Businesses need a stable and ever growing customer base in order to succeed. But, how can a business achieve that? In order to develop a solid customer base, businesses need to generate leads first. What is lead generation?
Lead Generation is the process of identifying, attracting and converting potential business customers into customers who purchase products or services from a business.
The process of generating leads can be easy if you are simply looking for a large amount of leads, however the search for quality leads is when the challenge can begin. Continue reading to learn more about the lead generation process, how to generate them and the specific challenges that may come up during this process.
How to Generate Leads
Typically, businesses first find leads through their marketing efforts, which can include social media posts (free or paid), email blasts and direct mail pieces.
Using a CRM system helps you determine how effective your marketing efforts are, who has (or hasn’t) responded to your campaigns and even who unsubscribed from your emails. This gives you a gage as to how effective your marketing is and what improvements can be made.
Paid campaigns come in the form of social media advertisements, PPC (pay per clicks) and even influencer marketing, which is the process of leveraging a person/company with a large audience to advertise your product. Paying for advertisements often grants your business a larger audience. The exposure can lead to generating customers and a possible increase in sales.
SEO (search engine optimization) increases both quantity and quality of a company’s website traffic through website improvements. Businesses will work with and pay SEO companies to help them improve their visibility on search engines, which leads to our next point: organic searches.
What is an organic search? When a customer searches for specific terms on a search engine, those keywords may lead them to your website. This is why using target keywords in website content is important, it may lead new customers in your direction. SEO also plays a large role in organic searches because it focuses on targeted keywords.
Lead Generation Challenges
The Cost of Acquiring Leads
As previously mentioned, some marketing campaigns cost money and the price varies. Aside from the costs of paid social media campaigns, SEO is another expense that many businesses tend to make room for in their budgets for. Working with an SEO company can provide a business with insider knowledge on how to improve their website through content and design updates. SEO plays an important role in lead management because it improves your online presence on search engines, which is where business earn their organic search from (organic search can turn into a potential lead).
While these efforts can be beneficial, it can be costly for this next reason.
Time and Effort
If your business is freshly established, it may take some time to grow your audience, which may lead to not generating many leads as quickly as one would like. While this can be a frustrating, time consuming period, spending the time to develop a quality customer base will ultimately leads to more sales and benefit your business in the long run.
Not Knowing Your Audience
If you aren’t aware of who your audience is, finding the right leads can be a road that leads nowhere. If you aren’t sure who your business targets are, look at your analytics.
A mistake that can happen when finding effective leads is not knowing your business’s demographic. This can lead to a lack of quality leads and spending copious amounts of time pushing unnecessary leads down the sales pipeline because you aren’t sure who your business appeals to. Segment groups to find similarities such as industry type and job title, which can help you narrow down your audience and make it easier to find leads that can eventually turn into a sale.
Not Generating Quality Leads
As we’ve gone over, generating leads can be done in multiple ways. If you don’t know your audience, you don’t know who to market
Generating leads can be simple in that your business can find a large number of leads, however, those leads may wind up going nowhere. What businesses want are quality leads that align with your business. Those leads that can be moved down the sales pipeline and can convert themselves into a sale (and hopefully turns into a loyal customer too!).