What is the category for lead generation?
"I can't believe it - they're calling ME!" This quote from an online ad has become synonymous with "calling me." But what if I told you that this was actually not true? What if there were other options to call or email a person who's interested in your product/service? And even better, how would that affect your business?
The truth is, when someone calls you (or emails), he or she isn't necessarily looking for something right now. In fact, most people don't have a specific need at any given time. They may be thinking about buying something later on down the road, but more often than not, they just want information. So instead of saying, "Oh no! You called before Christmas," why don't we try changing our response to one like this: "No problem -- I'd love to help out by sharing some valuable content?" Or maybe: "Sure -- let me send over my latest white paper so you can see exactly what you'll get."
This simple idea can dramatically change how you approach those who've contacted you. Instead of asking them, "Do you currently need anything?", ask them questions such as these:
Are you aware of where you could use additional products and services?
Have you ever been disappointed with previous purchases? If yes, which ones? How did that experience make you feel?
Is there something you might need in the future? If so, what are your current priorities?
Can I provide assistance? Would you prefer speaking via phone or Skype?
Does anyone else in your office know about us? We'd appreciate feedback.
Would you like to hear more about our company?
If you keep track of your contacts' responses, you should find that many of them will respond affirmatively. When you ask this kind of question, you put yourself in their shoes. It makes sense to think like they do and consider things like needs vs. wants, timing, etc., because chances are good that they're going through similar situations themselves. After all, everyone knows that it takes two to tango. By helping others solve problems, you're also solving yours.
So what kinds of answers should you expect? Asking open-ended questions allows prospects to give long, rambling replies without getting too personal. Here are some examples of open-ended questions you can use when responding to incoming inquiries:
Tell me about your industry and work situation.
Who specifically asked for this information?
Why did you contact me today?
When would you like to start using our service(s)?
Where do you see your organization headed next year?
We offer free trials...what would you say if I sent you a link to learn more?
These questions allow prospects to share their opinions freely while keeping their privacy intact. If you only ask closed-ended questions, then you risk giving away sensitive data (such as salary) and potentially alienating certain customers. The key here is to avoid being confrontational. Rather, always strive to gain rapport and trust. If done correctly, you won't come across as pushy. Just remember to listen carefully and genuinely care about providing support. That way, you can easily turn inquires into opportunities.
One last note: Do NOT spam prospects! People hate spammers and unsubscribe very quickly. Your best bet is to create helpful articles (like this one!) and distribute them widely. Then, follow up with relevant offers and promotions. Remember, quality beats quantity every day.
Now that you understand the difference between a prospect needing and wanting, take a look at the following list of 25 different ways to generate leads. Some ideas include:
1. Send eNewsletters.
2. Write blogs and post comments on popular sites.
3. Create informative webinars.
4. Produce videos and upload them onto YouTube.
5. Use social media tools to inform followers.
6. Post contests and giveaways to attract new members.
7. Start newsletters.
8. Establish relationships within communities.
9. Designate an employee solely for generating leads.
10. Hold a contest.
11. Give a free report to existing clients.
12. Host teleseminars.
13. Offer teleclasses.
14. Distribute press releases.
15. Join networking groups.
16. Add links to your site on other websites.
17. Provide special reports.
18. Conduct referral programs.
19. Make available customer service representatives.
20. Build a database of past customers.
21. Develop cross-marketing campaigns.
22. Take part in trade shows.
23. Sponsor events.
24. Invite guest speakers.
25. Get involved with charity organizations.
As you can see, there are lots of possibilities when it comes to generating leads. Now go forth and multiply!
What are the types of lead generation?
There are dozens of ways to develop leads. Below are 10 of the most effective methods used by companies around the world.
Telephone Leads. A telephone lead is generated when a prospective client gives his or her name, number, area code, and exchange to either an operator or recorded message. Telephone leads tend to be less expensive than written leads and require fewer resources to manage. However, since telephone calls are typically limited in length, they're usually directed toward decision makers rather than individuals seeking general information. Therefore, telephone leads are ideal for direct mail pieces, catalogs, print ads, radio spots, and direct mail packages.
