In whatever or wherever you read about ways to improve your sales, you would always come across the importance of lead generation. As a matter of fact, some articles call it the “lifeline” of any business because you are focusing your resources and efforts on qualified leads. This refers to customers who are the most likely to purchase your product or avail of your service.
That cause in itself is already worth pursuing right? But then, how do you go about this process? What are the steps involved? Will you be doing this yourself or is it better to outsource? This will be thoroughly discussed in the articles that will follow. Let us start by knowing the types of lead generation available and which of these is best for your business.
What Type of Lead Generation is Best for My Business?
It can be quite a task to find the right lead generation strategy for your business. Aside from having many methods, you also have to keep in mind that what may work for one type of business does not necessarily mean that it could work on yours. Thus, it is really important to think about what strategies would work best. In doing this, you will want to think about the nature of your business, your vision, objectives, and what you hope to accomplish.
Now, how do you determine the best lead generation strategy? As marketing has a lot of facets, you may have to do some trial and error. So, here are some of the known top lead generation strategies to give you a head start in determining which would work for your type of business.
Website Optimization and Use of CTAs
While it is important to have an attractive design with easy navigation, the essence of having a website is to give your viewers and more importantly, potential customers, the who, what, where, and why of your company. All these details, when given and presented correctly, are good strategies that would urge them to take action. So, think about what you would want them to do once they are browsing through your website.
The actions that you want them to do should be clearly reflected in your CTA buttons. For example, you want them to visit your store personally. The best CTA to put on your website would be VISIT US, which when clicked would direct them to an address of your store with a map. Another example is perhaps you want them to purchase this new product you are offering. Your CTA could be “BUY NOW” which would then direct to a landing page that offers a discount or the product page where they could add to the cart.
Use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
For any business, the goal is to appear on the first page that pops up when a user searches for a company in the Google search engine. Thus, SEO is still a very successful lead generation strategy up to this day, whether you are a B2B or B2C business. Of course, setting this up is not as easy as it sounds so as a first step, you can start by making sure that your website gives good information, has answers to FAQs, and contains clear and concise content.
All these, you can do for free; however, if your budget allows it, you also have the option to hire an SEO specialist as this person’s expertise can surely help you in achieving your top-of-list goal and add value to your business. Likewise, you can hire writers to create content that contains good and strategic keywords, which will also help in appearing on google’s first page.
Use of Social Media
Social media can be a good lead generation strategy especially for local startup businesses but for those who are not so new in the market, you can get creative with these platforms, which may do wonders in boosting your business.
You can make use of paid social media marketing offered on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which allows you to target a very specific audience and location that would best fit the product or service you are offering. Unlike organic posts which only reach a number of your page followers, paid social media ensures that you reach quite a number of followers based on the budget that you set. The higher your budget, the more followers you can reach with your paid ad.
Use of Direct Mail
This may seem like an oldie method but then again, there is an innovation of direct mail campaigns to go with the current times. Whereas the old way would have an unsolicited coupon mailed to a current resident, the new spin to math in this technological era are:
- Going for smaller but more specific, fine-tuned audiences
- Using data-driven referral codes
- Mailing out appealing campaigns with value for money offers
Being selective in direct mailing allows you room to invest more in the item that you are sending with matching offers of bigger discounts and coupons that would push new leads to take the next step. Instead of thinking that direct mail is your final step to getting a new client, it is more motivating to consider it as your first attempt in getting a customer to visit your website or get in touch with you.
Use of Newsletters
Usage of newsletters falls under the lead generation strategy known as email marketing. This is basically a combination of strategies involving compelling content and social lead capture. If done the right way, the result would be having charmed audiences who look forward to receiving updates about the latest offerings of your business, and the best part is these emails go straight to their inbox because they have signed up for your newsletter.
Of course, getting people to sign up needs attractive reasons. Some good examples that compel them to do so are discounts, sales, free trials, VIP perks, and testimonies. But more than these, it is also important to make sure that you keep these newsletters coming to sustain interest and have a captive audience that you can lead to the steps of conversion and repeat business.
Use of Downloadable Materials
As you are the owner of your business, chances are high that you are also an expert on it so capitalize on this mastery! Share your valuable knowledge with your customers by giving downloadable materials such as eBooks or white papers.
In exchange for the downloadable material, you can ask for their contact information in the form that they need to fill prior to downloading. Moreover, you are sharing your expertise and experiences with your customers which would make them know you more as a business person and in turn, lead them to trust you more because you have already shown them a part of you. If they truly find your material helpful, they might also recommend this to people they know which all leads to the expansion of your brand name.
Use of Website Live Chat
Another lead generation strategy that works, especially for eCommerce businesses, is the addition of a live chat feature on your website. This is effective because it enables customers to directly and conveniently reach out to you without having to call or make an email. You can immediately attend to the queries and concerns of a customer; thereby, resolving the matter of closing the deal immediately.
This feature can be placed strategically at the lower right side of your website with a “Chat Now!” or “Chat with Us” button. Just a simple click would really go a long way in establishing your customer service performance and if handled properly, this could lead to repeat business and new leads through word of mouth of satisfied customers you have handled.
