How to Plan the Best Lead Generation Process – Business Tips

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Shrushti

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: May 20, 2021

Whether you are running a small business or a large enterprise, there’s one thing in common – attract more and more customers. And the ultimate way to get new customers is lead generation. To be precise, it is the lead generation process or lead generation strategies.

Looking for Lead Generation Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best Lead Generation Software solutions.

First off, what is lead generation?

Your business demands exposure to new, potential customers to grow. Well, we know that the concept of gaining new customers is as old as business itself. But, with the advancement in technology and continuously evolving industries, the approach towards new clients has also enhanced.

Lead Generation is the process of procuring new leads (i.e., customers or clients) and transforming them into a paying customer. This process involves finding a lead, nurturing it through the buying process, convincing it about your services or offerings, and finally converting it into a potential customer. To accomplish the lead generation process, you need to have established strategies in place.

Though ample lead generation strategies prevail in the past few decades, it’s time you upgrade those strategies for notable business growth. 

Here, We Have Outlined the Best Lead Generation Process Steps That Will Help You Win New Customers.

The Ideal Lead Generation Process Steps

Step #1: Determine your target audience

Lead generation begins with identifying who you are trying to attract. Though it seems an obvious question, all the ways to generate leads depend on its answer. The better you understand your customers, the better you can serve them. Eventually, this helps in driving more leads in the long run.

Audience research is challenging and a time-consuming process. But, determining the following can help you ease the search:

  • Fetch the demographic data i.e., who is visiting your website
  • Ask your Customer Support and Sales teams who are buying your products
  • Check out what your competitors are up to

Once you determine your target audience, try to gauge their troubles. To know this, you can run a survey, create a poll, or even talk to your customer support team. Nevertheless, your audience’s choices and problems might change over time. But, audience research must be an ongoing exercise and not ‘once done-and-sorted’ thing.

Step #2: Develop a Content Strategy that addresses your target audience’s problems

To attract new leads, you require creating engaging content. Then, you need to share it through different marketing channels. You can choose to create content in any of the following forms – eBook, Blog, Guest Post, Infographics, Image, White Paper, and anything that would fit your business needs and your target audience. What next? Promote your content through email, Twitter, Facebook, SlideShare, LinkedIn, and other social media channels where your audience is active.

According to research, B2B companies that generate blogs avail 67% more leads than those who do not.

Keep some of your content in tweets, images, and blog posts short, whereas the other forms of content like Infographics, White Papers, and eBooks long. Also, include a free sign up form to access your longer content. If your long piece of content interests the lead, he/she won’t hesitate to fill the form. When a reader fills the sign-up form, he/she becomes a part of your mailing list or contact management system. Congratulations! You thus acquired a new lead.

Step #3: Nurture the Acquired Leads

Once a lead is part of your mailing list or contact management system, you must continually nurture it. You must see to it that the leads retain their interest in being a part of your email list.

You can adopt different types of lead generation strategies to build a long-term relationship with the leads. This includes:

  • Email Marketing

When it comes to lead nurturing, email marketing is the most effective way for marketers. It is one of the most extensively used ways to generate leads. It yields the best results when leveraged with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and analytical systems.

  • Inbound Lead Generation

 Inbound Lead Generation revolves around creating valuable content that makes your brand more visible in search engines, and also on social media platforms to engage visitors. It deals with information exchange, i.e., you derive their contact information in return to your knowledge. Blog posts, White papers, and eBooks are some of the tools of the inbound lead generation process.

  • Outbound Lead Generation

Though outbound lead generation techniques like cold calling, trade shows, and display advertising have become outdated, they can be utilized in combination with inbound marketing to make your business stand out from the rest.

  • Online Lead Generation

B2B marketing, these days, demonstrates the utmost importance of internet marketing in lead generation process steps. It leverages the internet as the medium to generate leads. While online lead generation process continues to evolve, here are the top techniques that can be beneficial for you:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
  • Social Media Channels
  • Email Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Website Optimization
  • Paid Advertising
  • Marketing Automation
  • Display Advertising

It is one of the effective ways to generate leads. It is highly targeted to different demographics. Based on the behavior of your leads, i.e., platforms where they spend most of their time, you can choose the place where you want to display your ads. Such ads play a pivotal role in the sales funnel.

You can also take advantage of re-targeter ads that cookie the lead that visits your website. In the case of re-targeter ads, once a visitor gets cookied, your ads appear on all other websites that the visitor views. Hence, online advertising can help you reach more target audience.

Step #4: Score your Leads

In a pool of thousand leads, it is crucial to determine which of them is more valuable than others. Thus, you must score each of your leads. But how will you decide which lead is valuable to you? It’s simple! The lead that is interacting more with your products or services, visiting your website more, or downloading your content more than others is valuable.

Scoring your leads accordingly will give a clear picture of who is important for your business and how qualified they are to purchase from you. Keep a tab on the rise and fall of your lead’s interests as this will help you determine the stage where you lose leads or pass leads to the sales team.

Step #5: Pass on the Leads to your Sales Team

Right from acquiring leads, nurturing and scoring them to maintaining their interest to interact with your company is the job of your marketing team. Transforming that interest into a purchase decision is the focus of the sales team. Once a customer purchases your company, it is the role of the sales team to enrich their customer experience and retain them in the long run.

But which lead should be sent to the sales team? Well, it should be the one that boasts a healthy profile in terms of lead score, behavioral actions, and their need and desire to leverage your services. Such leads must be passed on to the sales team.

Conclusion

Following the aforementioned lead generation process steps will ensure that it is as efficient as possible in acquiring, nurturing, scoring, converting, and retaining the customers over time. However, it is vital to keep a watch and manage the lead generation process. As the marketplace will evolve, so will your leads and customers; thus, demanding you to adopt new approaches.

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Shrushti K. Chaware Works as a Digital Marketing Executive, at SoftwareSuggest. She is a Sports lover and always curious to explore new stuff. When she is not working hard at work, she can be found writing, reading or just wandering.

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