Lead generation is the ability to attract prospective customers or clients (someone who has indicated an interest in your company’s product or service) and eventually convert those prospects into buyers at some point. A good example of some lead generation strategies is the use of coupons, lead magnets (free books, white papers, cheat sheets) given away in exchange for your prospects email etc.
A lead is an organisation or an individual that has shown an interest in one of your products or services. you know they’re interested because they have expressed an interest in giving you either their email address, phone number or have contacted you via social media.
By obtaining a lead the job is only half done. Just because a prospect has shown an interest in your product or service doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to buy. In a lot of cases, they are just seeking information to get a better understanding of what it is they’re after.
The sales process from a lead can be quite short or it can be extremely long. For example, if your prospect is in the market for a USB lead, the sales journey is extremely short because it means they are looking for a lead to connect to an electrical device. If they can’t get it that day they’re probably willing to wait a day or two.
Very few people that are in the search for a USB lead a willing to wait a few weeks or months to receive it.
On the other hand, someone that is looking to book a holiday or purchase a car can enter your sales funnel as a lead and then take several months and oftentimes years to come to a decision to purchase. That’s why there are several arguments discussing exactly what a lead is.
For the vast majority of small businesses, you will be looking to convert one of your leads within a few days or weeks.
Lead generation is the foundation of selling your products or services and is normally right at the beginning of the sales funnel. Without a sales lead, you’re going to struggle to sell anything.
This is why salespeople within organisations get paid extremely well because what they do is they try to turn any leads into a new sale.
I personally used to work in a well-known furniture store here in the UK. 90% of the time during the day we weren’t doing much. However, for 10% of that time we were selling sofas, beds and upholstery. What we sold made up 80% of the company’s turnover and that’s why we got paid so well for it. The rest of the time we were either cleaning, polishing, changing light bulbs or training.
Most businesses wouldn’t be able to survive without some sort of lead generation strategy. If anything it’s a good idea to have multiple lead generation strategies. This can be either online or offline, it really doesn’t matter. As long as your business is receiving a nice healthy flow of new business leads, you have the ability to convert them later on down the line to paying clients.
Some might argue that bringing in sales leads it’s quite easy. The hard part comes when you have to qualify those leads in the first place.
Before the internet came along salespeople used to throw everything into qualifying their needs. They’d be willing to take you out for lunch or dinner and even pay for expensive football tickets if need be.
Now with everyone having access to the internet, we’re able to carry out major research into a prospect before we even pick up the phone to call them. You can probably blame social media for that.
By having a look at somebody’s profile on social media you can find out which sports teams they like, what their favourite foods are, where they spend the holidays etc.
Yeah I know, this sounds like “qualifying a lead 101” but it’s so true. By simply asking the right questions, only then can you get the answers that build-up the big picture of whether your prospect is a good lead or not.
Controlling the narrative is key. This means asking a lot of controlled questions either on a form or questionnaire leading the prospect down the path that gives you the most information in the shortest possible time.
The main idea behind it all is to really tap into somebody’s pain, frustrations, emotions and even their ego (the last one is not that difficult). Once you do this effectively, you’ll find out a great deal of knowledge on your prospect so that you can make a decision as to whether they will make a good lead or not.
Getting traffic to your website isn’t that difficult if you use paid media such as AdWords or Bing Ads. But, what do you do after you receive this traffic?
There are a few things you need in place:
Call to action
Call to action – Every website should have multiple calls to action with the idea of motivating your prospect to do something. A lot of people think that your prospect will make a decision on there own to do something but this is not true. Your prospect needs to be encouraged or even persuaded once they reach your website to do something, otherwise, they won’t.
So what exactly does call to action do?
It allows you to focus your reader that specific points of your website either via images buttons or messages within the content. You really want to guide the navigation of your reader to where you want them to go and what you want them to do.
Landing page – A landing page is where your reader lands after they have received a call to action from a previous link, image, button or written content. This may have been from your website, social media link or even a link from another website mentioning your name.
This page has only one purpose and that is to collect information from the reader.
What makes the landing page different is there is no navigation, nothing to confuse your reader, and only one action they can take. This is to fill in a web form to give you information. This information is normally by way of their name, email address and sometimes a phone number.
You’ll notice that there are very little links for you to click on other than our website terms. The main idea is to get a prospect to enter their name or email address in the form. Having too many distractions lowers your conversion rate (the number of people that take the action to enter their details).
Your reader normally provides you with information and exchange for something they want. This could be an eBook, whitepaper or video course dealing with a specific pain point they are having.
For example, if you are in the fitness niche, one of those pain points might be losing belly fat (something I’m trying to do at the moment). So you could provide a short eBook or cheat sheet that gives your prospect the best 5 exercises to lose belly fat. You deliver this information with automation once they fill in their name and email address on a landing page.
Forms – The form on your landing page allows you to collect this information and is normally provided by an email service provider by the likes of Aweber or ConvertKit. The forms consist of a number of fields and the sole purpose is to collect data in exchange for valuable information (as mentioned previously).
Offer – I mentioned the belly fat ebook earlier. This is what we call an offer. The offer must be something of real value to the reader as something they are willing to give you their contact details for an exchange of this information. That’s why I highlighted dealing with the pain point because it’s one of the easiest ways to get somebody to take action since they are highly motivated to get rid of their pain.
The offer and lead magnet that you give a prospect in exchange for their personal information needs to be short and to the point. It also needs to be easy for them to take action or actionable. If the task is too hard, they will continue searching until they find a suitable resource to help them.
Even though a 100-page book will be a value, you really want to keep your content to the minimum and simply get to the point. That’s why the likes of ebooks and cheat sheets work so well. It’s bitesize information that can easily be consumed and is actionable.
The offer will vary from niche to niche. Over the last few years, the eBook has been the most popular medium for people to consume in exchange for their contact information and does still work in some niches. However, in my niche (marketing), use of an eBook has been done to death and we now need to provide a more comprehensive and in-depth offer for our readers.
That’s why things like video lessons accompanied with worksheets are very popular. People can consume them quickly and take action and they feel like they are receiving real value.