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Lead Generation Funnel Example
Lead generation can be defined as the process of attracting prospects and converting them into someone who has an interest in your company’s products and services. Modern brands make use of various lead generation strategies such as:
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Live events and seminars
- Website landing pages
These are just a few strategies that you can use to attract potential customers to your product or offer. Most companies prefer to stick to what works best for them, as lead generation strategies differ according to industry. Email and social media marketing for their lead generation might work for online fashion stores, but the same strategies may not work for software companies. People looking for software might require more details and information on the product, which is why a blog or a series of webinars could work better as lead generation tools.
Benefits of Lead Generation
When a person shows interest in your brand’s products or services, the steps that person takes towards making their first purchase just seem natural. You just helped them to fulfill a need or solve a problem. When a person has no interest in what you have to offer, yet you still try to convince them to make a purchase, they may feel like they are being pushed to spend their money. This can make the customer feel like they were forced to buy your product and it can hurt your brand’s reputation. Attending to your target audience only through lead generation can ensure that your brand is ideally matched with the right customers. More benefits of lead generation include:
- Saving money and increasing sales (improved ROI) by focusing resources on specific markets.
- Building brand awareness and reputation.
- Gathering important marketing information from prospects to tailor products or services.
- Building larger communities of like-minded customers, which can improve customer loyalty.
Lead Quantity vs Lead Quality
Most marketing departments measure lead quantity when determining a successful lead generation campaign. Sales teams, on the other hand, focus on lead quality. Leads with a clear intent to purchase your product, have the finances and means to do so, and meet the parameters set by you are considered as quality leads. If a company focuses on lead quality, the chances of converting a lead into a customer drastically increase. Having higher conversion rates will allow you to confidently invest in your quality leads, increasing your return on investment (ROI).
Focusing on quality leads can potentially increase the rate of new customer acquisition. Getting new customers at a high rate will allow you to quickly grow a loyal customer base. This can also improve your ROI in the long term, as the faster you build your customer base, the sooner you will be able to retarget new and existing customers. However, there are a few drawbacks to quality leads. For instance, a company that focuses solely on their quality leads can end up neglecting their other duties such as after-sales calls or product deliveries. Investing time and money into quality leads is still a risk that salespeople will have to take. A quality lead can still back out at the very last moment. You won’t just lose the deal, but you would have lost all that time and effort that went into convincing the lead to purchase your product.
Lead Generation from Social Networks
B2B marketers generate leads from the following social networks:
Finding quality leads on social media is a reality. However, it is important that you select the platform that best suits your industry. LinkedIn is the social network that generates the most B2B leads. It makes sense to start here as the platform is built for business owners and professionals who wish to connect with each other. Setting up a quiz on your website will allow visitors to answer the questions you need to qualify them as a good lead. At the end of the quiz, you can supply them with a free resource (e-book or PDF), which will bring value to your quiz. With B2B marketing, it’s never easy to connect directly to company owners or executives. You usually have to go through other channels (PAs, employees, and receptionists) before you can get to the boss. Try to get in touch with company owners directly through platforms such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business-centric platform, so if you do pitch something to an executive, it will be accepted. In some cases, other platforms such as Email or Facebook might work, but you run the risk of upsetting the person you contact. If you are going to use these platforms to communicate with potential leads, then its best you do your homework first by finding out more about the person you are contacting. Once you have successfully reached out to an executive, you must ensure that you have a high-quality presentation or sample ready. Referrals are a powerful source of quality leads. If someone used your product and saw great results from it, they would recommend it to their colleagues and friends. In most cases, they won’t spread the word to people with little to no interest in your product, as it will be a waste of their time. Instead, they will ask someone who they think will have the finances and the need for your product, which matches the description of a quality lead. However, customers won’t automatically hand you quality leads. You will have to request referrals from your customers. You can incentivize this process by offering a discount on the next purchase.
Lead Generation through Contests and Giveaways
Airbnb issues a credit to the new user that is referred, as well as to the user that made the referral. They basically implemented a referral system that incentivizes customers who produce quality leads. If you do get in touch with a company owner or executive, you could offer them your product for free in exchange for quality leads. High-level execs network with each other all the time. If you build a good relationship with one company owner, they could introduce you to other owners and executives that would be interested in your product. Facebook offers many customization options for businesses on their pages and groups. However, most companies don’t make full use of these options and instead, they just post content related to their products. Pay careful attention to the layout of your Facebook page and treat it like a sales page or a landing page to your website. Constantly update the page with engaging content and make sure that there is a clear Call-To-Action for leads.