Direct Mail Leads. Direct mail leads are mailed letters or flyers directly addressed to consumers based upon their demographic profile and geographic location. These pieces are designed to appeal to a particular group. For example, women aged 18 to 34 years old receive coupons and discounts related to fashion and jewelry. Similarly, senior citizens receive coupons relating to travel destinations. Since mailing lists are compiled prior to sending direct mail pieces, marketers must ensure that they maintain compliance with federal guidelines pertaining to confidentiality and unsolicited commercial messages.
Video Leads. Video leads refer to potential clients watching video clips provided by a marketer. Videos can range anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute in duration. Marketers can choose to produce short clip advertisements, infomercial style commercials, testimonial films, or explainer films. Although video advertising tends to be pricier than traditional forms of advertisement, it does result in greater brand awareness and recall rates. Furthermore, studies show that video viewers watch approximately twice as much television per week compared to nonviewers.
Internet Leads. Internet leads consist of visitors who arrive at a website after clicking on an advertised URL. Like video leads, internet leads increase brand visibility and recognition levels. Unlike television viewing habits, however, internet users generally spend much longer periods browsing the Web. According to Nielsen Media Research, average consumer surfing times are roughly 7 minutes and 42 seconds for males and 8 minutes and 24 seconds for females. Because of their high engagement rate, internet leads are considered highly desirable.
Email Marketing Leads. Email marketing leads occur when an individual opens an advertisment and clicks on an embedded hyperlink. Emails differ from other forms of electronic communication because they contain text, images, audio, and video. Similar to video leads, email marketing leads engage consumers longer than typical emails. One study showed that email recipients read 40% more material than they normally would. Other research states that email readers view an average of 2 screens worth of pages daily.
Inbound Call Center Leads. An inbound call center lead occurs when a caller dials a specified toll-free number to inquire about a particular topic. Most businesses utilize third party vendors to handle incoming requests due to its lower initial cost and higher return on investment. Many industries, including finance, insurance, retail, and healthcare providers, rely heavily on inbound call centers to grow revenues.
Sales Force Automated Dialer Leads. Sales force automated dialer leads refers to the process of placing targeted phone calls automatically. Typically, sales force automation software generates phone numbers and sends prerecorded voice mails to prospective clients. On completion of a sale, the system records pertinent facts about each interaction and provides detailed reporting capabilities. Also known as Interactive Voice Response systems, they serve as gateways for companies offering goods and services with low margins. To qualify prospects further, IVR systems can request credit card details, employment info, and household income.
Online Forms Leads. Online form leads involve filling out a questionnaire that collects basic demographics, interests, hobbies, and preferences. Companies frequently use online surveys to uncover important insights regarding their target audience. Once completed, these surveys feed directly into CRM applications. Depending on the size of the survey, respondents may enter thousands of bits of data, but results remain fairly accurate.
Website Survey Leads. Website survey leads involves having a visitor complete a survey on the landing page of a website. Surveys can be customized according to the type of information desired. For instance, if a corporation seeks to measure satisfaction among employees, they can design a survey that includes questions pertaining to job performance, benefits, training, salaries, and promotions. Upon submission, respondents supply basic demographic information as well as answer multiple choice questions.
If your goal is to generate leads that convert into sales and customers, then you need an effective strategy. And if you want to be successful in generating quality leads, it's important to understand what they really mean. The first step toward understanding how to create effective strategies on generating leads is learning about their definition. This article explains everything you need to know.
What does lead generation include?
The term "lead" can refer to any person or entity interested in doing business with you. It also refers to anyone who has visited your website and requested more information from you via email or telephone call. A lead may also describe someone who submitted his/her contact details by filling out a form on one of your webpages. In other words, there could be many people involved at each stage of the process before he actually becomes a customer. You should therefore have strategies to reach as large a target audience as possible.
When I say "target audience," this means that you must consider not only those who actively seek your products but also those who passively receive them without making specific efforts. People who visit your site or buy your product through word-of-mouth advertising (including social media) are passive receivers. On the contrary, active buyers are usually ready to take action immediately after visiting your store or reading your advertisement online.
