Are you curious about what it takes to close a deal and generate revenue for your company?
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Do you want your business to soar? Then, it's a no-brainer that you've given lead generation some serious thought as it's the base of any successful sales and marketing blueprint.
Now, what is lead generation in sales? It refers to the procedure of piquing the interest of prospective clients to boost future sales. As such, it plays a vital role in your business's sales process.
But is it enough to generate leads ONLY? NO!
It would be best if you specifically focused on high-quality leads. Why? Only then you'll have higher chances of converting them into paying customers.
In fact, it takes an average of 6-8 touches to generate a VIABLE sales lead.
Yes, it takes effort to attract good leads. Hence, it’s obvious why 61% of marketing pros still consider lead generation one of their top challenges.
Below are some more interesting statistics:
- 61% of marketing pros consider lead generation one of their top challenges.
- 85% of B2B companies identify lead gen as the most critical marketing objective.
- 25% of marketers find it challenging to calculate conversion rates.
- 34% of salespeople say lead qualification is a primary challenge.
- Over 40% of marketers find insufficient resources the biggest hurdle to generating leads.
- A staggering 79% of leads fail to convert into sales.
- 53% of marketers allocate at least 50% of their budget to lead-gen efforts.
So, how can you boost your probability of acquiring quality leads? For starters, understand the multiple stages of the lead-gen cycle. You can then gauge the various stages involved in the process and make improvements accordingly. However, before going there, let’s explore lead generation in greater detail.
So, first up –
What Are the Two Types of Lead Generation?
Lead generation can be broadly categorized into two types:
- Inbound Lead Generation
- Outbound Lead Generation
What Is Inbound Lead Generation?
Inbound lead generation typically involves leveraging digital channels to drive traffic to your website or other online properties. Some of these approaches include –
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content creation
Once on your website, visitors can be converted into leads by offering them relevant content, such as:
– In exchange for their contact information.
Inbound lead generation aims to create a sustainable and scalable source of new leads.
By building trust and credibility with your target audience.
What Is Outbound Lead Generation?
Outbound lead generation involves proactively reaching out to potential customers, typically through methods such as:
- Email marketing
- Direct mail
Inbound Vs. Outbound: Which Is the Better Lead-Gen Approach?
Both inbound and outbound lead gen is essential for generating profitable prospects. However, outbound approaches are particularly more beneficial as compared to inbound methods. Why?
- For targeted approach: Outbound lead generation allows you to target specific demographics likelier to be interested in your product/service. This can save time and resources compared to waiting for leads to come to you.
- Increased control: Outbound methods give you more control over the quantity and quality of leads you generate. You can adjust your approach based on feedback as needed.
- Direct communication: Outbound lead gen enables you to communicate and engage with potential clients directly. As such, you can answer questions, address concerns, and build relationships.
- Increased sales: Outbound approaches can lead to increased revenue. How? By proactively reaching out to potential customers, you can identify their needs and tailor your sales pitch accordingly.
- Competitive advantage: By being proactive and contacting leads before your competitors, you can establish your brand as a leader in your field.
- Lower costs: Outbound lead generation can often be implemented with lower expenses. For example, email marketing, cold calling, or direct mail campaigns can be cost-effective and provide a high return on investment (ROI) if executed correctly.
However, outbound lead generation services can require more resources and effort. Extensive data gathering, prospecting, and lead qualification are often needed. But the potential benefits can make it well worth the investment.
Next up –
What Is a Lead Generation Funnel?
Defining the lead generation funnel is a crucial aspect of your business. It involves the steps of building a list of potential customers expressing interest in your product or service. In turn, these leads hold the possibility of converting into profitable buyers.
Now, each step of the lead-gen cycle comes with a unique set of:
– to execute effectively.
As such, comprehending and mastering the lead generation process is essential. You can then rest assured that you’ll successfully drive profitable leads to your business.
To help you in attracting the most qualified leads, today, we’ll explain the four major stages of your lead generation cycle.
What Are the 4 Primary Steps in a Lead Generation Funnel?
You can divide your lead-gen process into four major steps. Once you implement our approaches in the correct sequence, you can attract profitable clients easily and quickly.
