Lead generation is the process of filling the sales pipeline with leads by attracting interested customers. A critical part of lead generation is collecting prospects’ information and nurturing them into paying customers.
A solid lead generation strategy is crucial for a small business to remain competitive and secure a steady stream of income. The right lead generation strategy for small businesses balances limited resources against the need to grow.
What is Lead Generation and Why is It Important for Small Businesses?
Lead generation is the process of capturing interested customers and collecting their contact information. The goal of lead generation is to capture leads to fill the sales funnel. These leads will be nurtured and turned into paying customers, increasing the company’s revenue.
The definition of a small business varies from one place to another. Generally speaking, small businesses are privately owned sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations.
Lead generation is crucial for small businesses because:
- It improves brand awareness.
- It creates a target sales approach.
- It helps small businesses build a consistent stream of sales.
The biggest lead generation challenge for small businesses is not having enough manpower to run massive campaigns. Here’s a quick look at the limited workforce of small businesses around the world:
|Small Business||Less than 15||1-99||Less than 50||Less than 250|
Best Lead Generation Strategies for Small Businesses
Here are the best-suited lead generation strategies for small businesses:
Create and Publish High-Quality Content
One of the best ways for small businesses to capture leads is by creating and publishing high-quality content. This will help drive organic leads to your website, allowing you to get a higher SERP ranking, boost brand awareness and customer loyalty, and create opportunities to convert leads with gated content.
Content comes in different forms like:
Many businesses make the mistake of writing content for search engines, but writing for people is more effective. The fundamental characteristics of high-quality content are:
- Accurate: The information you present in your content must be factual, or else it will not provide value to the readers.
- Readable: Use simple words and short sentences to make it easier for readers to understand your message.
- Relevant: Your content must address your target audience’s questions and pain points.
- Original: Effective content offers readers a unique and fresh perspective of topics that have already been discussed.
- Shareable: Your content must be so good that readers are compelled to share it with their network. Sharable content is entertaining, factual, and thought-provoking.
Make Your Website SEO-Friendly
When consumers need to buy something or find a solution, the first thing they do is research using search engines. In fact, more than half of online consumers use Google to discover new brands.
An SEO-friendly website will help increase organic traffic. It will also make your website more user-friendly, improving visitors’ user experience.
These are the common characteristics of an SEO-friendly website:
- Fast-loading: A fast-loading website creates a better user experience and a positive lasting impression about the business.
- Well-formatted URL: A well-formatted URL is important because it’s one of the factors that Google uses to rank pages. URLs also provide context to articles’ contents.
- SEO-optimized images: Adding images makes your content more engaging. If you use SEO-optimized images, you also increase your chances of ranking higher on search engine result pages.
Use Email Marketing
When done correctly, email marketing can be an effective lead generation strategy for small businesses. It allows you to create personalized messages to prospects so that you can nurture them into opportunities. Email marketing is also effective for building meaningful relationships with prospects.
Email marketing is an excellent lead generation strategy for small businesses because plenty of tools allow you to automate it in a less time-consuming and labor-intensive way.
Outsourced Lead Generation
|Benefits||No full-time employee benefits and salary |
No training costs
No tools and equipment costs
The biggest obstacle small businesses face when it comes to lead generation is a lack of resources. Lead generation efforts can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, but this does not mean small businesses cannot experience its benefits.
Outsourced lead generation is the strategy of delegating lead generation tasks to a third party. You can choose to outsource your entire lead generation process or pick specific tasks. Examples of lead generation tasks that you can outsource include:
- Lead qualification: Lead qualification is the process of comparing prospects with your company’s buyer persona. If the prospect fits, it will be pushed towards the next stage of the sales cycle. This allows lead generation efforts to target high-quality leads.
- Cold Calling: This involves contacting prospects who haven’t shown previous interest in the company’s products or services.
- Appointment Setting: Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) reach out to leads and persuade them to book virtual or face-to-face appointments with Account Executives (AEs).
