What is a Lead Generation Process?

Leads are basically people who need your product or service, come to your website or social media page and identify themselves by providing their contact information in exchange for more information from your business. They have expressed an interest in your offering and have the intention to purchase from either you or a competitor in the future. Therefore a lead is a valuable revenue opportunity for your business.

What is a lead generation process? Put simply, it is the process of identifying and attracting people to buy your products and services.

Lead generation is undoubtedly the most important and yet the most challenging part of any marketing and sales function. However the process of lead generation has been transformed by online marketing, with exciting new ways of finding leads emerging as a result.

There’s a lot more to the lead generation process than just cold-calling or sending out emails, and in this blog, we will dive into the details of what makes a good lead generation system.

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The Lead Generation Basics

Leads are important not just for your marketing team but also for your sales team. A good lead generation system will ensure that marketing is attracting the right quality leads and building a healthy pipeline of leads for sales to act on.

Leads are identified a little differently in marketing and sales teams.

An MQL or Marketing Qualified Lead is a person that has been identified as a potential customer as a result of a marketing-related activity (e.g. subscribed to a mailing list or downloaded collateral).

An SQL or Sales Qualified Lead is a lead that has been validated by a sales rep to be ready to be taken into the next step of the sales outreach process (e.g. scheduling a product demo or a meeting).

Lead generation can use both inbound (creating high-quality content) and outbound (cold calling) techniques however, most marketers and sales reps find better results with inbound marketing methodologies.

What Makes a Good Lead Generation Process?

One of the biggest challenges with lead generation is establishing a process that not only builds a healthy pipeline of leads across the funnel but is also sustainable and scalable over the long-term.

Given that most leads are backed by a revenue target (e.g. generate $ X amount from XX leads) it makes this process even more important for the health of a company.

Let’s look at some tactics that make a good lead generation process-

  • Building an Easy to Navigate Website

A website does more than spread awareness about your business. A well laid out website will function as a credible source of information for your potential customers.

A good website should have information that is relevant and personalized for each of your buyer personas and should also offer a way for prospects to connect with you.

  • A High Conversion Landing Page

A landing page is specifically designed to capture and convert leads. It does this by sharing a valuable and relevant asset to the prospect in exchange for their contact information.

The quality of your landing page will be dependent upon its content, design, call to action, SEO and most importantly what’s on offer (a whitepaper, case study or brochure)

  • A Smart Content Strategy

The quality of content you create will determine the quality of leads you get. High-quality content that is clear, informative and compelling forms the basis of any lead generation process.

A smart content strategy will have content pieces that cater to different stages of your funnel and also solve for problems faced by your buyer personas.

While a case study will work for a lead at the bottom of the funnel evaluating a purchase decision, it might not work as well for a lead at the top of the funnel. Top of the funnel leads are exploring possible options, which makes brochures more suited for them.

Keeping Track of Your Lead Generation Efforts

Measuring the success of your lead generation efforts is an important element of the lead generation process.

Tangible metrics that track how your lead generation tactics are performing are critical. These metrics help you course-correct and highlight areas that need extra attention.

Some metrics you should be keeping track of are –

  • Cost per Lead

The cost per lead is the amount of money you are spending to acquire one lead. It can vary depending upon the lead generation channel you use.

Factor in both one-time costs (such as creating marketing collateral) and recurring costs (marketing automation tools) while calculating the cost per lead.

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  • Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the number of people who are taking an action that you intended them to. This action can be filling out a form or making a purchase.

For most marketers ‘website visitors to leads’ and ‘leads to purchase’ are relevant conversion rates to track.

Building a good website and high conversion landing pages are good places to start on your lead generation journey. As you progress, track how well each of your tactics is working.

Once you have a healthy stream of leads coming in also consider investing in lead scoring and lead nurturing systems. Lead scoring scores your leads depending upon its quality and lead nurturing is a method that ensures your leads don’t fall through the gaps in your marketing funnel.