This mainly happens through digital channels, using inbound marketing techniques and a little bit of old-school outbound marketing (more on that in a minute). Buyers today do so much online information gathering on their own, they’re not so keen on listening to traditional sales pitches. Instead, companies have to meet prospective buyers on their own turf: the internet.
Sales Development reps (SDRs), also often called Inside Sales or Lead Qualification reps, are focused on one thing: reviewing, contacting, and qualifying marketing-generated leads and delivering them to Sales Account Executives. Simply put, SDR teams pass the baton from Marketing to Sales. Why do it this way? Because you want to make sure every single lead Marketing passes to your Sales team is as qualified as possible. Your SDRs should take the time to help each and every lead, offer them value, make a positive impression, create future demand, and become a trusted advisor. This step is critical in the lead generation process because you don’t want to treat your leads as blank faces to be simply questioned, qualified, and harvested.
Let’s begin by with the definition of a lead. What does a lead mean to your company? Many companies have different definitions depending on their sales cycle, but standard definition is a qualified potential buyer who shows some level of interest in purchasing your product or solution. For the leads that fill out a form, they often do so in exchange for some relevant content or a compelling offer.
Consumer behavior changes constantly, and so do opportunities for lead generation. That’s why it’s important to periodically revisit your strategies for capturing leads to take advantage of evolving consumer behavior and technical trends. That said, in addition to establishing a strong online presence, referrals, word-of-mouth recommendations, tradeshows, and networking are all still excellent sources of lead generation. But whether you’re contacting with prospective customers in person or online, you’re going to want to keep track of them digitally. We call that lead management. Let’s walk through getting your business started with it, shall we?
Your lead generation strategy needs to be as dynamic as the people you’re targeting. Trends change, behaviors shift, opinions morph … so should your lead gen marketing. Use A/B split testing to see what CTAs perform best, which landing pages convert better, and which copy captures your target audience. Experiment with layout changes, design, UX, content, and advertising channels until you find what works.
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Lead generation is vital to growing a healthy business. Successful lead gen is equal parts art, science, and perseverance: There’s an art to generating and nurturing leads, plenty of science powering automated lead management tools, and a healthy dose of perseverance involved all along the way. A mere 2% of sales are made on first contact, and most sales only come after a lengthy nurturing process. The need for quality leads — and tools to help you nurture and manage them — is real.