LEAD GENERATION: EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES AND PRACTICES – A GUIDE
October 30, 2018
Lead generation assumes primary importance for all B2B organisations interested in driving consistent and reliable revenue. Companies offering effective social media marketing services understand the vital importance of lead generation and employ it in smart ways in the modern digital marketplace.
What is Lead Generation? Lead Generation encompasses “all activities relating to the identification and cultivation of potential customers”. Companies offering social media optimization services apply a host of sales and marketing tactics to generate leads, with the help of a carefully-crafted process in place. B2B lead generation tends to be more acutely targeted and distinct in nature. Steep competition and crowded marketplaces have made B2B lead generation extremely challenging for today’s companies. Needless to say, companies that consistently generate quality leads gain a clear competitive edge over others.
The Importance of Leads Simply put, leads fuel sales pipelines, along with businesses. A stipulated percentage of leads convert into paying customers. However, when that percentage is low, it can be difficult to find positive ROI with concentrated efforts in lead generation. Resultantly, there needs to be a balance between quality and quantity. Theoretically, more leads mean more customers; but when only a small fraction gets converted, the methods require some alteration. In terms of cost and time consumed, it is more efficient to develop 10 leads with a high likelihood of conversion, rather than 50 with an extremely low likelihood.
Lead Qualification Process The lead qualification process has been a bone of contention for most companies. The major issue is a raging confusion and lack of agreement about what ‘qualified lead’ means. As the alignment between sales and marketing is gradually evolving into a business priority, organisations are moving towards an umbrella term that all parties can get behind. This helps strengthen definite aspects in the sales-marketing relationship. A prospect becomes a lead when they take a definite action to enter the sales funnel. Then on, they transform into a ‘qualified lead’ by surpassing various thresholds, which can be gauged with the following techniques.
Lead Scoring This system assigns values or rankings to prospects based on their likelihood of converting into a customer, or their eagerness to make a purchase. The nuances of this technique vary in accordance with companies and industries. Lead scoring can involve the use of numbers or words, while taking factors, such as demographics, online activities, and past engagement into account. Lead scoring can help customise your marketing or sales approach, especially with the aid of AI and automation processes.
Matching Against Buyer Personas While it is somewhat similar to lead scoring, this approach uses the ideal customer profile as a reference point for garnering new prospects. If there are ample similarities, then the prospect qualifies as a lead.
Letting User Actions Dictate Another way to go about lead generation is to base evaluations on the actions taken by the prospective customer. Some companies base it on personalised assets, while others rely upon form-fills that yield contact information.
Ways to Generate B2B Leads Now that we know why lead generation is important, it is crucial to know the ways in which leads can be generated. Here is a list of prevalent strategies uses by proficient marketers:
Social Media: Prospects can be attracted through organic and paid social media marketing activities, which involve the use of lead generation forms and other data collection techniques.
Webinars: You can create educational and informative sessions that people can register for by providing their contact information. Webinars can be promoted on social media for maximum impact and engagement.
Gated Assets: This is similar to a webinar, except that here, the prospect engages with a downloadable content asset, such as an ebook or whitepaper. Gated assets are also promoted via social media.
Videos: Marketers often include call-to-action at the end of a video marketing content, that allows viewers to take the next step. Videos tend to get optimum reach on social media, hence, making them a top choice for a lead generation.
Email: This is a highly effective method, provided there is a strategically targeted and opted-in list in place.
Website Forms: Website forms invite visitors to fill out a contact form in order to proceed to the next viable step.