6 minute read

A starting guide to lead generation

Nobody sets out to fail when starting their business. Entrepreneurs put strategies into place for sales techniques, marketing, revenue generation, and a myriad of other vital elements that are necessary for starting the business. After that, the plan is to keep the business going and grow to a point where it becomes sustainable and prosperous.

However, perhaps the most crucial aspect for every business is its ability to generate new leads. Businesses of every industry face this challenge in one form or another to varying degrees of success. In this post, we will be looking at the most important elements to ensure the prolonged success of your business: lead generation.

What is lead generation?

In marketing, lead generation is the action of gaining active and interested customers for the output of your business. Typically, this involves a customer connecting with you for information about your company or supplying you with their contact details to follow up on the product or service you provide. In an organisation, marketing is usually in charge of lead generation.

This means that marketing strategy should involve structuring an experience which is easy for your customers to navigate and connect with your business. Lead generation strategies, in general, should result in the exchange of your lead’s contact or payment information, or a meeting in person.

There are different types of leads, for example, a sales lead and a warm lead.

Why is lead generation important?

It is imperative to have leads which your sales team can pursue to guarantee the survival of your business. Without leads, you have no-one to sell your product to, and as such, you will have little to no income generation. This poses great risks for your company. Therefore it’s a good idea to educate yourself from the get-go about how you can successfully find new leads for it.

“Lead generation strategies, in general, should result in the exchange of your lead’s contact or payment information, or a meeting in person.”

Lead generation is not only useful for finding new opportunities for your business but also making sure you understand what your customers need. Further more, recognising certain attributes in your leads and how to get into contact with them will help you nurture more of those leads into full-time customers.

You can plan to either buy leads or build a lead generation marketing plan. Whichever you choose to use, if not both, it’s essential to have a business-driven plan in place for your sales team. This article will focus on two main techniques you can use to start generating leads: a more methodological approach with inbound marketing and marketing automation, and using different types of technology to help you gain leads.

A methodological approach

This kind of marketing strategy makes use of holistic and data-driven approaches which use the content on your website to attract buyers who research your products and services online. There are a few ways you can generate inbound leads on your own using marketing automation and interesting, relevant content. These are a few key approaches for generating leads through inbound marketing and automation:

Optimise your social media profiles

Keep your social media profiles like LinkedIn and Twitter up to date. Making sure that you have a professional look within your social media page ensures that your impression on a prospective customer is always excellent and encourages them to engage with your company.

A few ways you can do this is by staying active on social media, post articles that lead back to your website and offer relevant information in exchange for contact details.

Ask your current customers for referrals

Don’t be afraid to ask your current customers to help you grow.

Make sure that you frequently make calls to ensure your customers are happy with your service. This is a win-win situation for you. If they aren’t, you will be able to get constructive feedback which can improve your business. If they are, you can ask them to help you by giving referrals to your company, potentially netting you a new customer in the future.

Lead an online workshop or webinar

Sharing articles and blog posts are a fantastic way to share knowledge with your customers and leads. However, using teaching methods where your customers can actively engage with your business encourages them to open up and share more information. Building trust through this method doesn’t always mean you have to host live events. Videos and recordings can be just as effective to educate potential prospects on topics that will gain attention.

No matter which approaches you decide to use for this, be sure to include a form to capture lead information or, at the very least, include a link back to your website.

Contribute to other websites and blogs

Write about what you are an expert in. It’s essential to be visible as a business, and sharing knowledge through guest blogging is only one part of that. The hosting website gains content from an expert, and you gain leads from a new source. In addition to this, sharing what you know will present you as an expert on the topic, helping you achieve a name for your brand. Making sure that people know who you are, what you do, and the content you produce will be a great way to generate leads online.

More ways to generate inbound leads

  • Email sequences/courses - after offering content through a form.
  • Re-engaging old or lost opportunities - through email.
  • Engaging with live chat users - for those who are new and interested in your business.

Using technology to generate leads

The main difference between an inbound approach and this approach is the use of technology to generate and identify leads for you. We will be looking at two types of technology for this approach: LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Contact providers.

LinkedIn

This social media platform is excellent for making connections. Leveraging LinkedIn to connect with relevant industry leaders, for example, is one of the best ways to generate business opportunities. You can also find people who fall in as part of your target audience, connect with them, and message them directly about your product or services that you offer.

The primary tool that LinkedIn offers, which is excellent for lead generation, is the Sales Navigator. Essentially, it is a sales management tool to help sales reps tap into the extensive network that LinkedIn offers and land more deals. But how does it work?

Depending on the specific plan you decide to buy, there are a lot of tools and features to use. There are three main plans; professional, team, and enterprise. Each one gives you a certain amount of InMail messages to use per month, an amount of saved leads you can have, and other customised tools depending on what your business needs from using the product. The more you use it, the more leads insights you create to encourage improved results from those sales.

Essentially, Sales Navigator helps you find leads that are suited to your business based on their profiles. This can include attributes such as their position, company, location and industry. It then gives you the tools to contact and engage with these leads directly, with real-time updates on any changes to that lead. Sales Navigator also suggests relevant leads for your business based on your search history, profile views, and past saved leads.

B2B lead database providers

Before we start, it would be helpful to explain what contact providers are.

In essence, lead database providers are businesses who provide leads directly to you. There are different types of contact providers suited for larger and smaller companies. Two we would suggest looking at include - Sales.Rocks and ZoomInfo.

Sales.Rocks

The goal of this platform is to offer the data you need to grow your business. It classifies leads on a company and personal level. Sales.Rocks provide services such as detailed company and contact searches, as well as optimisation settings for your drip campaign modules.

Through a dashboard interface, it provides details on potential leads, with their full contact information as well as company details to help you determine if they are a good fit for your business. It also enables you to export your leads directly to your CRM for further nurturing.

Because it focuses on the more basic needs of lead generation and upkeep, it is ideal for small business that needs some quick help with generating leads, or those companies looking to expand their existing business development approach.

ZoomInfo

ZoomInfo focuses on providing companies with insights into who their ideal customer is. This is a little more advanced and goes beyond the basic needs for lead generation. It is fantastic for businesses who have more established business development teams, or those that have a larger sales appetite.

ZoomInfo enables companies to build segmented audiences for each step of the customer journey. It allows marketers to append data to existing and incoming leads, in real-time while building a B2B database of professional and company profiles. The application goes in-depth with analytics and provides personalised data on marketing, sales, recruitment and account management for every profile it gathers.

Essentially, ZoomInfo collects data from businesses and people and makes it available for companies to generate relevant leads. Their primary goal is to help companies achieve profitable growth and help them understand how to provide the best offers to prospective and loyal customers alike.

In conclusion

Generating leads is essential to the growth and sustainability of your business. As we have discussed in this article, there are quite a few ways in which you could understand lead generation, but also find the perfect method to implement it in your business. Marketing automation increasingly becomes a staple in marketing strategies for businesses around the globe, and it will be imperative that lead generation falls into those strategies for the flourishing business model. Making sure that you can contact your customers and keep them happy with your product or service is one of the first steps to success.

If you would like to generate leads online for your own business, Demodia has got you covered. We’ve been perfecting marketing automation and online lead generation strategies for the better half of two decades. Demodia has been integral to businesses around the world for their marketing and digital needs, offering insights, guidance and marketing tactics that work and convert.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and never miss out on an online lead ever again.

Topics: Inbound Marketing   Digital Marketing   Lead Nurturing   Marketing Automation   Marketing Strategy   Marketing Resources   B2B Marketing