So, you want to learn about lead generation? Well, you’re in the right place! Lead generation is tricky for all skill and experience levels, but understanding the basics of lead generation can greatly help you improve your marketing and sales tactics. Successfully generating leads will help your company drive revenue and growth, and gain a competitive advantage. But, we all know that it’s not as easy as it sounds. Before we dive into the best lead generation tips for beginners, let’s go over what a lead is.
What is a Lead?
A lead is a potential customer that could be interested in what you have to offer. In order to stay in business, you will need to generate new leads as they will be your source of revenue. Through marketing and sales tactics, your goal is to generate highly-relevant and qualified leads. Essentially, this means that the leads you generate will be interested in what your company has to offer. A common misconception is that the more leads the better, but you want to ensure all of the leads are high quality and will be interested in your product. Lead quality is much more valuable than lead quantity. Now that you know what a lead is, let’s go over 7 lead generation tips for beginners.
1. Understand the Basics
Lead generation is not as easy as it sounds. Before you dive in too deep, it’s important to understand the basics of lead generation to ensure you drive a positive ROI from your marketing and sales efforts. Next, we are going to compare marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads.
Marketing Qualified Lead
A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is someone who would be interested in your company at some point. This means that they would benefit from seeing more advertising, engaging on social media, and are not quite ready to convert. They are likely to visit your website multiple times without contacting you, requesting a demo, or making a purchase. Often they are higher up in your sales funnel, and their journey before purchasing is longer than a sales qualified lead. Reaching out too early may discourage them from moving forward, so it’s important to be familiar with your sales cycle, which we will talk more about later.
Sales Qualified Lead
On the other hand, a sales qualified leads (SQL) are interested in your company, and is the perfect candidate for a demo, meeting, or other sales initiatives. Generally speaking, a SQL is more familiar with what you have to offer, and want to see the value you would bring to their company. Often a marketing qualified lead will become a sales qualified lead through successful marketing efforts.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Being familiar with your target audience will help you at every stage of lead generation. As a result, you will be able to guide more leads down your sales funnel, and convert them into paying customers. You want to create a niche target audience that will see the value of your product. Identify their demographics, geographics, and firmographics so you can target them with your marketing, sales, and website content. By creating use cases for your target audience, they will be able to understand and visualize using your product. You are able to have more than one target audience, but try to ensure your audiences have little overlap to keep them organized and receive the best experience possible.
3. Understand your Sales Funnel
I have mentioned the term sales funnel a few times throughout this article already. That just goes to show how much of an important concept it is. Below is a simple version of a sales funnel. The top of the funnel, the awareness stage, is the largest. This is the place where you are generating leads. Every stage below awareness gets gradually smaller and smaller, until the point of action. The action stage is when your lead finally converts. As you can see, not as many leads that are aware of your product will convert. This is why it’s important to generate high-quality leads, as you will want as many leads as possible to convert.
4. Content is King
If you are just starting to learn about lead generation, it’s important to understand how essential content is. There are many different ways that you can use content to generate leads, here are a few of my favorites.
Just like the term implies, gated content can only be accessed if the website visitor submits their contact information. By exchanging their contact information, they will gain access to your exclusive content. This could include a webinar, eBook, data set, or other forms of content. Because the lead is expected to submit their contact information, the content needs to be very high quality and can’t easily be found by a Google search.
Pop ups, banners, and other engaging content is a great way to encourage your website visitors to take action. There are a ton of different ways that you can use these to generate leads. A few common pop ups are discounts, ability to book a demo, use cases, taking a quiz, or using a calculator. My favorite pop up is using a quiz to engage prospective customers. At Visitor Queue, we use a quiz pop up that appears when the visitor is about to close the tab or click off our page. Our quiz asks how many website visitors they have, and asks for their email address before they are able to see how many visitors we can identify for them. Then, if we see that they don’t convert, we can reach out to them. If this sounds interesting to you, here is a great guide that will walk you through creating a quiz pop up.
Social Media Content
Having a strong social media presence can help you generate leads. What’s great about social media is that you can drive a lot of website traffic for free. Share your blog articles, exciting news, company updates, positive reviews, and more. By doing this, you can get your company in front of a lot of people, quickly. The best content for each social media platform may vary, but it’s good to share a variety of different pieces of content.
5. Know Your Metrics
In order to gauge how effective your lead generation tactics are, you’ll need to know what metrics to track. Every lead generation tactic that you choose will have its own metrics that you will want to keep track of. Here are a few of the most common metrics that you’ll want to keep track of.
Conversion rate is one of marketer’s favorite metrics to track. To calculate conversion rate, simply divide the number of conversions by the number of interactions. Every lead generation campaign that you run will have a different target conversion rate, depending on your budget, content used, and other considerations. But, a common mistake that new marketers make is putting too much emphasis on conversion rate. Going back to the sales funnel, there are a lot of steps that it takes to get to that point. If your campaign doesn’t get as many conversions as you’d like, it doesn’t mean that it was a total loss.
Acquisition refers to how your website visitors get to your site. This metric allows you to see if your lead generation and marketing efforts are paying off. You can compare if your leads are landing on your site via Google Ads, organic search, social media, email, and other campaigns. Then, you can see if these visitors are converting, what pages they view, bounce rate, and more. This will help you see if you are attracting qualified leads to your website.
Bounce rate is when a lead lands on one webpage, and does not look at any other pages. A high bounce rate generally means that the visitor accidentally clicked, wasn’t interested in learning more, or they got what they were looking for on just one page. If you notice that certain campaigns have a high bounce rate, it could mean that your campaign content is not well aligned with the content on the landing page. As an example, if you are running a lead generation LinkedIn campaign, with the call to action “Learn More”, the visitor will be looking for more information. But, if the landing page that you have added to the LinkedIn campaign is your sign up page, the visitor may get confused and frustrated. As a result, they will most likely bounce.
6. Use a CRM
Whether you are just starting to focus on lead generation or you’re improving your current lead generation strategy, a CRM is an amazing asset. CRM, or customer relationship management, is a software that helps you organize, manage, and engage with your leads. The best way to use your CRM in regards to lead gen is to set up automations. As an example, if you use gated content to gather email addresses, you can send the contact information straight to your CRM, and your CRM will automatically follow up with them. If this lead has not contacted you or converted, you can automatically follow up again with an enticing discount. Although it can take some time to create these automations, it can make a huge difference.
7. Website Visitor Identification
I have saved the best lead generation tip for last. Website visitor identification is the easiest way to generate high-quality leads for B2B companies. With a software like Visitor Queue, you are able to identify the anonymous companies that land on your website, including how they were acquired, what pages they viewed, and how long they spent viewing each page. Additionally, we are able to provide you with employee contact information including email addresses, phone numbers, and LinkedIn channels. With the help of Visitor Queue, you are able to sit back and watch leads roll in. One of my favorite ways to use Visitor Queue is to set up a Custom Queue that shows the companies that visit important pages like “Pricing” or competitor comparison pages. You can send these leads straight to your CRM to follow up, or you can connect on LinkedIn and start social selling. Start your 14-day free trial of Visitor Queue and stop losing leads!
Companies that are continuously improving and enhancing their lead generation tactics have a better chance of driving growth and revenue for their company. But, as we all know, it is very difficult to come up with new and unique ways to generate leads, and successfully guide them down your sales funnel. If you’re not sure where to start, I recommend getting familiar with a CRM, and starting to automate as much as possible. This will make it easier for you and your team in the long run, and will make your lead generation efforts seamless. If you have any questions about how Visitor Queue can help you generate high-quality leads, don’t hesitate to reach out.