Lead generation is the process by which a company finds a contact, evaluates it, nurtures it through the buyer’s journey, and converts it into the desired action. Learn the 5 Best Practices for Successful Lead Generation here. Many companies make the mistake of finding a lead and moving straight into the selling process. However, in today’s world personal contact may not be a possibility. Therefore, using digital marketing tools to capture, nurture and educate your contacts as they decide whether to buy your product or service is the best approach.
The 5 Best Practices of Successful Lead Generation are:
- Contact Management
- Evaluating Contacts
- Lead Nurturing
Networking is the process of reaching out to potential contact to increase your resources. Your resources could be new customers, suppliers, partners or employees. Therefore, while you are networking always remember “give more than you get”. The following 5 steps give you the best chance of successfully networking:
- Determine Your target audience
- Find which virtual and in-person events or conferences to attend
- Be visible online to help build you network
- Stay connect to your contacts through social media
- Measure your networking activity
Contact management is a strategy that focuses on using a customer relationship management program (CRM) (like Sales Force or HubSpot) to easily store and source a contact’s information. The two primary features to keep the best contact management system are a contact data base and segmentation.
- Contact Data Base
This is the central depository of key contact information including names, email information, contact history and a lot more. You want to get as much information as possible on your contact.
Is the process of dividing your contacts into smaller groups based on similarities. You can tailor your message to be more relevant and engaging to the people receiving the message. For example, sending follow up emails to contacts who you met at a networking session.
Evaluating contacts is all about having a clean data base with updated information. Thus, two key components of this process are updating your contact’s properties and getting their permission to contact them.
- Contact Properties
Stores information about an individual contact. This includes basic information like their first name, last name, and email address. But, it also includes other information that’s important for your company to know. These include location, products or services, when customers buy, and more.
Permission is all about the contacts willingness to receive your emails. Thus, if you don’t have permission, you are sending spam. There are two types of permission: explicit and implicit. Explicit permission is information that’s shred between a contact you your company. For example, someone downloads a piece of content off your website and gives you their contact information. Implicit permission is gathered from user behavior. For example, connecting with someone on LinkedIn.
The process of building relationships with your prospects with the goal of earning their business when they’re ready. Lead nurturing is a marketing effort focused on engaging with your leads and customers in a way that encourages them to progress toward a specific action. Therefore, there are two key parts to executing a good lead nurturing strategy: Marketing Automation Software and the Buyer’s Journey.
- Marketing Automation Software
Marketing automation is the software that exists with the goal of automating your marketing actions. Many marketing professionals have repetitive tasks, such as emails, social media, and other website actions. So, this technology makes these tasks easier and helps you deliver your content to your leads at the right time.
- Buyer’s Journey
The buyers’ journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to buy a new product or service. Any content you produce should focus for one of these three stages.
The endgame for any lead generation strategy is conversion. However, conversion is the last step in the lead process. Thus, if you have properly executed the contact management, contact qualification, and lead nurturing process your contact will be able to convert to a lead. The following three steps outline how you know when a contact is ready to convert:
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
Marketing qualified leads are contacts that have engaged with your marketing efforts but are not ready to receive a sales pitch. For example, they have downloaded a Blog post from your website or content from a landing page that require them to give contact information.
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
Sales qualified leads are contacts who taken actions that expressly showing their interest in becoming a paying customer. For example, a contact that downloads information and then follows up with an email or phone call about your products or services.
Remember, lead generation is takes challenging work and persistence. According to HubSpot, it takes 6-8 touches of your content to generate a practical sales lead.