Lead generation is often high on the list of business leaders as a key indicator of marketing success, but let’s be honest, the main reason we want leads is to increase our revenue.
Is there anyone out there running a business who’s saying “I don’t need more leads”?
NO! Because we all need them. We all want to generate leads and find new customers.
The goal with leads is to encourage people new to your business to take action when they are interested in your product and/or service. This action allows you to interact with and nurture them through the remainder of the sales process and convert them to customers.
But before you start generating those leads, you’ve got to ask yourself – have you done everything you can to capture, process, and nurture your leads properly?
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION, YOU’RE NOT READY.
Here’s the good news: you can get there. We’ve put together the three things you should have in place before you start the lead generation process
#1 – A Website That Captures Data
Considering your website is likely the first place a potential customer is going to visit when they want to know more about you, it has to be optimized to not only attract leads, but to capture them as well.
Some of the things you need to be paying attention to :
Site Load Time – Don’t underestimate the power of a quickly loaded site. Your site load time can literally make or break your lead generation efforts. Even a one-second difference can have a huge impact on traffic performance. It’s true!
Pages that load within 2 seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, while pages that load in 5 seconds see their bounce rates skyrocket to 38%.
And don’t forget about mobile! It is a significant method of browsing in today’s digital on-the-go world and needs to be optimized too.
CTAs – Strategic calls-to-action (CTAs) are a tactic that successful marketers use to guide visitors through the buying journey improving the customer experience and directly impacting conversion rates. It’s all about being clear and concise and providing value. The best call to action phrases offer something the user needs, whether in the form of information, services or goods. You’ve got to know your audience and what they want to create effective CTAs.
- Your CTAs should be conspicuous, accessible, and appealing to your audience
- Use a strong CTA that creates a sense of urgency with words like “now” and “today” to increase conversions.
- Use action words such as Join, Unlock, Begin.
- Widen the white space surrounding the CTA text so it stands out
- Don’t confuse your visitors with too many CTA options. Less is more when it comes to choices.
- Ask for the minimum amount of information required to start effective follow-up communications.
- If you have several target markets, use unique landing pages for each conversion ask. Businesses with 30 or more landing pages generate seven times the conversions.
- Provide Instant gratification but realize it requires you to have a deep understanding of your audience and their pain points.
- Create an offer they can’t refuse. For example, a great CTA for a meal delivery service would be “First Meal Free”. Now that’s a button they are likely to click. Everybody loves FREE!
#2 – A Process for Organizing and Segmenting that Data
Now that you know how to motivate users to take action through highly effective CTAs, the next question is, do you have the capability to collect information from them? If not..
STOP EVERYTHING YOU’RE WORKING ON AND DO IT NOW!
How? Well to start, you need a form (with at least 1 form field) and a place for the information to go when a user fills it out and submits it. There are several options for this process:
- SOMEWHAT EFFECTIVE: the user’s information is sent to you through an email
- EFFECTIVE: the user’s information is captured in a database of some sort, whether it’s an excel spreadsheet or cloud-based platform
- MOST EFFECTIVE: You have automation set up to capture the user’s information in a database/CRM system, send a notification to the person responsible for contacting the user AND send a follow-up email to the user with a further action
Collecting data and using it effectively is one of the most important steps in the lead generation process.
Doing so will give you a peek into who your customers really are, where they are coming from and what they are looking for. Once you start to understand these things, it allows you to identify opportunities for future planning and retargeting. And just because you got someone’s email address, doesn’t mean you’re done. Segmenting your data is key.
Collecting data without segmenting is like buying several pieces of IKEA furniture, dumping all of the parts and hardware into one big pile and then trying to put it together without instructions.
Manually searching for relevant leads is time that could be used for more complex, high-value work. Tools that use data to create segmented lists automatically empower sales reps to scale their efforts with far less work. Also, sending the right messages to the right audience prevents unsubscribes and unengaged leads.
#3 – A Customer Relationship Management Platform You Actually Use
In order to easily segment, acquire and manage your data well, you need a CRM. Raise your hand if you have a CRM, but you and/or your sales team aren’t utilizing it. We know you’re out there. C’mon, admitting you have a problem is the first step towards change.
THIS IS IMPORTANT FOLKS -YOU NEED TO BE USING YOUR CRM!
Your business is unique in terms of its processes, customer base, and growth dynamics, so your choice of CRM is also unique to you. It’s not about which CRM is the best, the cheapest, or the newest. It’s about using one that works for your business and your staff. There is no right or wrong answer here – unless of course, your current CRM system is an Excel spreadsheet. Then we need to talk.
The most important thing you can do with your CRM is to have a highly visible process in place so everyone is on the same page working from the same playbook. Standard operating procedures can go a long way when you’re working in complex platforms like these. Processes bring order and help to define roles. The last thing you need is a breakdown of communication when a lead is moving through your sales funnel.
Another great tip we’ll let you in on…make sure your CRM system integrates with other applications. Your CRM should streamline your business operations, not divide them. If you’re housing leads in 3 different platforms that don’t sync together, you’re working harder and not smarter. And who wants to do that?
Make sure you can engage with your leads through every phase of your sales funnel in the lead generation process by seamlessly integrating with your ERP or other accounting software, HR software, your own website and web forms, billing and e-commerce platforms to register transactions, as well as marketing solutions and automation.
So many businesses want to jump right into these “get leads quick” schemes but forget to take the time to put these more foundational items in order. Jumping in too quickly can mean a lot of lost opportunities and a lot of money spent for little return.
Making these updates, processes and solutions also helps set you up for future leads that come in through other sources and campaigns.
And remember – no lead is going to magically turn into a customer. Leads are only as good as your nurturing efforts. Place segmented leads into a workflow so they don’t forget about you and deliver valuable content to them that matches their interest.