A lead generation specialist is a professional who collects and evaluates potential sales opportunities.
A lead generation career can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the marketing world. It’s also a field that offers plenty of opportunities for growth and advancement.
It’s hard work to become a lead generator, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time.
If you have the right skills, the ability to grasp the characteristics of the target audience, and understand the product well enough, you’ll be well on your way to getting the desired job.
Whether you’re interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we’ve compiled extensive information on becoming a lead generation specialist.
What Do Lead Generation Specialists Do?
As your business grows in size and complexity, so does your lead generation strategy.
As the number of prospects you need to follow up with rises, so does the number of leads you need to score and qualify for your sales team.
A lead generation specialist helps businesses attract and qualify more potential customers. They are often part of a sales team in B2B companies.
Those who specialize in lead generation help companies find and qualify potential customers for more business growth.
They can also work as independent or freelance consultants and offer their services in exchange for a retainer fee.
The Lead Generation Process Is A Common Struggle
Lead generation, the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service to develop a sales pipeline, allows companies to nurture targets until they’re ready to buy.
Lead generation is one of those inbound marketing topics that’s sometimes a giant pain for sales teams. Why?
Even the best organizations have times when they struggle with where to improve their sales tactics and enjoy faster growth.
Most people participate in lead generation out of habit rather than necessity.
Even executives who rely on marketing professionals to generate leads often make excuses that they “don’t have time” or that it’s somebody else’s responsibility.
It doesn’t matter whether you are in business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) sales – all companies need new prospects to grow.
Additionally, many businesses of all sizes are now turning to specialized help to achieve better results. And they’re doing it by hiring a lead generation specialist.
Who Needs Lead Generation?
Business-to-business companies commonly use lead generation, but other businesses use it too.
For example, retail stores may use lead generation tactics to attract new customers interested in their products or services.
Hiring For A Lead Generator Job
Entry-level lead generation positions typically require only a high school diploma or GED.
However, some employers may prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising, or another related field.
Getting a degree can help lead gen specialists with data analysis, critical thinking, communication, and other necessary skills depending on the field they study.
Some lead generation companies may also require new hires to complete a training program before they begin generating leads.
There are no certifications necessary to become a lead generator.
However, those who want to become professional lead generators can join the Professional Association of Lead Generators (PALG).
This professional association offers members networking opportunities, mentorship, and a community of professionals who can help one another grow their sales skills.
Understanding The Sales Process
To identify sales leads, lead generation specialists need to know sales processes and goals.
A sales funnel or purchase funnel refers to a customer’s journey toward ultimately buying a product or service. The sales funnel outlines the steps of a sale.
Understanding the sales funnel can aid in the lead generation process and remove unnecessary confusion that could disqualify a sale.
Understand Your Product Or Service
When generating leads, it can be helpful to comprehend your business’s mission and offerings fully.
This way, you can accurately answer questions, explain your product or service and evaluate if your offering is a good fit for the lead’s company.
Align With Sales
Effective sales and marketing teams can play an instrumental role in a company’s success.
Regardless of the company’s product or service, a streamlined sales strategy can boost sales and improve customer satisfaction.
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.
This results in a seamless transition and immediate follow-up for qualified leads if done correctly.
Relay information accurately to sales and others on the marketing team.
To do this, sales and marketing must agree on two main categories of lead stages: marketing qualified leads (MQLs), and sales qualified leads (SQLs).
While strong interpersonal skills and communication can be important, some aspects of a lead generation specialist’s job may include data analysis.
Analytical skills are essential for every salesperson in the age of data-driven marketing.
The lead expert’s role involves understanding lead generation metrics, such as conversion rate, drop-off rate, or time required to convert a lead.
Whether it is metrics around a specific campaign or just data on their target market, they aren’t afraid to look at the numbers and anticipate how to move forward.
Diving into data to find results, learning more about a particular target market, or thinking of innovative ways to attract new customers is crucial to this job position.
It enables them to focus on the right leads and manage their time effectively.
Targeting And Segmentation
Lead gen specialists must determine whether a lead fits in with your ideal customer profile and the stage of the buyer’s journey the lead is in.
That knowledge facilitates lead nurturing and helps personalize communication to help qualify leads for the next stage.
Since lead qualification is also an essential part of the sales process along with nurturing, the understanding of ideal buyers will help specialists disqualify leads that are not the right fit due to multiple reasons such as budget constraints or the lack of decision-making rights.
When you know the stage of the buyer’s journey the lead is in, you can personalize the content and communication accordingly to help them qualify for the next stage of the funnel.
When you are automating this process through CRM or email marketing, you can segment the audience based on the funnel stage and communicate accordingly at scale.
Familiarity With CRM Software
High-level lead generation relies heavily on marketing automation and CRM software.
Lead generation specialists will be responsible for generating and nurturing leads for the organization using different marketing channels.
To perform their job efficiently, a lead generation specialist will need to know their way around the CRM software their company uses.
The aim is to keep the contact database accurate and relevant for the business.
This is likely the easiest of all the tasks expected of a lead generation specialist.
There are plenty of in-depth tutorials out there for every type of CRM software, and anyone with a bit of computer savvy should be able to pick it up pretty quickly.
Another aspect of the lead generation specialist position is sales management. Understanding what your team needs to thrive and attract new customers is important.
Further, it is crucial to have a plan for how representatives should contact or approach potential leads after they’ve requested a demo, quote, or appointment.
Lead generation professionals need to understand their prospects’ pain points and be able to explain how your product resolves them.
Staying on top of the latest developments in a tech organization helps lead specialists to speak prospects’ language and brainstorm ideas with internal teams.
