A Beginner’s Guide to Lead Generation

If you want to attract potential customers and build a pipeline of genuine new business opportunities, there’s a high chance you’ll need to put some work into a lead generation strategy. Read on to learn more about lead generation, how to generate quality leads, and how to increase your chances of converting them to sale.

What is lead generation?

As part of the pre-sales process, lead generation involves attracting and engaging prospects, with the goal of converting them into a customer.
For lead generation to take place, you should first be able to identify your ideal customers, explore their goals and challenges to understand if they have a need and motivation for the kind of product or solution that you provide.

Lead Generation Process

By definition lead generation doesn’t happen via just one method. Over time lead generation has expanded from traditional marketing activities such as in-person events and telemarketing, to include digital marketing methods such as website enquiries, social media marketing and email campaigns.
One thing that has remained the same however, is the importance of lead qualification when looking to convert to sale.

How do I qualify a lead?

Arguably the most important aspect of lead generation, lead qualification is the process of assessing the potential of a lead, based on a checklist of ‘must-have’ criteria which make the opportunity a good fit for your business.

Whether a business receives a consistent flow of inbound leads via their website, or is just looking to qualify a small number of leads they receive over the phone, lead qualification is essential to every sales and marketing team.

To ensure teams do not waste time on opportunities which are not a good fit for their business model or do not have a genuine need for the solution they provide, every lead requires follow up to increase understanding of what and why the prospect has got in touch.

When new leads enter the sales pipeline, follow up teams should be proactive in either qualifying or disqualifying the lead. Remember, from the prospective customer’s point of view, you are saving their valuable time by openly discussing their requirements and if a follow up conversation is worth both of your collective time.

Lead qualification criteria

Every business will have slightly different qualification criteria based on their product or solution.

For example international logistics companies may qualify their leads based on how many containers they are shipping and where they are shipping to, and from whereas HR software providers may need to consider how many employees will be users of the software.

In general, it’s worth asking these 6 questions to qualify a lead:

  1. What’s driving their enquiry?
  2. Why are they looking to make a change?
  3. What solutions do they have in place currently?
  4. When do they need the solution in place by?
  5. Who else may need to get involved to make the change?
  6. What is their budget?

These questions will start to help you to determine if a lead is a genuine opportunity and if it is a good fit for your business. With leads that require future follow up and nurturing, you will need to continue increasing your understanding of the prospective customer’s situation as it evolves over time.

Why is lead generation important?

Lead generation is a fundamental part of any business’s strategy if they are looking to attract new customers. Whilst website visitors, social media interactions, and email open rates are all key to building brand awareness and starting off your customer’s journey, it is lead generation and qualification which sets them off on the path to becoming valued customers.

If you need help generating, qualifying, nurturing, or converting leads to sales appointments, get in touch with us today.

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