Lead Generation – Meaning And Process

What is a Lead?

A lead is a person who shows potential interest in your product/service and can turn into a buyer for your business. It depends largely on the type of business you own and the value of the product/service you will offer.

For instance: a B2b selling high-end products would require generating leads but the process of converting them into customers would be the biggest challenge.

Whereas, a B2c business selling a high-value product like a house, a car would have to involve in a complex lead generation process which can finally convert them into paying customers.

Though there are multiple shortcuts to get leads like buying data about the audience, it would do no good as the emails you send will be unsolicited. You will also have no clue about their behavior or why they would prefer purchasing your product/service in the first place. It would be a waste of money, time, and effort.

Rather, choose your market, study your audience, create value-focused content and bring high-quality leads for your business.

Lead Generation:

Meaning:

It is the process of creating interest within your audience who can potentially become your customer and place them into a sales funnel.

Importance:

  1. Targeting the right customer: All your content, lead magnets and campaigns would be directed towards one common goal and i.e to find high-quality paying customer. In order to do that, you have to narrow down and target the right group of audiences having certain set of interests, age group, behaviour, etc.
  2. Improved ROI: When a lead generation process is carried out very properly, the leads that you get are the ones who has actually shown interest towards your business and signifies the potential of turning into a paying customer thus increasing an improved return on investment.
  3. Increased awareness: Customer-touchpoints are largely crucial to retain in the minds of the customers. Hence, creating high-quality landing pages and content can put a lasting effect on your audience.
  4. Oppurtunity to collect further details about them: Once you have received the primary two details about your customer i.e. Name and E-mail. You can always go ahead and ask your leads to fill out a form asking further details about them in exchange of a solution or an exclusive offer.
  5. Brand Loyalty: Lead generation and its next steps like lead nurturing plays a huge role to build brand loyalty. Your leads become familar with your product/service when you give values through your content.

Types of Lead Generation:

1. Inbound Lead Generation:

This basically covers the process of your customers reaching out to your business organically through various mediums. It requires placing content like articles, videos at spots you are more likely to have interaction and engagement.

2. Outbound Lead Generation:

The process of reaching your potential target audience via paid channels like Facebook ads, google ads, Twitter ads, etc, and other mediums like telemarketing. It requires investment and can give results in a short span of time.

How Lead Generation Works?

B2C- Lead Generation Process:

In business-to-customer, the challenge is mainly about collecting leads that are ready to convert. But if you follow the CATT Framework along with the regular steps in the lead generation process, your conversion rates will spike up.

1. Understanding Your Audience:

A blind game of guesswork wouldn’t actually give you good results for your campaign or your business. Henceforth, it is very much required that you study your audience, understand their interests, preferences which can give you a better picture of how you can narrow the gap between your business and your audience. (Refer to my article about how to find your ideal customer-avatar).

2. Content:

The CATT framework implies the fact of having good content to get high results for your campaigns or getting traffic and leads. In this process, lead magnets would be the content you have created or content that you would provide in exchange for their details. You would also require to create a landing and thank you page to bring the traffic to the correct spot.

Lead Magnet:

How do you persuade your audience to take interest in your business with the fact that you also require them to take action and give their details to you? Lead Magnet does this. You can offer value- content that can possibly grab their attention and create curiosity amongst them to know more about your brand.

There are different types of lead magnets that you can offer:

  1. eBook
  2. WhitePaper
  3. Free Course
  4. Webinars
  5. Reports
  6. Free consultation call
  7. Blogs
  8. Videos
Landing Page:

After you have decided on a lead magnet and created it, the next step is to set up a squeeze page/landing page where you will include the lead form and details about what the lead will get in return for filling the form.

You should also include a brief introduction about you and your business, some highlighting features or services that you provide, testimonials. Make sure your landing page is clearly defined as what an audience can expect from you and place a call-to-action button.

A lot of links here and there would deviate their focus and the entire goal of creating a separate landing page would be lost.

