A successful lead generation strategy is critical to attaining a company’s short and long-term objectives. Results normally take time, but employing the right practices can accelerate sales outcomes.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting prospects and converting them into customers. Lead gen ensures your sales team never runs out of opportunities to pursue.
There are two types of lead generation methodologies: inbound and outbound. Inbound lead generation nurtures prospects that show interest in your brand, while outbound focuses on leads with no previous interaction with your company.
Most companies utilize a combination of inbound and outbound lead generation strategies to identify qualified leads. There’s no one size fits all approach to creating a lead generation process: each company is unique and has a different target audience.
|Lead Generation Benefits|
|Discover new sales opportunities|
|Increase brand awareness|
|Improve lead quality|
When done right, lead generation allows businesses to:
- Discover new sales opportunities
It’s best practice for companies to focus on a specific market segment when creating sales and marketing strategies. Lead generation facilitates the discovery of new market opportunities and identifies new prospects that can potentially become paying customers.
- Increase brand awareness
Most consumers buy from brands that they are familiar with, which is why brand awareness is crucial. Lead generation can increase brand awareness by leveraging unique and valuable content across inbound and outbound channels.
- Improve lead quality
Targeted lead generation allows companies to leverage content that resonates with their target audience. This makes it easier for the sales and marketing teams to identify qualified leads that are uncomplicated to convert in the shortest period.
- Boost revenue
When done right, lead generation can supply your sales pipeline with highly-qualified opportunities, increasing the chances of conversion. The more high-quality leads enter the pipeline, the more chances of closing deals.
Lead Generation Tips and Tricks for Salespeople
Companies don’t always have the luxury of waiting months to recognize the results of their lead generation efforts. The following tips and tricks will help accelerate your lead generation results:
Tip #1: Consider Outsourcing
Outsourcing lead generation involves hiring a third party to implement your strategies. This can accelerate the lead generation process by:
- Saving time: Building an in-house team can take months. Newly hired sales development representatives (SDRs) will also require extensive training before they’re fully functional.
- Reducing Cost: Service providers charge fixed rates or a retainer fee for custom solutions. You don’t have to pay full-time salaries and benefits, equipment expenses, and training costs.
There are plenty of lead generation tasks that you can outsource, depending on your strategy. Most companies outsource appointment setting because they lack in-house experts to run the campaign.
If you’re planning to outsource appointment setting, make sure to evaluate the service provider based on:
- SDR Quality
The success of your sales development campaign depends on the quality of the sales development representatives (SDRs) that run it. Ensure that the service provider assigns your campaign to highly trained and experienced SDRs.
SDRs who work on multiple projects at once are less likely to have expert knowledge about your niche or products, causing quality and performance issues.
Most SDRs from outsourcing companies already have the basic skills for the job, but that doesn’t mean they are knowledgeable in your niche or products. That’s why it is essential to choose a provider that offers training for SDRs to familiarize your sales playbook and brand messaging.
- SDR to Manager Ratio
Your sales development manager must monitor SDRs and keep track of their performance. Ideally, there should be one manager for every 3-5 SDRs to ensure they get the guidance and support they need.
Reliable outsourced service providers value communication and respond quickly to questions and concerns. They should also provide honest and consistent reports about the status of your campaigns.
Tip #2: Leverage High-quality Content
|Type of Content Salespeople can Leverage|
Content plays a significant role in lead generation, as it can capture the interest of your target audience and educate them about your solutions.
Marketing teams are usually responsible for producing content, but salespeople greatly benefit from these assets. Here are examples of content that salespeople can leverage:
- Gated content: Prospects can access gated content after exchanging their contact information. Salespeople can use this to identify leads that fit the company’s buyer persona and nurture them into customers.
- Blog posts: Salespeople can leverage this content because it answers the lead’s pain point, pushing them to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Case studies: This content has in-depth information about how a solution works in a real-life scenario. Salespeople can use it to back up their claims for the products and services they represent.
- Infographics: Images such as infographics can be easily shared and are often more attractive than written content. Salespeople can use them when making their sales pitches to provide leads with visual references.
High-quality content positions your brand as an expert in your niche and helps build rapport with leads, making it easier to convert them into paying customers.
Tip #3: Boost Your Social Media Presence
Using social media can significantly increase your engagement with your target audience. It allows your content to reach more prospects, generating more traffic to your website and increasing brand awareness.
Boosting your social media presence is a great way for salespeople to directly engage their prospects with minimal support from their marketing team.