So let's look at each stage of lead generation so we'll better comprehend its importance. We'll start with the most basic stage---the initial interest generated by visitors to your webpage or blog. Here are some examples of these interests:
1. Interested in buying a particular product.
2. Looking for solutions to problems related to the product.
3. Wanting information regarding the benefits of using the product.
4. Curious about your company and services.
5. Having questions about price.
6. Desiring updates about new innovations in your industry.
7. Wondering where to find similar products in your area.
8. Asking for recommendations about good businesses like yours.
9. Wishing to learn more about your background.
Next, we'll move onto the second phase --- which is when potential clients come together and decide whether to proceed further in contacting you. They might research your credibility, track down testimonials, check reviews, read articles written by experts, etc., which shows their level of commitment towards taking action. At this point, they're no longer just curious. They've taken the initiative to investigate further, and now you have a chance to present yourself and show why you deserve attention.
This is followed by the third phase of lead conversion -- deciding whether to pursue further communication with you. Once again, they would compare your offer against others available in the market place. They'd weigh up pros and cons of working with you compared to other companies' offers. If they feel strongly enough about wanting to work with you, they would try interacting directly with you via phone calls, emails, live chats, etc. The fourth phase involves getting back in touch with prospects and building relationships.
Here are some tips to help you make the best use of your time during conversations with prospective clients:
Try to listen carefully and ask relevant questions. Don't speak too much until asked.
Be patient and polite while communicating. Be friendly.
Don't interrupt prospect unless necessary. Wait for permission.
Ask open-ended questions instead of yes /no questions. Ask questions to clarify ideas rather than giving answers.
Provide feedback and suggestions based on what was said.
Show empathy and care for the prospect's feelings.
What are the four steps of lead generation?
A lot depends upon knowing exactly what needs to happen next in order to turn a visitor into a client. There are four key elements that influence the success rate. These are awareness, consideration, comparison, and decision. All of these elements affect your ability to attract traffic, retain it and convert it into paying clients. Let us discuss each element separately.
First, you need to build awareness. Awareness is defined as being aware of something, especially knowledge of facts or events pertaining to a subject. To do this successfully, you need to communicate effectively using multiple methods such as press releases, blogs, videos, eBooks, newsletters, podcasts, infographics, etc. One of the most popular ways to increase awareness among consumers today is to publish informative content on various platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, Snapchat, etc.
Second, once you gain consumer awareness, you need to keep it throughout the entire cycle of interactions between you and your prospect. That's why it's crucial to remember that consistency is the key factor behind retention rates. So be sure to provide valuable content consistently over a period of time, even years! When you send messages regularly, prospects begin associating you with high value and become loyal fans of yours. Loyalty is another major advantage you can achieve by providing consistent service.
Third, you need to allow prospects to compare different things about your offerings. By creating interesting posts, answering frequently asked questions, publishing FAQs, conducting surveys, offering free trials, hosting contests, etc., you give them ample opportunities to compare your product or service with competitors'. Remember to stay away from direct comparisons since you risk losing focus on core values. Instead, highlight features that set you apart and emphasize similarities within categories.
Fourth, you need to convince prospects to choose you instead of competing firms. While comparing your brand with others', don't forget to mention unique selling points. For example, if your firm specializes in developing mobile apps, tell prospects that you can develop customized applications for smartphones and tablets. Also, ensure that you demonstrate professionalism. Prospects tend to trust firms that maintain strict privacy policies and follow professional ethics. Last but not least, always keep an eye on competition because it helps you avoid becoming irrelevant in front of rivals.
What is lead generation method?
There are two main types of lead generations - one is called hard sell and the other soft sell. Both approaches involve tactics designed to generate leads. However, hard sell techniques often go overboard and violate ethical practices. Therefore, they seldom produce desired results. Soft sell techniques work well by focusing on relationship building and long-term engagement.