You should be aware of the following communication practices while interacting with leads:
Interact professionally with leads, existing customers, and other company stakeholders via various communication mediums.
Collaborate with marketing and sales team members to work on tasks relevant to lead generation.
Cultivate in-depth product knowledge and understanding to ensure you can effectively communicate the product features.
Networking is connecting with others to share information, develop relationships and grow your business.
Networking is an essential skill that can help you develop new leads for your company as a lead generator.
You can network with other professionals in your industry, such as sales representatives, to share information about your company and its products.
You can also network with potential customers to learn more about their needs and how you can help them.
Contacting Prospective Customers
Direct calls and emails are some of the most successful outbound techniques that still work today.
This is especially true in B2B industries, as it’s relatively easy to research and target the people who hold the positions relevant to the products companies sell.
At many B2B companies, the task of cold calling and emailing prospects falls to the lead generation specialist.
This person will research potential leads, make initial communications to warm them up, and pre-sell them before handing them over to the sales team.
Prospective customers may ask what they do before and after filling out a lead generation form.
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you’re having a hard time connecting with the people visiting your site.
These are questions you should be able to answer — and you can with the right lead generation tools.
One part of the lead generation specialist’s job is creating and publishing content as part of a bigger digital marketing strategy.
While the exact format can vary by individual industry or niche, this includes blog posts, social media content, videos, landing pages, email marketing, and much more.
Lead generation drives content marketing. Eighty-five percent of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal.
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.
Lead generation can grow revenue in any size company.
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.
Scoring leads depends on the lead’s actions, the information they’ve provided, their level of engagement with your brand, or other criteria that your sales team determines.
For instance, you may score someone higher if they regularly engage with you on social media or if their demographic information matches your target audience.
Dedication To The Job
The one thing that sets the best lead generation specialists apart is their dedication.
Students looking for extra cash and people with other jobs are all welcome, but passion and a sense of urgency in getting more business for your company are essential.
According to the industry you’re working in, as you accrue experience in your role, you stand the opportunities to be promoted to the positions of:
Business development manager
Strategic accounts manager
Director of sales
Vice president of sales
Digital Marketing Expansion
The growth of digital marketing has led to an increased demand for lead generation services.
This is because digital marketing allows businesses to reach a wider audience and generate more leads than traditional methods.
What Is A Service Qualified Lead?
Service qualified leads are contacts or customers who’ve indicated to your service team that they’re interested in becoming a paying customer.
An example of a service-qualified lead is a customer who tells their customer service representative that they’d like to upgrade their product subscription; at this time, the customer service representative would up-level this customer to the appropriate sales team or representative.
A Tough Career
The hours are typically regular, Monday through Friday, although some overtime may be necessary to meet deadlines.
The job can be stressful, as lead generators are often under pressure to meet quotas.
However, most lead generators find the work challenging and rewarding, as they can use their creativity and people skills to help businesses grow.
A Lead Generation Specialist Can Make Or Break A Business
A BrightTalk survey of 600 B2B businesses revealed that 53% spend more than half of their marketing budgets on lead generation activities.
Unfortunately, that investment doesn’t pay off for most of them— As many as 64% of the same group found that leads sent to the sales team make up less than 25% of overall revenue.
The problem is the large volume of low-quality leads. And it can be solved by a lead specialist.
Lead generation specialists are integral members of many B2B marketing teams.
Without their input, sales teams would have to deal with an overflow of unqualified leads who are unwilling or unable to make a purchase.
Increase Your Lead Volume
There’s nothing worse than constantly feeling like your lead generation campaign is failing, or that you are missing out on opportunities.
If this sounds familiar, then it’s time for you to think about outsourcing your lead generation campaigns so that more people see your brand and become aware of the products or services.
How To Become A Lead Generation Specialist
Now that you know what a lead generation specialist does, you may ask yourself, ‘How do I become one’ or ‘How can I start generating more leads immediately?’
The answer lies not only in learning new skills but also in making changes to how you think.
Instead of waiting for prospects to come knocking looking for new solutions, you need to go out and find them, get in front of them and present your solution to them.
You can enter the industry without a higher education degree and learn on the job. But it’s good to have at least some experience in sales so that you understand the sales process.
The role of a lead generator is often an entry point to better opportunities in sales or business development as you gain experience.
What Does An Inside Sales Director Do?
The role of inside sales directors is to sell services and products over the phone. They are responsible for overseeing sales representatives who make and take telephone calls.
They must ensure that the inside sales department operates smoothly and that sales reps meet sales quotas.
Hop-On The Kennected Train
According to HubSpot, 61% of companies name their top marketing challenge is generating traffic and leads.
If you’re part of that 61%, keep reading because what you’re about to discover could be a game-changer for you and your business (like it has for thousands of people before you).
So many business owners & sales professionals that come to us are struggling to get ahead because they’re stuck relying on referrals, lead lists, or manual prospecting.
This is taking up too much of their time and isn’t creating the consistent income they’re looking for to fund the lifestyle they want for themselves and their families.
Four years ago, the founders of Kennected had the same struggles. They found that lead generation was way too complicated, expensive, and time-consuming, knowing there had to be a better way.
So they developed a new way of getting qualified leads that turn into new customers on the #1 platform for B2B lead generation… LinkedIn.
In the four years since we developed this lead gen strategy, we’ve earned a spot on the Inc. 5,000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America.
And more importantly, it helped over 17,000 businesses get new leads and sales for THEIR businesses.
Want to see how it works?
Click here to see how you can use Kennected to fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads in less than 10 minutes per day.