Tools you can use to create your landing page:

  1. Convertkit
  2. HubSpot
  3. Mailchimp
  4. Unbounce
  5. Instapage
Thank You Page:

Another important point one has to remember is that the user experience should be satisfying. Thank them for their time and mention the next steps they can expect from you. Create a good-looking thank you page, install necessary pixels which will help you later to run conversion-optimized ads.

3. Attention:

The content has been made, the landing page and thank you page looks pretty good. What’s next? Well, now you would require to place the landing pages/lead magnet into platforms and spaces where you expect your audience is most active or most likely to take an action.

Driving traffic can be done organically or through paid ads. You can also use affiliates and referrals to gain more leads.

Organic:

Content Syndication: Sharing of the same piece of content at multiple platforms and websites like social media, guest posts, youtube, podcasts, publications that has a higher chance of getting traffic organically.

This is a cost-effective way of gaining leads and views however it also depends on the size of the community you have and the quality of the piece you have curated.

Paid Ads:

Facebook Ads: FB ads are very effective in generating leads as they provide detailed conversion-optimized ads campaign options and you can narrow your target audience as much as you want.

It also shows the ads to the relevant audience who’s most likely to convert based on their past behavior which gives you a further benefit of investing in the correct place.

To get started, install the FB pixels on every page of your website so that, FB can track and record the audiences who are visiting your site and can later be used for retargeting.

Google Ads: Similar to Facebook ads, you can also advertise on google properties via search ads, display ads, videos ads, and more. You would have to set up a conversion action and install the tracking code on the thank you page so that every conversion is recorded.

You can optimize the ads based on keywords, location, set your bid and budget, time, headline, description, and more.

Twitter Ads: Twitter is a very popular platform for our generation. Hence, advertising on Twitter can give you high-quality leads.

LinkedIn Ads: This platform is a professional one. So, advertising in LinkedIn as a business can help you get quality referrals for hiring and an opportunity for collaboration with other businesses.

Referrals/ Affiliates:

The power of affiliate marketing is too much to ignore. Good offers and unit-based commission rates can help you to get good leads for your business. Your affiliates can work as a soldier and you can steadily increase your army with an effective and attractive referrals program.

Telemarketing:

Cold calling is one of the traditional methods of selling. However, if used correctly, it can yield good results for your business. Instead of spamming people with regular calls, gauge interest, capture their attention, and then pitch for your service.

Telemarketing is also a great method to understand your audience’s behavior and personality, you can also collect more information about them.

4. Trust:

How do you engage with your customer? Do you simply pitch as soon as you meet them? Or do you take them on a journey where they feel comfortable and welcomed, where your solutions are what they’ve been looking for?

Building trust is as important as in any relationship. Your leads won’t pay until and unless they know you’re the right place to invest it. So, to make sure you are fulfilling their needs, building a bridge between them and your brand, you will have to nurture them consistently with quality content.

Lead Nurturing:

Now you have got a list of potential buyers, you’ve their required contact email. The next step is to nurture these leads. The best way to do this is to provide quality content to them. Try adopting a variety of content like blogs, videos, podcasts. Your mails should be engaging, resourceful and should solve their problem or curate interest in them.

Another important point to note here is that, because you have the chance to email them information about your brand and related articles, do not spam them with bulk emails, unnecessary promotional emails, and consecutive emails.

Prepare a routine, maybe every 2 alternative days, or maybe once a week, depending upon how your audience is responding. Make sure every email that you sent should be of some value. Gradually you will see your cold leads turn into warm and then hot leads.

Lead Profiling:

You have got leads and have started nurturing them also. But will it sound feasible to you if you are asked to give the same offer to the entire set audience? Most probably not. You would want to know more about them before you present them with an offer. Yes, this is where lead profiling comes into play.

While you are nurturing your leads, you can always go ahead and ask a few detailed questions about them. For example, their profession, their goal, gender, age group, education, so and so forth. This will help you to get a clear picture of who your lead is and likewise you can tag and segment them.

