Lead generation is a key objective for marketers. But it is also a difficult and time-consuming task. Surprisingly, only 10% of marketers feel that their lead generation campaigns are effective.
Here are our top 10 tips on how to make the most of online channels to boost your lead generation and build a strong business pipeline.
1. Use the correct data so you can target the right person at the right time
Having the correct data is the key to your customer’s heart – the more you know about them the more you can personalise. It is crucial to know your customer and communicate with them in the right tone and at the right time, in order to ensure that they pay you attention.
2. Have the tools in place to track your leads
Ensure that you are able to track return on investment and allocate budgets by using measureable and traceable channels to entice your leads whether you’re using your website, social media or email or direct marketing to draw them in.
For example, Google Analytics will help you determine which pages are generating the most traffic to your website. Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) software will help you keep tabs on the relationship you’re building with prospects. And HubSpot, marketing automation software, will track a prospect’s activity on your website and deliver marketing content tailored to their interests.
3. Focus on quality over quantity
This sounds obvious but is often forgotten. It is always best to focus on quality rather than quantity, so that your sales force doesn’t waste time on unqualified leads. Do your research to ensure that you target businesses that have a high chance of being able to buy your product or service.
Does the company actually fit the profile of your ideal client, or are they just using you to get some free information? Are you actually speaking with the decision-maker at that business? If the answer to either of these questions is ‘no’ the lead isn’t worth your time.
4. Have a grading structure and criteria for prospects
You can stream your activity into short-term, mid-term and long-term to create a rolling pipeline. This will allow you to focus on a prospect at the right time.
You can also have a set of criteria to define what qualifies as a prospect and what must happen to move that prospect from one level to the next.
Don’t forget to nurture your leads, educating your potential customers with relevant information to move them further down the sales funnel.
5. Monitor your competition
Have your competitors launched a new product, service or website? You need to know. Find out what your competitors are doing, and use the information throughout your business to help you beat the competition.
6. Don’t be afraid to start new relationships with big purchasers or discount prospects
Aim high. Keep a look out for prospects that have experienced a change in circumstances, such as a restructure or a merger, and target them.
Make sure you have a list of organisations that you would like to work with.
And don’t be afraid to discount a prospect if you don’t think the relationship will go anywhere.
7. Consider structuring your commission scheme
If you have a commission scheme you can consider structuring it to reflect the skills and effort required to secure new business as well as managing existing accounts.
8. Use social media to warm up leads
Social media is not only useful in terms of boosting brand awareness and interacting with customers, but also for bolstering your sales pipeline.
- Share content – publishing content to direct traffic to your website is the most effective way to generate leads through social media. Post links, share blog posts and offer discounts to get people clicking onto your site
- Build a loyal following – get to know your audience online, and share information to demonstrate your expertise. Get involved in LinkedIn groups relevant to your business. Once you have a relationship, a connection is more likely to trust you as a supplier
- Engage in dialogue – don’t focus your posts solely on your company, but interact with others and be helpful. When a prospect is ready to buy they’re then more likely to come to you
9. Capture information on your website
To generate leads from your website you need traffic. There are a huge number of techniques you can use to get people to click on a website, but a few basics can make a big difference.
- Use forms to capture your leads’ data – in particular, smart forms help your build your database
- Make your calls-to-action as effective as possible – place them above the fold and be clear about what you want people to do. Make them stand out visually and tailor them to the interests of prospective buyers of the specific product or service. You’re then more likely to get people to click the button and submit their details
10. Use opt-in email marketing to nurture prospects
When used correctly, emails can be an effective, and cost-effective, way to generate new business. Focus on an opt-in strategy to ensure you have happy subscribers who enjoy receiving your emails, and don’t forget to include a link to unsubscribe.
- Send valuable offers – offers need to feel exclusive and provide useful information
- Include a clear call-to-action – make sure the prospect knows what you want them to do
- Link to a landing page – where the prospect has to provide their details
- Follow the form with a thank you page – ensure that additional content is available, and don’t forget to include social media sharing buttons to encourage leads to share and generate more leads