People say that every little drop makes an ocean. Similarly, each qualified lead gradually builds up what an enterprise can project as a range of potential clients.
Lead generation is the first and the most crucial step toward growing customers. But how do leads appear in the first place? Well, it's through the lead generation process.
This article will discuss in detail the lead generation process and the steps and strategies to generate leads effectively.
Table of Contents
What Is the Lead Generation Process?
The lead generation process attracts leads or potential customers into a marketing software system or contact management. It aims to nurture leads throughout the buying process, convince them to buy your offerings, and convert them into loyal customers.
Lead information can include name, email address, phone number, etc. However, effective marketing involves offering something of value in exchange for this information.
Gone are the days when simple cold calling was effective. In today's era of advanced brand strategy, businesses need qualified lead generation through inbound marketing.
Present-day customers are informed and mindful of the information they consume. That is why companies must emphasize efficient data collection as a means of qualified lead generation.
What Are the Steps in a Lead Generation Process?
The lead generation process is not a one-step process. Generating and using leads the right way requires you to go through the following steps:
Step 1: Identify a Buyer Persona
Even before collecting leads, you must understand who you are targeting. Therefore, the first step is deciding on the right buyer for your product.
You can define buyer persona by demographics, requirements, budget, etc. There are available tools to guide you in the process.
Step 2: Develop a Lead Generation Medium
After identifying the buyer persona, it is time to choose a lead magnet. For this, you need strategies like content, social media, and interactive marketing, which we will elaborate on later in this article.
Businesses must focus on adding value through these media to the audience and get relevant information in return.
Step 3: Create a Lead Generation Database
It is commonly misunderstood that generating leads is the end of the lead-generation process. Businesses must handle these leads well, or else there is no benefit.
For this, you need to create a database for the leads where you can study, filter, and segment them. An automated system is the best way to go about it and nurture your leads.
Step 4: Qualify and Score the Leads
All leads are to be treated differently. Although you have defined buyer persona as the first step, you need to qualify and score the leads, prioritizing some over others.
You can target them through different content and varying channels of their usage, interest, and preference. So, before you transfer the leads onto the next step, it is always better to score them using specific prescribed parameters.
Step 5: Develop Lead-Ready Channels
Marketers must collect the leads through optimized channels and use them in marketing campaigns to get the best out of them. These channels could be social media comprising ads and various other lead magnets, landing pages, emails, webinars, etc. Focus on tracks you can connect with the different CRM tools to export your leads and effectively handle them.
Step 6: Invest in an Analytics Engine
With an analytics engine, tracking conversions can be much easier. Many leads do not convert, so it is crucial to understand where you lose your maximum leads. This helps identify the leakage points in the cycle.
For instance, if your prospects are dropping out at the lead form step, consider simplifying the form by making it more interactive or reducing the number of fields.
The feedback on the forms can further help improve your strategy, nurture dicey prospects, and increase your conversion rates.
Best Practices to Follow in the Sales Lead Generation Process
These sales lead generation process best practices are focused on offering your users an improved experience, thereby motivating and accelerating the process:
Conduct A/B Tests
A/B test compares two variants of the same app, web page, etc., to determine which performs better. It is an experiment in which one variant represents one set of customers, and the other, the next set.
This enables you to offer users the experience they want. You can also optimize your landing page better, which makes it likely for your audience to engage with the content and become a lead.
Align Sales and Marketing
The sales and marketing teams in your business must work in coordination. They must work together to offer the leads the best experience.
The more aligned your sales and marketing team is, the more you can ensure that the right content reaches the right user at the right time. It also prevents duplicity of effort and scope, increasing the chances of lead conversions.
Improve User Experience
If you want your users to provide valuable information, you must ensure they are comfortable with the website's interface. So, use engaging and attractive visuals while avoiding clutter and leaving sufficient white space.
For example, if you are a healthcare service organization, consider embedding a patient satisfaction survey on the website to gather leads and engage your audience.
Build a User Roadmap
Businesses must be clear about what they want their leads to do. The website should have clear instructions and navigation for the audience.
From the time they come to your website till they reach your lead magnet and give information, they should have a smooth journey. Bold and clear CTA buttons serve the purpose well.
Offer Personalized Content
Personalized content plays a crucial role in big and small business lead generation. It is 2022, and one-size-fits-all content no longer works as every user is different. Personalized content adds value and helps users in ways that generic and static content cannot. It keeps your audience engaged and drives conversions.
Top 5 Lead Generation Strategies for Businesses to Try Out
Let's now dive right into the lead generation agencies' strategies and elaborate on each for better understanding:
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a vital part of any good marketing strategy. But most businesses fail to understand how content helps gain qualified leads.
Well, daily, your content attracts thousands of users who read about you, learn from you, and know about your brand. You need to channel this traffic to come across various other types of content.
Compelling content does not just mean blogs. They are courses, eBooks, infographics, checklists, and many more. You can exchange this gated content for lead information to come in.
Business content should be unique and optimized to attract leads. It must be relevant enough to motivate a lead to share their information. Educational and value-adding content helps leverage content marketing efforts for lead generation.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are effective mediums for businesses to gain more leads. They offer excellent ways of increasing your reach and interacting directly with your audience.
You can share your existing gated content on social media to gather more audience. Such content has high shareability, enabling your audience base to expand. Additionally, you can run contests, promotions, and giveaways to incentivize audiences for their information. They might not, however, bring qualified leads always.
Social media networks also offer ”lead generation ads” that directly help you collect leads through ads. This simplifies the process through a pop-up lead gen form without directing the users to a third-party landing page.
The concept of stories and live videos on social media is also helpful in the promotion of gated content. They can be in the form of an event registration, an eBook, or a particular template.
3. Podcasts and Webinars
Podcasts and webinars are also excellent ways of building community for brands. They create a space for like-minded people to come together and learn from each other. Plus, they are great lead generators.
Podcasts and webinars bring qualified leads because these are the people genuinely interested in what you are talking about and are extremely valuable too.
Marketers should create appealing, SEO-optimized landing pages for podcasts and webinars and share the same on social media, websites, and newsletters. The number of responses will vary, but effective lead generation will occur.
4. Email Marketing
An overall average open rate for emails at 22.86% makes email marketing an integral part of the eCommerce sales funnel. It would only be ideal for businesses to use email marketing as a lead-generation tool.
Email marketing is most effective through value-packed newsletters that include reports, PDFs, interactive content, and checklists. You can talk about yorur new blog posts, offers, and discounts and provide all exciting information to your audience.
Valuable content encourages your audience to sign up for your newsletter.
5. Coupons and Discounts
Everybody loves gifts. Promo codes and coupons are great incentives for users to give their information to businesses.
Consider an example of the accessories company, Joker & Witch. Every time you visit their website, you see a side pop, ”Spin the Wheel” game that gives a coupon code prize. You must provide your email address to receive a code that lets you buy a favorite watch at the best price. Simultaneously, you can run a scan to win contests with a bulk QR code generator.
This is a genius move, generating qualified leads and incentivizing people to make a purchase.
Takeaways on Lead Generation Process
An effective lead generation process will look different depending on the business and industry. However, each comes with the primary goal of turning leads into paying customers.
Businesses must be open to trying new ideas, strategies, and practices to create a lead generation process that best serves their customers' unique needs and wants. To help them with this, hiring professional enterprise application software companies is a good way to go.