Lead generation is a critical task for every business. You need quality leads to expand your customer base and achieve consistent, sustained growth. But lead generation isn’t a straightforward process. As marketing tactics become increasingly sophisticated, lead generation strategies have become more challenging to execute effectively.
When developing and executing your lead generation strategy, there are important items that must be addressed to ensure you achieve your goals. The following guide will help you optimize your lead generation strategy to hit your goals and ensure you’re providing your sales team with quality leads that can turn into the types of clients that will help you grow your business.
Before you can develop your lead generation strategy, you must understand what you’re trying to achieve. Your lead generation goals should align with your overall business growth objectives:
When developing your lead generation goals, it’s always best to focus on quality over quantity. High quality, sales-ready leads are much more likely to convert than generic leads consisting of prospects that may not be truly interested in your products/services or that may not have the budget to take advantage of what you have to offer.
By focusing on qualified leads, you can streamline your efforts and get a better return on your investment. A qualified lead possesses certain characteristics that your team believes will either make them more likely to convert into a customer or more likely to generate your desired level of revenue per customer. Once you determine the criteria for your qualified leads, you can more effectively target this audience with your marketing efforts.
In many instances, you’ll be able to reduce the number of leads you need to generate per month by focusing on qualified leads. For example, if your conversion rate for qualified leads is 20% and your conversion rate for general leads is 10%, you’ll be able to generate the same number of new customers with fewer leads when your sales team is primarily speaking to qualified prospects. In addition, if these qualified leads generate twice as much revenue as non-qualified prospects, then you can achieve your new customer revenue goals with half the number of sales.
In order to improve your lead generation results and hit your goals, you must have a way to measure the performance of your efforts. This requires establishing a series of metrics that will help your team track their success over time.
Some good lead generation metrics to track include:
This refers to the amount of money you spend to acquire a new customer. This cost may include advertising expenses, salaries for your marketing and sales teams, market research costs, and any other financial expenditure associated with the process of bringing on new customers.
This measures the amount of money spent in your marketing campaign to generate a new lead for your sales team to pursue. The cost per lead can vary based on the marketing channel used to generate this lead. For example, the cost per lead may be different for paid search ads (PPC) than Facebook ads. In addition, the cost for each of these may be different than the cost per lead generated by organic SEO.
Knowing your cost per lead helps you determine whether you’re apportioning your marketing budget properly throughout each channel in your campaign to achieve the best ROI.
This metric lets you know how much revenue an average customer will generate over the lifetime of their business relationship with you. Knowing your customer lifetime value will help you make important decisions regarding the monetary resources you invest in acquiring new customers vs. retaining existing customers.
Most lead generation strategies leverage multiple marketing channels to achieve their goals. But not all marketing channels will deliver the same results. Your cost of acquiring a lead may vary significantly from channel to channel.
Understanding the variance in these costs will help you focus your efforts on the channels which bring in the most quality leads at an affordable cost. Without knowing this figure, it’s very hard to understand which marketing channels deliver the best value to your business.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an extremely valuable tool for your business. A CRM manages all of your relationships and interactions with existing and potential customers. If you’re still tracking this information with a spreadsheet, we highly recommend that you upgrade to a CRM as soon as possible.
When fully optimized, your CRM is a powerful tool that can help you maximize your ROI on your lead generation efforts. To get the most out of this software, you should take the following steps:
Often, happy customers can be a powerful lead generation tool. They can offer a more objective assessment of the customer experience you provide than is possible from your internal messaging. They can speak to the quality of your products/services, the level of customer service you provide, and help prospects understand what to expect when they work with you. They also provide their colleagues and other contacts with a trusted source of information.
For this reason, leads generated by customer referrals deliver a much better ROI than leads generated by other marketing channels. Referral leads:
Creating a referral program is an easy way to get your existing customers to spread the word about your business. As part of this program, reward your customers with a discount if they send a new prospect your way.