So, join us for our 4-step tutorial. Learn how to optimize your lead generation strategy and take your business to new heights!
Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience
By understanding your target audience, you're better positioned to design personalized outreach messaging that resonates with them. After all, it's all about deeply connecting with your potential customers. Plus, you’re speaking directly to their pain points and desires.
This, in turn, increases the likelihood that they'll be interested in your products or services and ultimately become paying buyers. Additionally, knowing your core demographic can guide you in making more informed decisions. For instance:
- Where should you allocate your marketing resources?
- Is your product a viable solution to a specific client’s problem?
Researching and gathering information about your core demo can be done in a variety of ways. Here are a few effective methods:
- Conduct surveys or polls to gather feedback directly from your target audience: You can use tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to create and distribute your survey.
- Analyze website data to gain insights into your audience's behavior: Tools like Google Analytics can provide information on demographics, interests, and other valuable metrics.
- Monitor social media activity: You can do this to see what your target audience is saying about your brand or your industry. Social listening tools like Hootsuite or Mention can help you stay on top of the conversation.
- Conduct market research: Study and gather information on industry trends, preferences, and needs. You can now better understand your target audience's major problems and their respective solutions.
Step 2: Develop a Value Proposition
A value proposition is a statement that communicates the unique benefits that your product or service provides to your target audience.
It's essential to have a strong value proposition. Why? It sets you apart from your competitors. Plus, it can convince potential customers to choose you over other options.
In fact, as per HBR, a strong value proposition drives long-term customer loyalty.
The above stat demonstrates how critical it is to have a robust value proposition. So, how do you develop a value proposition that resonates with your target customers? Here are a few tips:
- Understand your audience's pain points: Use your research about your target audience to identify significant challenges. Your value proposition should communicate how your product or service can help to solve these issues.
- Highlight your unique selling proposition (USP): What differentiates your product or service? Is it your price, quality, or features? Be sure to highlight your USP in your value proposition.
- Keep it straightforward: Have a short, easy, and crisp value proposition. Avoid using technical jargon or buzzwords your core demo may be unfamiliar with.
Here's an example of a strong value proposition from Dropbox:
This statement clarifies the unique benefits of using Dropbox, including fire safety, synchronization, and smooth sharing.
Step 3: Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is an incentive you offer potential customers in exchange for their contact information. It could be a free e-book, checklist, webinar, or any other valuable content that your target audience would find useful.
In fact, a lead magnet is extremely important. It can help:
- Build your email list
- Establish your brand as a thought leader
- Lead to more sales
In fact, businesses with a strong lead generation strategy see a 55% increase in leads. This implies the importance of an effective lead magnet – that can help generate more leads.
Next, how do you design a result-oriented lead magnet that entices potential clients to engage with your brand? Here are a few tips:
- Make it valuable: Your lead magnet should be something your target audience would be willing to pay for. It should be high-quality and offer practical tips, advice, or strategies your core demo can implement immediately.
- Keep it straightforward: Your lead magnet should be easy to read, watch, and consume quickly. Make it shorter and simple, or avoid losing the attention of your target audience.
- Make it visually appealing: Your lead magnet should be well-designed. Use images, graphics, and colors to make it stand out. Only then it’ll grab the attention of your target audience.
Step 4: Multi-channel Campaigns for Capturing Leads
Now that you have your lead magnet, the next step is to drive leads from it. Let’s say you own the most valuable lead magnet in the world. But will it be any good if no one sees it? No.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to drive more visitors to your magnet.
You can use:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising
– and many other methods to reach your target audience. We recommend you utilize a multi-channel approach for driving traffic.
Relying on just one method can limit your reach.
For example, you can promote your lead magnet on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to reach a wider audience. You can also use email marketing to promote it to your existing subscribers. Additionally, you can use paid advertising on Google to target a specific audience based on their:
Remember: Your end goal is to attract as many potential clients as possible. So, don't limit yourself to just one channel.
The Transition From Lead Generation to Sales Cycle:
The above-mentioned four steps of your lead-gen funnel focus on your marketing team’s efforts to convert a stranger into a lead. So, let’s assume that an acquisition has been made.
