry to a lead because it is less intrusive than messaging someone directly on social media.
It also takes less time and effort to generate leads through email outreach because everyone has an email address. You can even create email templates that you can use to connect with multiple prospects right away, although this is not always recommended. People might think you are spam if you rely on email templates too much.
Nothing beats the quality of leads from an old fashioned referral. With referrals, you don’t have to go through all the trouble of establishing trust and building relationships. When someone you know refers your company to a person they know, there is already a base level of trust involved. People are more likely to buy from a company that was referred to them by a friend or colleague.
To get referrals, you only need the help of your immediate network. You can ask your friends and family to help you find leads.
You can also encourage your team to get more referrals by offering rewards. Give referrers rewards for promoting you. One of the things that make referral marketing so attractive is the rewards. You can ask customers to refer you to their friends and family by giving them a reward like a discount coupon, a gift card, etc.
Nothing valuable comes free in the industry, so if you want your customers to take action, offer rewards. In fact, referral marketing doesn’t have to be exclusive to referrers. You can reward your leads as well. Giving rewards to leads may encourage them to sign up or purchase from you. This way no one feels left out: both your referrers and leads get rewards.
It doesn’t stop there. Since your leads have something to gain out of signing up, they may encourage other people to do the same thing. A good referral and reward system can create a stream of leads.
If you want to start building your stream of leads, you need to get organized. That means you need a systematic approach to lead generation, also known as a funnel.
A lead generation funnel is the process of funneling your target audience through distinct stages up to the point where they decide to make a purchase. Lead funnels can range from simple to complex. But you can begin with a simple three-stage lead generation funnel.
The three stages refer to the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. The top of the funnel are people who have just become aware of your business. This is why the first stage is all about awareness. It is your first contact with a potential customer, and here you get the opportunity to introduce yourself to them.
The middle of the funnel is where people begin to engage with your company. You need to continue nurturing these leads and building relationships with them. You can offer content, rewards, freebies, etc. This is where providing value is needed the most.
Finally, the bottom of the funnel is where you have a strong relationship with a lead. It does not necessarily mean they are paying customers yet, but you are ready to convert them. They trust your company and are ready to become paying customers. Perhaps they need just one final push to become a customer. At this stage you can give out free trial extensions, demos, consultations, and discount offers.
To successfully create a funnel, you have to map out your customer journey. Then create great content, drive traffic to your website, collect prospect information, and start building relationships. Once you’ve figured out how the funnel works, you can streamline your lead generation approach.
Lead generation can be done organically online. But you also need tools that will help you collect lead info, drive communication, and turn casual traffic into loyal customers. These applications, when used along with the lead generation techniques mentioned above, can help increase your sales significantly.
Just like any job, lead generation requires the right tools. There’s an application for almost every aspect of web-based lead generation. And for smaller businesses, we recommend SAAS. Software as a Service is a unique delivery model for software that is steadily picking up steam.
SAAS applications don’t require you to install them into your device. You can access SAAS software through the internet using a web browser. You pay for them on a subscription basis instead of purchasing the license. This means you only pay for the services you need, and you can also upgrade your plan based on your needs as your business grows.
SAAS applications are accessible and easy to use. You don’t even have to worry about updating and upgrading the application because that is done on the provider’s end. The only thing you should know is that your data is stored in their server rather than your own. But other than that, SAAS gives you plenty of advantages over the traditional on-premise application.
The best software for generating sales leads online is Kennected. This is a LinkedIn automation tool that helps you create a steady stream of appointments, connections, and meetings. Kennected firmly believes that no one knows your business like you do. And because every company is different, you are going to need a personalized campaign—and Kennected does that for you.
We teach you how to fish rather than giving you fish. During Kennected’s onboarding process, we do a deep dive into learning your goals and industry. We don’t believe lead generation needs to cost more than $600 a month.
Kennected uses LinkedIn’s data-rich filters to help you find your ideal targets. We then empower you with the scripts, the knowledge, and the tools to run our software. Kennected allows you to reach out to more people easily with automated and personalized messages. Send your connection requests with ease and follow-up automatically, one-by-one as if you were sending them manually.
This personalized approach is what sets Kennected apart from other automation tools. We understand the importance of setting up personalized messages so you can increase your chances of getting a response.
Once you dial in your ideal prospects, you can use Kennected to manage multiple campaigns, create new ones, or edit current campaigns. It has a response and acceptance tracking feature, as well as a reply detection feature.
With Kennected, you can contact up to 100 new prospects daily with personalized auto sequences. You can easily check responses from users, view profiles, and access current conversations under the Responses tab.
Kennected’s integration with FindThatLead, Hunter.io, Anymailfinder and more, makes it easy to find emails right inside the LinkedIn interface. This lets you update your HubSpot using valuable data. Kennected also gives you data that will help you make better business decisions. You can create, implement, and manage your outreach approach using actionable insights. Overall, Kennected lets you automate your lead generation so that you can focus on more important tasks like talking to your leads. Book a demo with Kennected today to learn more!