Hard Sell Technique Examples
* Cold Calling
* Email Marketing
* Direct Mail Advertising
Soft Sell Techniques Examples
* Content Creation
* Social Media Marketing
* Public Relations Campaigns
Nowadays, due to rapid technological growth and increasing globalization, traditional forms of lead generation are fast evolving. New technologies enable marketers to tap into previously untapped markets and target audiences. Digital channels such as websites, blogs, video sites, social networks, search engines, and interactive ads are used extensively to promote brands. According to a recent survey conducted by Hubspot, 90% of B2B marketers believe digital marketing skills are essential for career progression. With growing demand for digital expertise across industries, companies seeking skilled professionals in areas such as SEO, PPC management, CRM system development, data analysis, website design, copywriting, etc., should pay close attention to emerging trends in technology.
In conclusion, I hope my explanation helped shed light on the meaning of lead generation and how it works. Now you should be able to devise strategies that suit your particular business objectives. Good luck!
A lot has been written about what makes up an effective sales funnel but not much on what goes into creating one that generates leads. With so many options out there, having some basic guidelines can help to streamline your efforts and make sure you're maximizing your time in other areas like customer service or product development.
Here's our breakdown of five types of groups you might use when generating leads as well as tips and tools to help you structure them effectively.
1. List Builder (or Database)
This type of list contains names, mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, etc., from people who have requested information specifically related to your industry. It could be customers, existing business partners, former clients, or anyone else whose contact info you've collected over time.
One way to build this kind of list would be by buying lists online such as those provided through Mail Chimp or Constant Contact. Another method would be to create your own database using Google Sheets. This process involves collecting data via forms or surveys, then entering it manually into spreadsheets. You'll also need to set permissions for access to it which may involve making it public or private. Then just follow these steps below to add contacts to your list builder:
a. Create a new sheet for each person in your database. For example, if you want to track 1000 prospects at once, you'd probably name the first sheet "John Smith" and the second sheet "Jane Doe."
b. Select "Pivot Table Report" under Tools & Design. Choose Data Range A2:B1000 as your Source range. In my case I'm selecting cells B2-1000 because they contain either specific words or numbers. However, if you only wanted to select certain columns, you could instead choose Cells containing specific text.
c. Click More Criteria. Under Filter By Enter Text Here enter whatever criteria you're looking for. The more precise your search terms are, the better results you should receive. If you don't know exactly where to begin, try searching for something broad like "customer support," "products," or "industry expert."
d. Now click Apply Filters. Your table will populate based upon your selection.
e. Once populated, go down the left side until you find Name column. Next, highlight that row and press Ctrl+C. Right click anywhere blank within the highlighted cell area and select Cut.
f. Go back down the same row and paste in the last part of the address - i.e. "email@example.com". Press Ctrl + V. Repeat this step for every piece of information that requires adding.
g. On the next screen, make sure to check off "Hide Rows/Columns That Do Not Contain Values." Hit OK.
h. Lastly, head down the right hand side and look for any empty rows. Highlight those rows and delete them. Then hit Edit... and change the Number Format to 1. Again, repeat this step for any remaining rows. Finally, click Save As New Excel Workbook. Change File Type to XLSX. And give it an appropriate file name.
The above approach works best if you have large blocks of unformatted text rather than lots of different categories. Also, since we're working solely with numbers, it doesn't matter whether the values appear big or small—they won't affect formatting anyway.
If you prefer to keep things simple, consider using a spreadsheet template like the ones offered through TemplateLab or simply download one from Microsoft Office Online. These templates typically include a place to input data, plus instructions on how to format it properly. They also often come preloaded with useful formulas and macros that simplify your tasks further.
In addition to providing a convenient central location, another benefit of keeping your list in one spot is that you usually only need to maintain it once. This means fewer mistakes, less lost time, and greater efficiency overall.
2. Leads Manager / Salesperson
When someone signs onto your website or fills out a form requesting additional information, they become a lead that needs to be tracked. From here, you can assign responsibilities for following up with potential customers. Depending on your company size, this task might fall under a variety of departments including Customer Service, Marketing, Product Development, Operations, Finance, Human Resources, IT, and Legal.
