Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of for a company’s marketing strategy. It literally feeds your sales funnel with fresh new opportunities to nurture into clients or sales.
If you have the right kind of process in place for your lead generation program you should start to notice that quality of the leads is greater than the quantity. If you are aiming for quantity then this is an issue that needs to be addressed before you proceed any further.
Many companies will see a lead generation program as the silver bullet and throw together what they believe to be the right process only to be left wondering why it isn’t working.
There are several vital key components of every program to get right.
- Approach – A soft or hard touch?
Firstly, you need to consider your approach. Through which platform or system do you intend to do your outreach from? Have you considered this is where your audience is likely to be?
Are you going for a hard sell and is that the right kind of approach for your target audience? Have you done the testing and research required to know what KPIs you can expect to put in place for a hard sell campaign? Do your expectations match up to the likely outcomes of your research?
Are you planning a softer approach with your campaign and how do you intend to execute? Have you planned your information, how it will be distributed and where it will live? Have you considered that a soft touch approach is a longer process and therefore will not fulfil the need for a quick win, but will however enable you to build much better relationships with potential clients.
- Information & Content
The next key point of your campaign is the information and content you intend to share. How will you deliver this? What will your offer be and is that content and information easily accessible?
If you are intending on using content, what type of content will that be? Have you researched what type of content works best for your audience? Are they busy people who will not have time to sit and read through a dissertation (as much as you are in love with it) where a synopsis would do?
Something else you need to work out is how much are you prepared to give away. How much is not enough, or too much? Does your content whet the appetite enough for your potential client to come back wanting more, or does it give so much away that you enable them to think they are able to do it themselves?
The choice of your content and method of sharing is a vital component in getting to the next stage of your program.
- Follow up process
Once you have got the first 2 stages of your program down, the next thing you need to then consider is your follow up process. How many steps will be required? What is your process for rejection? And how do you intend to follow up?
If you are intending to run a hard or soft touch campaign, wat is the right approach for your follow up? You don’t want to come across as being completely sales orientated or an uncaring peddler, do you?
You can’t be too pushy. Direct yes, you need to have direction to guide your potential client through the journey you want to take them through. But you need to stay sharp and interesting without coming across like a shark with a smell of blood in the water.
It can be a very fine line and you need to have the right process in place or your opportunities will dwindle.
- Nurturing your potential clients
The Nurturing stage of a quality lead generation program focuses on those opportunities that have yet to be handed over to your sales team. These are the people who have shown interest but not quite yet agreed or committed to a meeting or phone call to discuss thngs further.
These types of contacts will take up the bulk of your pipeline and should be viewed as extremely important. So, the information you continue to nurture with them must be relevant and distributed at intervals that won’t be considered intrusive.
Again, this is about knowing your audience. Some people will collect information and have no issue with you sending them content until they feel compelled to act. Others, they will take exception to being what the feel is bombarded with too much, so you must act carefully when working within your pipeline of opportunities, as each one lost could be a client that when handled correctly, gained.
Finally, you need to ensure that to see true value in your lead generation that your reporting can fulfil the expectations of why the program was devised. It’s very easy to look at Lead Generation as a magic pill, it isn’t and it can be a slow process. Momentum can be like that of a rollercoaster, even if you are doing things right it will ebb and flow.
The key in reporting is to ensure that you break it down so that no questions can be asked on presentation of your report. At the end of the day, the first column that will be reviewed is the one that shows the number of leads handed over. An important statistic no doubt but it’s not the entire picture, as mentioned the bulk of the opportunity will be within those in the nurturing pipeline and it’s important you show the statistics for those, the more of those contacts you have the greater number of leads you can expect and the higher the quality.