Is your business having a rough time with marketing? You may have paid an exorbitant amount for your ad campaign.
Your marketing team might have already spent countless coffee-fueled nights whipping up your marketing strategy. Yet, your products or services aren’t catching on with consumers. You don’t see any ROI any time soon.
One of the reasons some companies fail marketing is because they neglect lead generation.
Once you realize why lead generation is important to business, you’ll soon learn how you can improve your marketing.
What Is A Lead?
Marketers define a “lead” as an individual’s or a company’s interest in your products. However, interest alone doesn’t translate directly as sales.
While people could be curious about your product, it doesn’t mean that they’re willing to purchase it.
Those kinds of people have interest that corresponds only to the early stages of the sales funnel:
- Awareness - People know about your product, but they don’t particularly like it yet.
- Interest - People want to know more about your product, but they don’t want to buy yet.
- Decision - People are thinking about purchasing, but they haven’t finalized it yet.
- Action - People are buying your product.
Many ad campaigns don’t succeed because they ignore parts of this buying process. For example, showing a billboard ad along a highway could fulfill the awareness stage but fails to proceed beyond that.
In order to entice more potential customers, you need to know what kind of lead your sales team must focus on. Then, they must plan their lead generation based on your findings.
Types Of Leads
The parts of the sales funnel correspond to a specific kind of lead.
Information qualified leads (IQL) indicate that people notice your brand, but they haven’t shown interest yet.
Consequently, IQLs correspond to the awareness stage of the sales funnel. For example, people visiting your website are a kind of IQL.
Another important part of lead generation is the marketing qualified leads (MQL) match the interest stage. It’s at the interest stage, meaning people are becoming curious about your products or services.
It doesn’t mean they would like to purchase your goods yet. For instance, people asking your company about your products count as MQLs.
Sales qualified leads (SQL) indicate potential customers who are in the decision stage.
They are performing actions that could mean they’re willing to pay for what your company provides. Lead generation of numerous SQLs doesn’t mean you have assured sales though.
SQLs may include people sharing their email addresses for product inquiry, but people might not follow through with a purchase.
If you’re successful, customers will reach the action stage, and your company will earn much-needed sales.
What Is Lead Generation?
As the name implies, this is the process of creating leads. Lead generation must be holistic, meaning it must be applied to all stages of the sales funnel.
Your goal is to spark customer interest and sustain it until they finally purchase your product or service. This turns your leads into sales, raising what’s known as your conversion rate.
How you proceed with lead generation will depend on which of the lead generation strategies you’ll choose.
Outbound Lead Generation
It involves bluntly approaching potential customers and directly promoting your brand. It’s often disruptive since it demands a person’s attention, hence it’s also called “interruption marketing”.
Worse, the marketer is usually the only one expressing interest, not the potential customer. The prospect probably was just heading home, and he didn’t know anything about the product.
If you use this approach, you’ll take a significant amount of time finding anyone interested in your product.
Inbound Lead Generation
On the other hand, the inbound strategy builds the interest of your target audience first. You could start by posting ads on Facebook and other affiliate sites.
As people notice your products, you satisfy the attention stage of the sales funnel. Meanwhile, you posted online articles on your brand’s landing page.
These inform about why products like yours could benefit people. This counts as marketing qualified lead generation since it draws people towards the interest stage.
Your blogs may end with a call to action that asks readers to join your exclusive email list. In return, you promise to recommend products and further information.
Your lead generation is now at the decision stage of your potential customers. If you’re successful, these will result in a number of confirmed purchases, and of course, sales. Unlike outbound lead generation, you’re not imploring people to choose your brand.
You’re merely guiding their purchasing decisions, so the interest naturally develops among consumers. Even better, inbound lead generation gets you more leads for less money and time!
Benefits of Lead Generation
As a business owner, you would like to see your business grow for the years to come. Lead generation can help expand your business by increasing your sales.
Another benefit of lead generation is it enables you to connect more with your customers.
It involves gathering lead information that will help you convert more people, like their email addresses.
Data such as contact information gives you more insight into your customer’s needs, so you could find new ways of sustaining their patronage.
Why Is Lead Generation Important To Business?
You need customers in order to sustain your business. As much as possible, you would like them to continually purchase your products and services.
Lead generation helps you sustain your customer’s interest by cultivating their relationship with your brand.
It allows you to keep satisfying their needs, so they can continue providing revenue in return. That’s why you should only get the very best for the job.
You need people who know how to apply lead generation jargon, such as lead scoring, lead capture, and email marketing. However, you might not have the time or budget to train a marketing team.
That’s why you should consider outsourcing lead generation to a great digital marketing company.