How to Generate Leads in Sales
Lead generation is the lifeblood of any successful sales organization. With a steady flow of qualified leads, salespeople have someone to call, email, and, ultimately, no one to close deals with. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, companies that fail to prioritize lead generation often need help to hit their revenue targets.
The importance of lead generation cannot be overstated. Studies show that companies with mature lead generation programs generate 50% more sales-ready leads on average compared to those with less developed programs. Furthermore, a 10% increase in lead generation can drive up to a 37% increase in revenue. With stats like these, it’s clear that investing in lead gen pays major dividends.
So, how exactly does a company generate more and better leads? While there are many potential lead sources, the most effective strategies focus on providing value to potential customers through content. Companies can organically attract and engage their target audience by publishing helpful, informative content.
This comprehensive guide will explore the top ways on how to generate leads in sales through content, including blogging, social media, email newsletters, and more. Whether you’re looking to launch your first lead gen initiative or optimize an existing program, the tips and tactics outlined below will help take your efforts to the next level. Let’s dive in!
How to Generate Leads in Sales: Best Practices
Create Compelling Blog Content
One of the best ways to generate leads is through an educational blog. Blogging allows you to highlight your industry expertise while addressing common pain points for your target audience. It helps establish trust and credibility, so when readers are ready to make a purchase, they’ll be more likely to turn to your company.
When writing blog posts, focus on providing useful information rather than overtly promoting your product or service. For example, if you sold accounting software, you could create posts like “The 10 Biggest Tax Mistakes Small Businesses Make” or “How to Choose the Right Accounting Software for Your Startup.”
Make sure to optimize blog posts for relevant keywords so they can be easily discovered in search. Calls to action like “Download our free guide” or “Sign up for a demo” can help capture lead information for future sales nurturing. Promote new blog content through social media and email newsletters to maximize reach.
Leverage Social Media for Thought Leadership
Social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook provide ideal venues for demonstrating thought leadership and expertise. Share useful business tips, insightful statistics, and recent industry news to engage your target audience organically.
You can also promote new blog posts through social channels. Participate in relevant conversations and groups to connect with potential leads. While overt self-promotion should be avoided, social media presents many opportunities to highlight your brand subtly.
Create Educational Lead Magnets
Lead magnets incentivize visitors to exchange their contact information for access to exclusive content. Offering robust lead magnets like ebooks, templates, whitepapers, and guides is a highly effective way to capture leads.
For example, an HR software company could offer a guide on “The Top Employee Retention Strategies.” A marketing agency might provide an ebook on “10 Ways to Boost Your Email Marketing ROI.” Make sure your lead magnets solve relevant problems and provide real value.
Gate the content behind a landing page form to collect lead information. Promote your lead magnets across your website, blog, email newsletters, and social channels. Consider running digital ads to increase their visibility. Nurture leads who download the content through targeted email campaigns.
Host Educational Webinars
Webinars are live, online events that allow you to demonstrate your product or service while delivering value to attendees. They offer a more engaging, interactive format than static content.
Promote your webinars across multiple channels and ensure the topic is compelling enough to drive registrations. For example, a CRM software company could host a webinar on “How to Build a Solid Sales Pipeline.”During the webinar, focus primarily on providing helpful information rather than an outright product pitch. Include a Q&A section to foster engagement. Record the presentation to share on social media and your blog after the live event.
Use webinar registration forms to capture lead information. Identify hot leads based on engagement during the webinar. Follow up promptly to capitalize on their interest and motivate further action.
Optimize Website Pages for Conversions
Your website is among the first places prospects will interact with your brand. Ensure key pages like your homepage, product pages, and pricing page are optimized to generate leads.
Include clear calls-to-action like “Start your free trial” or “Request a demo.” Make it easy for prospects to find the information they need to evaluate your offering. Minimize distractions and avoid overly promotional language.
Run A/B tests to determine which page elements, copy, and designs perform best. Pay attention to your website analytics to identify high-traffic pages that could benefit from further optimization.
Promote Content Offers in Paid Ads
Paid advertising provides a scalable way to get your lead gen content in front of many more prospects. Promote your lead magnets, webinars, and blog posts through platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Ads.
Target your ads precisely using parameters like job title, industry, company size, and interests. It ensures your content reaches those most likely to convert to leads.
