In a successful business you have lots of happy customers. However, successfully obtaining happy customers is often easier said than done. All customers have to come from somewhere, but the question is where exactly? That’s where the principle of lead generation comes into play. In order to convert a potential customer, you must first warm them up to the idea of your business and get them to interact with your company.
Let’s start by defining what exactly a lead is. Essentially a lead is anyone that has shown some sort of interest in your company. This could be in variety of ways. It could be as simple as subscribing to your blog posts or as direct as filling out a contact form to get in touch with your sales team. Leads are your potential customers. You know they are interested in some form or fashion, so now you just have to close the deal.
The problem most businesses face is generating a satisfactory number of quality leads in an efficient manner. That’s where the idea of lead generation is introduced. Lead generation is the process of enticing leads to interact with your business and eventually converting them into customers. In the process of lead generation, the contact between your business and a potential customer is initiated by the lead. Through this process, the conversation between you and a potential customer feels more natural. For example, receiving a cold call out of the blue about purchasing a magazine subscription would seem more invasive than reaching out to a lead that filled out your online survey about their favorite magazines. By having potential customers initiating the conversation you are more likely to get a positive response as well as a higher caliber of lead that is more likely to be ready to make a purchase.
The most important part of lead generation is creating content that will resonate with potential customers and encourage them to interact with your company. There are many options for lead generating content. Some of the most common types include: forms, content offers, subscriptions, and call-to-actions.
FORMS allow for a visitor to your site to directly give you their information in hopes that you will follow up with them. Forms can be as specific or vague as necessary for your sales team depending on your sales goals. For instance, if your sales team is looking for customers willing to pay X amount of dollars for a good or service, then budget should be included on your form. Forms are often the most effective way to generate quality leads. This is because people don’t give up their information and directly contact you unless they are interested in your business.
CONTENT OFFERS can be a myriad of things. From webinars to infographics, people LOVE FREE STUFF. By allowing visitors to download content in exchange for a piece of contact information, they are initiating contact and you are gaining a lead. Content offers can also help categorize leads by separating them based on what their area of interest is. For example, a lead that downloads an E-book on bicycle tire maintenance is more interested in services related to bicycles than scooters and can be treated as such by your marketing and sales team.
SUBSCRIPTIONS to classes, updates, or blogs are another great way to generate leads. When someone subscribes to your company in any fashion, they are letting you know they have an interest. Similar to content offers, subscriptions to service-specific classes can be a great way to categorize leads. Additionally, keep in mind that someone who subscribes to receive blog post updates from your company may only be an awareness stage lead and may need additional nurturing from your marketing and sales team before they are ready to purchase.
CALLS-TO-ACTION are a simple way to indicate that a lead wants to contact you without seeming too direct. By tracking who is clicking on “contact us” or “talk to SoAndSo” you are seeing a lead’s interest in your company and what you offer. The way to utilize calls-to-action to generate leads is by adding them to e-mails or to another portion of content in your workflow. This will help indicate if someone who is already your contact is interested in taking the next step. For instance, if someone who filled out a content offer form previously (but was not yet a qualified lead) clicks on the call-to-action that states “Talk To Our Sales Team”, chances are they are now a higher quality lead and are ready to take the next step in the purchasing process.
Once a potential customer interacts with your content and you receive contact information, then that lead is officially generated. Once a lead has been deemed “qualified” then it’s up to your sales team to take it from there and close the deal. The more leads your company can generate, the more likely you are to increase sales and revenue, which is the end goal. That’s why lead generation should be a key component of your business strategy. If you would like to get more information about generating leads and how to take your business to the next level with an effective marketing strategy feel free to reach out to the Metova team and we can help you out.