Tips for reviving your lead generation strategies
Is Lead Generation a dying art? The short answer is no… but it can easily fail to perform if marketers are using out of date methods.
Over 68% of companies admit to struggling with lead generation, which according to other sources may be even higher.
Customer behaviour has changed so much over the past few years. Buyers will actively avoid filling out contact registration forms and be more cautious about which businesses they trust with their money.
Let’s take a look at the common methods marketers often forget to use when dealing with lead generation which can be game changing.
What is lead generation?
In the B2B world, it is the process in which you identify your ‘ideal customer’ for the product or service you are promoting and then find ways to acquire and convert them from prospects into customers.
It is a way of finding a method for driving prospective customers to your organisation using both organic and paid advertising. Depending on the stage in which your prospective is at can differ in how you may approach them.
Both the marketing and sales team will have a role to play in each stage of the funnel, so communication and collaboration is crucial.
7 stages of a customer’s journey and the key considerations when employing lead generation:
- AWARENESS – Increasing brand awareness, sometimes through SEO marketing or PPC (Pay per click) campaigns. Making the audience understand who you are and what you have to offer.
- LEAD CAPTURE – Having the audience you have captured the attention of, willingly provide their contact information by filling in forms, landing pages with CTA’s etc.
- PROSPECT – Nurturing and engaging leads further by presenting them with a frequent supply of content that presents your product/service in a beneficial manner and potentially solve their pain points.
- MARKETING QUALIFIED LEADS – After indicating interest in or engaging with your brand they are primed to receive further contact, passing the lead on to the sales team.
- SALES QUALIFIED LEADS – The process of converting MQL’s into customers and considering if they are ready/qualify for further contact such as phone calls, emails etc.
- OPPORTUNITY LEADS – Identify the opportunities in which the product can be sold . Perhaps sending promotional offers or coupon codes to appeal to those leads who have been sitting on their decision for a while.
- CUSTOMER – After the customer has finally been converted it isn’t over yet. Keeping in consistent communication and reminding them of offers/information to maintain that relationship may keep them coming back.
What is lead nurturing?
It is all about trust and communication as well as being transparent and open with prospects. Customers are becoming more aware of when they are being led into a purchase, more wary of new products/services they have never seen before and are always on the hunt for the best offer.
If a prospect believes they are being exploited for quick and easy profit, the process will end as quickly as it started.
However, if they believe you are guiding and assisting them towards a purchase that is exclusively beneficial to them, you’ll have a greater chance of getting them through the process effectively.
If they find the process challenging, they may find another company that has made it more straightforward. However, continuously bombarding them with emails, calls, notifications etc. in an attempt to progress them into making a purchase can also have similar effects. Nurturing your leads effectively is a fine art.
Why executing lead generation is a challenge
Lead nurturing is the process of cultivating leads that are not yet ready to buy. 79% of inbound marketing leads will never convert, mostly due to the lack of lead nurturing. Leaving prospects to direct themselves down the funnel without any guidance, communication or information can be a waste of time and resources.
Finding leads is one thing, but maintaining qualified leads that you can nurture and cultivate into loyal customers is entirely different. Successfully developing and reinforcing those relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel is equally as important.
Some marketers can get into the habit of focusing either too much on the top of the funnel or on the bottom. Only focusing on the top e.g. the awareness stage, might mean that your team have masses of leads, but not necessarily high-quality leads who are nurtured into making a purchase.
By concentrating solely on the bottom of the funnel, in terms of instant customer conversions, you may not have a fully nurtured lead who is then consequently more likely to move through the funnel once again.
In challenging times your budget and time may be stretched. and investing in acquisition and conversion may not seem justifiable.
However, it is possible that organisations with fewer employees can still nurture leads in a similar manner to larger ones. The Marketing Operations (MOps) landscape continues to expand, including provision of Marketing Technology (Martech) solutions that suit smaller budgets.
The ability to automate processes, such as tracking and monitoring lead statuses, can help seamlessly guide customers through the lead funnel, saving both time and resources otherwise spent performing manual tasks.
Should lead generation be considered a dying art? Definitely not. However, approaches have changed so considerably over the years that everyone is having to refresh skills and learn new tactics to remain relevant. Sometimes it is just a case of data-driven test and learn to determine what works best for your business.
As long as you recognise and learn from your mistakes and understand your target audience, there is no reason you can’t convert your leads into qualified, loyal customers.