Tracking and Scoring Leads
The definition of a quality lead will vary according to a company’s product or service. The best place to start when identifying quality leads is by tracking all inbound leads. An example of tracking lead information is through website forms and marketing campaign software like Funnel.io. When a prospective lead fills out a form on a website to gain access to free downloadable content like a PDF or e-book, they will have to provide their information. Just by providing their name, email, and contact number, you will be able to sort the data into leads, existing customers, and spam. If your company sells multiple products like software, apps, and technical hardware, then you could add more fields to your forms to gather more info on leads. This can further categorize your leads by department, product, interests, etc. If you plan on acquiring leads through social media or email, then you could simply keep track of your lead interactions on a spreadsheet. Make sure to include all interactions with potential customers and leads. The more information you have, the better you will be able to assess the quality of your leads.
Lead Management Software
Manually inputting your findings into a sheet can become time-consuming and difficult to manage at times, which is why it is recommended to use lead management software. LeadSquared allows you to rank your leads by their interest levels and readiness to buy. You assign points to leads based on their actions and behavior on your website. There is no exclusive method for scoring leads, which is why companies define their own scoring systems to suit their needs. Points can be awarded for:
- Visiting your website
- Opening your mails
- Clicking through to a promotion
- Downloading free resources (e-book or PDF)
- Watching a webinar
- Started a free trial
Once you have totaled up the scores of all your leads, you can then rank your leads according to the scores they received. Leads with high scores are considered good leads and can be labeled as ‘hot’, ‘100%’, or ‘A’. Leads with above-average scores are ‘warm’ leads. You can consider warming up these leads when you plan your next marketing campaign. B2B marketers tend to further distinguish leads by their explicit data such as industry, title, and company. The data you collect from your leads does not end when the marketer hands over the lead to the sales team, especially during complex sales cycles. The sales team must provide feedback on every interaction with the lead to the marketing team. If marketers wait too long, they run the risk of having to analyze old data which becomes irrelevant because the sale has already been made or lost. If all marketing does is send out leads to the sales team without feedback, they will assume that sales are being made and continue generating leads. If marketing receives feedback from sales (weekly or monthly), they will be able to adjust future lead generation campaigns to improve the quality of the leads that are submitted to sales.
Other Lead Generation Strategies
- Blogging: Blogging is a no brainer if you run an online business. Your company website should have a blog section that posts articles regularly. If leads find these articles useful, they will visit your website frequently. If you write on topics centered around your product or service, then your readers will be considered as good leads, as they have an interest in your blog, which is related to your product or service. You can effectively navigate visitors of your blog to other product landing pages by inserting links into your blog posts.
- Cold Emailing: Sending out a cold email to a prospective client is still an effective strategy for generating good leads. Companies don’t use cold outreach because of the fear of being labeled a spammer, but if done correctly, cold outreach will land you some quality handpicked leads. With cold outreach, you research the companies that would benefit the most from using your product. If you sell commercial ovens, then you should research restaurants that will be most suited to use your product, then reach out to them via email. The same goes for an online business. If you sell an app for Shopify stores, then do your homework and create a list of Shopify stores that you can target. Don’t send out the same email to every single Shopify or eCommerce store out there. That’s just spamming. Narrow down your list to Shopify stores only that require your software. When you have your list of emails ready, you can then send out customized emails. Customization is key and can only be achieved by getting as much information on the prospect as possible.
- Contests and Giveaways: Running contests and giveaways is an excellent way of generating leads. Contestants exchange emails for a chance to win a prize. If you select a prize that your ideal leads are interested in, then they would possibly enter your contest. Contests and giveaways are viral in nature and are held over a short period. This means that you can generate large amounts of leads within a short space of time. You can then work on analyzing and ranking your newly acquired leads. People love free stuff, even in the B2B marketplace. You could offer discounts on SaaS software if you wish to attract B2B leads. An example would be to offer a marketing tool bundle that includes your product, and other products that complement yours.
- Nurture Your Leads: Acquiring tons of leads is great, but you should not ignore the importance of high-quality leads because of their likelihood to purchase your product and their ability to move further along your company’s sales funnel. There is plenty of research to be done when determining your quality leads, but it will be worth it in the long run. Nurture your quality leads by building relationships with them. They are your future customers.
In conclusion, lead generation is an essential part of any successful marketing campaign. It helps businesses attract potential customers and convert them into actual customers. By implementing various lead generation strategies such as email marketing, social media marketing, and networking, businesses can reach and engage with their target audience effectively. Tracking and scoring leads, as well as nurturing high-quality leads, can significantly improve the success of lead generation efforts.