Continuously optimize your ads by A/B testing elements like messaging, headlines, and call-to-action buttons. Analyze performance data to double down on what works. Allocate more budget to your best-performing ads.
Develop Email Nurture Campaigns
When prospects provide their contact information, keep it from sitting untouched in your CRM for months. Activate leads through targeted email nurture campaigns that provide helpful information and motivate further engagement.
Segment your list based on lead source, downloaded content, and website behaviour. Craft compelling email content that meets each segment’s needs and interests.
Schedule a series of follow-up emails to send automatically over time. Promote free content, webinars, trials, and demos. The goal is to nurture leads by providing value until sales are ready.
Mine Your Existing Customers
Your current customers can be a goldmine for referrals and introductions to new prospects. They already know, like, and trust your company.
Survey customers about their experience and ask for referrals to colleagues and business contacts. Offer incentives to motivate referrals, like discounts or account credits.
Highlight customer stories, quotes, and reviews on your website and in marketing materials. Leverage their social media followers by asking them to share your content.
Network and Get Referrals
Networking online and offline can connect you with all kinds of new prospects. Attend industry events, conferences, and trade shows that attract your target audience. Be ready to exchange business cards and engage attendees in conversation.
Ask satisfied customers for introductions and referrals. Offer incentives for referrals like discounts or account credits. Highlight customer stories, quotes, and reviews on your website and in marketing materials to build social proof.
Optimize for Organic Search
Many prospects find companies through search engines like Google. Make sure your website is optimized for keywords potential customers are searching for.
Create content around relevant topics like industry guides, product comparisons, and “how to” articles.
Include keywords naturally in your copy. Proper technical SEO, like meta descriptions, tags, site speed, etc., also contributes to higher rankings.
Populate your site with fresh, high-quality content on an ongoing basis. It shows search engines you have an authoritative, trusted site worth ranking.
Run Retargeting Ads
Retargeting (also called remarketing) involves serving ads to people who have already visited your website. It targets prospects already aware of your brand and closer to a potential conversion.
For example, someone who viewed pricing pages but didn’t sign up could be served an ad promoting a discount. The familiarity and relevance of your brand make it more likely they will click and convert.
Continually expand your remarketing lists by driving new visitors to your site. Track conversions from retargeting ads to focus spending on what works.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What lead sources typically generate the highest ROI?
Some lead sources that often generate strong ROI include:
– Inbound tactics like blogging, SEO, and content offers
– Direct, targeted paid advertising like Facebook ads
– Retargeting ads focused on engaged past visitors
– Referrals from existing satisfied customers
– Organic social engagement from establishing thought leadership
The highest ROI lead sources are those that attract your ideal buyers for the lowest cost.
How can I track the effectiveness of my lead-generation efforts?
Track lead generation effectiveness by:
– Using UTM campaign parameters to tag links and track source of leads
– Integrating web analytics platforms like Google Analytics
– Adding lead source tracking in your CRM
– Measuring pipeline velocity and sales cycle length
– Tracking marketing influenced revenue in your CRM
– Comparing program costs to revenue generated
This allows you to identify your best lead channels to double down on.
The Bottom Line:
Generating a steady flow of quality leads is essential for sales success. However, effective lead generation doesn’t happen by accident. It requires carefully crafting content, offers, and experiences tailored to your ideal customers. You also need to continually track and optimize performance to improve over time.
You can organically attract and convert more of your target audience by implementing tactics like blogging, social media engagement, educational lead magnets, and email nurturing. Paid advertising and website optimization also allow you to scale your efforts and increase conversions.
The key is to continually test and analyze the results of each lead source and campaign. Expand initiatives that deliver ROI while phasing out those that don’t. Evolve your strategies to align with changes in buyer behaviour and preferences.
With a well-oiled lead generation engine, you’ll always have potential customers to nurture and convert. It provides a foundation for sustainable business growth and sales success over the long term. The tactics covered in this guide offer a roadmap to building that engine.
Focus on providing value, staying laser-targeted on your ideal customer, and optimizing through data. With a commitment to continually improving lead generation, your sales pipeline will never run dry.
*The information this blog provides is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as financial or professional advice. The information may not reflect current developments and may be changed or updated without notice. Any opinions expressed on this blog are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s employer or any other organization. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this blog without first seeking the advice of a professional. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this blog. The author and affiliated parties assume no liability for any errors or omissions.