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Lead generation is a crucial aspect of any marketing strategy. It is the process of attracting potential customers and converting them into actual customers. The success of your lead generation strategy is directly tied to your ability to win new customers, grow your revenue, and meet sales targets. However, many marketers find lead generation to be their biggest challenge, with 61% of them considering it a top priority.
To ensure that your lead generation strategy aligns with current best practices, it is important to follow a set of guidelines. These best practices will help you get the best return on investment (ROI) from your marketing efforts and generate high-quality leads. In this article, we will explore eight lead generation best practices that you need to follow in 2023.
1. Strike a Balance Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing
Inbound marketing, which focuses on attracting prospects through content marketing, SEO, and social media, is often seen as the key to lead generation. However, it is important to strike a balance between inbound and outbound marketing strategies.
According to Vito Vishnepolsky, the Founder and Director of Martal Group, a B2B lead generation expert, a healthy pipeline requires both inbound and outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a great long-term lead generation tactic, while outbound marketing is perfect for speeding up the sales cycle and filling up your funnel with sales-qualified leads.
To generate leads with outbound marketing, Vishnepolsky advises using automated, multichannel marketing with at least 22 touchpoints. By ensuring that you are sequencing outreach through various channels over several weeks, you can drastically increase the chances of connecting and converting leads. He recommends using email, LinkedIn, and phones as the main channels for prospecting.
2. Diversify Your Acquisition Channels
While it may be tempting to focus all your resources on one channel that is producing results, it is important to diversify your acquisition channels. By relying on multiple channels, you reduce the risk of having an empty pipeline if something happens to one channel.
Alexandre Boudier, the Director of Growth at Solink, emphasizes the need to have a layered approach to lead generation. Each layer should be a combination of a channel and a strategy that is stable and continues to grow. This can only be achieved by diversifying your sources of leads and being creative.
Boudier suggests focusing on channels that are suited to your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and investing in channels where you can scale without seeing a significant increase in cost per acquisition. By diversifying your acquisition channels, you can ensure a steady flow of quality leads and reduce the risk of relying on a single channel.
3. Ensure Your Lead Gen Strategy Is Data-Driven
Data-driven marketing strategies are essential for successful lead generation. By leveraging technology and data to analyze customer behavior, lead gen experts can create highly targeted campaigns that reach the right prospects at the right times.
Ben Lack, the Founder & CEO of Interrupt Media, emphasizes the importance of data-driven strategies in capturing more qualified leads and increasing conversion rates. He recommends using A/B testing tactics to determine which campaigns are most effective and optimize lead generation efforts.
Collecting, organizing, and utilizing data is crucial for lead generation success. Alexander of Solink advises building a team that consists not only of marketers but also engineers and developers. This diverse team can provide varied perspectives and skills to generate new ideas and implement strategies that others have not tried yet.
4. Sales and Marketing Alignment Is Crucial
Sales and marketing teams need to work together and align their efforts to achieve lead generation success. When teams work in silos, it becomes harder to tap into insights and produce better results.
Boudier emphasizes the importance of sales and marketing alignment in lead generation. The marketing team is responsible for bringing leads to the sales team, which is then accountable for responding to them quickly. Follow-up with the sales team to ensure that they are activating the leads and maximizing the opportunities generated by the marketing efforts.
Sales and marketing teams have the same objective of growing the company’s revenue. By working together and aligning their strategies, they can maximize the effectiveness of the lead generation process and drive better results.
5. Create Valuable Content
Content is key to attracting leads to your business. To generate quality leads, it is important to create valuable content that speaks directly to the needs of your target audience.
Luciano Viterale, a lead generation expert, emphasizes the importance of creating relevant content for your specific audience. By producing content that is tailored to your target audience and coupled with questions required in forms, you can ensure that you only hear from people you would want to work with.
A combination of paid and organic content marketing strategies can help you attract quality leads. Sharing your content on social media in easily digestible formats such as videos, infographics, and memes is one of the best ways to engage your target audience and drive leads.
6. Explore Personalization
Personalization and relationship building are crucial for improving the ROI of your lead generation efforts. By creating content that speaks directly to the customer’s unique needs and interests, you can increase engagement and conversion rates.
Ben Lack emphasizes the importance of personalization in lead generation. By understanding your target market and identifying their pain points, you can create solutions that speak directly to those needs and effectively communicate the value you can provide.
Roy Harmon, the CMO at LeadPost, suggests creating targeted campaigns and utilizing a variety of tactics such as webinars, case studies, and targeted content to attract and nurture qualified leads. By personalizing your approach and building relationships with customers, partners, and other stakeholders, you can develop a comprehensive strategy for lead generation.
7. Don’t Overlook Dark Social
Dark social refers to marketing activities and results that analytics tools cannot track. It is important not to overlook dark social in your lead generation strategy.
Arthur Castillo, the Head of Dark Social and Evangelism at Chili Piper, emphasizes the importance of dark social in creating demand. By implementing a free text form fill on their website, Castillo’s team found that more than 75% of high-intent prospects come from dark social channels like social media or word of mouth.
To get insight on dark social and attribute your lead generation to specific channels, you can add a text field to your demo request, pricing, or contact forms that ask leads where they heard about you. You can also ask customers during sales conversations where they heard about you.
8. Do More with Less
In 2023, it is important to find resourceful ways to increase the ROI of lead generation efforts. Sales teams need to focus on efficiency and prioritize leads with the highest chance of converting into future meetings and revenue.
Derek Wang, a Sales Manager at UserGems, suggests focusing on high-intent leads and good account-fit based on trigger events like job changes and relationship data. By targeting leads that already have familiarity with your brand, you can increase conversion rates and maximize resources.
Stephen Desch, a Senior ADR at UserGems, emphasizes the need to do more with less. He suggests making the most of your CRM/database of contacts by resurrecting outdated contacts and providing your teams with warm pathways into new accounts.
To summarize, following these lead generation best practices will help you get better ROI from your marketing efforts. By striking a balance between inbound and outbound marketing, diversifying your acquisition channels, and ensuring that your strategy is data-driven, you can generate high-quality leads and improve the effectiveness of your lead generation campaigns. Additionally, by aligning sales and marketing, creating valuable content, exploring personalization, and leveraging dark social and efficiency, you can maximize the impact of your lead generation efforts.