Important Questions to Ask Before Developing a Lead Generation Strategy

Important Questions to Ask Before Developing a Lead Generation Strategy

Leads are every business’ lifeline. Without being able to generate leads, a business cannot convert interested parties into new customers, and it eventually has to shut its doors.

A business that nurtures its leads creates 50% more sales than those that don’t. This is why top lead generation companies across the world put so much effort into putting in place a strong, stable lead generation strategy.

But, how do you go about creating such a strategy? What are some of the most important questions one has to ask to ensure their lead strategy is effective and profitable in the long run?

In this article, we’ll explore some of those questions. From types of leads to creating your ideal customer profile to putting in motion an effective content marketing strategy, this little guide will give you all the tips and tricks you need to generate leads that will propel your business to the next level.

What types of leads are there and why should you know them?

First things first – let’s give a quick overview of the types of leads you’ll be facing. This isn’t something you haven’t heard before, but it’s important to be able to differentiate between them because focusing on the wrong type of lead can hurt your lead strategy in the long run.

There are, actually, two classifications of leads. One is simpler and differentiates between cold, warm and hot leads, and the other is more elaborate, featuring five leads, including new, working, nurturing, unqualified and qualified leads.

Starting with the first typology, cold leads refer to customers that, though matching your ideal customer profile, aren’t particularly interested in your product at the present time. It’s usually best to push these leads down the line.

However, don’t ignore them completely – 60% of people say no the first four times before agreeing to consider your product, so keep asking.

Just remember to not be pushy, because there is nothing people hate more than an overzealous sales pitch.

Warm leads are those prospects that have engaged with you in one way or another but haven’t yet made the purchase. These leads are worth investing your time into, as, with a few “nudges” in the form of additional content, calls-to-action or presentations, they can become your customers later down the line.

Hot leads, however, are your priorities. These are leads that have expressed interest in your offers, and you should be quick to respond to them and close the sale.

However, be mindful – some of these hot leads aren’t the exact match for your company. They might not fit your exact ideal customer profile, so don’t jump on the opportunity too eagerly.

As for the second typology, it is slightly more nuanced, but it reinforces what we said already. New leads are those that are just interacting with you for the first time. These people are “just browsing,” so it’s too early to classify them as either warm or cold leads.

Working leads are, essentially, warm and hot leads. These are the leads you’re actively working on to convert and who are in the process of deciding on a product to purchase.

Nurturing leads are also warmer leads but not as hot as hot leads. These are the people with whom you’re regularly conversing and gently trying to persuade to offer you their patronage.

Unqualified leads are either cold leads that aren’t interested in your product at all, or hot leads that aren’t a good fit. Qualified leads are your top priorities, as they’ve not only expressed interest but are ready to strike a deal with you.

Who is your audience?

This is the most important question you have to ask yourself. Without knowing the answer to this question, you cannot create a good lead generation strategy.

What you should know, however, is that this question is a two-parter. Knowing your audience involves a) knowing who your target audience is and b) knowing who your ideal customer is.

When it comes to the target audience, it’s pretty self-explanatory – these are the people to whom you want to sell your product. Not only that, but these are the people who will benefit from your products the most and who are the most likely to need your product or service.

Knowing your ideal customer comes down to creating the ideal customer profile (IDC). This involves researching customer behaviour – taking notes of their purchase history, observing how they react to ads, how they interact with content, and a number of other things.

Creating an IDC is important for every business – your ideal customer will be your priority, and your whole lead generation strategy will revolve around marketing to these people in order to draw them in.

What is your content like, and how does it benefit your leads?

Content marketing is one of the most powerful tools a company has in its marketing arsenal. Nearly 80% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy in place, with 60% of top performers having documented their strategies.

Without any content to offer, your business is simply a display of products. Content is there to entice, educate and convince the audience that you are an expert in your industry and that your products reflect that expertise.

Of course, not all content will work for everybody. Consider who your audience is, what kind of content they like to consume, and how much time they have to consume it.

Blogs, for example, are a very effective way of pushing content. Smaller articles (like this one) provide just enough information to the reader to educate them on their query without taking up too much time and overwhelming them with information.

Video content is very powerful too. People like watching videos – so much so that 86% of marketers use them as a marketing tool. Videos take more time to produce than blog articles, but they’re shorter, more memorable and easier to share.

Social media is another tool near and dear to all marketers. The power of social media lies in generating exposure for your business and the relatively high ROI of running such a strategy. It also allows for a more personal interaction with your customers, which is a great advantage when it comes to generating leads.

All in all, the most important thing about content is how it benefits your audience. High-quality content is, ultimately, useful to the reader. It either provides them with the information they were looking for or points them to other relevant sources of that information.

How good are your landing pages?

Landing pages are extremely important for generating leads. They’re your first impression and the first contact a lead has with your business.

Think of your landing page as your sales representative – it needs to grab attention, it needs to answer your lead’s questions concisely and accurately, and it needs to make clear the value of doing business with you.

To achieve all these things, your landing page will need a strong headline, something that will speak to the lead on a personal level, something that will make them instigate a conversation with you.

This is called the Unique Value Proposition (UVP).

The UVP immediately communicates to the visitor what you have to offer and why you should be their first choice when doing business.

A landing page also needs to contain a call-to-action. A CTA is another way of inviting the visitor and leading them into your funnel, and it usually takes the form of a button saying click over here or start shopping now, most likely in a bright color, so it’s easily noticeable.

How good are you at following up?

Following up is an essential part of nurturing your leads. A seed put into the ground might grow on its own, but if you fertilise it, water it and protect it, it will grow stronger and yield a better product in the end.

It’s the same with your leads. In order to build trust with your potential customers, you need to be as communicative as possible and always open to a conversation or a critique.

An excellent way to follow up on leads is to send out emails. Most companies have some sort of email marketing strategy in place for this exact reason.

A warm lead might only need a simple reminder to turn hot – just make sure your email has a touch of personality in it and displays the values of doing business with you in a clear and concise way.

Another way to follow up is to ask for customer testimonials. People tend to trust testimonials a lot when reviewing products – in fact, 88% of people tend to trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.

The reason this works when generating leads is that each testimonial is a vote of confidence for your business.

People don’t trust sales representatives all that much because they know their job is to sell them things. However, if another customer says a business is worth engaging with, then they’re much more likely to engage themselves.

Finally, invest in social media. We already mentioned one of its benefits – the ability to interact with your customers personally.

Inviting people to talk to you, share your posts on other social media and share their experiences is a great way of following up and creating a lot of leads at once.

Aside from these ways of following up, you can also host events, seminars, webinars, attend shows, create referral programs, etc. Each of these is useful for generating leads and proves you’re willing to be transparent and open toward your customers.

Wrapping up

And with that, it’s time we wrap up our little excerpt on what important questions you should ask before forming a lead generation strategy.

As we said in the beginning of the article, generating leads is vital to the survival of your business, so the sooner you find clear answers to these questions, the sooner you’ll be able to create a bulletproof strategy that will help grow your business over a long period of time.

About the Author

Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organisational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for DigitalStrategyOne.

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