Gone are the days that a marketer only relied on outbound techniques like trade shows, cold calling, and advertisements to get leads. Today’s buyer is in control. According to Forrester, buyers seek out three pieces of content about a vendor for every one piece sent by a marketer, and for every one piece sent by sales. Because of buyer self-education, your job as a marketer is to be heard through the noise and come up with new ways for leads to find you. To be a marketer in today’s world, you need a solid grasp of inbound in order to truly amplify your lead generation impact.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is incorporated in the SEM. It is a process that adjusts and changes the content of the website and its architecture such that it is ranked higher in the result pages of the search engines. There are tools available online to make your website or specific web pages search engine optimized. The generation of leads depends a lot on how many people your website can reach and Search Engine Marketing is the best way to achieve that.
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.
There will be many events you will be attending as a representative of your company. These events can be the best way to promote your company’s services. If you are attending trade shows, put up a booth where people can come and have a hands-on personal experience with your company’s business. Going further, you can ask interested customers to enter their details on a list or card so you can get a feedback and follow up later.
Emails cannot just be used to communicate regarding the purchase but also can be used as a tool for marketing to ensure future purchases. Gathering new sales leads is important but it is equally important to retain the previous ones. Periodically sharing your company’s new launches and offers will not only bring the old customers back but also, their network with which they can share the news.
In many cases, outbound techniques can get someone to think about you even if they haven’t thought about you yet, since many of the methods you use should have more of a “wow” factor to make your company stand out. Outbound communication is often highly targeted, with a call-to-action that is very obvious. As a result, good outbound marketing can push someone through the funnel at a faster rate, assuming they are closer to being ready to buy. Inbound alone often does not drive someone to buy. Outbound gives them that extra nudge they need to drive a lead down the funnel.
Lead generation often uses digital channels, and has been undergoing substantial changes in recent years from the rise of new online and social techniques. In particular, the abundance of information readily available online has led to the rise of the “self-directed buyer” and the emergence of new techniques to develop and qualify potential leads before passing them to sales.
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Now you know about all the efforts you will have to take in order to generate leads. But generating leads is only half the task. What if you lose customers just because you didn’t care enough about they had registered their interests? It is very important to communicate with your customers until these are converted into the purchase. The best way to do this is by using emails.
Although lead generation no longer revolves around using the phone to identify qualified leads, that doesn’t mean the calling has stopped entirely. To engage and qualify prospective buyers, inside or outsourced teams will often still call prospects who have shown some level of interest. Sometimes they’ll call to highlight a value proposition or event as part of the lead nurturing and engagement process. In other cases, they’ll call simply to ask questions and determine interest as part of the lead qualification process.
Before you start trying to generate more leads, make sure you know who you're trying to reach and where you might be able to find them—physically or virtually. First, identify the need or want that your product or service can address. For instance, joining your direct sales business can help a person fulfill a need for more income. Perhaps the wellness products you sell can help people meet their desire to stay healthy.
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.
If you depend more on repeat business than initial sales, or if most of your sales and profits occur when customers repeat purchase from you again and again, you should be doing everything possible to motivate as many customers as you can to make their initial buying decision as quickly and easily as possible. Making it easy and irresistible for the customer to start doing business with you by adding extra incentives or by making your initial sale at breakeven or a small loss, means that you will benefit sooner rather than later from all the repeat business, the add-ons and the ancillary products and services that represent the bulk of your profits.
Best of all, white papers also serve a dual purpose of acting as an informative, additive sales pitch that extends beyond industry jargon and advertising copy. Offering white paper downloads in exchange for contact information makes prospective leads comfortable exchanging their details in order to receive something of value. That makes the transaction more hospitable—and who knows, you might even see your white paper passed around the industry.
With the perennial boom and bust cycle of the American job market, there are always going to be people who have decided that they’ve had enough and they want to strike out on their own, trying to be their own boss. These people, known as business opportunity buyers or simply opportunity leads are hungry for ideas and turn key businesses that they can buy into in order to create their own success.