Generating Leads for Your Company
Lead generation is a critical task for every business. You need quality leads to expand your customer base and achieve consistent, sustained growth. But lead generation isn’t a straightforward process. As marketing tactics become increasingly sophisticated, lead generation strategies have become more challenging to execute effectively.
When developing and executing your lead generation strategy, there are important items that must be addressed to ensure you achieve your goals. The following guide will help you optimize your lead generation strategy to hit your goals and ensure you’re providing your sales team with quality leads that can turn into the types of clients that will help you grow your business.
Set Business Lead Generation Goals
Before you can develop your lead generation strategy, you must understand what you’re trying to achieve. Your lead generation goals should align with your overall business growth objectives:
- What are your company’s desired growth projections?
- Are there certain segments of your customer base that are more valuable to focus on than others?
When developing your lead generation goals, it’s always best to focus on quality over quantity. High quality, sales-ready leads are much more likely to convert than generic leads consisting of prospects that may not be truly interested in your products/services or that may not have the budget to take advantage of what you have to offer.
By focusing on qualified leads, you can streamline your efforts and get a better return on your investment. A qualified lead possesses certain characteristics that your team believes will either make them more likely to convert into a customer or more likely to generate your desired level of revenue per customer. Once you determine the criteria for your qualified leads, you can more effectively target this audience with your marketing efforts.
In many instances, you’ll be able to reduce the number of leads you need to generate per month by focusing on qualified leads. For example, if your conversion rate for qualified leads is 20% and your conversion rate for general leads is 10%, you’ll be able to generate the same number of new customers with fewer leads when your sales team is primarily speaking to qualified prospects. In addition, if these qualified leads generate twice as much revenue as non-qualified prospects, then you can achieve your new customer revenue goals with half the number of sales.
Establish Your Lead Generation Metrics
In order to improve your lead generation results and hit your goals, you must have a way to measure the performance of your efforts. This requires establishing a series of metrics that will help your team track their success over time.
Some good lead generation metrics to track include:
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
- Cost per lead (CPL)
- Customer lifetime value
- Cost per marketing lead by channel
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
This refers to the amount of money you spend to acquire a new customer. This cost may include advertising expenses, salaries for your marketing and sales teams, market research costs, and any other financial expenditure associated with the process of bringing on new customers.
Cost Per Lead (CPL)
This measures the amount of money spent in your marketing campaign to generate a new lead for your sales team to pursue. The cost per lead can vary based on the marketing channel used to generate this lead. For example, the cost per lead may be different for paid search ads (PPC) than Facebook ads. In addition, the cost for each of these may be different than the cost per lead generated by organic SEO.
Knowing your cost per lead helps you determine whether you’re apportioning your marketing budget properly throughout each channel in your campaign to achieve the best ROI.
Customer Lifetime Value
This metric lets you know how much revenue an average customer will generate over the lifetime of their business relationship with you. Knowing your customer lifetime value will help you make important decisions regarding the monetary resources you invest in acquiring new customers vs. retaining existing customers.
Cost Per Lead by Marketing Channel
Most lead generation strategies leverage multiple marketing channels to achieve their goals. But not all marketing channels will deliver the same results. Your cost of acquiring a lead may vary significantly from channel to channel.
Understanding the variance in these costs will help you focus your efforts on the channels which bring in the most quality leads at an affordable cost. Without knowing this figure, it’s very hard to understand which marketing channels deliver the best value to your business.
Optimize Your CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an extremely valuable tool for your business. A CRM manages all of your relationships and interactions with existing and potential customers. If you’re still tracking this information with a spreadsheet, we highly recommend that you upgrade to a CRM as soon as possible.
When fully optimized, your CRM is a powerful tool that can help you maximize your ROI on your lead generation efforts. To get the most out of this software, you should take the following steps:
- Automate inbound lead qualification to ensure your sales team is pursuing the highest quality leads you’ve generated
- Set up your CRM to track the key data points which separate qualified leads from other leads
- Automate the process of passing new leads from your marketing team to your sales team
- Periodically review old leads to identify potential missed opportunities
Leverage Your Existing Customers for Referrals
Often, happy customers can be a powerful lead generation tool. They can offer a more objective assessment of the customer experience you provide than is possible from your internal messaging. They can speak to the quality of your products/services, the level of customer service you provide, and help prospects understand what to expect when they work with you. They also provide their colleagues and other contacts with a trusted source of information.
For this reason, leads generated by customer referrals deliver a much better ROI than leads generated by other marketing channels. Referral leads:
- Convert 30% better than leads from other marketing channels
- Have a 16% higher lifetime value
- Have a 37% higher retention rate
- Are 4 times more likely to refer other new customers to your brand
Creating a referral program is an easy way to get your existing customers to spread the word about your business. As part of this program, reward your customers with a discount if they send a new prospect your way.
Optimize Your Lead Generation Content
As part of your marketing efforts, it’s important to create content specifically geared towards lead generation. This may include:
- Lead Magnets – High quality, high engagement content that your audience can access in exchange for their email address. This may include guides, eBooks, case studies, reports, cheat sheets, templates, free trials, checklists, or any other material that may help your audience address their pain points.
- CTAs – Creating compelling calls to action (CTAs) that are strategically placed throughout your website will help increase the number of visitors who take your desired action. Whether your audience is being asked to download a lead magnet, sign up for your newsletter, schedule a consultation, or sign up for your webinar, these are powerful tools to generate leads.
