Lead Generation Services

Online Lead Generation Services And Todays Challenges


Online lead generation has always been complex: the pipeline may be full of leads but getting that final conversion into a paying customer is a formidable challenge. In the past year, we have seen the pace of change quickening.

Paradoxically, many businesses are finding that both decision-making and buying processes are slowing down with sales decisions delayed.  Many buyers feel reluctance, and buying committees face a crisis of confidence which is freezing buying cycles. 

Senior marketers must find ways to solve this crisis of confidence that lies at the top of their sales funnel, and which is slowing down sales growth. 

Businesses that figure out how to reduce buyer frustration and avoid the crisis of confidence among stakeholders in the buying process will see exciting growth and new sales online, outpacing competitors who are less successful in solving the confidence issue.   

Rebuilding high-quality lead generation tactics from the ground up will require fresh new thinking, creativity, innovation,  and a willingness toward experimentation to navigate their sales and marketing teams into the future. 

Today’s growing businesses are looking to professional lead generation services companies to assist in building their marketing strategy. Let’s take a closer look at what they are and what to expect from lead generation services.

Key Differences Between B2B and B2C Lead Generation

The lead generation funnel has important differences if you are a B2B versus a B2C business.

A B2C potential customer is often the final decision maker. Their buyer journey can happen quickly and focuses on answering their questions at each stage in the process.

In contrast, a B2B buyer is part of a larger buying group within the company, with at least one other stakeholder and often many voices weighing in. The buyer may be representing various functional areas of the company who will be using the product, and therefore part of their role is internal communications among the stakeholders in ensuring fit. The buyer is not usually the final decision maker, and the purchase needs an executive sponsor as well as funding. 

Another difference is that B2C buyers often won’t interact with a representative from the company – especially when it comes to eCommerce sites. On the other hand, B2B buyers almost always interact with a sales rep throughout the buying process.

As a result, the approach to generating leads for a B2B business is going to be different from that of a B2C business. Finding the right agency partner is vital to the success of your lead generation program.

The Evolution of Lead Generation and Sales

The traditional model of lead generation, also called new business development, involves cold calling, email marketing campaigns, trade show attendance, advertising, and sampling campaigns.

Marketing campaigns and sales campaigns were built offline to find potential buyers and generate interest. The lead was a name and phone number that the sales rep would then call and start a sales qualification process.

A successful lead was “qualified” and then entered into the sales pipeline, which meant that the sales rep would continue with follow-up activities including educating this prospect on the features of the company’s offering and the superiority of the company’s solution as compared to its competitors.

The internet transformed the lead generation process once buyers could find sellers online. Buyers don’t wait for a sales rep to come calling. Instead, they are empowered by the internet to carry out their own research thanks to search engines.

Today buyers do their own research over a wide range of online channels. In fact, 60% of buyers prefer not to interact with a sales rep as the primary source of information and 68% of them prefer to research on their own, online (source).

The result is the buyer now controls the sales process and the language has shifted, focusing on the buying process. This has caused a lead generation to become a great deal more about content. This content fills the buyer’s needs at each stage of the buying process.

The digital transformation of lead generation as a business practice has shifted the conversation from selling products and services, to solving problems. A valuable lead generation strategy delivers content that responds to the questions buyers have at each step in the sales process.

A successful lead generation campaign delivers well-qualified leads to sales reps, so they can focus on building relationships and closing sales with buyers who already have a familiarity with the company thanks to its great content!

Lead Generation: Outbound, Inbound, or Both?

Many companies have both outbound and inbound activities and may be looking to employ more inbound tactics to reduce the reliance on outbound activities. The first step is measuring the current cost per conversion associated with all the methods you’re currently using.

Shifting from an outbound model to an inbound model can offer sales productivity enhancements, but this may not be true for your organization and sales team.

Build an understanding of your present lead generation scenario so you understand the number of sales hours going into each initiative, the quality of leads, the source of leads, and what improvements you seek in making changes. 