You can use the following social media platforms to engage your audience:
- LinkedIn: This is an excellent platform if you are targeting professionals and decision-makers. You can generate leads by publishing value-driven content and converting your connections into paying customers.
- Facebook: Facebook has millions of monthly active users from diverse demographics. It also has features that let you target a particular demographic, maximizing your engagements.
- Quora: Most Quora users are looking for answers to their questions and a community where they can discuss their opinion freely. This allows salespeople to identify their target audience’s pain points, engage with them directly, and position their brand as a knowledgeable resource.
Tip #4: Monitor Competition
Monitoring the lead generation strategies of your competition will help you identify and emulate their best practices. This will also help you stay ahead and win over customers.
You can monitor your competition’s performance by:
- Identifying their most shared content: You’ll get a better idea of the type of content and topic that resonates with your target audience.
- Tracking their social activities: This will help you gain insight into how to interact with your target.
- Reading their customer reviews: The customer reviews will show your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. You can use these insights to improve your offerings and how you approach your target audience.
By monitoring your competition, you can find proven and tested practices to fast-track your lead generation strategies.
Tracking your lead generation performance is as important as monitoring your competition. You can objectively evaluate your lead generation progress by using metrics such as:
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) Generated: This metric will tell you whether your lead generation strategy provides leads that fit your buyer persona or ideal customer profile.
- Deals Created: Tracking the deals created will tell you whether the leads you generate convert into sales opportunities that bring company revenue.
- Average Contract Value: The average contract value will help determine if your leads are generating sufficient revenue.
- Conversion Rate: This is a direct indicator of whether your lead generation efforts convert into sales.
Tip #5: Research Your Target Audience
An effective lead generation strategy requires a deep understanding of your target audience. This allows you to select the best content to resonate with leads, making it easier to convert them into paying customers.
A buyer persona is a research base profile representing your target audience. A well-defined buyer persona will help you understand your target audience’s:
- Pain points: What are the common frustrations of your target audience?
- Buying patterns: What are the factors that make their buying decisions? How often do they buy a particular product?
- Interests: What attracts the attention of your target audience?
In most companies, the marketing team will formulate the buyer persona. If you don’t have one yet, it’s highly recommended to make multiple personas to make your lead generation strategies targeted.
Some tools automatically generate buyer personas, allowing you to save time and effort. Make sure to fill them out with accurate information about your target audience to get a detailed report.
You can also use market segmentation to collect valuable insights about your leads. Market segmentation is the process of dividing buyers into subgroups such as:
- Behavioral segmentation: The basis of this segmentation is consumers’ buying behavior. This includes shopping habits, actions on a website, benefits sought, loyalty, and usage rate.
- Demographic segmentation: The most common type of segmentation aims to divide consumers based on qualities such as family size, age, genre, occupation, educational level, religion, and race.
- Psychographic segmentation: This segmentation will give you insights into your target audience’s preferences, needs, and motivations. It classifies consumers according to their lifestyles, attitudes, beliefs, interests, values, and traits.
- Geographic segmentation: The basic categories used for geographic segmentation are zip code, county, state, and country. In some cases, location characteristics, climate, and population density are also analyzed in this segmentation.
Lead Generation Tools for Salespeople
|Customer Relationship Management Tools|
|Email Outreach Tools|
Using the right tools can make lead generation easier and faster. With so many options on the market, it might be difficult to decide which one is the best fit for your needs.
Depending on what strategy you are using, these tools can make lead generation more efficient:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools: Salespeople can use CRM to segment leads generated by the marketing team, making it easier to identify what to prioritize.
- Communication Tools: Offering prospects various communication channels makes it easier for them to connect with your brand.
- Email Outreach Tools: Salespeople can use email marketing tools to make their outreach strategy faster and more efficient. These tools usually have features to allow personalization and increase open email rates.
- Advertising Tools: These tools drive traffic to your website. Examples include paid ads on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
When choosing a lead generation tool, pay attention to the following qualities:
- Accessibility: Cloud-based lead generation tools are better because they are accessible anytime, anywhere, as long as your team has an internet connection. Ensure that the tool you pick has security features that deter cyber threats.
- Usability: Ensure that your lead generation tool has little to no learning curve. Every member of your sales team must be able to use it.
- Support: Pick tools with responsive customer support to save time and effort in case of technical issues.
- Cost: Go for tools that offer a freemium subscription or trial period. This allows you to test it before fully committing to paying a monthly or yearly fee.
Emulating the best practices mentioned above will speed up your lead generation outcomes. They’re simple but actionable tips that will bring you closer to your business objectives.