Lead Generation Basics

Lead generation are specific tactics that fit into a larger picture of a demand generation program, while focusing on driving interest into specific products and services. Picking up where demand generation leaves, lead generation delivers relevant content and messages to prospects. The goal here is to strengthen customer relationships, and continuously qualify leads for a sale and profit throughout the later phases of a customer’s journey.

A common mistake company owners fall into is attempting to attract everyone to their service or product, instead of focusing on the right customers. The goal of lead generation isn’t to attract as many leads possible, but to get the highest quality leads and propel them down the sales funnel to become customers.

# Why is lead generation significant?

The buying process is constantly changing, and marketers have to find new ways to attract buyers and overcome competition. Instead of attracting customers with techniques like mass advertising or e-mail blasts, they now have to focus on building a continuous relationship with customers and being found.

# Leading customers down the sales funnel

A company’s marketing efforts don’t end when a new lead is introduced into the system, also known as Top of the Funnel marketing. Most companies do a great job when it comes to generating leads, but the issue is that most of these leads aren’t ready to make a purchase. This results in losing the lead or being taken by your competitors.

To avoid this, marketers have to invest time in lead nurturing and Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) methods to build relationships, earning the lead’s business once the customer is ready to make a purchase.

# Basics of Lead Generation

Why is a lead important to the company, and what do leads mean? The level of importance differs from one company to another based on their sales cycle. However, the standard definition of a lead is a possible potential buyer who demonstrates some level of interest in buying a company’s product or service. When leads fill out a company’s form, for example, they are expecting relevant content or attractive offers in exchange.

Lead generation is also divided into two categories: inbound and outbound. As mentioned previously, companies have to ensure that their leads are continuously nurtured, and customer retention marketing techniques are part of their overall holistic strategy.

## Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing refers to the process of assisting potential customers in finding your company, before they’re even looking to buy a product/service, and then turning this early awareness into leads, brand preferences, and ultimately, profit.

According to research by Forrester, most buyers are now looking for three content pieces about a company for everyone one piece sent by a marketer, or the sales team. Your job here as a marketer is to come up with new ways so leads can find you.

So how can you do that? Companies have to create interested by providing a combination of entertaining and useful content that fosters a meaningful relationship with the audience. They also need to ensure that content is distributed through all the correct channels, especially the ones where buyers spend their time the most. Common inbound marketing techniques include content and SEO, blogging, optimizing your website, and social media.

## Outbound marketing

Even though inbound marketing is usually more popular, the right marketing mix has to consist of both inbound and outbound marketing strategies.

Outbound marketing includes using outbound channels to introduce your message and content to your prospects, usually through rented attention, instead of making content readily available on your own website, for example.

In many situations, outbound marketing techniques can get the customer to consider your products if they haven’t already done that, since many of the methods implemented have more of a “wow” factor to make the company stand out among the competition.

Outbound communication is also highly targeted, with a call-to-action that is obvious. Effective outbound marketing can push customers through the sales funnel at a faster rate, assuming they are at a closer stage to being ''ready to buy.'' Inbound marketing strategies alone often don't drive someone to make a purchase.

Outbound marketing strategies gives them that extra push they need to drive a lead down the funnel. Common outbound marketing strategies include e-mail marketing, display ads, pay per click ads (PPC), content syndication, direct mail, and events, and sales development reps.

Mixing both outbound and inbound can increase your views, sharing, and ultimately increase the number of prospects who view your content.

## Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a shared sales and marketing strategy used by companies to rank leads to determine the sales-readiness. You score leads depending on the interest they demonstrate in the business, their current in the purchase cycle, and how fit they are in regards to your company.

Lead scoring assists companies in understanding whether prospects require fast-tracking to sales or if they’ve successfully developed with lead nurturing. Lead scoring is also important to strengthen the revenue cycle, effectively drive, ROI, and regulates sales and marketing.

Lead Generation Metrics

The best lead generation strategies have intentional measurement methods metrics that are planned in advance.

When you’re in the planning process, ask yourself these questions:

- What exactly are you going to measure?

- When will you measure?

- What methods and tactics will you use?

Here are some common lead generation metrics that are used to track part of their lead generation efforts:-

Quantity of sales leads that qualified: The amount of SQLs sent over to the sales teams

Quality of SQLs: The percentage of SQLs that didn't get rejected by sales.

Cost per lead: The total campaign costs vs. quantity of leads

MQL to Sales Accepted Lead (SAL): Conversion from MQL to Sales Accepted Lead

SAL to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): Conversion from SAL to Sales Qualified Lead

SQL to Opportunity: Conversion from SQL to Opportunity

Customer journeys are constantly evolving and are completely different from a generation ago. Buyers are now more knowledgeable and aware.

They know exactly what you want and are expecting companies to respond to their needs. Crafting a strong lead generation strategy can assist you in finding leads successfully and nurturing qualified ones down the sales funnel and pipeline.

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