As you improve your understanding of the investment in sales you’re making and where you’re seeing the best productivity,  you will gain a clearer picture of which tactics are working best for you, and therefore are worth continuing to invest in them. You will also have visibility to which tactics are underperforming.

With this improved understanding of both the investment you’re making in your sales and marketing and where you’re getting the best return, you can then make informed decisions about where to invest. There is no one right answer – each company, its history and its place in the market varies. 

What are the differences between outbound and inbound lead generation strategies?


As the first step in understanding lead generation strategy, it’s valuable to clarify the difference between outbound and inbound lead generation. Outbound lead generation uses outbound marketing channels such as advertisements and cold calling to capture the attention of potential buyers and create some awareness and interest in your services. This is also called “push” marketing – you “push” people towards your brand offerings.

Outbound lead generation examples:

  • Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing – disseminating your message through customer interactions.
  • Cold Email marketing – purchasing lists of company decision makers and their email addresses, and sending them information on your offering
  • Inside Sales – Sales personnel use phone and email to find prospects who otherwise had no knowledge of the company.
  • Social Media – Sharing content and running paid social campaigns to grow followers, leads, and sales
  • Direct Mail – Sending print materials to targeted audiences such as your customer base, or to a purchased list of companies who you would like to do business with
  • Trade Shows – Participating at an industry event to meet new and existing clients
  • Events – A wide range of private events, such as a fundraiser. Also, experiential marketing events include sampling campaigns in high-traffic public areas to get product samples and information into the hands of potential new customers. Experiential marketing includes stunts, aimed at grabbing attention and generating viral social media content in order to educate and attract new customers.


Inbound lead generation employs your website and the power of search engines to identify potential buyers based on their online behavior and bring them to your website’s targeted content. Your content and offers are delivered to them based on their search queries. This is called “pull” marketing.

Inbound lead generation examples:

  • Topical blogs
  • Social media campaigns (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, TikTok)
  • Ebooks, infographics, white papers, case studies
  • Search Engine Optimized (SEO) website text.
  • Videos
  • Webinars

Using both outbound and inbound:

Some of you might ask which one is the right one, and a good portion of you will ask why not both.

While those traditional methods may still work for your company or industry, they have become outdated and companies are rapidly transitioning to finding the most effective online strategies to ensure growth.

Some businesses are using a hybrid of both, introducing online strategies into their traditional methods. It is common for companies at trade shows or events to encourage their booth visitors to take social-friendly photos or seek to create viral content to extend awareness and interest from offline participants to online audiences.

Inbound marketing offers answers to valuable online buyers, helping solve real-time problems, introducing them to your company, and exhibiting your expertise, your trustworthiness, and your fit as the solution they seek.

The tools of digital marketing will bring these leads to you much more efficiently than your marketing department and sales teams can find them, offering a compelling ROI and an opportunity to improve your sales team’s performance and productivity.

Online Lead Generation Basics

Many companies are in the dark when it comes to lead generation because there has been so much change in lead generation practices. Many businesses continue to rely on traditional sales and marketing techniques.

In-house teams, proficient at the current methods and processes, don’t have the expertise to navigate a rapid leap to new lead-generation strategies which rely on many digital marketing tools.

When it comes to the best performing lead generation strategies and tactics, there is a lack of understanding on how to do it properly. This work is the domain and expertise of a full-service digital marketing agency with experience in B2B lead generation.

An agency that understands the essentials of a lead generation campaign can set you up for success. These essentials are:

  • Landing Page
  • Lead Magnets
  • Lead Capture
  • Lead Scoring

A good lead generation agency will help you solve these essentials and identify problem areas that need more work. All of this needs to be underpinned by a data and insight-driven approach that can get a buy-in from the senior leadership as well. Do not be afraid to re-engineer a lead generation program to meet the challenges of future buyers.