- Landing Pages – Landing pages are an effective tool that will take the people visiting your website and convert them into leads. These landing pages are where your audience will arrive when they click on a CTA associated with your lead magnet. The more landing pages on your website, the better. Businesses with over 40 landing pages generate significantly more leads than businesses with only a few landing pages. The reason for this is that creating multiple landing pages for each lead magnet provides you with more opportunities to convert your audience.
The best way to ensure you’re maximizing the effectiveness of your lead generation content is to perform a content audit. As part of this audit, evaluate:
- Consistency – Your messaging should be consistent throughout all lead generation content pieces and include talking points explaining what makes your products/services valuable and unique.
- Appeal – What’s in it for your audience? To convert more leads, your content should communicate the most appealing benefits that will create a transformation in your audience.
- Keywords – Your content must contain target keywords which will be used by your audience to find a solution to their pain points and/or locate the types of products/services you offer. Make sure to conduct keyword research to ensure you’re focusing on the right phrases.
- Headlines – Make sure your headlines, email subject lines and lead magnet titles are engaging and communicate the value provided by the content.
Drive Traffic to Your Lead Generation Content
Once you’re confident that your lead generation content is optimized for conversions, it’s time to put effort into making sure this content is found by your target audience. There are a variety of methods to drive traffic to your lead magnets, and the right solution(s) for you will depend on your overall lead generation strategy.
For example, if your lead generation campaign relies on paid search, you’ll want to identify the right PPC campaigns to target your desired audience. On the other hand, if you’re looking for organic traffic, you’ll need to:
- Create a series of SEO-focused pages and blog posts that will help you rank well for your target keyword phrases
- Develop a backlink strategy to drive links to your lead magnets from external sources
- Promote your SEO content on social media to ensure your content reaches a wider audience and gets shared by people who follow your pages (a large volume of shares will typically have a positive impact on your search rankings)
When trying to drive traffic to your lead magnets, always refer back to your buyer personas to ensure you’re using the content types and traffic sources that align with their interests and preferences.
Utilize Lead Scoring and Nurturing Tools
As we discussed earlier, not all leads are created equal. To maximize the ROI on your lead generation efforts, it’s crucial to focus your energy on qualified leads. In addition, you need to take steps to increase the likelihood these qualified leads make it all the way through your sales funnel and become new customers. This is accomplished by scoring and nurturing your leads.
Lead scoring makes it easier to prioritize leads based on whether they are considered qualified. When using lead scoring tools, you have the ability to identify the important factors to use when evaluating the quality of leads. These may include:
- Purchase readiness
- Sale amount
- Annual company revenues
- Expected customer lifetime value
Lead scoring can help you focus your efforts on the qualified clients that are most likely to help you grow your business. However, not all of these leads will be ready to become a customer. Therefore, it’s important to implement lead nurturing strategies that will ensure you continuously engage these prospects and move them farther down the sales funnel. While there are a variety of tools that will help you nurture leads, the most effective approach is to use your CRM to manage this task.
Utilize Conversion Rate Optimization Techniques
Even when you take all of these steps, there will always be room for improvement over time. All lead generation strategies require ongoing adjustments to ensure you’re getting the best ROI on your efforts. Therefore, it’s important to leverage conversion rate optimization techniques that will help you identify the most important and impactful adjustments to make to your strategy.
Conversion rate optimization is a process used to increase the percentage of conversions you achieve from your lead generation efforts. This process involves testing the different conversion elements on your website, landing pages, CTAs, and email marketing content to identify what’s working most effectively and what needs improvement.
There are a variety of conversion rate optimization tools available to help you continuously improve the ROI on your efforts. You should also invest in an A/B testing tool to complement your conversion rate optimization efforts.
Optimize Your Sales Process
All the steps discussed above are designed to help you generate more leads, and more importantly, ensure you’re generating the qualified leads necessary to grow your business. However, these leads won’t do your business any good unless you’re able to turn them into paying customers. To get the most out of your lead generation efforts, you’ll want to devote time to optimizing your sales process as well.
In most situations, the sales process involves an extended journey. Each point in the journey provides an opportunity for your team to build trust with a lead, convey the transformation they’ll experience from your product/service, and get them more engaged with your business. However, each point in the journey also has the potential to create a moment for the lead to lose interest and either stall in the funnel or drop off completely. Optimizing your sales process will help you avoid this pitfall.
To make sure your sales team is equipped to make the most of each opportunity along the journey, you need to constantly evaluate your process and provide coaching to your sales team. Record your sales calls and listen back to them with your sales team. Highlight areas in the call that went well and areas where your sales team failed to answer questions confidently or stay on message. Make updates to your sales script based on the issues you identify when listening to these calls, and provide your sales team with any support necessary to improve the effectiveness of these calls.
Webolutions Can Help You Improve Your Lead Generation Efforts
Webolutions has been Denver’s leading digital marketing agency since 1994. For nearly three decades, we’ve been providing comprehensive marketing services to help our clients reach their goals and enjoy greater success. Our transformational Intrinsic Multiplier™ Approach has been developed with your success in mind, and it allows you to grow your business faster, smarter and easier.
This unique approach to marketing leads you on a collaborative journey to identify what is special about your company. As part of this journey, we’ll establish your industry leading marketing positioning to clearly differentiate you from your competitors. This information will drive every aspect of your marketing campaign, and it will allow us to craft a customized lead generation strategy that provides an irresistible customer journey geared towards increasing conversions.
At Webolutions, we believe every decision regarding your lead generation strategy should be dictated by the data. To ensure we’re providing the best ROI on your efforts, we’re constantly A/B testing your lead generation strategy and recommending the improvements necessary to improve your results over time.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Webolutions serves clients nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.