How to plan a successful lead generation process.
Companies spend a lot of money to hire sales managers who are enthusiastic and ready to close the deal-but they don't generate enough leads to keep the organization busy and recoup the investment.
How can your organization develop a lead generation strategy that delivers a steady stream?
This guide answers the most pressing questions about building an effective lead generation system so you can implement the right process to fill your sales funnel and keep your salespeople busy closing deals.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation can be defined as the process of attracting potential customers and turning them into consumers of your product or service. Companies can use different strategies to achieve lead generation. Lead generation is the first important step in the sales process. Essentially, it is about getting the attention of people who are likely to buy from you.
Why is lead generation important?
We all know that closing deals is an important part. What we often forget is that if we don't maintain the funnel all the way through, there won't be any deals to close.
That's why, in order to achieve sales goals, every business must figure out how to consistently guide potential customers into the sales funnel.
Lead generation is the first important step in the sales process. Essentially, it's about getting the attention of the people who are most likely to buy from you.
The currency you will use to get attention? Trust and relationship.
Overcoming Attention Overload.
Today's consumers are inundated with calls for attention. They get hundreds of emails in their inbox every day. They're bombed with thousands of marketing messages. And they're juggling priorities both at home and in the office.
The digital marketplace has made it easier to communicate with people, but it has increased the number of contacts we manage on a daily basis. So, to stand out, you have to rely on two factors that people subconsciously use to choose where to direct their attention: relationship and trust.
In other words, you need to overcome attention overload.
To figure out how to do this, we need to explore two concepts that explain why people open one email and not another, or respond to one phone message and not another.
These concepts are "Leased Attention" and "Own Attention."
Leased attention is similar to old-school advertising. It's about using someone else's audience and paying for some of the attention you've already earned. A few years ago, that meant a full-page ad in the most popular industry magazine or an audio spot on the radio stations that your audience tunes into during rush hour. Today, it's about asking someone to sponsor a blog post or an email.
Attention is hard-won, offering so much value that you become a major resource for your industry. In this case, you're a digital magazine where everyone wants to buy ad space. Or a podcast where people are lining up to speak out.
Ultimately, if you've gotten attention, you probably also have a huge email list and active social media followers. People trust you and pay attention every time you speak.
Now, here's why it's so important...
Every day, your leads check their emails, review multiple social media platforms and check their phone messages. Time is limited, and so is their attention span by default. If they know you and like you, they will stop scrolling and open your email. If not, you'll get a cursory glance and spam. That's it. Game over.
Today's consumers understand the tactics you use, and they don't like them very much. So you have to work hard to overcome this attention overload and earn their trust. Your only other option is to pay to play - rent attention by buying advertising space or mentions from someone who has already gotten their attention.
To succeed in lead generation, you need a structured, consistent and repeatable process that regularly puts leads on the sales pipeline.
The key word, of course, is repeatability.
Without a repeatable funnel process - and, ultimately, lead generation - the chatbots and sales team, must generate their own leads. Time spent on lead generation means less time to close the deal.
This is rarely a formula for success and usually leads to frustrated salespeople, sales managers, and department heads who can't meet their revenue goals.
But have no fear. We'll look at the process of creating a strategic lead generation process in just a minute. But first...
What is a lead generation strategy?
To formulate a lead generation strategy, you must first consider the following: what are the key sources of business opportunities that you can regularly use in your funnel to get your chatbots and salespeople to do their jobs?
Different organizations have different ideal sources of leads. And at the same time, each company will have different processes for optimizing those ideal sources. Let's take a quick look at what works today.
5 steps to the lead generation process.
Any strong lead generation process essentially looks like a combination of all the different strategies and tools you have for generating leads.
Combining your lead generation tools into a well-designed campaign is often one of the best ways to organize your lead generation process.
Suppose you've identified some kind of ideal prospect and created a list of people who meet those criteria.
Then you ask, "How do I reach these people?"
1. Set a goal.
Before you set a goal, talk to your sales team and discuss what you want to achieve through the lead generation process. Have a clear goal that will make the process easier for all team members. Your goal should be achievable and clearly stated.
2. Create a plan.
After setting a goal, the next step should be to formulate a plan. A lot of research goes into this process, including getting information about your target market, using surveys and questionnaires to build a profile of your ideal consumer. Gather as much information about your persona buyer as possible, such as full name, email address, company name and state/country.
Finally, don't neglect your social media profiles - they are gold mines for data.
3. Simplify your message.
Focus on creating a simple but authentic message that communicates your value and touches your potential customer's pain points. The tone is important at this stage - it should be conversational and friendly. As a sales rep, you want your potential customers to feel like they can trust you - hence the importance of a friendly and outgoing tone.
Use the easiest lead generation tactics first, such as email, voice robots and social media marketing, and move on to high-value methods such as face-to-face meetings once you've established a working relationship with your lead.
Create valuable content and offers by applying popular keywords and catchy article titles that address the customer's weak points.
4. Develop a response script for potential customers.
Create a response script that describes how you're going to engage and respond to potential customers. The process can take the form of a web page, email address, or phone number to which leads will be directed. Various CRM systems and chatbots are useful at this stage because they automate and optimize the response process.