Lead generation is a complex process requiring a range of skillsets

Many types of talent are required for the success of a lead generation campaign, including website developers, SEO specialists, content writers, graphic designers, landing page experts, copywriters, and more.

A range of technologies is employed as well to carry out thorough and ongoing website audits, track and measure progress, to monitor conversions, and gather leads.

These are 3 components of many lead-generation campaigns:

1. Develop Premium Content

If you have ever researched content marketing, you are familiar with the expression: “Content is king”. Today’s content is user-focused, responding to each step in the buyer journey. The lead generation campaign includes a content strategy that includes blog posts, keyword strategy, and the careful articulation of the buyer persona, or archetypes of the ideal customer.

Developing premium SEO content ensures that the search engines can serve your content to qualified buyers, and that those online website visitors will take the time to read and engage with your content.

2. Tailor Landing Pages

You have heard about calls to action (CTAs) and how important they are in leading your buyers where you want them. This is where landing pages come in. Landing pages provide your buyers with a detailed description of your offering, as well as eye-catching visuals and easy-to-fill order forms.

Get the composition of your landing page right and you will see the power it has in lead generation. A strong landing page requires technical expertise, strong copywriting skills, a capture tool to gather customer details, and a marketing expertise to craft a compelling offer to create those valuable conversions into leads.

3. Reach Target Audience through Social Media Marketing

Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be valuable tools for lead generation. You can find almost everyone online.

This means buyers at all stages of the buying cycle are spending time on these platforms. They are using these channels to discuss, share and find information about pretty much everything, including products and services.

Businesses can ensure their brand stays visible, relevant and engaging with a strong social media strategy. Which channels will work for your type of business? This requires competitive research and an evaluation of platform fit to the company and lead generation goals.

Common issues in a low-performing lead generation campaign

There are many well-intentioned lead-generation campaigns that do not perform due to one reason or the other. Marketers struggle to analyze the root cause of the issue and often the reasons are misidentified. Let’s take a look at some of the common problems that can be encountered in a lead gen campaign

Adopting a one-size fits all approach

Small businesses (B2B or B2C) struggle to invest further in sales and marketing. Moreover, adapting lead gen strategies for different scenarios also costs money. This inevitably means that small businesses rely on a one size fits all approach.

This one-size approach eventually reaches a roadblock, as there is an over-reliance on the existing customer base that declines over time.

Marketers must focus on finding new customers by inculcating a culture that prioritizes new businesses. This will yield an optimization of campaigns towards new revenue and an omnichannel approach.

Spreading budget too thin

A lack of focus across many activities results in spreading your budget too thin. Which then results in businesses failing to grow. A vicious cycle that yields frustration and confusion.

Not knowing your ideal buyer persona
Buyer journeys start online. You need to understand how your ideal customer behaves and responds to buying situations. This understanding is essential as buyers will most likely read your content online before ever having a conversation with you. And your content needs to reflect that you’ve understood your customer’s pain points.

Lack of product market fit
An expensive mistake is realizing after the fact, that your product isn’t really needed by the customers you are targeting. This can very quickly defuse any enthusiasm that is associated with launching a new product and getting qualified leads.

Evolving marketing tech stack
Tracking, optimizing and scoring leads relies on a robust marketing tech stack. Measuring how your campaign is performing and pivoting if required is something that is only done well if you invest in the right marketing technology, thereby investing to build a strong foundation.

What is the starting point for online lead generation?

There are so many things to consider in embarking on an exciting lead generation campaign. In working together, we start with an evaluation of your current website and its ability to bring in leads. From there we carry out a competitive analysis and keyword research. Next comes persona development, and from there the development of the right strategy for your business right now.

Creating a successful lead generation infrastructure will turn your website into a healthy source of new business into the future. With a fresh abundant inflow of qualified new leads, your valuable sales reps can focus on closing sales and helping customers.

Overall the organization sees a lower cost per lead, and increased sales force productivity creating a proud, successful sales team, satisfied customers and delighted business owner.