These are just some of the effective lead generation strategies that we have now and there are still a lot more that you could try. The important thing, however, is those that will work for your business. Hence, as you start on building your marketing and advertising strategies, keep these nuggets of wisdom:
- If one method does not succeed, do not be discouraged, and more importantly, do not try to be afraid to try something else. This is a normal part of learning the ropes.
- You can use old strategies but make sure to innovate them so that they will work with the current digital trends of the times.
- Although lead generation strategies need not be expensive, you still need to shed some cash like social media paid advertising for instance.
- Be creative. In this line of business, a little creativity goes a long way in boosting your business.
The Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Lead Generation
We have established that lead generation is an essential part of obtaining sales for your business. And with the current digital era, it is important to capture your target market’s attention with the right approach – inbound and outbound lead generation.
What is the difference between the two? Let us count the ways!
Inbound lead generation involves creating content and campaigns that drive website visitors and convert them to leads. This is achieved by:
- Taking steps to make your brand more visible and easy to find online whether in search engines or in social media platforms.
- Taking steps to engage website visitors in information exchange to start communication – they give their contact details in return for what you have to offer whether newsletters, ebooks, white papers, and the like.
The priority of inbound lead generation is giving customers control of time and place of information exchange and engagement. Value comes in the form of content and is the means used to earn a customer’s attention, build trust and establish a relationship.
Moreover, inbound lead generation intends to help more than to sell. Brands employing this method aid buyers in defining, researching, and solving problems. They help customers in making better purchase decisions by reaching out to them prior to the act of buying; thereby building trust and gaining the ability to influence future purchase decisions positively.
In a nutshell, inbound lead generation lays out an information and incentives trail that leads your target customers to your brand and drives them, all the way, to the bottom of your sales funnel.
Outbound lead generation involves sending or pushing messages toward target customers, regardless if they have expressed an interest in what you have to offer or not. With this approach, it is you who chooses the time and place of engagement and interaction, not the customer. Thus, it comes with the term, “interruption marketing.”
Examples of outbound lead generation are direct mail, mass mail, display advertising, and cold calling. Most of the tactics under this approach require paid delivery, adding to the expense of a running complaint; hence, its objective is more on selling, not helping.
In which ways are they similar? Actually, there are only two ways in which inbound and outbound lead generation are the same. Both have the objective of generating leads and both require you to have a fairly thorough comprehension of how segmentation of target audiences work.
So which method would be the right one to choose for your business? Actually, no answer approach is right or wrong as it depends on what objectives your campaign wants to achieve. It is best that you examine your goals carefully and try to balance which approach would work best for each. Chances are, what might actually work is not either of the two but a combination of both.
How Does Lead Generation Work?
The lead generation process is defined as “attracting and converting prospects into people who have indicated in a company’s product or service.” To put it simply, it is a way of making prospects warm up to the product or service you are offering and subtly leading them to the path where they would end up buying it. But of course, it just does not end there because ultimately, the measure of a successful leader would also lead to repeat business and recommendations of your product or service to colleagues and people they know.
Maybe you are asking yourself, “do I really need to have this lead generation process to attract customers?” Think about this scenario. If a stranger reaches out to you because he is interested in what you are offering, there is a natural transition of this person going from stranger to customer right?
Lead generation belongs to the second stage of the inbound marketing approach. This basically means that it happens after you have attracted a potential customer and are ready to convert them into leads. If we narrow this down to steps, it would be like this:
- ATTRACT – strangers (keywords, blogs, social publishing)
- CONVERT – visitors (forms, CTAs, landing pages)
- CLOSE – leads (email, workflows, CRMs)
- DELIGHT – customers/ promoters (good content, social monitoring, surveys)
So now, let us go through the lead generation process by citing this all too familiar scenario:
- A stranger or website visitor comes across your business via one of your marketing channels – social media page, website, or blog.
- After browsing through your content, he clicks on your call-to-action (CTA) button which already signifies that he has taken action to do what you want him to do.
- The CTA redirects him to your landing page, which is designed to get his information in return for an offer regarding the product or service you are promoting. This could be a discount or a free trial and the like.
- On the landing page, the stranger or website visitor fills out a form that asks for his contact details in return for what you are offering. With this exchange, you already have obtained a new lead.
Top Five Tools to Generate Leads
How to generate leads? That is the question. Well, you would need lead generation tools that enable you to capture your audience’s interest and contact details. There are a lot of these on the internet; thus, it is important for you to find the right ones that fit your business.
Here are five of the current top lead generation tools that can help achieve your objective of turning website visitors into customers.
When it comes to lead generation tools, what usually comes to people’s minds first is HubSpot. It is very useful because it is a combination of marketing, sales, and customer relationship management in one platform. Its numerous features enable you to do lead generation activities simultaneously with managing social media accounts, doing email campaigns, and creating automation workflows.
