Most Small Businesses and startups always struggle to scale up their customer base and improve the bottom line of their businesses. One of the primary sources of expanding a business is to set up a steady flow of sales leads. Any individual or business can be considered a lead that reflects an interest in your products or services through different behaviors and patterns.
What is Sales Lead Generation?
Sales lead generation is the process of engaging, nurturing, & converting prospects into customers. It serves as a buffer that ensures you always have a steady flow of leads that hold a high potential of becoming customers.
What is the Difference Between Lead Generation and Sales?
Lead generation is the process of driving prospects’ interest in your business offerings to lead that interest to a sale. It generally involves gathering a prospect’s contact info such as email address and contact number to declare it a lead.
Whereas, a sales lead is an individual or business that may eventually turn into a paying customer or client. Sales lead also refers to the data that acknowledges a prospect as a potential customer. Businesses earn these sales leads by incorporating different marketing strategies like advertising, email outreaches, etc.
Sales Lead Generation Process
Every sale lead generation process appears unique and driven by business interest. But the fundamental roadmap of generating sales lead involves the following crucial steps that fuel and complement each other at different stages:
1) Research Your Target Market
An impactful sales lead generation campaign starts with understanding your buyer’s persona. A buyer’s persona is an assumed prospect profile that matches your ideal customer. Who are your potential customers? What type of people showcases an interest in your products or services? What keeps them awake at night? How can your product or service resolve their problems? A more detailed understanding of your prospects means a more accurate buyer’s persona. It enables you to create more engaging and relevant content to boost sales conversion.
2) Create Engaging Content
Content marketing is one of the most effective and fruitful steps of sales lead generation. By producing engaging and informative content, you offer your prospects an answer to their questions and problems. Publish content in different formats like blogs, social media posts, videos, infographics, eBooks, and customer case studies.
3) Promote Content Across Your Business Channels
Once you’ve published valuable content, you need to share it across different mediums. If you are a B2C business, share and post it on your Facebook and Instagram. As a B2B business, you are more likely to find your audience on LinkedIn. Leverage all platforms to boost engagements. Don’t oversee the potential of SEO. Optimize your content for search engines and let your audience find your content on Google.
4) Nurture Existing Leads
Once a lead has subscribed to your email list, it means it entered your lead generation funnel. Now, it’s time to further strengthen your trust and relationship with the prospect. Nurture them according to their preferences and stage in your B2B sales funnel. A full proof Lead nurturing strategy includes sending personalized emails with compelling subject lines that persuade them to take any further action like sign up for a free trial, download a product guide, customer case studies, etc.
5) Score Leads
Keep in mind, not all leads are equal. Allow your marketing and sales team to collaborate and evaluate each lead to determine which one is more likely to become a sale. Keep a check on the leads that are engaging frequently with your business website, content, social media posts. Your prime focus must be those leads that will have a notable impact on your ROI.
6) Pass Leads to Your Sales Team
The first five steps of lead generation are centric around the marketing team’s efforts to convert a prospect into a subscriber and finally into a lead. Now, it’s the turn of the sales team to lock high-intent prospects into a sale. Once any prospect becomes your customer, it’s your sales team’s responsibility to ensure a smooth and hassle-free CX to keep them engaged with your business for cross-sale opportunities.
7) Evaluate Your Lead Generation Process
You need to make sure that all your lead generation efforts produce maximum outcomes and should be under continuous evaluation by your lead generation experts. Continuous optimization and evaluation of your lead generation process are necessary to terminate all the leakages in your sales funnel. For maximum ROI, you need to keep your prospects and customers intact with your business. Start by setting up a benchmark for the number of prospects who reach the bottom of your sales funnel & keep improving your process.
11 Tips On How To Generate Sales Leads For Your Small Business
Below are some tips for setting up a lead generation setup that will help you acknowledge sales-qualified leads in your SMB, and — with the smart move — turn them into loyal and long-term customers.
1. Get leads from Lead generation companies
Source – Soffront CRM
If you fail to drive the right sales leads for your business, it is recommended to invest some budget and buy sales leads. Some of the significant reasons why you are experiencing problems in driving high-potential sales leads include:
- The data is outdated or irrelevant
- You may be targeting a lead that you have already become a lead
- You may be investing your efforts in a lead that is already a customer
- You may be targeting a lead that is not part of your niche
With the recent advancements in the data and tech domain, companies have now started to address such issues. Lead generation companies leverage consumer and business data to buy fresh sales leads. You are recommended to partner with any reputable or authentic lead generation company like ScaleYourBiz.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Source – Swansea Digital Marketing
As we have discussed earlier, identifying your potential customers and their need is a vital step in any lead generation process. It is impossible to successfully attract and engage your ideal prospects if you don’t know exactly who they are and what they are looking for. You need to consider every single aspect and pain point of your ideal prospects like their demographics, their job roles, their preferences, and their problems.
