Lead generation has been one of the most important and difficult processes for a long time now. Businesses of all sizes and across all sectors rely on new leads coming in so that they can research the opportunities and assess which are the most suitable leads to go after in order to grow.
The problem is, not every lead turns into a piece of new business and a signed contract, and you’re back to square one. When this happens it can be disheartening, especially for new business teams who invest so much time and effort into each lead only to fall at the pitch stage (if they’re fortunate enough to get that far). One thing you can take heart from here is that you’re generating the leads in the first place, which is something a lot of businesses struggle with.
Finding a new business opportunity and then getting to speak to the right person about it is incredibly difficult, and you’re often faced with significant hurdles along the way like gatekeepers, resource and budget which all make it very hard to generate leads initially and then follow-up on them to the point where you can get a brief, pitch slot and opportunity to present to your prospect.
Lead generation does work without cold-calling
There are a number of ways in which you can go about lead generation, and one of the most popular for many years has been simply picking up the phone and ringing around businesses seeking to establish whether or not they might be interested in your products or services. The problem here, however, is that a lot of people are not receptive to “cold-calling” and immediately put the phone down or ask for you to never contact them again.
So what do you instead? Well that’s what we’re going to look at today. Instead of facing the prospect of cold-calling everyone you can think of, here are a few lead generation techniques that you can try that will open up conversations with interested prospects.
- Live chat. A function that has been around for a number of years now, live chat is an ideal opportunity for people to engage with you with immediate thoughts. They’re already on your website which shows that they’re interested in what you do and have to offer, so now is the opportunity to answer their questions and even arrange to have a phone conversation or virtual meeting to discuss their needs and explain how your business can help.
- Sales intelligence platforms. Lead generation, as we’ve already mentioned, is difficult enough when you don’t have much to go on, and that’s why sales intelligence platforms like Meet Hugo exist - to take the legwork out of the lead generation process.
Providing users with key information such as the type of lead, the location of the prospect, its value and even who to contact and how to get hold of them, makes a huge difference to new business teams and helps to streamline the whole lead generation process. Rather than spending months searching and cold-calling, you can go into your account and find a lead that is perfect for you and then reach out to the person or business directly to find out more and start a conversation about how you can help them.
- Specialist landing pages and gated content. When you build a new landing page on your website it needs to have a purpose. Either it is the home to information and resources, or it is designed for a specific campaign - like lead generation.
A lot of businesses create a landing page based on a promotion and provide a snippet of information, and ask users to enter their details so that they can download a resource - such as a video, an eBook or a white paper - that isn’t available anywhere else on the site, and in return the business can take the person’s contact information and add them to an email marketing list. This list can then be used to send messages to people who have recently engaged with your site, and your content, to find out what they thought of the resource and if they’re interested in learning more about you and your range of services.
- Webinars and events. Live in-person events haven’t been possible for more than a year now, but online events and webinars have been great for brand awareness and engaging with your audience. Being able to speak to people who are interested in your product or service can help to turn them from interested to invested, and all because you hosted an event or webinar and invited people to join.
It takes a lot of persistence and there may be some low viewing figures in the early days, but with the right kind of social promotion (both organically and paid), and emails to your marketing lists you can reach out to those who may have considered you in the past but haven’t been quite persuaded to sign up. A webinar or training event will help them see that you are the experts in the sector, and provide them with the opportunity to engage with you and learn more about the brand.
- Evergreen content. Finally, there is the opportunity to generate leads by creating great content that resonates with people all year round. Evergreen content takes its name from the trees that never lose their leaves, remaining healthy and green 365-days a year, and evergreen content is the kind of content that never ages.
Rather than creating topical posts on your blog based on current events, which are great for getting involved in the conversation but unlikely to hold much relevance to your audience in a matter of weeks; evergreen content keeps people coming back month after month, year after year, because it’s authoritative and useful to them.
You have the opportunity to build up some on-site value through keyword optimization which will help you to drive traffic from search engines based on people’s search queries, providing them with the answer to their questions and explaining how your product or service works to meet their needs or solve their problem. They can then see that you are a knowledgeable and helpful business, and they get in touch to find out more, sign up to your blog updates or join a mailing list to receive more details or promotions.
Lead generation will always be a vitally important part of business, and a core part of your growth strategy. So don’t find yourself stuck in a rut, picking up the phone and trying to sell to people who don’t know who you are, what you do or why you’re contacting them at an inconvenient time. Implement a solid, reliable and trustworthy lead generation strategy that factors in any or all of the above techniques and you’ll soon find that your lead generation efforts are rewarded.