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Nobody wants to receive a telemarketer’s call about some product at odd times. Regardless of your needs and the product, you will be instantly put off since it is an aggressive form of marketing.
This annoying interruption is exactly why we are discussing lead generation. Having the right information on creating good leads can switch your business from boring, annoying cold callers to the attractive top leaders in the market.
So without further ado, let us start the article by defining lead generation. Then we will discuss good lead practices which will make the difference apparent between the good and the bad leads.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process that attracts and converts people into potential customers i.e. someone who shows interest in your brand, products, and services. Job applications, coupons, blog posts, online content, and live events are all examples of lead generation.
For it to be successful, you need to think of ways through which you can warm up your future clients to your business so that they end up buying your products. Many business owners find lead generation difficult and dispel it for a more traditional form of marketing such as cold calls. But lead generation is not difficult, as you only need to find a way that helps in the transition of a complete stranger to a potential customer. This is where you need good leads.
Why Good Lead Matters?
All leads are not the same. Some strategies successfully convert people into customers while others drive people away. So it is just a matter of identifying the bad ones from the good ones.
A good lead is someone who comes to you with the capabilities and a purpose to do business. Often business owners fail to recognize a suitable lead and send them all down to the sale department for action. This strategy is waste of time since not everyone is willing to purchase your services. What you need to do is direct your entire efforts towards the people who are more likely to do business with you.
Moreover, a bad lead does not necessarily have to be someone who is hesitant to purchase your services. It could also be someone who fails to recognize the value of your product or someone who is not clear about what they want. In such scenarios, you can either ignore them or spend a little time with them to see if you can convert them. But the question remains; how do you tell apart potential customers from time wasters?
Strong Communication or the Lack of It
Communication is the fundamental basics of the lead generation process. This is because you build a strong relationship with your potential clients through communication. Lead generation is more like a conversation. When people are engaged in conversations, they show interest by asking questions, participating and by easily responding. The same can be said about leads.
If a lead is participating in conversations and asking all the right questions, consider it a good lead. On the other hand, if a lead barely acknowledges your presence and rarely replies to your work email, then you can easily identify it as a bad lead.
If a lead is good, the conversation flow will be natural. But if it takes efforts to maintain contact with certain people, then you could reassess your efforts. You can either try another strategy to connect with bad leads or you can save time by ignoring them.
- A Defined Budget
Many times, you will encounter leads that will not have the budget to afford your services. To be more accommodating, you will try to offer them with price cuts. This is not a bad thing but offering too many promos or deals can hurt your business. If a lead is unable to buy services from you at the offered rates, then it is better to cut them lose as accommodating them will hurt the value of your product.
- Means of Doing Business
Another area that could help you in identifying good leads is by assessing a potential lead to see if they have the means to buy your products or services. This can vary based on the lead and the kind of business, but things usually boil down to financial power.
- Decision-Making Power
Some leads may not be good leads if they lack the power to finalize any purchase. Whenever assessing a potential customer, ask yourself ‘who is in charge?’ This is because you do not want to waste your time pursuing a lead only to learn at the end that your lead does not have the authority to make purchases. Such kinds are the bad leads that you need to avoid at all costs.
If you run into a lead that lacks charge, you can ignore them or you can use this person to get connected with someone who holds the power to make a decision. This is because such people can be in contact with the higher tier who can finalize a sale if the offer seems interesting.
All in all, the decision-making factor is something that you should be clear on before pursuing any potential lead. Resist the temptation to make contact with someone who lacks the right power as this lead will go nowhere.
Another great step of identifying the good leads is by filtering and assessing the information that you have gathered from those potential individuals. The usual lead generation process collects information from online forms, account information from websites, social media sites and general communication. This means that you have a plethora of lead information to work with.
Moreover, most of the generation forms contain information regarding the occupation, industry, and education of individuals. On the surface, this kind of information may seem obsolete but you can use it to find any potential lead that is related to your niche or industry.
By assessing such information, you may stumble upon a person who works for someone with whom you want to do business with. Or you can find someone who works in the same industry as yours and may be interested in your services.
In such scenarios, a bad lead will be the one who will have little to no connection with your industry. Since such leads will offer nothing, you should ditch them in order to focus your attention towards the potential leads.