Keep records of their progress, successes, challenges, goals, etc., in a single document called a "lead tracking log." There are a number of programs available designed to automate this process, however, most require a fee to implement. Such services might include HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM, Salesforce CRM, Oracle CRM, and Actifio CRM.
3. Lead Generator Team
Generating leads isn't always easy. When done correctly, it takes dedication and commitment. But even though it comes naturally to some companies, others struggle with finding enough qualified candidates. To ensure consistent quality, divide responsibility among members of your organization, assigning roles based on skillset. Consider setting aside designated times during the week for lead generation activities.
For instance, perhaps Monday mornings are reserved for sending emails while Tuesday nights are used for telemarketing calls. Or maybe Wednesday afternoons are given over to writing proposals. Whatever schedule you decide upon, stick to it regularly. This helps promote consistency across employees and builds morale.
4. Lead Generation Group
Once a prospect becomes interested in your products or services, he or she will likely need assistance navigating through various stages of the buyer cycle. Having dedicated personnel assigned to handle this role ensures continuity throughout the entire engagement.
Depending on the nature of your position, it might take on different titles like Account Executive, Consultant, Project Manager, Business Analyst, Solution Architect, Content Writer, Programmer, Trainer, Coach, etc. Regardless of title, these experts must possess strong communication skills and be familiar with relevant software applications.
5. Lead Generation Teams
As mentioned earlier, if multiple teams within your organization are responsible for generating leads, it’s important to designate a common goal and measure success accordingly. Otherwise, they can end up competing against each other, causing confusion for both parties involved.
Additionally, it’s vital to establish clear expectations regarding the quantity and quality of leads generated per day, month, quarter, year, etc. After establishing a particular target, you can evaluate performance together and collaborate toward achieving said goal.
Lastly, avoid allowing too much flexibility in scheduling meetings. While some days might be busier than others, everyone should strive to meet consistently, regardless of workload.
6. Lead Generation Lists
While it’s easier for businesses to generate leads directly from their websites, sometimes it’s necessary to obtain leads indirectly through third party sources. Whether you’re selling physical goods or digital downloads, you’ll need to reach out to prospective buyers somewhere between three to seven times before being added to your lead list.
However, before contacting them again, review their previous interactions and determine why they didn't respond initially. Was it due to poor timing? Were they distracted by something else going on in their lives? Did they lose interest? Are they still actively seeking solutions?
7. Email Follow Up System
After receiving a response from a lead, it’s crucial to develop a system for managing them. Keep a record of the date, subject line, content, frequency, duration, etc., of messages sent. Make sure to send personalized communications whenever possible and provide valuable information that provides value upfront.
You can also use automation features built into popular e-mail platforms like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, AOL, iCloud, etc., to save yourself time and boost productivity. Some examples include Smart Replies, Auto Attachments, Templates, Message Suggestions, Quick Links, Snippets, Instant Messaging, Scheduling Messages, Bulk Sending, Shortcuts, Labels, Filters, Rules, Triggers, Alerts, Autoresponders, etc.
8. Reporting Tool
To stay organized and productive, you need to understand trends happening within your operation. So, even though you may see no immediate benefits from analyzing your lead list, doing so can prove invaluable later on.
Consider setting up a reporting tool like Crystal Reports, Access databases, or MySQL Databases. Doing so allows you to view detailed statistics related to your lead generation activity. Additionally, you can easily compare historical figures with current metrics, identify patterns, and pinpoint weak spots.
9. Lead Management Software
Another great way to improve your operations' effectiveness is by leveraging cloud technology. Cloud computing refers to storing files on remote servers accessible via internet connections. This enables users to retrieve documents quickly without needing to install special software, pay monthly fees, or worry about security breaches.
Some examples of this include Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Evernote, Sharepoint, Amazon S3 storage, Media Temple, Rackspace, Heroku, Digital Ocean, etc. Although cloud technology sounds complicated, it actually simplifies everyday processes like backing up files, sharing screenshots, collaborating on projects, hosting videos, streaming media, etc.
10. Automated Processes
Because automated systems tend to run smoothly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they allow your business to function efficiently with minimal supervision. Plus, since they eliminate human error, they reduce costs associated with hiring and training workers.