Generating leads is essential for any sales and marketing strategy, and there are various ways of finding prospective customers to contact. However, the focus must always be on the quality rather than quantity of your leads, or you could be wasting your time entirely.
When starting a lead generation campaign, it’s critical that you know the audience you’re targeting and how to find your ideal customer. Once a lead is followed up you’ll be able to categorise it into warm or cold – and if the majority of your leads are cold then you need to change the approach to increase the amount of prospects travelling through the sales pipeline.
Here are some ideas you can utilise for successful lead generation and ways to improve the quality of your leads.
Define qualification criteria
Before starting any lead generation or B2B marketing campaign, it’s important to ask the question “what qualifies as a useful lead?” All opportunities should be fully qualified before being pursued by a salesperson, to avoid wasted time and resource. What’s the point in pursuing leads that even the best salesperson in the world would struggle to convert? Discuss as a team how a lead can be defined as qualified, and make sure this information is shared. If you’re working with a marketing agency, they can help you develop qualification criteria to improve the process, including authority, timing and budget. Without this crucial information you’re going in to the process blind!
Separate your campaigns
To achieve the best results you shouldn’t rely on one campaign to reach all of your possible leads. A comprehensive strategy, which uses a variety of marketing techniques is the most effective way to touch all bases. For example, you could implement a B2B telemarketing campaign if you need to target decision makers in organisations, along with a digital marketing campaign incorporating PPC and email. Your product or service may appeal to a range of different groups, who are searching for solutions in different ways. Every lead is also different; some may prefer to chat on the phone while others will click through an email and do their own research on your website. Plan your strategy around your target audience to ensure you’re generating qualified leads – a whole host of B2B marketing channels can be used to optimise your campaign.
Detail is everything
Some people who focus on lead generation may simply produce a list of names and contact details. This can be useful to a certain extent, but it doesn’t give you any context into the lead or why it needs following up. If you hire lead generation experts then the information your sales team receive will be much more concise. Each lead will have its own summary sheet, including details of the prospect, when they were contacted and a summary of the conversation. It will also outline what action needs to be taken to attempt to convert the prospect. The more detail included about each lead, the more chance you have of closing the sale.
Re-engage past customers
One of the most qualified opportunities you have, which you don’t need to go out searching for, is a past customer. They have a need for your product or service and have already engaged with your company, so they are already a prime target. Hopefully they have been happy with what was provided, so contacting them to try and get them back in the sales funnel is a great idea.
If for whatever reason they were not happy with the product or service provided, take the time to rectify the situation. A happy customer is a loyal customer, so fixing any issues can help your business reputation as well as increasing sales. You probably have a database full of warm leads just waiting to be re-engaged…
Social media for lead nurturing
In today’s social world, it’s important that businesses are utilising all digital channels available to communicate with prospects. It can be worth doing some research into your target demographic to find out where the majority of your audience spend time – for example the average age of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users differs. LinkedIn is a great place for making business contacts, which is why it is often used in our integrated lead generation campaigns. The platform can be used to boost brand awareness and authority, by posting content, and also to make initial introductions to relevant contacts.
Lead generation isn’t as simple as finding some names and telephone numbers of people who may or may not need your product or service. By taking the time to fully develop a strategy, with aims and objectives, you can make the best of a campaign and increase the overall conversion rate.
Interested in finding out more about how lead generation can help your business? Contact us below.