What Is Lead Generation?

6June 2023

A successful business needs a consistent stream of leads. Lead generation is the process of finding potential customers and getting their contact information so you can market to them.

To be effective, your lead generation strategy should include both inbound and outbound marketing. It also should be aligned with sales and customer service.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is a strategy for generating leads that involves creating engaging and informative content to attract your target audience. You can also use personalized images and calls to action (CTAs) to create a tailored experience for your prospects. Inbound marketing can help you generate leads from anywhere, and it is less expensive than outbound techniques like cold calling.

A great way to get started with inbound marketing is by analyzing your data to identify the characteristics of your ideal customer. You can use a tool like Hotjar to track visitor behavior on your website and find out what content attracts them most.

Your inbound marketing strategy should focus on attracting and nurturing your leads. For example, you can use social media to host contests and collect contact information from participants. You can also use blogging to share informative and helpful content that builds trust. In addition, you should consider using a personalization tool like Hyperise to improve the conversion rate of your website.

Outbound marketing

Outbound marketing is a strategy that involves communicating with potential leads via phone calls, email blasts, TV and radio ads, social media, direct mail, etc. This is the opposite of inbound marketing, which focuses on pulling prospective customers towards a business.

While cold email campaigns are still a viable strategy, they can be more effective when paired with email signature marketing and a CRM system that allows your team to sync contact data. Providing free value upfront, like tips on how to improve their business or solve their unique problem can help increase response rates.

Another outbound marketing method is social selling, which involves reaching out to prospects and potential customers on a one-on-one basis through platforms like LinkedIn. While this is not as scalable as other outbound marketing strategies, it can be very effective for B2B sales teams that want to reach out to more qualified prospects. B2B marketing software tools like Dialpad can make it easier for reps to connect with leads and convert them into paying customers.

Sales alignment

One of the biggest challenges in lead generation is ensuring sales and marketing are aligned. Marketing creates awareness and interest, while sales converts those leads into actual customers. Misalignment between the teams can result in low-quality leads, which ultimately hurts sales and overall business performance.

One common cause of misalignment is using different terminology and definitions of a lead. For example, if marketing teams refer to leads as MQLs and SALs but sales use different terms, it can affect the consistency of customer messaging.

The best way to solve this problem is through regular meetings between sales and marketing teams. This builds bridges between the teams and helps them understand each other’s goals, constraints, and performance metrics. It also enables them to develop a joint strategy for lead generation and improve the efficiency of their efforts. Lastly, it ensures that sales are only receiving high-quality leads that are ready to be handled by them. Ultimately, this will save time and resources for both teams and help them achieve their revenue goals.

The buying journey

The buying journey is the path that leads take to convert from prospective customers into clients. Unlike demand generation, which focuses on creating free and open content like blogs, podcasts, or videos, lead generation strategies go one step further by including a form for contact information. Having targeted content for each stage of the buyer journey is an effective way to capture new leads and increase client retention.

For B2B businesses, generating leads requires an understanding of the buyers’ needs and problems. This can be achieved by publishing original research that gets the industry buzzing.

Using influencers to promote products and services is another effective B2B lead generation strategy. Similarly, encouraging website visitors to register for a newsletter is an easy way to turn them into leads. Adding an email field next to sold-out items on ecommerce websites is also an efficient way to generate leads. This way, the potential buyer can be notified when the item becomes available.

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