Where traditional marketing methods such as email blasts used to be enough to draw customers, the increase of competition and information abundance is making it more difficult for companies to track, reach, and engage with potential customers. Lead generation, the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing a sales pipeline, allows companies to nurture targets until they’re ready to buy. Lead generation can be useful for any type or size of business, and for both B2C and B2B spaces. Sixty percent of marketers state that lead generation is a key pain point for their company. Determining a good lead is more complex than just targeting people who downloaded your white paper, and it’s important that your sales reps don’t waste their time cold calling unqualified leads when there are ways to narrow down the pool.
When you implement a lead generation program, you increase brand awareness, build relationships, generate qualified leads, and ultimately close deals. The higher quality leads you direct your sales team to, the more of those leads will result in sales. In doing this, you are helping your company grow, while also growing the credibility for your marketing department by showing tangible results and proving yourself to be a valuable part of the revenue team.
Lead generation has been around for a long time, but methods have changed from simply finding a customer early on in their sales journey and sending the sales team their way. The self-directed buyer is inundated with information, so it’s vital to find new, creative ways to cut through the static and reach potential customers. Instead of finding customers through mass advertising and email blasts, marketers must rely on being found and building relationships with their buyers. In the age of information abundance, marketing is going through a massive shift.
“Customers are now smarter, more connected, more informed, more influenced and influential socially, and less likely to respond to campaign-bait. Marketing has to create content people actually want.”
To show the impact of your marketing team, you’ll need to plan out a strategy and determine what to measure, when to measure, and how to measure. Choose metrics that show how marketing is increasing effectiveness across the board, generating qualified leads, amplifying sales pipeline velocity, and improving sales and marketing alignment through leveraging lead generation in our software.
If you’re just starting out, a lead generation program can result in increased brand awareness, new relationships, higher quality leads, and more sales. If you’re looking to optimize an existing program, you may want to reevaluate your audience profiles, buyer journey, channels, and tactics. Keep your goals, customer concerns, and challenges in mind, deliver content that solves their pain points, and keep nurturing those relationships—soon you’ll have a funnel filled with qualified leads.
Generating leads is just one part of lead generation. Once you bring these leads in, you must utilize lead scoring and nurturing to qualify said leads before sales can do their job. According to Forrester, buyers might be anywhere from 75 to 90% of the way through their buying journey before they contact the vendor, after they’ve completed their own research. Keep this in mind when determining what point in the funnel sales should step in.