Outsourced lead generation is an efficient strategy for small businesses because it’s cost-effective. It also unburdens sales representatives, allowing them to focus on other aspects of growing revenue.
Outsourced lead generation is cost-effective because:
- You don’t have to pay for salaries and benefits: The biggest cost of in-house lead generation is paying for full-time salaries and benefits of employees, which can add significantly to the company’s expenses.
- You don’t have to invest in employee training: Lead generation professionals need weeks to familiarize themselves with the company’s sales playbook and lead generation process.
- Tools and equipment are covered: You don’t have to pay for a monthly subscription or buy equipment such as computers and telephones. The lead generation firm will be the one to provide that to the team.
Outsourced lead generation also has its fair share of risks, especially when it comes to controlling and quality. This is why it’s important to only work with a reliable service provider. To do that, you should look for the following qualities in an outsourced lead generation agency:
- Experienced and highly trained lead generation professionals: The reliability of a lead generation service provider depends on the quality of its workforce. Lead generation specialists, SDRs, and BDRs must be well-trained and experienced.
- Proven track record: The quality of a lead generation service provider can be seen through its previous work. It’s best to look for reviews online, or better yet, request a portfolio. You can also ask their previous clients about their experience working with the agency.
- Transparent Pricing: A credible lead generation is transparent with pricing and usually has a fixed price for the service you need. For custom solutions, most charge a retainer fee.
Offer Free Subscriptions, Products, or Trials
Consumers buy from big companies because they know what to expect from their products and services. This is not the case with small businesses, since not many people have tried their offerings yet.
There are two benefits to offering free subscriptions, products, or trials. The first is that consumers can see firsthand the quality of your offering and whether it addresses their pain points. The second is that those who opt-in for your freebies enter your marketing funnel, allowing you to generate more leads that you can nurture into paying customers over time.
Highlight Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are a solid testament to the quality of your products or services. These also highly influence the consumer’s buying decisions. Companies with positive reviews are more likely to gain customers’ trust.
This is an effective lead generation strategy for small businesses, as it does not take much effort and time to highlight reviews on your website or social media pages. Some tools automate this process, making it even more effective.
Don’t worry that customers will be disheartened by your negative reviews. You can use the negative ones as an opportunity to show that your company is willing to accept constructive criticism by acknowledging the concerns of previous customers, investigating, and addressing the issue. By doing this, there’s also a chance for the customer to change their negative review into a positive one.
Lead Generation Tools for Small Businesses
Lead generation tools automate lead generation tasks, making them more manageable and less time-consuming.
Here’s a quick look at different lead generation tools and examples that caters to the needs of small businesses:
|Lead Generation Tools||Small Business-Friendly Examples|
|Lead Data Collection Tools||OneHash, HubSpot Marketing Hub, Agile CRM|
|Landing Page Creation Tools||Unbounce, Leadpages, GetResponse|
|Live Chat Softwares||Drift, ClickDesk, LiveAgent|
|Email Marketing Tools||MailChimp, SendinBlue, MailerLite|
|Calendar Scheduling Tools||Calendly, ScheduleOnce, CalendarHero|
- Lead Data Collection Tools: Also known as lead capture software, these collect data about businesses or people that could become your customers.
- Landing Page Creation Tools: These tools are often referred to as “landing page builder software.” They let you create simple pages optimized for your target audience without extensive coding knowledge.
- Live Chat Software: This permits you to integrate a live chat feature into your website, allowing prospects to easily get in touch with you.
- Email Marketing Tools: Used for email marketing campaigns, these tools allow marketers to create, test, optimize, and send emails. Some of these tools also offer insights into the performance of emails.
- Calendar Scheduling Tools: These tools allow you to schedule meetings and share them with multiple users. They make keeping track of meetings more accurate and efficient.
If you are planning on outsourcing your lead generation, make sure to choose a reliable service provider such as SalesRoads. SalesRoads will help you build a custom appointment setting campaign that resonates with your sales playbook. Get in touch with us today and watch high-quality leads come to you.