Albacross allows you to identify potential leads from your real-time website visitors wherein their navigation habits are recognized. For example, if you have a specific demographic as the target audience of your offered product or service, you can already see if someone who belongs to it is on your homepage or other social media channels prior to sending an email. Likewise, Albacross shows you the types of individuals and companies who visit your website; thus, you can tailor your messages to have better chances of attracting the leads that you are aiming for.
Looking for new leads on social media can be daunting and can take a long time but thanks to Google Chrome add-on Discover.ly, this is not the case anymore. With this lead generation tool, you will get information about a website visitor and their connections if you will take a look at their social media profile. For example, if you are checking out their LinkedIn profile, a pop-up window will show who that person is connected to, not just in LinkedIn, but in Facebook and Twitter as well. Indeed, it is a great way of obtaining new leads, saving you the need to check out a lot of profiles individually.
While pop-ups have been known to be distracting when browsing a website, research has shown that they are actually quite useful in generating leads. Why? WisePops aids you in creating attractive pop-ups with the use of a drag-and-drop builder with over 60 templates to choose from. You can also have different actions set when a website visitor leaves a page, clicks on a link, or hover over any particular element. Moreover, with WisePop, you can activate a number of campaigns simultaneously, target customers in accordance with their browser and location, and create messages for both incoming and repeat customers.
If you want an effective B2B database, Lusha can be your sales and marketing team’s tool for finding leads, boosting their campaigns, and driving in profits. Basically, it allows you to find details about publicly-listed individuals and at the same time, it serves as a Chrome browser extension that can scan a social media profile you are checking out to provide contact information of that person.
So regardless of whether you are a start-up business or not but stumped on how to generate leads, try any or a combination of the above-mentioned lead generation tools and see the wonders, it can do to help you in your quest for obtaining qualified leads.
What are the Best B2B Lead Generation Companies?
Lead generation is essential for your business because if you do not have qualified leads, you are, quite literally, selling in the dark. Let us take a look at five of the best B2B lead generation companies that can help you in your quest to get your prospects to convert and purchase your offered product or service.
With Lead Generation, your company is given a dedicated management team that comes up with a leadership development strategy specifically tailored according to your company’s needs. They develop and deliver leads to you in real-time which will be integrated directly into your CRM software or you can receive it through text or email.
They can also aid in developing customized campaigns for your lead generation. With their multi-channel approach, the campaigns they specialize in are related to:
- Content Distribution
- Landing Page Creation
- Email Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media
- Paid Search
- Website Development
- PR and Brand Awareness
- Lead Follow-ups
Brands that have partnered with Lead Generation are Toshiba, Aeropostale, and J.G Wentworth.
Specializing in B2B lead generation, they are known for providing specific leads in niches like healthcare, advertising, IT and software, consultancy, and finance.
If you partner with them, they will start their services by listing companies that are a good match to the profile of your target businesses. They take it a notch higher by determining who are the key stakeholders and prospects within these organizations and engaging with them across all channels. The final step of their services is setting up appointments with the qualified leads and confirming that these would push through.
Companies that have worked with Callbox are quite well known. These are eBay, Forbes, Motorola, DHL, HP, and ADT.
The third among the list of best B2B lead generation companies is known for providing your company with a professional callers team who interact with the leads on your behalf. Plus, thanks to their intuitive software, you can view and monitor results in real-time.
Upcall has been dubbed as a “no-touch lead generation solution” because they provide your needs for contact engagement without you having to make these calls yourself. Moreover, they don’t waste time as they immediately make the call the moment a new lead comes in.
Their main services are categorized into four namely lead generations, lead qualification, market research, and customer engagement. They pretty much have you covered from start to finish as far as lead generation services are concerned.
Brands that have worked with them are LG, Quickbooks, Airbnb, and Farmers Insurance.
Specializing in contact databases, this lead generation company gives you a direct connection to B2B leads, providing company details and sales intelligence to arm you with the necessary information needed to make a good pitch to your prospects.
With a guarantee of 95% data accuracy, their areas of expertise are marketing and demand generation, sales and marketing operations, sales development, sales leadership, and recruitment.
The unique perk that DiscoverOrg offers to clients is a Free Trial. Basically, you are given the freedom to try out their services without the commitment but do note that it already depicts what their actual database can provide you. This free trial includes:
- Organization chart at a department level
- Phone numbers that are direct lines to prospects
- Email addresses that are verified
- Work functions and responsibilities
- Signals and intent data purchases
From our list of best B2B lead generation companies, CandorWorks specializes in integrated demand generation which enables the delivery of a steady flow of high-quality leads to your company. They provide assistance in strategic planning and execution, as well as follow-ups of your lead generation campaigns.
Aside from lead generation, they also provide services in MarTech management, marketing data management services, and account-based marketing.
What is great about CandorWorks are their pricing models which were made to tailor to an organization’s needs and preferences. Your choices are:
- Retainer based
- Fixed fee
Note that they do not give you any signup fees and you will only pay for the leads that qualify.
Schedule a meeting with our sale team today and see how can help you get qualified sales leads: https://meetings.hubspot.com/alex-otte/inbound-cat-meeting-with-alex