As a business owner, imagine that I’m just doing a research, I don’t know exact dates of my holiday (it mostly depends on your availability) and I’m not sure how long I want to stay. I need to find out the options, consider them and talk with my partner. If we would talk on the phone, you would give me dates but what’s next? I would hang up anyway to think about these dates. And that’s not closing a deal. That’s inconvenience for me, because I need to write them down anyway.
Imagine you have 125 leads. Every lead has engaged with your business in unique ways, and they’re in different stages of your sales funnel. It’s not humanly possible to glance at a lead and recall how closer/farther they are to your business—until you use lead scoring technology. Lead scoring is a method by which you define parameters to qualify or “score” a lead in the CRM. So a CTO might get 15 points by virtue of their designation, and a lead who clicked on a link in your email might get 10 points (versus a lead who only opened your email and gets 5 points). All these points add up, and the higher the score, the hotter the lead. Putting a score on a lead cuts down your decision-making time in terms of which lead you should contact first.
Chadwick Martin Bailey, another expert market research firm, reported that up to 51 percent of Facebook users and 67 percent of Twitter fanatics will most like purchase recommendations from brands they are a fan or a follower of. Such is the impact of Social Media on lead generation and sales that revenues are expected to go up exponentially in the coming years according to experts like eMarketer in their report on the US Social Network Ad Revenues 2012-2015.
Many marketing agencies offer lead generation services for business that don't wish to develop their own systems. These agencies will often have a network of companies and websites that it uses to promote its client businesses. When a visitor expresses interest in one of the agency's clients, the agency passes that lead back to the client. Often agencies will promote their clients through a directory or list of providers, and when a visitor requests a quote for a specific service, the agency alerts the appropriate client.
Your website is where the magic happens. This is the place where your audience needs to convert. Whether it is encouraging prospective buyers to sign up for your newsletter or fill out a form for a demo, the key is to optimize your website for converting browsers into actual leads. Pay attention to forms, Calls-to-Action (CTA), layout, design, and content.
This is the most powerful, persuasive marketing weapon available to any business. It drives customers to try products or services more than any other marketing technique … more than advertising, salespeople, direct response, and public relations combined! And contrary to what you might expect word-of-mouth is not out of your control. There are dozens of techniques for launching your own highly successful word of mouth campaigns, based on an all-important Decision Matrix and a proven seven-step process.
Pay-Per-Click advertising is still alive and strong, helping businesses generate a great deal of highly targeted traffic that has the most probability for lead conversion. If your business is just new in the Digital Marketing arena, then PPC would be your ideal launching point, quickly generating good results and the quickest possible time. The 2013 State of Paid Search Report highlighted that up to 72% of digital marketers find PPC advertising very effective in lead generation and plans to increase their budget in 2014 for PPC ads.
Just because you paid for the lead, it doesn’t mean that you should get emotionally attached to each one. Buying leads is, and always will be, a sorting process to find your next business partners. If you are terrible at the phone, either, buy MLM leads or get a job at a telemarketing company. Gaining experience on the phone is worth its weight in gold. Every big recruiter or enroller is good on the phone. Most of them used to be terrible but experience made them better.
ToFu: Leads at the top of the funnel need awareness. They know nothing about what you offer and what domain you operate in, so you’ll need to create a conversation around both these focus points—without selling your product up front. If you sell CRMs, you attract ToFu leads by talking about how SDRs (sales development representatives) can do their job better using CRM software. Blogs, ebooks and guides are content types that work well at this stage.
For example, maybe you took an online survey to learn more about how to take care of your car. If you got an email from the auto company that hosted the survey on their website about how they could help you take care of your car, it'd be far less intrusive and irrelevant than if they'd just called you out of the blue with no knowledge of whether you even care about car maintenance, right?