Picture this: you’ve come up with a groundbreaking product and your website’s been up for a few months. You’d close a sale from time to time, but you’re not attracting as big of a crowd as you had hoped. 

This sort of situation is typical for startups and small businesses that are new to the digital market. If you’re experiencing the same thing, what you need is a good lead generation strategy.

What is a Lead?

A lead is an individual or organization who has expressed interest in buying your products or services. While this definition is simple enough, there are intricacies to the concept when used in sales and in marketing. 

Woman using a smarphone social media conecpt

For salespeople, consumers who only have a vague interest in their offer aren’t qualified leads. This makes sense since it would be a waste of time for the sales force to chase after every single person who makes an inquiry. Instead, they devote their time following up on contacts who are sales-ready.

Marketers take a different route. Their job is to nurture consumer relationships and move people along the sales funnel. So any person who fills out a form or interacts with your brand is a lead as long as conversion can happen later.

Types of leads

Marketers categorize leads based on what stage of the buyer’s journey they’re in. Doing so helps them reach out with the appropriate messaging and nudge consumers into entering the next sales cycle phase.

General classifications include cold, warm, and qualified leads. Cold leads are recipients of cold calls. In other words, a company contacted them despite showing no interest in what the business has to offer. 

Warm leads are the opposite. They’re prospects who have taken the time to follow your brand on social media, subscribe to your newsletter, and interact with you on other channels. 

Qualified leads are the best of all because these consumers are close to making a purchase. You’ve already determined that you can solve their problems using your products and services and that they are likely to get converted into paying customers.

Qualified leads are further grouped into the following:

  • Marketing Qualified Lead – a lead who has engaged with your marketing efforts (e.g., submitted a web form on your landing page). This type of prospect needs more interactions with your brand before receiving a sales pitch.
  • Sales Qualified Lead – prospects who have been vetted by your sales and marketing teams. These consumers are ready to proceed to the next stage of the sales funnel.
  • Product Qualified Lead – leads who have availed of a free trial or a limited version of your products or services. 
  • Service Qualified Lead – a lead who has explicitly stated that they wish to be a paying customer. 

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring qualifies prospects quantitatively. This makes the process more objective and measurable. 

Leads are scored based on how they interact with your brand, and you get to decide which criteria to include. For example, prospects who give detailed information are assigned a higher numerical value versus those who answer web forms with the bare minimum.

What’s important is to evaluate all leads using the same measures. The higher prospects score, the more confidently you can move them along the sales funnel.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is the process of attracting prospects and converting them into paying customers. It’s best to think of it as a way to pique people’s interests. You nurture connections until they’re solid relationships that eventually lead to a sure purchase. 

Online shopping concept

The reason why businesses need lead generation lies in the power of organic interest. There is less friction trying to convert a stranger who came to you out of curiosity than there would be if you had made cold calls. 

Lead generation is an integral part of the inbound marketing methodology, which is shown to double average website conversion rates. For small businesses, it’s one of the first steps to growing your client base and expanding your market.

Lead Generation Steps

In a nutshell, lead generation happens through the following sequence of events:

  1. Your marketing strategy reaches a stranger either through an ad, your social media page, or a search engine.
  2. The visitor is enticed enough to click on your call-to-action (CTA).
  3. The user gets redirected to a customized landing page. Here, you ask for contact information in exchange for an offer. 
  4. The visitor obliges and gives you the information you need. You now have the means to keep in touch with your new lead.
  5. You engage your prospect, usually through email marketing. You send newsletters, invites to webinars, and other relevant content.
  6. When you push the right buttons, the lead engages with your marketing. At this stage, lead scoring begins.
  7. If your team decides that the contact fits your target demographic, they will continue engaging this prospect.
  8. After some time, the lead demonstrates great interest in your products and services, and you shift gears to offer a sales pitch.
  9. The sales-qualified lead accepts your offer and becomes a paying customer. 
  10. You maintain ties with this customer and nurture the relationship, all while capturing more leads.

We reiterate that not all leads will come out of your sales funnel as clients or customers, and that’s okay. Focusing on quality leads is more productive and cost-efficient. When someone isn’t the right match, there’s no point in expending your time and resources. 

But of course, prospects don’t come around right away. Some tend to become viable leads in the future despite not qualifying for your criteria the first time you encounter them. In this case, you can recycle leads and reengage them at a better time.

How to Get Started

Identify your target audience

 Identify your target audience

Before implementing any marketing campaign, it’s imperative that you know the kind of consumers you want to reach. Conversing with the wrong users only leads to a dead-end, which means losses for your business.

Review your products or services and identify the kinds of people who will benefit the most from them. Then, research how these consumers move within the market. Know what messaging they resonate with, where they’re from, what they do, and who they are outside of their online avatars.

Craft detailed buyer personas and use them as your guide to effectively attract and engage your more users.

Iron out your lead generation strategy

Lead generation strategies cover a range of fields including email marketing, social media marketing, and blogging. It’s best to leverage multiple channels to provide a seamless experience as consumers jump from one platform to another. 

The key to a successful lead generation strategy for small businesses is consistency. If you’re sold on using content marketing, post blogs regularly and without fail. The same goes for social media marketing. Be responsive in the comments section and share value-adding content with your target audience.

Whichever avenue you choose to connect with your leads, ensure that you stick to your branding and personalize experiences as much as possible.

Customize landing pages

Landing pages can make or break your lead generation funnel. The perfect ad or a killer sales copy can’t save a CTA link that only redirects to your homepage. It disrupts the organic flow of conversation and may increase bounce rates.

Dedicated landing pages serve specific content that is related to what users saw on your marketing campaign. Websites that use customized landing pages capture more leads and enjoy higher conversion rates with just a few tweaks in design and copywriting.

Web designer working on website

The trick is to design landing pages with the traffic source in mind. A lead who came from a podcast expects different things than a visitor who clicked on an ad. Take these considerations into account and you’ll drive better leads to your business.

Work with a Professional Team of Web Developers and Designers

Make the most out of your lead generation strategies with a professional team that will execute them for you. We specialize in optimizing sales funnels and landing pages so you can get the highest ROI. Contact DevWerkz today.