Next, your sales team is responsible for turning a lead's interest into action.
By providing a satisfactory experience that encourages long-term loyalty. And this is where the sales process begins – which again comprises multiple stages.
So, let’s now explore the steps involved at the end of the sales, handled by your SDRs.
What Is a Sales Cycle?
A sales cycle involves turning a qualified lead into a paying customer. And your SDRs must master this process in depth.
The sales cycle typically consists of several stages – similar to the lead-gen process.
During each stage, you'll need to deeply understand your prospect's:
- Pain points
– and tailor your approach accordingly.
By effectively guiding your prospect through each stage of the sales cycle, you can:
- Build trust and credibility
- Establish a relationship
- Close the deal
What Are the 6 Stages of the Sales Cycle?
Before starting, here’s something to note. The length and complexity of your sales cycle can vary widely depending on your:
- Product or service
- Target audience
You can successfully navigate the sales cycle and drive revenue for your business by:
- Staying organized
- Utilizing effective communication and relationship-building skills
- Adapting to the specific needs of each prospect
Step 1: Prospect
First up, identify your potential prospects from your lead-gen list. Your SDRs can contact the marketing team (via calls/email) – to get more details about the collected leads.
Focus on those who can be converted into profitable customers. Note that during the prospecting stage, it's critical to have a solid understanding of the product/service you intend to sell.
Next, think about how your offering will benefit your clients. You can identify potential customers by answering key questions such as:
- What does your product do that no one else's product does?
- What problem or issue does your product overcome or solve?
- What is your customer’s timeline for making a decision/implementing a solution?
- Who are the key decision-makers in your targeted companies?
- What solutions have your clients tried in the past to address their challenges?
After gathering this information and tracking your interactions, you can easily pinpoint your ideal prospects. Remember, prospecting is an essential step – because it lays the foundation for the rest of your sales process.
Step 2: Contact and Qualify Potential Customers
To contact potential customers:
Depending on the type of prospect and business, you may choose to contact them via:
- A phone call
- An email
- A traditional sales letter
During this initial contact, your goal is to establish a connection and set up a more formal meeting. You should not give your full sales pitch at this stage.
To qualify your customers:
This stage involves vetting the client as much as possible. Do note that most qualifying typically occurs during the first sales meeting.
Qualifying leads can help save you time and resources. How? You only want to pitch to qualified leads. However, you'll need to determine if:
- Your contact person is a decision-maker
- Whether they're interested in purchasing your product or service
If your prospect is not in a position to make decisions or purchases, you can politely ask to include a manager or superior in the meeting.
Step 3: Nurture Your Leads With Email Marketing
Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach and relate to your audience. In fact, it’s one of the most popular channels for nurturing leads. Research shows 81% of businesses use email to drive customer acquisition.
To create an effective email marketing campaign, start by segmenting your email list based on factors such as:
This allows you to send more targeted and relevant content to each group. Next:
- Craft compelling subject lines and personalized messages that speak directly to your audience's pain points and needs.
- Incorporate a persuasive call to action (CTA) to encourage your audience to take action.
An example of effective email marketing is a welcome email sequence. For instance, let’s assume someone signs up for your email list or downloads your lead magnet. You can set up a series of automated emails that introduce them to your brand.
You can also provide valuable content and encourage them to take the next step in the sales process. These emails can help build trust and establish your brand as an authority in your industry. The result? It’ll lead to more conversions and sales.
Step 4: Present Your Solution
Now, it's time to present your product or service. This is the most critical stage in the sales cycle and requires careful preparation. Remember, your goal is to present your offering as a solution to the customer's problem.
- Be ready to demonstrate how using your product will improve day-to-day operations for the customer.
- Also, highlight how your company does it better than anyone else.