As part of your marketing efforts, it’s important to create content specifically geared towards lead generation. This may include:
The best way to ensure you’re maximizing the effectiveness of your lead generation content is to perform a content audit. As part of this audit, evaluate:
Once you’re confident that your lead generation content is optimized for conversions, it’s time to put effort into making sure this content is found by your target audience. There are a variety of methods to drive traffic to your lead magnets, and the right solution(s) for you will depend on your overall lead generation strategy.
For example, if your lead generation campaign relies on paid search, you’ll want to identify the right PPC campaigns to target your desired audience. On the other hand, if you’re looking for organic traffic, you’ll need to:
When trying to drive traffic to your lead magnets, always refer back to your buyer personas to ensure you’re using the content types and traffic sources that align with their interests and preferences.
As we discussed earlier, not all leads are created equal. To maximize the ROI on your lead generation efforts, it’s crucial to focus your energy on qualified leads. In addition, you need to take steps to increase the likelihood these qualified leads make it all the way through your sales funnel and become new customers. This is accomplished by scoring and nurturing your leads.
Lead scoring makes it easier to prioritize leads based on whether they are considered qualified. When using lead scoring tools, you have the ability to identify the important factors to use when evaluating the quality of leads. These may include:
Lead scoring can help you focus your efforts on the qualified clients that are most likely to help you grow your business. However, not all of these leads will be ready to become a customer. Therefore, it’s important to implement lead nurturing strategies that will ensure you continuously engage these prospects and move them farther down the sales funnel. While there are a variety of tools that will help you nurture leads, the most effective approach is to use your CRM to manage this task.
Even when you take all of these steps, there will always be room for improvement over time. All lead generation strategies require ongoing adjustments to ensure you’re getting the best ROI on your efforts. Therefore, it’s important to leverage conversion rate optimization techniques that will help you identify the most important and impactful adjustments to make to your strategy.
Conversion rate optimization is a process used to increase the percentage of conversions you achieve from your lead generation efforts. This process involves testing the different conversion elements on your website, landing pages, CTAs, and email marketing content to identify what’s working most effectively and what needs improvement.
There are a variety of conversion rate optimization tools available to help you continuously improve the ROI on your efforts. You should also invest in an A/B testing tool to complement your conversion rate optimization efforts.
All the steps discussed above are designed to help you generate more leads, and more importantly, ensure you’re generating the qualified leads necessary to grow your business. However, these leads won’t do your business any good unless you’re able to turn them into paying customers. To get the most out of your lead generation efforts, you’ll want to devote time to optimizing your sales process as well.
In most situations, the sales process involves an extended journey. Each point in the journey provides an opportunity for your team to build trust with a lead, convey the transformation they’ll experience from your product/service, and get them more engaged with your business. However, each point in the journey also has the potential to create a moment for the lead to lose interest and either stall in the funnel or drop off completely. Optimizing your sales process will help you avoid this pitfall.
To make sure your sales team is equipped to make the most of each opportunity along the journey, you need to constantly evaluate your process and provide coaching to your sales team. Record your sales calls and listen back to them with your sales team. Highlight areas in the call that went well and areas where your sales team failed to answer questions confidently or stay on message. Make updates to your sales script based on the issues you identify when listening to these calls, and provide your sales team with any support necessary to improve the effectiveness of these calls.
Webolutions has been Denver’s leading digital marketing agency since 1994. For nearly three decades, we’ve been providing comprehensive marketing services to help our clients reach their goals and enjoy greater success. Our transformational Intrinsic Multiplier™ Approach has been developed with your success in mind, and it allows you to grow your business faster, smarter and easier.
This unique approach to marketing leads you on a collaborative journey to identify what is special about your company. As part of this journey, we’ll establish your industry leading marketing positioning to clearly differentiate you from your competitors. This information will drive every aspect of your marketing campaign, and it will allow us to craft a customized lead generation strategy that provides an irresistible customer journey geared towards increasing conversions.
At Webolutions, we believe every decision regarding your lead generation strategy should be dictated by the data. To ensure we’re providing the best ROI on your efforts, we’re constantly A/B testing your lead generation strategy and recommending the improvements necessary to improve your results over time.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Webolutions serves clients nationwide from our offices in Denver, Colorado.
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