Have you ever had such a brilliant idea that you knew could turn a profit? But when you apply your idea expecting money to roll in, it just doesn’t. There are many people out there with good ideas, making great products, but they are not making as many sales as they can potentially have. All because they have no idea how to generate leads.
What is a lead?
A lead is essentially a person interested in becoming your customer. This is someone who has expressed interest in your product or your services. Leads for B2B companies are either business owners, business leaders, or anyone in a company with the proper authority. Leads for B2C companies are usually individual customers.
Your leads can either be inbound leads or outbound leads. Inbound leads are when your leads voluntarily leave their contact information because they are interested in your products. Outbound leads are those identified by your sales team as potential customers. Still, those potential customers have not contacted you yet.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of identifying potential customers and attracting them. The end goal of lead generation is to get your lead’s contact information so you can develop your relationship with them and successfully turn them into your customers.
Lead generation is such an essential part of business that many companies actually invest in lead generation tools. As a result, there is a host of business software geared toward generating leads. In addition, lead generation is worth billions of dollars in today’s market.
What do you need to know about lead generation?
Lead generation can help your business increase sales. What good is a brilliant business idea when you can’t drum up enough interested people to buy it? The more leads you have, the more customers you can potentially have.
Not all leads are created equal
The more leads, the better? Technically yes. When you have a large pool of potential customers, you will get more than a bite or two. But not all leads actually turn into customers. And not all leads bring you the same level of sales.
A small company has expressed interest in your product. But their customer base is also small, and profits from that sale will not be as large as a medium-sized company that has also expressed interest in your wares. So who would you focus on more?
Qualify your leads
Because not all leads are created equal, you need to have a system in place to qualify your leads. There are three common qualification standards for leads:
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
These leads are qualified by the marketing team. Your marketing team has vetted these leads and deemed their interest as qualified on the road to becoming actual customers.
Sales Accepted Lead (SAL)
After the marketing team identifies qualified leads, they hand them off to the sales team, who then finds out details that the marketing team may have missed. This is also where leads are either sent back to the marketing team for more nurturing or developed by the sales team. Or be totally discarded.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
Sometimes called Opportunity, this is the stage where both the sales and marketing teams agree that the lead is ready to buy your product. In other words, this is the stage where your sales and marketing teams have decided that your lead is ready to become a customer.
Existing customers can be a good source of quality leads
Innovative companies have voice in customer programs or something similar. These programs enable you actually to get customer insight into your products. And what better way to find out how to connect and attract more customers than asking your existing customers?
Voice of customer programs can give accurate data of what your customers want from your products, including honest reviews and suggestions that can help your R&D and marketing teams develop innovations that can attract good leads using technology as simple as a feedback form.
Leverage on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is not just a buzzword. This is a common, popular, and low-cost way of generating leads. You can leverage your already existing social media profiles to generate leads. You can use blogs, videos, and relevant content to start with. But you will also need at least a working understanding of SEO.
Using transactional keywords is the key to getting your site to rank in the top three in search engine results. For example, your company sells real estate. Instead of using “house” as a keyword, try “buy house.” This way, people wanting to buy homes are directed to your site as opposed to people just wanting to look at houses online with no intention of buying one.
Lead generation is a necessary process when it comes to the financial success of your business. Therefore, you need to pay special attention to this crucial process as a business.