3. Create a Lead Generation Sales Funnel
Source – DreamsTime
The process of building effective lead generation funnel involves determining your targeted audience and the most effective way to hook them, you need to develop a practical plan for gathering their contact info. The first part of the overall process is to attract all prospects by your lead magnets and drive them to the optimized landing page. Your landing page must be effective enough to persuade them to share their contact info. You can offer discount offers, promotional codes, free trials, or add value to their experience in form of different incentives in exchange for information.
4. Utilize PPC for Sales Lead Generation
Stats Compilation – Hey Digital
To generate qualified sales leads, you need to deploy an effective promotional campaign that will showcase your products or services in front of your targeted prospects. Among several effective ways to advertise your products and services, paid advertisement or PPC is the crucial one. PPC involves targeting high-intent keywords to show your ads on search engines if someone searches for these keywords or phrases.
Pay-per-click or PPC, as the name suggests, means you will be charged for every click the prospect makes on your Ad. You need to be extra careful with this paid advertisement strategy as biting on the poorly researched keywords can worsen your ROI and cast a negative impact on your PPC campaigns.
5. Offer an Email Newsletter to Strengthen Relationships
Source – Oberlo
Now you have enough lead data, it’s time to nurture these prospects and strengthen your relationship with them. When it comes to further conversion and qualification of leads, you need to keep nurturing them until the closing of a sale. One of the most impactful ways to establish a trustworthy relationship with your prospects is to offer an email newsletter. Offering valuable content through an email newsletter and other forms of gated content is vital for long-term engagement with the prospects.
Furthermore, you can use these lead nurturing email examples to build meaningful relations with your prospects
6. Leverage Social Media to Hook & Nurture Prospects
Source – Hubspot
As we have discussed above, social media plays a vital role in improving your engagement and lead generation process. Leverage your Facebook page, LinkedIn company page, Instagram account, or upload visual content on your YouTube channel to hook and convert your prospects.
Additionally, once you got a decent number of leads in your sales funnel, you can use social media to connect with them and determine their priorities and preferences.
7. Landing Pages
Image – Cience
A landing page is the most vital part of your business website that a prospect lands in search of particular content or information. One of the most important aspects of using a lead generation landing page is to capture your prospects’ contact info via CRM forms in exchange for gated content or discount offers.
It is highly recommended to base your landing pages from your marketing campaigns on your own server so the traffic appears on your website instead of a third party. If you are going to use a third-party platform for landing pages, keep in mind that your campaigns will only help their site in improving its organic ranking. It means, nothing fruitful for you in terms of SEO.
8. Utilize Directories for b2b sales lead generation
If you are a B2B business, there is a range of B2B business directories to get sales leads by advertising or simply being listed in their directories. Some of the popular software directories include Capterra, SaaS Genuis, Software Advice, G2Crowd, etc.
9. Leverage Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Source – Finances Online
Improve your search engine ranking by leveraging SEO. It involves optimization and revamping of your business website to make it appear among the top search engine results (SERPS) for selected keywords in your industry. It will help hook valuable and qualified traffic to your site and boost your inbound marketing campaigns. You can leverage some top-notch SEO lead generation tools like Ahref, SEMrush, google console, etc.
Read more about SEO in our comprehensive blog post about How To Set Up An Effective SEO Lead Generation Strategy.
10. Conduct Webinars to Generate Sales Leads
Source – Finance Online
Webinars are video-based highly engaging content where the expert is discussing a topic relevant to the industry with his customers. It can be a presentation, Q/A, or podcast session. Hosting webinars are the most effective lead magnets and produce hot sales leads for your business. You can ask your prospects for their contact info in exchange for a subscription to a valuable webinar session.
Webinars further allow you to portray your brand as an industry leader and subject expert. It in turn strengthens trust and relationship with your audience and they will more likely to prefer buying your products or services.
How do you Quickly generate leads for B2B sales?
Lead generation being a long-term and continuous effort requires patience and dedicated investment in terms of time and effort. Once you set up an efficient lead generation process using the ideas and steps discussed in this article, you can streamline your lead generation process and improve ROI.
If you want to optimize and streamline your sales lead generation process, consider the above mentioned steps and ensure maximum business growth. It will allow you to generate more sales leads and boost ROI.