What is Lead Generation?
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 to direct your sales team too, the more of those leads will result in sales. In doing this, you are helping your company grow, while also growing the credibility of 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.
Simple batch and blast advertising doesn’t appeal to the self-directed buyer, and having a solid lead generation program in place can help you navigate the new complexity surrounding lead generation. Below are a few problems lead generation can help solve.
· Problem: I need to generate a high volume of leads. 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.
· Problem: My sales team says that I’m not delivering high-quality leads. There are several reasons why your sales team is struggling to convert leads into customers. First, sales and marketing should be in agreement about what constitutes a qualified lead, and when that lead should be handed off, keeping in mind that 96% of people visiting your website aren’t ready to buy yet. If sales contact them too soon, they may feel put off—buyers today do not want to feel sold to. Lead quality is important, but it’s a major challenge for marketers, so it may take some time to start bringing in qualified leads.
· Problem: I’m bringing in leads, but don’t have a strategy around what to do next. 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.
· Problem: I need to be able to demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of my marketing team. 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 software.
· Problem: My lead generation program isn’t working anymore. If your lead generation strategy has yet to catch up to the age of the self-directed buyer, it’s time to reevaluate. Using modern lead generation software can help leads find you by increasing brand visibility and capturing interest with informational content buyers can use during their own research before they’re ready to purchase.
7 Successful Lead Generation Ideas
Here are some ideas to improve your lead generation efforts to target the right prospects:
1) Lead Generation Forms – You can create lead generation forms on your website that includes every necessary field. Make sure that you ask for contact information such as: name, email address, preferred contact method and other details.
2) Use Videos – You can create promotional videos to promote your services and link them to your landing pages. End the video with a form and ask for contact details.
3) Client Recommendations – You can ask your current clients to recommend your business. Send them emails asking for a recommendation and include a link to your website form.
4) Social Media – Post useful and valuable content on social media. Offer something of value such as a free e-book or a PDF file in exchange for their contact details.
5) Surveys – You can run surveys by giving several options to answer a few questions in exchange for something free like a discount code or free e-book.
6) Guerilla Marketing - Coined by Jay Conrad Levinson, the term “guerilla marketing” is usually defined as getting your message across using unconventional, untypical marketing tools with a limited or non-existent budget.
While it previously included mostly local (and barely legal) marketing methods such as graffiti, sticker bombing, or flyer posting, current guerilla marketing practices include flash mobs, viral campaigns, and various types of online marketing as well.
7) Seminars - Organizing free seminars on useful insurance topics provides you with the chance to reach a large audience of interested prospects at the same time. However, you have to present a very relevant topic and keep your audience listening throughout the seminar to get them interested in buying insurance from you.
Don’t make the whole presentation a sales pitch – you have to be ready to genuinely educate people on the topics which are important to them in the first place to be successful.
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