Lead Scoring:

How will you understand where to place certain leads in the sales funnel? To recognize the warm and hot leads, you will have to score them based on their response, activity, engagement, and open rate of your emails.

This will give you a better picture about which leads to focus more on, who needs a little more engagement before they agree to turn into paying customers.

5. Transaction:

The end goal of any marketing strategy is to make sales. Your leads have warmed up by now, you have gained their trust, you know about your leads enough. So, now is the time when you can go ahead and pitch for your products/services.

In case, you do not have a product/service of your own to offer, you can offer affiliate products. This entire process of sales is better to be handled by a sales department separately as it gives the lead generation team a bigger space to focus and work upon.

That being said, the lead generation team is also required to take continuous feedback from the sales team about which leads require a bit more warmup, as you cannot force a lead to purchase something from you, it can harm the reputation of your brand.

So, as long as you are nurturing your leads properly, taking feedbacks, and bringing necessary adjustments into your lead generation strategy, natural sales will do the job for you.

B2B- Lead Generation Process

1. Targeted List of Contacts:

In b2b, especially when you are selling high-end products/services, it requires effort. Though gathering their contact details isn’t the challenge here, but closing the deal with sales being made is one.

There are multiple tools that you can use to collect the email ids of the person you want to contact in an organization. Once you’ve collected the contact, create a list listing their name, position, organization, website, etc.

Tools you can use to get lead contacts for b2b:

  1. Snov.io
  2. FindThatLead.com
  3. GetProspect.io

2. Cold Outreach:

The list has been prepared, and you are ready to get your first b2b client. But wait! How will you frame the email? Should it sound formal, or should you sound more casual? Confused? I got you!

Here’s the mistake that most people often commit when writing cold emails – they tend to greet with Dear Sir/Madam, and a formal old-school article. By contrast, when you are trying to reach a person, the first and foremost thing you must keep in mind is that your email shouldn’t sound boring and look spammy, else it will sit there for the next 10 years without being noticed.

Start with referring to their website that you may have visited, or their recent tweet, and comment something positive about it. After all, who doesn’t like being appreciated! At least not me!

Secondly, do not have a long body content. It should be short, crisp, to the point, sound casual, as well as inviting.

Third, on your first contact, do not brag and introduce yourself throughout the email. Refer to the point, and invite them for a consultation call to discuss things further.

A lot of times, even after you have sent 20 different people emails, you wouldn’t get any response. I understand the pain, especially when you are a beginner. In that case, a reminder follow-up can work like magic for you.

3. Sales Call:

If you are an agency, freelancer who has just started, I do understand the fear of having your first sales call. It’s definitely an experience of a lifetime. But, contrarily, the call shouldn’t be for you to be interviewed but understand their business and requirement which will further lead to developing quotation and timeline.

Once, you’ve understood their interest, goal, and requirement, the time is to pitch about your service/product. Give them cases studies of the clients you have already worked for. Refer to their situation and how it is similar to this recent project and what you can do better in comparison to others.

Follow-up with them with the quotation and you are ready for your first B2B Project!!

Summary:

Lead Generation is a major component to run any business. Lead Magnets, Landing Pages, Tools, Clear Navigated Websites, Planned Ads Campaign, Good SEO strategy, strategic social media game, and a high-quality product/service that your business will offer when combined can bring a huge number of conversions.

Although in this article, I’ve segmented the B2b and B2c lead generation process separately, few things can work for each other. For example: Creating a quality landing page with a defined structure, testimonials and action can also work great for B2B.

Similarly, Optin Tools that allow users to have a chatbot on their website can work for both B2B and B2C to generate leads.

Moreover, when you’re selling a high-end B2C product like a car, house, email alone cannot turn hot leads into instant buyers, as it involves a decision-making process that can be accelerated with a meet-up and call with the salesperson.

Thus to conclude, the basic idea of the entire lead generation process, is to strategize how and where you want to meet your traffic, bring them into your sales funnel, build trust, to finally make sales.

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