Lead generation isn't an art. It's science. There are lead generation strategies that work and those that don't. While every company and audience is a little different, here are 6 you may be falling for right now.
1. You Can Turn Lead Gen on and Off
You've established some sales funnels. They look like this....
1 -- People click an ad.
2 --They convert to a lead.
3&4 -- You follow up... and again.
5 -- Sales closes.
6 -- You slow advertising to adjust the flow when you have enough leads coming in from the top.
While this seems straightforward and 100% under your control, this is not how lead generation works in the real world.
The average person in your target audience will interact with your brand 7-12 times before becoming a customer, per Gartner. Similarly, SalesForce says you need at least 7-8 touches before someone becomes a lead.
Before becoming a lead, your visitors consume helpful content, check out your reputation, and engage with personalized email offers and social media. Together, all of these build trust and persuade this person to buy.
Well-defined sales funnels are still important as far as lead generation strategies go. But your audience needs consistent, ongoing interaction with you to become a lead and progress through the buyer's journey.
If you turn lead generation on and off as needed, they are likely to forget about you and move on.
2. You Just Need One Great Ad Campaign to Deliver Leads
Ad campaigns can deliver some quick returns, but they alway come at a price. Unless you're building trust in a more holistic branding strategy, you have no way to bring your customer acquisition costs down. You pay for every click.
Pay per click is certainly important for most lead generation strategies. But alone, it's a costly way to generate leads.
Instead of thinking about your next big stand-alone campaign, think about how everything works together -- your blog, social media, email, and your next great ad campaign.
3. You Should Target the Majority
People buy in line with the adoption curve.
- Innovators: Big risk-takers want to try what's new
- Early Adopter: Relatively high-risk-takers who want to say they did it "before it was cool"
- Early Majority: Moderate risk-takers who see that it's working for some people, and they'll give it a try
- Late Majority: Low-risk individuals who want to see the proof and are often hard to convince
- Laggards: Sometimes seen as stubborn, they're cautious and often late to the game
If you are a new player or your lead generation strategies just haven't taken off, you may need to refocus on the innovators and early adopters in your target audience.
Ask any salesperson.
You can waste a lot of time and money trying to convince the late majority and laggards to come on board before you have customer-based proof.
Delight the early adopters, get some fantastic reviews, and then you can branch out to a wider target audience.
And while we're on the topic, make sure you have a clearly-defined buyer persona to target. Employ real customer data to learn who your ideal customer is. These ideal customers come to you because you're creating and promoting content that speaks directly to their issues and goals. They need what you sell, see its value and buy with less work from marketing and sales.
4. Content (or a Website) Automatically Generates Leads
Sorry. Simply creating a Facebook business page is not the same as building a social media presence. But it's a start.
Similarly, publishing a blog post or creating a beautiful out-of-the-box website won't generate leads. Whether you need lead generation for real estate or B2B services, these critical components of your lead generation marketing strategy only work if you have a plan to drive traffic to them and systematically convert that traffic into leads.
The content you produce must:
- Know who it's for (Buyer Persona)
- Be useful to your target audience
- Connect with that buyer persona
- Align with where that person is in the Buying Cycle (Buyer's Journey)
- Be optimized with clearly defined lead generation paths
5. The Best Leads Are FREE
Referrals are awesome. Word-of-mouth is great. Social media is free, right? Online reviews just happen. Many believe these "free" lead generation sources are actually free.
All of these sources can deliver quality leads. But you'll struggle to consistently generate leads unless you're investing in your online reputation, increasing reviews, social media presence, and promoter activity among delighted customers. That takes both time and money.
But here's the BIG secret. It's worth it.
These tactics can significantly increase your ROI because they build trust and visibility for your brand.
6. Once You Optimize the Sales Funnel, Leave It Alone
It takes a lot of work to optimize a sales funnel. A/B testing. Analytics. Competitor analysis. Surveys. And more.
You can create sales funnels that align with the buyer's journey to attract your ideal customers and reliably generate quality leads. This effort is never wasted. But the work is also never done.
You must continue to monitor your sales funnels to ensure they continue to deliver on their promises. Social media algorithms can shift. Consumer preferences evolve. Sales funnels must adjust with them to win at lead generation.
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