3 Important Facts About Lead Generation
To the uninitiated, “lead generation” is a phrase of little or no meaning. For marketing and sales professionals, however, it signifies the bedrock of business growth. Simply put, lead generation is the process of sparking interest in a product or service. It may serve various purposes, but is most often intended to attract new customers.
With the rise of the Internet, companies have become able to reach large numbers of potential buyers, vastly expanding their field of play through web, social media, and mobile channels. However, it has also created information overload and radically transformed the buying process. The lead generation game has changed and companies should heed the new realities. Here are three important facts to keep in mind when devising a lead generation strategy:
Leads No Longer Come Uneducated
Once upon a time, prospective buyers relied on sales reps to have their questions answered. Today, the abundance of information online has led to a situation where they knock on a vendor’s door with a pretty good idea of what they want. As Forrester found through one of its surveys, 74% of B2B buyers had more than half of their research online before signing a purchase contract. A similar development is observed in the B2C space, where digital platforms have empowered consumers.
With so much noise online, buyers are increasingly ignoring marketing messages and opting for research of their own. Faced with such a situation, companies are starting to realize that their lead generation strategies must revolve around building trust and getting buyers interested before they even consider a purchase.
Every Online Effort Counts
While a corporate website remains the pillar of online presence, it can no longer support the full weight of lead generation efforts. That said, websites should be exploited to the max, seizing every opportunity for lead generation. This means, among other things, detailed contact information, prominent and frequent display of lead generation forms, use of pictures and videos, and inclusion of customer testimonials.
Attractive website design is also essential, as is high quality content. Relevant and informative content plays a crucial role in pay per click and search engine marketing campaigns. Together with email marketing and search engine optimization, these are among the most effective lead generation methods.
One thing vendors should remember is that lead generation is a never ending process. It needs to be constantly monitored and refined so that companies can see what works and what fails. Luckily, technology has dramatically reduced the burden of doing that, with visitor tracking software and analytics suites simplifying the task.
Traditional Methods Remain Powerful
Web and mobile channels may have taken priority in lead generation campaigns, but that’s not to say traditional methods should be cast aside. Trade shows, executive events, industry conferences, and telemarketing remain powerful tools for lead generation, but many vendors fail to utilize them in full.
Why bother with lead generation? Because high quality leads are potential customers. They have already sent a positive signal, either by filling out an online form, liking a social media page, subscribing to email newsletters, or leaving a product review. When companies follow up on the lead, they essentially lay the groundwork for new sales. And what business can thrive without growing its sales?