Are you curious about lead generation?
Would you like to know the key definitions, tactics, and learn what a good lead generation process looks like?
Then stick with us and read this beginner’s guide to lead generation.
What is a lead
Let’s start by defining what a lead is.
A lead is someone who’s shown interest in your offer(s) and handed you their contact details so you can continue the conversation, for example, via email or phone.
Keep in mind that every company, marketer, or a salesperson may have their own definition of what a lead is or what makes a lead good.
What is lead generation
Lead generation refers to the process of attracting people who aren’t in your database yet, convincing them to provide you with their contact details, and guiding them through the buying process until they’re ready to talk to your sales team and/or make a purchase.
Editor’s note: Looking for a simpler way to generate leads? Thanks to all of the built-in tools and integrations, GetResponse is the only lead generation software you’ll need. Go ahead and learn more!
Why is lead generation important
To survive, your company needs leads.
Even if you have a big sales team that’s continuously reaching out to prospective customers on LinkedIn or Facebook, growing your business can be hard.
In the past, consumers used to contact salespeople to learn about the products or services they’re interested in.
These days, a lot of consumers choose to do their own research – they check review sites, community forums, social media, or test the product themselves if a free trial is available.
The answer to this is current reality is to establish a reliable lead generation process. If you’ve got one, you can grow your customer database in a cost-effective and scalable way.
Lead generation process
In a nutshell, a lead generation process breaks down into four steps:
1. First, you need to capture a stranger’s attention and get them to visit your landing page or a website.
You can do this, for example, via a Facebook Ad or an engaging post on social media.
2. Next, you’ll want to convince your website visitors to provide you with their contact details.
You can do this by offering your visitors a piece of content that they can access after filling out a form on your landing page. Marketers refer to this as a lead magnet.
3. After the visitor fills out the form – and thus has become a lead – you’ll need to nurture them with your marketing communication until they’re ready to buy your product or service.
Usually, you’ll do this through a mix of channels, mainly email, webinars, paid ads, and in-app notifications.
4. Once your lead is ready to buy your product or service, you can direct them to a page where they’ll be able to place their order or pass them onto your sales team.
Naturally, the buyer’s journey doesn’t end here. Even if you’ve closed a sale, you’ll want to keep engaging your customers and turn them into loyal brand advocates.
This process is mostly done through the use of marketing automation and is a part of a broader concept, often referred to as lifecycle marketing.
Types of leads in lead generation
As you can imagine, not all leads are the same.
We distinguish several types of leads based on how qualified they are and what stage in the buying process they’re at.
The two main types of leads are:
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
An MQL is simply a lead that your marketing team deems likely to turn into a sale eventually, and therefore qualifies for additional marketing, but isn’t yet ready to receive a sales call.
An MQL does not represent a done deal – the prospect is generally not ready to buy just yet. Nonetheless, marketing qualified leads are more likely to turn into customers compared to regular leads.
Some factors that help identify MQLs are as follows:
- Lead requests information via email but doesn’t ask to be contacted.
- Lead downloaded content from your website (ebooks, tip sheets, infographics, etc.)
- Lead visited your website numerous times to look at relevant product or service pages.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
An SQL is a prospective customer that has been researched and vetted – first by your marketing team, then by your sales team – and is deemed ready for a direct sales push. – Read more