Before we dive into how you can better your lead generation efforts for 2022, let’s begin by defining a lead.
A lead is an individual who indicates interest in a business’s service or product in one way or another. A lead will typically receive communication from a business after taking a specific action that implies interest such as filling out a lead form or providing a business with their contact data.
For example, if a lead fills out an online form on your website, you are able to collect their contact information and reach the lead through personalized emails. Leads are a part of the consumer lifecycle and can be nurtured to convert into clients. It is important to note that not all leads are created equally and leads need to be qualified in order to guide the customer lifecycle.
There are different types of leads that come up through the customer lifecycle and these include:
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL): Contacts who have engaged with your marketing efforts but are not yet ready to receive a sales call or sales-related communication.
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQL): Contacts who have shown significant interest in becoming a customer. At this point, your marketing team will hand over lead data to your sales team.
- Product Qualified Leads (PQL): These are leads who have taken actions to show they are interested in a specific product by participating in a free trial or limited version of the product offered.
- Service Qualified Leads (SQL): These are customers who have spoken with a service representative and indicated they are interested in upgrading their subscription or product.
Now that we have an understanding of what a lead is, let’s take a look at the methodology of lead generation.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the act of attracting prospective customers to your business and nurturing their interest in your service or product, with the end goal being to convert them into customers. Lead generation strategies are vital for the success of any business and below, we take a look at some of the most successful lead generation strategies for business growth.
What is the Process of Lead Generation?
In order to fully understand lead generation strategy, it is important to comprehend the concept or methodology of Inbound Marketing. The Inbound Marketing thought-leaders, HubSpot, define the methodology as the following:
“Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don't always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.”
Let’s walk through an example of Inbound Marketing in order to understand this concept further:
- A visitor discovers your business through one of your marketing channels such as your social media pages, blog, or website.
- The visitor then clicks your Call-To-Action and takes a further step.
- The CTA directs the visitor to a landing page that is designed as a lead form.
- The lead form requires the visitor to fill in their contact details in exchange for valuable content (e-book or whitepaper) or a specific offer.
- Once the lead fills out the form, you have a new lead and are able to add their data to your CRM (Customer Relationship Management system).
- With this information, your marketing team is able to reach the lead through a variety of methods including personalized and automated email marketing or remarketing campaigns.
- Tracking the lead is vital and once you have identified a lead as sales qualified (based on their engagement and actions that can be tracked by a CRM) your marketing team is able to pass the contact information on to your sales team for conversion.
This is the concept of inbound marketing, one rooted in valuable content, personalization, and technological innovation.
How Do I Attract Leads Through Marketing Channels?
In order to jumpstart the lead generation process, strategic marketing is vital. Below, we outline the channels you can use to direct prospects to your landing pages and lead forms.
- Content Creation: Content is a valuable resource for guiding users or prospects to your landing page/lead form. Content marketing includes informative blogs, eBooks, social media posts, etc. Your content needs to be valuable and benefit the viewer in some way, the more “delighted” the viewer, the more inclined they are to take the next step and click your CTA.
- Personalized Emails: If a viewer has taken the next step and provided their contact details, you are able to send them informative and highly personalized emails. It is vital your email holds value and grabs the viewer's attention in order to drive them to take another step in the conversion process.
- Retargeted and Search Engine/ Social Media Ads: The goal of an ad is to prompt people to take action and the CTA in your ads needs to be clear and precise.
These are just a few examples of marketing for lead generation, but what stands out is offering viewers value through your content. If your content doesn’t answer a question or provide value in one way or another, the viewer will go to your competitors for further information and follow their lead generation efforts.
How Do I Qualify Leads?
Above we described the different qualifications assigned to leads. With lead scoring through CRMs such as HubSpot, you are able to determine where a lead stands in their qualification. You are able to customize your lead scoring based on the actions a user has taken, their engagement with your business, and related criteria that have been determined by your sales team.
The higher the lead score, the closer the lead is to becoming sales-qualified - and this is one step closer to becoming a customer. Once a lead has been identified as sales qualified, your marketing team is able to pass the information on to your sales team for conversion.
What Tools Can I Use for Lead Generation?
All of the abovementioned tactics can be done through a single platform: a Customer Relationship Management platform. These platforms are designed for the entire buyer's journey and integrate with your marketing channels effortlessly. One of the most powerful CRMs on the market today is HubSpot.
HubSpot is an all-in-one platform that allows space for your marketing, sales, and service teams to work together, manage marketing channels, store customer data, score leads, and convert leads into paying customers.
This may sound like a complicated tool to implement across your organization however, the HubSpot CRM is designed for ease of use, and your teams will quickly catch on to the platform and optimize it for better results.
The Wrap Up
The above outlines the strategy, methodology, and technology you should apply to your lead generation efforts in the new year.
Lead generation is the lifeblood of any business, and with the right strategy in place, you are able to grow your business better in 2022 and beyond.
Nexa has been generating highly qualified sales leads for businesses of all types for almost a decade. We have both the experience and track record to help businesses in all industries generate highly qualified sales leads.