During the presentation, you're also selling yourself. Your body language, mannerisms, and appearance can all influence a sale. Now, 90% of the meetings are held virtually over video-conferencing tools like Zoom. So, it’s wise to be equipped with some smart video-calling etiquette, such as –
- Dressing appropriately and professionally
- Choosing a quiet and well-lit location
- Testing your audio and video before the call
- Being punctual and ready to start the call on time
- Avoiding multitasking and focusing on the conversation
Step 5: Address Objections and Book Appointments
Next, you need to manage and overcome any objections your potential customer may have. Even the most interested prospects will have concerns or hesitations. These may include:
- The price being too high
- The contract being too limiting
- The terms not being favorable
— and so on
Hence, ask for context to their objections. Then, understand the root cause of their concerns.
- Are they carrying over reservations from a previous business deal gone bad?
- Have they had negative experiences with similar products or services in the past?
Listen carefully to their concerns. Next, let them know that you understand where they are coming from. Then, adjust your pitch to address and overcome those concerns.
Once you’re ready with your pitch, it’s time to book an appointment. Usually, your SDRs will schedule appointments with targeted decision-makers and AEs (account executives) – responsible for closing deals.
Now, before moving on, let’s help you with some tried-and-tested appointment-setting techniques:
- Prepare an agenda to ensure your meeting stays on track and is productive
- Use a clear and concise message to grab your prospect’s attention
- Emphasize the value and benefits of your product or service
- Offer specific date and time options for the appointment
- Send a calendar invitation and confirmation email
Step 6: Close the Sale With Effective Sales Techniques
Great job in getting this far! Now it's time for the ultimate step - closing the deal. This is the point where all your efforts coincide. After all, you've spent time:
- Prospecting and qualifying customers
- Nurturing your prospects
- Offering a great solution
- Handling tough objections
After all, this is critical to your bottom line. It’s the end goal of your entire lead generation sales cycle. But, 35% of salespeople say closing is the most critical part of the sales process.
So, what’s the solution? Get equipped with effective sales techniques. You ought to anticipate any objections that may arise. You MUST have strategies in place to overcome them.
You also need to provide social proof, such as testimonials from satisfied customers. Why? To show potential clients the value of your product or service. Here are some techniques that can help AEs close the sale:
|Assumptive Close||Assumes that the customer has already agreed to the sale, and the process becomes more about finalizing the deal.|
|Urgency Close||Creates a sense of urgency to encourage the customer to make a decision quickly.|
|Alternative Close||Presents the customer with two options and asks them to choose one, both leading to a sale.|
|Summary Close||Summarizes the benefits and value of the product or service and how it meets the customer's needs.|
Using these tips helps move your potential clients further down the sales funnel and towards a purchase.
Bonus! Retain Customers and Encourage Referrals
Why should you retain customers? You can then encourage them to refer others to your brand. This extra stage is crucial to long-term success. After all,
- Repeat customers spend 67% more on average than new customers.
- Plus, referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate than those acquired through other means.
To retain customers:
- Provide excellent customer service and personalized experiences.
- Continue to offer value after the initial sale. You can do this through ongoing communication, loyalty programs, and exclusive offers.
Encouraging referrals is also an effective way to grow your customer base. In fact, word-of-mouth referrals are the most trusted form of advertising. 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.
To encourage referrals, consider offering incentives. These can include discounts or freebies – to both the referrer and the new customer.
Here are some tips for retaining customers and encouraging referrals:
- Provide excellent customer service and personalized experiences
- Continue to offer value after the initial sale through ongoing communication, loyalty programs, and exclusive offers
- Implement a referral program with incentives for both the referrer and new customer
- Monitor customer satisfaction and address any issues promptly
- Maintain a positive online reputation through reviews and social media engagement.
Wrapping It Up
A well-designed and executed lead generation to the sales cycle is crucial for the success of any business. By following our 10-step process, you can create a system that:
- Brings in high-quality leads
- Nurtures them into customers
- Keeps them coming back for more
Remember that the process takes time and effort. But the rewards are worth it. Using our clever tips, you can gain a competitive advantage and grow your business.
Now, if you're looking to streamline your lead-gen process and get more results, consider Revnew as your go-to place. We offer a suite of tools and services that can help you optimize your sales funnel and convert more leads into customers.
With Revnew, you can track progress, analyze data, and make informed decisions that drive growth. Sign up today and take your lead generation to the next level.