For a small business, generating leads is of the highest importance. There are a lot of ways to generate sales leads, from digital to cold calling, from earned media to direct mail. Each technique has its own merit individually, but collectively they form a coherent lead generation approach. To generate quality leads initially, you would need to determine your target audience with the right combination of channels that make the most sense for your business. Then you craft your messaging and positioning for a campaign that will attract the most qualified leads or appointments for your business.
Here are the five channels that will help you generate leads:
- Outbound Marketing
- Digital Marketing
- Content Marketing & PR
- Direct Marketing
- Appointment Setting
When you launch a lead generation campaign, you should also consider your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) while monitoring its success. KPIs will give a clear view of how your campaign is performing throughout, and the information will allow you to further optimize your campaign. For this blog, we won’t go deep into KPIs. That’s for another day. But generating leads to build a healthy sales pipeline is a strategic exercise that demands the right people, message, process, and platforms. There are some lead generation service providers, like 360 Leads, that leverage an entire team of experts and appointment-setting processes to maximize your pipeline and generate leads for your business.
From multi-channel outbound campaigns to digital-first strategies, a sales lead generation campaign that truly helps our customers usually take on the form of sharing key messaging and a value proposition, acquiring key contact information, qualifying them as prospects, and nurturing them until they convert to a sales appointment or sale. Let’s go through the five-channel approach that will help you generate leads:
Outbound marketing as a channel is a way of reaching out to potential customers and selling a unique value proposition. It’s ideal for businesses that want more control over who they seek to communicate. With outbound lead generation, your business would be able to identify the target audience and reach out to them directly rather than waiting for them to come to you. Recent data from RAIN Group suggested that 70 % of salespeople still connect with prospects and generate meetings over the phone. Also, 57 % of C-level prospects prefer to be contacted via phone. (Crunchbase)
Digital has been a game-changer in the lead generation industry from the dawn of the 21st century. It’s been at the pinnacle of lead generation since then, Neil Patel a well-known digital space guru said, “It’s impossible to ignore the facts on how effective online marketing is — for every $1 spent it averages a return of $44 and that’s impressive!” As a business, it is crucial for digital to be at the forefront of any lead generation campaign you undertake and that you understand the various digital channels like websites, landing pages, SEO and SEM efforts, LinkedIn, and trigger-based marketing automation and email lead generation campaigns.
Content marketing & PR
Believe it or not ‘content is still the king’ so much so that every day 3.3 million blog posts are published in the United States alone. No matter what industry your business serves, one of the best ways to generate high-quality inbound leads is by creating some good content. Content marketing supports inbound lead generation efforts at an innate level. Examples of content marketing include blog posts, articles, newsletters, podcasts, videos, vlogs and so on.
Today, public relations (PR) is much more than just crisis communications and media relations. The definition of PR is broad enough now to include content marketing, influencer marketing, and other forms of communication that you can use to grow leads with external prospects and reduce the churn of current customers.
Getting your story in the right places by garnering earned media opportunities with relevant industry publications online, in print, TV, and radio, is how PR enhances your content marketing lead generation efforts in the grand scheme of things. Public Relations is one of the best tools to generate leads because it can help you to spread your message and establish credibility. It showcases yourself as an industry thought leader and it supports inbound marketing and SEO.
Direct marketing is communicating with customers who have shown interest in your business. In this form of marketing, you communicate directly with your ideal customers through email marketing, telemarketing, direct mail, targeted online ads, and text messaging. Unlike TV advertisements or hoardings that reach a wide range of audiences. A recent study by Fundera found that 70% of consumers find direct mail is more personal than online interactions.
Direct marketing allows you to send more personalized content through a channel your target audience is most likely to engage with. A direct approach to your target audience also helps you address certain challenges in the lead generation funnel, such as minimizing your lead leakage and cutting through the noise of all other marketing messages. Addressing the said challenges is necessary for a sound and comprehensive lead generation strategy.
Business-to-business or B2B appointment setting sits in the outbound marketing family, but we like to bring attention to it, as it’s a business growth strategy where appointment setters (such as sales development reps or other sales team members) contact potential buyers on your behalf, briefly pitch your company’s product or service offerings, and schedule sales appointments on your behalf with prospective clients who have access to budget. During sales appointments, members of your internal sales team can talk one-on-one with a key decision-maker (KDM) and explore how your company could be a good fit for any pain points they are experiencing.
While the idea of B2B appointment setting is simple, it’s not an easy task, no matter how experienced your sales representatives. To have a sustainable and predictable appointment setting program, you need to have a well-thought-out strategy in place and a killer value proposition.