5. Maintain a database of leads.
Maintaining a database involves determining which leads are worthy of attention and development. You will also be able to determine which leads are not worth buying. Evaluating leads helps you keep track of leads. What's more, it allows you to prioritize them according to their value. This process helps you target the best leads and evaluate existing ones.
The best lead generation tactics today.
Today's top sources of leads for businesses are email, chatbots or voice robots, content marketing, webinars, and live streaming.
How to keep your lead generation process running smoothly.
Once you've identified the lead generation tactics that work best for you, the rest of your lead generation strategy comes down to who does what:
Who will be responsible for making sure your lead generation processes work?
Who will make sure that the people generating those leads are using the most effective tactics?
Who will develop the sales scripts for your chat or voice robots?
Keep in mind that sales managers are rarely the best equipped to be in charge of lead generation. Let them focus on pipeline work. Have your voice robots generate leads and qualify them so that the funnel is filled with sales-ready potential customers that your sales managers can work with.
Create your lead generation strategy.
To lay the groundwork for your lead generation strategy, you need specific answers to the following important questions:
Who will manage your lead generation activities?
Are they focused on outbound strategies through cold email, cold calls by managers or voice robots, referral creation or direct email marketing?
How can you optimize each piece to ultimately maximize your lead generation strategy?
Understand that your strategy will change over time, so you don't have to worry about making a mistake.
How to start generating leads.
Albert Einstein once said: "Nothing happens until something moves." You must take steps to:
Come up with your own lead generation strategy and implement it.
Come up with a responsibility plan for what you're going to do daily or weekly to generate the number of leads you (or your team) need.
Start with the end in mind.
We start by analyzing the question, "How many sales should we eventually generate?"
From there, we go on to ask ourselves: "How many leads do we need to generate in order to reach those sales numbers?"
Finally, we finish by answering that question, "What do we have to do on a daily or weekly basis to generate all those leads?"
When we have a clear idea of a set of actions, it's simply a matter of executing the plan. And one of the most important pillars of lead generation is consistency.
We want to consistently track the number of cold calls, emails and referrals over the course of a week or month. So the process involves a manageable number of actions that will generate leads.
Inbound lead generation.
5 steps to set up your inbound process.
1. Create a targeted list of leads.
You need to know exactly who you're targeting. Do specific company research to understand the DNA of your existing customers. For companies, research their industry and revenues. For people, look at their age, income level, geolocation, housing costs and other demographics.
2. Make a plan for your entire search campaign.
Don't try to fool yourself. You need a clear picture of your entire campaign.
You need to know exactly what you'll be doing at each stage, whether it's sending a direct message, an email, developing a sales script for a voice robot, or a cold call by a manager.
3. Do a set number of touches per month.
Studies have shown that sales reps make too few cold touches. A voice robot, for example, can make up to 2,000 calls in 1 hour. And how many calls does your sales manager make in 1 day?
4. Use all your tools.
You may have a favorite channel or tools, but it's important to use everything you have at your disposal. This is how you gain recognition and credibility.
It's a good idea some sales engagement platform, which will bring all your tools under one roof. That way, you'll get reminders that push you to the next step, and you can call or send the next email in your sequence.
5. Repeat, repeat, repeat and repeat again...
Generation of outgoing leads.
A voice robot can do lead generation.
That is, you can create a robot that will call cold bases, identify a warm client out of hundreds of leads, tag them with the step "Interest received" and immediately connect to the employee in the same call. In addition, after interest is detected, you can automatically send a commercial offer or an offer to the client on WhatsApp/sms/email.
In today's marketplace, cold email is the #1 preferred tactic for generating outbound leads. Cold email is really the cold call of the 21st century.
But it's not about emailing 10,000 people using your regular contact. Instead, an effective cold email is about creating a highly personalized sales reach that:
Connect with the potential customer in a human way.
Convince the potential customer that you understand their concerns.
Ultimately, these emails should result in potential customers responding and giving a positive response. Cold emailing has proven to be effective. The key to success is to personalize each potential customer as much as possible.
Referrals and acquaintances.
The easiest option for this tactic is to use your existing client base. Talk to your existing clients about who they know in their world who might also be a good fit for your services.
Most salespeople don't ask for recommendations and introductions because they don't like the idea. They think asking for recommendations will frustrate or anger their customers.
By not asking for introductions to new sources of business, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities to acquire new leads.
Resales and presales.
Of course, another lead generation strategy is simply to sell more to your existing customers. That is, get in front of your customers and sell them more.
Most organizations and salespeople are satisfied with the initial sale, but we can often sell much more to our existing customers who already like and trust us.
Think about it: what can you do to help them improve their business? If a customer brings you $10,000 a year, how can you turn that into $25,000 a year simply by providing more services and offers that enable them to meet their primary goals?
For example, identify who will be there and send them emails using a cold email campaign. Let them know that you're going to be there, too, and look forward to meeting them.
You can ask your existing clients to introduce you to people who will be at the show.
In fact, use all of these lead generation activities to make the most of your time at a trade show, conference or industry event.
There are many cold email automation tools that can help you send cold emails on a large scale.
One of the best is AnyBiz.