[Back To The Basics] What Is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is one of the first crucial steps in creating a marketing campaign for your business’ goods or services. It is the practices and strategies used in order to generate “leads”. Leads are potential customers that you must entice one way or another through either inbound or outbound lead generation techniques.

Once a lead is determined viable for the business the marketing department goes through multiple sales stages before a sale is made and the lead becomes a customer. A business must choose which lead generation technique to specialize in to best fit their budget, time and available resources. Choosing the lead generation best for your business will assure more leads and in turn more profits for businesses either big and small.

To better understand the concept of Lead Generation, we divide lead generation int the following types.

Inbound Lead Generation

Inbound lead generation is done through advertising such as magazine print, commercials, mass mailings, social media, etc. With the inception of game changing informational excess brought to us through the modern marvels of the internet, social media and the search engine some marketers have switched to a more inbound oriented approach. There is such an overabundance of information we are subjected to daily that it is too overwhelming for one to take in. Some companies have used the internet this to their advantage by letting leads come to them through inbound lead generation marketing strategies.

If you want to create an interest for your product it is a good idea to create a social media division to handle writing for your blog or handle social media accounts such as Facebook or Twitter. Customers like to have a relationship with their company so having a way to connect with them on their level and building public relations is a good way to generate leads.  What is unique about inbound lead generation is that the sales department can be confident that these leads are at the point in their buying process that they are considering their options. This is definitely true with SEO optimization. While a lead is using one of the most common sources of information-the search engine, they can be presented with your website, blog, social media profile, etc just through the intentional press of a button. This is one of the best as it is in no way intrusive or generally dependent on your lead’s habits. All they need to do is the normal Google and your business is in the top results. Inbound is a good choice as it catches consumers in a vital stage that guarantees quantifiable interest in your business.

Outbound Lead Generation

This is contrary to the more contemporary inbound lead generation. These marketing strategies were used in a time of information scarcity when people had to often get information straight from companies. Outbound lead generation includes cold calling, knocking on doors or attending events. This strategy often puts your business at an disadvantage if attempted without prior interest in your business or it’s related goods or services. Warm calling for example can be much more successful instead of cold calling; warm calling is when a lead was given through a referral and is much less intrusive and provides much more successful leads. You may also try to schedule a meet up to get your lead in a more intimate setting. Since you are the initiator in this arrangement you must be wary to not be too pushy as to overestimate a leads interest in your product. Your sales representatives must measure their interest and expand upon with appropriate measures.

As discussed earlier, having a relationship with your leads creates much better opportunities for you to generate successful leads. This is called lead nurturing, which is important in any lead generation process in order for a lead to maintain interest in your business.

Overall lead generation is a vital aspect of marketing and will help your business acquire new customers to grow your consumer base and profits.

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