What Is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting people and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service. Some examples of lead generators are job applications, blog posts, coupons, live events, lead ads online and online content.
Why Do you Need Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a natural progression of organic interest in a business to the formation of a customer relationship. Lead generation falls within the second stage of the inbound marketing methodology. It is an important step where a prospect has shown enough interest in your business to actively request information or fill out a form.
This part of inbound marketing is important between the prospect and the company because, the prospect has taken a leap of faith after researching your business enough to want to learn more. They have now entered a phase in the marketing funnel that pushes your business to answer questions and educate the customer enough to want to purchase your products or services.
What Are Different Types of Leads?
There are several types of leads a business can receive. Each type of lead requires specific levels of information, interaction and customer service in order to do business with you. Understanding the different types of leads should remind you of yourself and make you think about what your needs are when you are in each of the various phases as a lead to other businesses. Ultimately, knowing which types of leads you service will help you craft specific messaging and customer care for the lead to convert into a customer.
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
Marketing qualified leads are contacts who’ve engaged with your marketing team’s efforts but aren’t ready to receive a sales call. An example of an MQL is a contact who fills out a landing page form for an offer.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
Sales qualified leads are contacts who’ve taken actions that expressly indicate their interest in becoming a paying customer. An example of an SQL is a contact who fills out a form to ask a question about your product or service or perhaps requested a demo of the product.
Product Qualified Lead (PQL)
Product qualified leads are contacts who’ve used your product and taken actions that indicate interest in becoming a paying customer. PQLs typically exist for companies who offer a product trial or a free or limited version of their product with options to upgrade, which is where your sales team comes in. An example of a PQL is a customer who uses your free version but engages or asks about features that are only available upon payment.
Service Qualified Lead
Service qualified leads are contacts or customers who’ve indicated to your service team that they’re interested in becoming a paying customer. An example of a service qualified lead is a customer who tells their customer service representative that they’d like to upgrade their product subscription; at this time, the customer service representative would up-level this customer to the appropriate sales team or representative. (1)
How To Get New Leads?
There are several ways to grow your leads. Including strategies related to paid marketing campaigns, buying a list, buying cheap leads from a website and even organically growing leads through Google and your website.
- First, a visitor discovers your business through one of your marketing channels, such as your website, blog, or social media page.
- That visitor then clicks on your call-to-action (CTA) — an image, button, or message that encourages website visitors to take some sort of action.
- That CTA takes your visitor to a landing page, which is a web page that is designed to capture lead information in exchange for an offer.
- Once on the landing page, your visitor fills out a form in exchange for the offer. (Forms are typically hosted on landing pages, although they can technically be embedded anywhere on your site.) Voila! You have a new lead. That is, as long as you’re following lead-capture form best practices. (2)
What Happens Once You Start Getting Leads?
The most important step after receiving a lead through a landing page or form is to ensure that lead is going into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Generally, this part of the process is automated. Whether you are using your website, a landing page platform or lead forms on Facebook you can instantly API those leads into your CRM through webhook software like www.Zapier.com. This part of the process is crucial because if it is manual, then you lose precious time between that prospect’s interest in your business and let’s also face it… competition is fierce which means if you are not answering a prospect for a day or even a few hours later than you could potentially lose them to another competitor.
Once your leads have made it into your CRM, the magic begins. You have the opportunity of beginning a real outreach strategy to those leads. Generally the first thing a lead will receive after filling out a form for your business is to receive either some sort of email or a sales call. Each step after a lead enters your CRM will be unique to your products and services.
Problems with Purchasing Leads…
It is important to understand that although purchasing leads seem like an easy way to “generate more leads” that a lot of times these prospects will not be as well qualified as an organic and paid lead generation campaign conducted by the business would be.
You are not the only business purchasing these paid leads.
The reason leads that are purchased are not the same quality as a true lead generation campaign is that they have been given to hundreds of other competitors that are also actively and aggressively sending emails and calling them. By the time your business contacts the purchased lead they have already ignored calls and emails from a handful of other people oversaturating them with content.
These prospects have not shown actual interest or intent in your specific business.
Most of the times when you purchase leads they probably have never even heard of your business unless you have relatively strong brand presence. Therefore, the first time you go to contact these prospects they are skeptical, or caught off guard by your intrusive outreach strategies.
2. Lead Generation Process: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/beginner-inbound-lead-generation-guide-ht