Lead generation is a key element in the sales process that has changed in recent years alongside shifts in sales and marketing landscape. Generated leads are no longer an indiscriminate list of names that marketing hands to sales. Leads are generated today by drawing in potential customers using a variety of methods, offering them useful information, building and nurturing relationships, and evaluating which leads are ready to move forward in their buying journey. For more detailed information, visit our blog post on “5 Ways You Can Generate More Qualified Leads ”.
When an MQL displays sales-ready behavior, like requesting for a demo or signing up for a free trial, they become a sales qualified lead. These leads are usually handed over by the sales team to an Account Executive (AE). SQLs are close to making a purchasing decision, so the quicker the AE acts, the higher their chances of conversion. A good way to identify an SQL is by applying the BANT framework—do they have the Budget, Authority, Need and Timeframe to buy from you?
Social media is undoubtedly one of the most effective sources for lead generation and the 1.8 billion users of social networks definitely won’t lie, as reported by the 2014 Global Digital Statistics, Stats and Facts. The report also indicated that more than 135 million users of the top social networks were added in 2012, with Facebook jumping to an astounding 1.184 billion active users.
That is why we actually had people order leads, and we called them. We called more than one bunch of leads as well. This at least would give us a feeling of consistency or lack of it. The MLM Lead companies we chose were highly consistent in quality of lead, and people who truly were looking for a business. It took us 7 months to complete the research on MLM leads.
However, this does not mean that you should sign up every blogger who looks to be even remotely interested in food to your weekly email about organic apples. That’s just silly (and it also violates the CAN-SPAM Act!). Instead, if you see someone mention on Twitter that they’re having a hard time locating organic apples in their area, consider tweeting back to ask if they’ve seen your online shop. Or drop them a short, polite email asking if you can help them.
The outbound method involves a proactive attempt to reach out to your audience. This usually begins with purchasing lead lists. You then contact these leads by calling them directly (cold calling) or sending them physical mails (direct mail). For a wider reach, businesses look beyond lead lists and use billboards, print ads, television ads, and radio ads. The emphasis here is on budget, media connections, and how much marketing muscle you can flex.
On the Internet, Web sites and search engines can be excellent sources of leads, although the process can be time consuming. Web sites, such as TechTarget.com, have evolved for the specific purpose of making it easy for personnel to obtain leads. Companies have emerged that specialize in lead generation for a fee. They perform the research, and then provide the client with a list of leads. Services of this kind have been used by insurance companies, real estate agents, wholesalers, marketing firms, private investigators, research scientists and educational institutions.
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LeadHunter's unique system converts interested prospects actively searching Google and Yahoo for the things that you sell – into leads from people who have ASKED YOU TO CALL THEM in real time. Leads are generated from people searching for your product or service, and have favorably evaluated a high-profile representation of your company, and then have ASKED YOU TO CALL THEM. Simply stated, LeadHunter converts search engine traffic into contactable leads.
For B2B companies or those who offer very complex services or products, lead nurturing is often a very important part of the relationship with their customers. There are a variety of ways to nurture a lead, and grow them into a buyer, but email is often considered a failsafe solution. It’s inexpensive, endlessly customizable, and can help you deliver the right message at exactly the right time, opening doors and starting conversations that will eventually create a sale.
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.
All the necessary information about your company, its services and products must be mentioned clearly in order to make the customers fully understand your company. You can also improvise to provide a better customer experience. For example, when the customer signs up for your website, ask them a few questions about what are their needs and expectations and that way, dynamically adjusting your website to give the customers what they need.
Not all of your site visitors are ready to talk to your sales team or see a demo of your product. Someone at the beginning of the buyer's journey might be interested in an informational piece like an ebook or a guide, whereas someone who's more familiar with your company and near the bottom of the journey might be more interested in a free trial or demo.
The truth is that successful lead generation strategies really differ for each business—and to figure out what works, you’ll have to know both your own business inside and out, plus what you’re really hoping to accomplish. Some industries are just better suited for social media lead generation tactics, while others still rely on word of mouth to generate new business.
Whether you are hosting a small private function, a large-scale international tradeshow, or an executive-level webinar, event marketing needs to be an integral part of the lead generation mix. After all, events are a critical component of an outbound marketing strategy. Essentially, events offer you the chance to define your brand, clarify the solutions you provide, and establish personal connections with participants. And while they provide you with an invaluable opportunity to engage with prospects and customers, events also give attendees the chance to interact with each other. As every marketer knows, there is no better advertising than the direct words of a satisfied customer. Events also provide a venue to deliver speeches and content that convey your company’s thought leadership and raise your perception in the eyes of buyers. Compared to other marketing tactics, events are more likely to quickly turn a prospect into a strong lead. As a lively, interactive, educational forum, events position your business as a trusted leader in a field of many.
The inbound method attracts leads using online content. You create a website, or you write a blog, and you optimize it for online search through SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. This means the content has the appropriate keywords and answers the questions your target audience is asking. When your content is easily discoverable and begins to engage your readers, they become your leads. Depending on how you interact with them from then on, they can become your customers too.
Leads may come from various sources or activities, for example, digitally via the Internet, through personal referrals, through telephone calls either by the company or telemarketers, through advertisements, and events. A 2015 study found that 89% of respondents cited email as the most-used channel for generating leads, followed by content marketing, search engine, and finally events. A study from 2014 found that direct traffic, search engines, and web referrals were the three most popular online channels for lead generation, accounting for 93% of leads.