Today we are going to be talking about the four principles of effective lead generation.
Lead generation companies, such as 360 Leads, finds new customers for their clients by connecting them with key decision makers to grow their business, anywhere in the world. 360 Leads integrates digital, direct, outbound marketing and PR & content marketing services to deliver qualified sales leads to customers.
We deliver qualified sales leads to our clients.
Question #1 – four principles for lead generation
Lead generation is a hot topic today with many companies and marketers attempting it, some more successfully than others. What are the four principles for effective lead generation?
There are many ways to perform lead generation but there are 4 key principles that apply to all lead generation activities, they are:
- Target your audience – you have to know who you want to be attracting with your lead generation activities
- Communicate your message – today, communicating your message involves a lot more than just telling your audience who you are or what you are selling. When you communicate your message you have to demonstrate your expertise, communicate the value proposition and show them that you are worth listening to
- Collect Data – lead generation is ALL about collecting data, all of your lead generation activities have to incorporate or support the collection of prospect data, so you can follow up with those leads
- Nurture the leads – This is the last and most often overlooked step. You have to nurture the leads you have collected and build a relationship with them. So many companies spend a lot of time, energy and money on the first 3 steps and stop, then they claim lead generation doesn’t work because they don’t get sales. You have to perform the 4th step of nurturing those leads you have generated
Question #2 – target your audience/personas
These 4 key principles takes some of the mystery away from lead generation. Many of us have heard about the term lead generation and understand the concept, but can’t clearly express what it is. Let us explain each principle in a little more detail for our readers. The first principle is target your audience/personas. With so many different marketing mediums, like a company’s website, social media, etc, how do you target your audience?
Targeting your audience/persona first involves identifying who you want to attract. What are their titles, what industry are they in, how many employees are in the company? Answering those questions begins the process. Then you have to find them…
Question #3 – where to find your audience
How do you go about finding them with all the information available today and all of the different social media sites?
All the information actually makes it easier to find those prospects today than it was in the past. Here are a couple of examples.
- Most business people are on LinkedIn today and the LinkedIn search function allows you to search by title and geography, use it to look for the prospects you want to target
- When you find them, look at their profile and see what groups they are in
- Those groups are where you will want to communicate your message by sharing valuable insights
- If you are a Twitter fan you can search Twitter bios
- Websites like FollowerWonk.com to search Twitter bios by geography
- When you find the Twitter prospects you want to target, follow them and when the time is right communicate your useful message (don’t start with a hard sell)
- Companies should be using Google Adwords to find people interested in their product or service
- Knowing who your prospects are and what they quote “look like”, then you select the words they would use to search for your product or service offering
- Purchase those key words on Google targeting by city, time of day and day of the week and drive them to your landing pages
- Even a company’s website should be targeted to those people you are trying to attract
After you have found the prospects to target you begin crafting your message.
Question #4 – communicate your message
No matter your company size, these tips apply to sales reps, small business owners and larger companies. A lot of people can find their prospects but they think the 2nd step of communicating your message is difficult and expensive. How does a sales rep or small business communicate their message?
Many business owners struggle with the 2nd step but they don’t have to today. The 2nd step is about demonstrating your expertise, which is the message you are communicating. For instance, let’s go back to social media.
- On LinkedIn you want to demonstrate your expertise by sharing or writing articles about your industry, expertise while focusing on your value proposition
- That sounds easy enough, but how do you find the time to write them or where do you find the articles to share? Google to the rescue again – set up Google alerts for keywords related to your industry
- Google will deliver those alerts to your email every day. The alerts will comprise websites, new stories and blog entries, your job is to scan them and read the best of them
- When you find a good article applicable to your business share it on LinkedIn
- Or if you want an article that is customized for your business, find a company to write if for you – Our team at 360 Leads does that for some of our clients
- Voila you look like the expert
- If you like Twitter, using those same Google alerts, you will find that many of the blog posts will have statistics all ready for you to Tweet with the click of a link
- Use them – the writer wants the exposure and you want to be viewed as the expert
Newsletters & Emails
- All businesses should be on LinkedIn and Twitter but they should also be communicating their message via e-newsletters and drip emails
- Demonstrate your expertise in your company newsletter and in your email offers that you send to your prospects and customers
- This should be done to both prospects and customers, you want to continue nurturing those relationships by communicating regularly
- If you are using email be careful to adhere to the SPAM laws, just about every country has them and there are expensive fines for breaking the laws
- In the US it is called CAN-SPAM, in Canada it is CASL, in Australia it is the SPAM ACT and in the UK it’s the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations
Just remember when you communicate your message, make sure you are providing a way to collect data from your prospects.
Question #5 – do research and collect data
People do so much research themselves today before they begin to engage in the buying process, demonstrating your expertise is very important. It makes you stand out from the crowd. Now for the 3rd principle – how should companies collect data in their lead generation activities?
Many companies either don’t collect data from their prospects or if they do collect data they don’t use it effectively. Collecting data is the key to lead generation! You have to be constantly collecting data if you want a continual stream of qualified leads in your pipeline. There are so many ways to do this, too many to mention now. But…
- In the social world, you should be tracking who is following your company on LinkedIn or Twitter
- For sales reps and small business owners, know who is viewing your profile
- There is a wealth of information you can collect from social media and use in your lead generation activities
- An overlooked source of information is your email signature
- You can embed links and downloads into your email signature that can be tracked using software
- That software will tell you who visited your website or your company LinkedIn page from your email signature
- That is very valuable information to collect and then use in your nurturing activities
- With your Google Adwords campaign, direct those people who click on your ad to a high quality landing page
- On the landing page make them an offer, something for free (a download or a free service, whitepaper or case study)
- For them to get the free offer they have to provide you with their data like their name, email and company
- Even your company’s website should be a source to collect data on your prospects
- Offer your newsletter, whitepapers, make the same free offering from your landing page on your website and in exchange collect their company, name and email address
You should now have a plethora of data – companies, people and email addresses. Make sure you USE the data and NURTURE those leads.
Question #6 – nurture your leads
Once you collect all that data and information about your prospects, what do you do with it? How do you nurture those leads?
The word nurture means “to care for and encourage the growth and development of someone”. Nurturing in a business context is “encouraging a prospect to develop into a customer”. Prospects will be encouraged to become customers if they have a need that you demonstrate you can fill. You can do that by further demonstrating your expertise and putting yourself in your prospects shoes, showing you understand their needs.
- On social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter you have to nurture and develop a relationship
- Comment on and Like the LinkedIn posts of your prospects
- On Twitter re-tweet your prospects tweets, show that you care about them
- They will then watch you and give you a chance to further demonstrate your expertise
- In business so much is done via email, but often times email is not used to just keep in touch or send a personal note
- A company should use the email addresses of prospects it has collected to provide them with valuable information, newsletters, whitepapers, etc. (it’s not always about the hard sell)
- Automated email software or services like direct marketing can also improve the nurturing process if used properly
- Don’t forget what you carry around in your pocket, a phone
- Most people use their phones for everything except talking on it
- Pick up the phone and keep in touch with prospects, nurture the relationship
- Company’s might need a reason to call. Consider doing a survey: a customer satisfaction survey for customers
- For prospects do a research based survey finding out their challenges in relation to your industry or product
- Share the findings with them, it’s a way of showing you understand their needs
- Make appointments for your sales reps, have a company call your prospects and try to set up appointments for your sales reps to meet with them
As part of the lead generation process, there are so many ways to nurture relationships, you have to think about your industry and get a little bit creative.