Assessment with Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is a method of identifying leads based on defined criteria. Through this technique, you can assign a numerical value to a lead to find out where they fall in the defined categories such as ‘interested’ or ‘ready to buy.’
Setting the criteria in this method depends on you. But remember to keep it consistent across every department to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Moreover, scoring any individual should be based on the kind of actions they take, the information they share, or at the time they spend while communicating with your team. For example, you can give a higher score to someone who regularly engages with you and shows a keen interest in your company or vice versa.
If you find that the scoring method does not work for you, then we recommend that you tweak the criteria until you find something that is workable. Never give up on the lead scoring method as it helps in transforming your leads into customers.
For more information regarding this section, we recommend this Hubspot article which covers the lead scoring topic in details.
When it comes to pursuing your leads, lead nurturing is a better choice when compared with lead scoring. Instead of deleting contacts that are not showing any interest in your company, lead nurturing allows you to keep in contact with active yet useless leads.
Lead nurturing works by grooming not-so-suitable leads to potential leads by educating them about your products and services. Most of the time, bad leads are such leads that do not belong to your niche or have no interest in buying your services. Coming across such leads mean that you may have to persuade and educate them in order to transform them into a potential client. To ensure that you are nurturing the right lead, look for someone who is actively participating in or reading your content. Since that lead is already interested in your content, they may share your blogs and draw the attention of potential leads to your business.
Although lead nurturing is effective, you need to be careful with strategy as you could be wasting your time. If you are not seeing any improvement in your current bad lead, do not hesitate to cut your contact and focus on other promising individuals.
Also, you can check out this free lead nurturing e-book which can help you in crafting your strategies.
Email marketing is one of the best methods of finding potential leads. With the right email content, you can easily pique the interest of good leads. But how do you identify the potential of each lead?
Assessing emails for finding the right individuals can be a little tricky since there is no way to know whether the recipients have viewed your emails or if they completely ignored them. In the previous years, it would have been difficult to weed out the bad leads. But now there are plenty of online tools and services that can help you differentiate between the leads.
Yesware is one the best email tracking services that inform you when your email has been opened and which links have been clicked. Through such tools, you can track your emails and cut out the names of the individuals from your list who are not viewing your emails.
Moreover, if you do not take steps to remove the unengaged email recipients then you may be hurting your email sender reputation.
Additional Tips for Better Lead Generation
Directing all your efforts towards finding the right lead can be detrimental especially if you are ignoring all the other aspects of your business. Sure a right lead can set everything in motion, but if you are not paying attention to your content or your website design, then surely you will be driving away the potential leads.
To avoid this from happening, you should try to implement these strategies as they will make it a lot easier for you to retain leads.
- Always produce quality content. Through this way, you are not only educating your clients on problems they might face but also providing them with a reliable solution. Great content proves authority and also attracts the desired crowd.
- Keep your website’s design updated. Nothing puts off leads like a badly designed and outdated website. This is why you need to work on not only the layout but the color scheme and the content as well. Also, you should focus on making your website mobile-friendly as you may never know which medium your lead may use to land on your website.
- Use relevant keywords to grab attention. Keywords are the most important thing when it comes to lead generation so you need to integrate them in your content. Take all the time you need to plan out your keyword strategy and implement them into your content.
- Spy on your competitors to learn if they have launched a new product, service or a website design. Moreover, you should always stay updated on your competitors’ progress. If they have some new information on their website, find out how you can apply the same techniques to your business so that you can stay well ahead.
- Invest your time, money and efforts in crafting a CTA that compels users to take action. All of your content marketing and social media marketing will fail if the visitors are unclear on the kind of action they are supposed to take. The conversion will not happen if the users do not know whether you want their contact information or if you want them to sign up to your mailing list. You need to spell it out for them!
A great lead has three components; contact information, interest in your product and the intention of making a purchase. Everything else that does not fit into this category is just a contact (for now).
The difference between a good or a bad lead lies in the assessment process. With the help of certain tools, techniques and strategies, you can get to know which lead has the potential and which lead is not ready for conversion. Even if you see some potential in your ‘bad leads,’ do not be afraid of pursuing them for a limited period of time.
All in all, the conversion process cannot take place if you cannot identify the right leads. Once identified, you should direct your focus towards them as they are the key towards a successful setup.