Generating leads can be tough. Companies used to rely on their sales team to find leads via references, social selling and cold calling. These can be great tactics but probably won’t work as stand-alone strategies. Today’s buyers are taking control of the purchasing process by educating themselves and becoming more independent, as documented in the book The Radical Sales Shift.
Implementing a lead generation strategy that compliments the efforts of your sales team can allow them to focus more on what they do best: selling. So, what do you need to do to get started?
You Need Brand Awareness
If you have little to no brand awareness in your target market, your lead generation efforts will be slow. Consider a marketing approach that secures leads through brand awareness activities like advertising and sponsorships. Both are low-cost approaches to get your company name and service or product in front of a huge audience of potential customers. It may not turn into a lead ready for the sales team but increasing recognition in your target market will boost your lead generation efforts. You won’t draw in new customers if they aren’t aware that your business even exists.
You Also Need To Show Your Expertise Through Thought Leadership
A prospective customer may wonder if you are a reliable and trusted company. We are all wary of internet scams, phishing and identity theft – all legitimate fears when working with a company that you have never heard of. So, make sure your digital presence is credible, authentic and supported by solid thought leadership.
Thought leadership strategies, like whitepapers and webinars will showcase your expertise, educate your prospective customers and help you communicate your value. Read our earlier blog on how to become a thought leader and put it to work. Research shows that 39% of surveyed executives and decision makers said thought leadership content had influenced them to ask a vendor to participate in the RFP process, and 47% said this content had a direct impact on awarding business.2
You Need Lead Generation Campaigns
Once you have mastered brand awareness and thought leadership, you’re ready to get started on a new lead generation campaign. Here are some options to consider:
- Lead Nurture Campaigns
Lead nurturing means developing relationships with future customers throughout the entire sales funnel, and through every step of the buyer's journey. Your lead generation campaigns should include an understanding of what your prospective customer is looking for during the research, consideration and decision making stages of their purchase decision.
But how do you show that you understand and have what your customers need? Show them case studies that prove your expertise. Make sure you’re answering questions about competition and what you can offer. Doing these things means you’re already doing a great job and will see results in your leads. Lead nurturing campaigns require a high level of personalization or they will fail. It’s an advanced marketing tactic that is simple to incorporate into your lead generation strategy!
Marketing automation can help lead nurturing campaigns over the long-term. But, on a smaller scale, you can start by working manually through a lead nurturing campaign and you’ll quickly see that the gains in time will justify the cost of the automation software. To get started, check out this list of the most popular lead generation tools.
- Acquisition Campaigns
A less advanced technique is an acquisition campaign. This is a variable communication strategy delivered in regular intervals over the course of a few weeks. It gets results. Every time. But, you need to get comfortable with supplying a hook and giving permission to unsubscribe. It’s all worth it though.
Today’s market allows for varied channels and levels of communication for attracting leads. Having an expert in your corner to help you with this strategy is crucial. Read our blog to learn 3 things to consider when choosing a lead generation partner.
Using these strategies and tactics are critical to generating leads for your growing business.. If you’re looking to boost your sales and want information about lead generation, download our whitepaper Lead Generation Best Practices That Drive Revenue.