There are many different common ways to generate leads, and it’s important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each method before you invest time or money in a particular strategy. To help, this article will discuss seven different lead generation strategies, some of which you may be familiar with and others that you might not have considered before. Let’s get started!
1) Inbound lead generation
With inbound lead generation, leads are brought to you through channels like SEO, social media, and content marketing. Most inbound leads are quality prospects that have already researched your company and are looking for a way to learn more about your business.
Inbound lead generation is great because it doesn’t require any paid advertising or work on your part—and it can be channeled through any medium, including email, social media, and even audio and video. This is a great type of lead generation if you want to build up a relationship with a potential customer long-term without having to deal with high-pressure sales tactics.
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2) Referral lead generation
Everyone knows that referrals are some of the most potent leads you can generate because they come from a trusted source. If a business has hired someone through word-of-mouth, they’re much more likely to follow up on their referral than they would be to respond to an ad.
According to statistics from Referral SaaSquatch, in fact, only 3 percent of people following a referral actually complete their transaction. In comparison, 10 percent of people who see a direct ad will convert into customers. So if you’re in business for yourself—whether it’s selling products or consulting—you should do all you can to tap into your customer base and encourage them to talk about your business with friends and acquaintances.
But don’t forget, there is a dark side to lead generation: The biggest sources of bad leads are also word-of-mouth. One big way entrepreneurs fall victim is when they try to elicit positive reviews via social media. Their followers take note and offer glowing recommendations but make claims or ask questions that turn out to be exaggerated (or downright false).
Often, social media reviewers say negative things after never having used the product or service at all. To avoid getting burned by these types of liabilities, go old school with your lead generation efforts: get personal referrals from existing clients and cold contact others directly!
3) Trade show lead generation
Do you provide a product or service that is typically purchased by small business owners? If so, set up a booth at your local trade show to start generating leads for your business. While face-to-face marketing can be effective, in order to reach as many people as possible, consider creating a trade show website.
A website allows you to provide information and capture leads before and after an event has taken place. This way if someone passes on purchasing your product during an event they can learn more online afterward or they may already have seen what you had to offer and come back later when they are ready to purchase. If you do create a website, make sure it’s mobile-friendly too so potential customers on their smartphone will want to visit it.
4) Cold calling
Cold calling is a commonly used form of lead generation. In cold calling, salespeople call potential clients to ask them questions about their needs and want, as well as how much money they are willing to spend on various goods or services. Cold calling is an effective lead generation strategy because it puts salespeople in direct contact with decision-makers.
However, many businesses avoid cold calling due to its inconvenience and high rate of rejection. A large quantity of leads is necessary for companies employing cold calling since so few will convert into sales opportunities. Also, more time must be spent by salespeople researching potential customers before making calls so that waste and unwelcome contact can be avoided. Just 3% to 5% of all cold calls are typically successful for most companies using a systematic approach over time.
5) Direct mail
The first type of lead generation is direct mail. This is an age-old method that has proven successful over time. With direct mail, you’re mailing out pre-formatted brochures, guides, or magazines to targeted groups or individuals. It’s a great way to increase brand awareness and generate interest in your services. These leads can be followed up with phone calls or emails.
Direct mail doesn’t build personal relationships with potential customers, they are more likely to be considered casual leads than sales leads – so it’s important to have a lead nurturing process in place post-mailing to ensure they turn into sales opportunities.
Telemarketing has been used for decades as a way to create leads and generate sales. Some argue that it still works, especially in certain industries. However, others are not convinced, saying telemarketing is an outdated practice that should be discontinued. If you’re on board with using telemarketing to grow your business, however, don’t just assume that it will work on its own. To truly gain traction and value from your telemarketing efforts, you need to have a solid strategy behind them.
7) Salesforce automation
Salesforce automation (SFA) is a broad category that includes CRM software and a variety of other business applications. SFA has become an essential tool for managing and organizing customer data, sales processes, and communication within organizations.
Beyond sales enablement, it also helps streamline operations management, financial reporting, service delivery, marketing analytics, project tracking, and general customer support. Examples include Oracle’s PeopleSoft (now an independent company), Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, or SugarCRM. Additionally, there are dozens of smaller niche products such as ServiceMax from Daptiv or Outreach from Eloqua. These solutions can be used standalone or integrated with larger SFA suites.