The Lead Generation Process: Effective Steps to Boost Your Sales
With so many businesses competing for sales, how do you stand out from the crowd? How do you attract new customers when practically anyone can start a competing business these days, and even worse – undercut your price? Being able to reach out to the right people in the right places, and properly communicating the value you can bring is no easy feat. This is the task that B2B lead generation services take upon themselves, and in this article, we’re going to go over the surface-level basics of how this industry works, the terminology, and why you should be doing it, because your competitors are.
What Is the Lead Generation Process?
If you truly understand what a lead is, you should already have a basic understanding of how things work in the field of lead generation based on logic and common sense. Lead generation is the art and science of gathering a customer base. If you discard the silly and illegal methods, there aren’t that many working options these days, but it’s more than enough to get the job done. By the way, statistics show that outsourcing lead generation generates 43% better results in comparison to doing it in-house, so if you’re interested in finding a lead generation company and leaving it to the pros – SalesAR is here to help.
The key step in this process is to get a person interested enough in your value proposition (product/service) for them to make the first step into the sales funnel. Lead generation for businesses is always about attracting potential customers/clients. The only differences are in the scope of your business, and how you measure your conversion effectiveness and KPIs (key performance indicators). A common approach for businesses during their email marketing lead generation process is to measure open and reply rates, and conversions into appointments.
Interesting Fact #1 – 63% of leads who inquire about your business won’t convert for at least 3 months, so approach them with a long-term mindset.
What Is a Lead?
A lead is a person who has shown interest in your product and provided an opportunity to be contacted, in one form or another. The ultimate goal of further communication may vary slightly from project to project (although it is essentially always the same – monetization and profit), but the first step after introducing a lead to the value proposition should be to establish proper communication channels.
The B2B lead generation process is pretty straightforward in terms of structure, so the difference in conversion rates is usually more about the quality of the work being done by the sales/marketing team.
How people can become leads:
- Register on a site;
- Subscribe to a mailing list;
- Send their info via a contact form (mail, phone, personal messaging link in social networks, etc.);
- Click on an ad or an offer (banner, link, etc.);
- Give consent to receive notifications in their browser;
- Reply to a cold marketing email or message (the bread and butter of the email marketing lead generation process);
- Install applications;
- And others…
Types of Leads
Cold leads. These are individuals that have little to no prior interest in your value proposition, and likely still don’t after being contacted. They have either accidentally provided you with their contacts, didn’t know how to deny your sales pitch, or acted impulsively and without serious intentions. The chances of them becoming customers/clients are very slim. During the B2B lead generation process, most of the potential customers/clients will come from this group.
Warm Leads. Potential customers who are interested in a product similar to yours, but haven’t definitively decided yet. For example, if a person filled out a contact form and asked a question about a product in an online chat room – that’s a warm lead. Demonstrate the benefits of your product/service, and you likely have a sale.
Hot leads. Leads who are ready to become your customers. They’ve already allocated a certain sum towards a purchase, and it’s happening with or without you. The key here is to help navigate these hot leads throughout the purchasing process, affirming their decision, and making the experience as easy and satisfying as possible for them.
Naturally, leads can easily convert from cold leads into warm leads, and from warm leads into hot leads. The lead generation process isn’t just about creating new leads, but also promoting the existing ones from lower to higher levels of engagement.
Interesting Fact #2 – 42% of companies consider emails to be one of their most important lead generation channels. Despite the hype around content marketing and social media, emails are still amazing.
The B2B Lead Generation Process
The B2B sphere is the most conservative in terms of marketing. If you manage to get a decision-maker interested in your business through a well-thought-out marketing campaign, it doesn’t mean that they will become a customer/client. A lot depends on your level of transparency, your ability to build trust, and your ability to close deals in a live conversation. Businesses are very cautious of who they choose to work with, so you should make every effort you can to prove that you’re a reliable partner.
When it comes to the lead generation process in the B2B segment, it’s all about demonstrating your value proposition in the best way possible, taking into account the multitude of factors that go into a business relationship.
Before reaching out to a potential customer/client – analyze the company, and identify its segment, industry, and region of operations. This way, you can prepare a relevant offer for the company and choose the appropriate communication channels. The key people to target are the company’s employees who can influence the decision to close the deal. They are the people you should be working closely with.
Leads are potential customers who, when properly processed, can be converted into paying customers/clients. They can be divided into cold, warm, and hot leads depending on the level of interest, and the stage of the buyer’s journey they are in. The lead generation process is all about creating more leads via certain systematic approaches, be it inbound or outbound.
The B2B segment has a lot of peculiarities and expectations, which is why you need a completely different approach in comparison to the B2C lead generation process. This is where SalesAR comes in – one of the fastest-rising quality service providers worldwide. If you’re interested in saving your business, sustaining it, or seeing it thrive – you know who to contact.