“Don’t wait for opportunity. Create it.”
Never has this oft-cited pearl of business wisdom been more pertinent than it is now. Times are tough, and the companies likely to ride the waves, moving from ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving’ quicker than the rest, will be those who are proactive and positive in pursuit of opportunity.
They will be those with a switched-on, sharpened-up approach to lead generation.
So what does it take to keep those leads flowing in through the door? We’ve broken it down into five critical areas.
1. Lead generation is a mindset, not a discrete activity
Traditional strategies and models would have lead generation sectioned off as an isolated channel. That approach doesn’t hold water today. Leads can and should come from everywhere and everything you do. Your website, your social media marketing, your advertising, your events and exhibitions, your marketing collateral, your brand strategy, even your conversations with suppliers, contacts and existing customers – they’re all opportunities to be generating new leads and should be factored into your overall strategy.
The key is to approach each with the right mindset, keeping eyes and ears open for avenues of new business, and having the systems in place to capture and capitalise on opportunity as it presents itself.
2. Lead generation is about marketing AND sales
Marketing generates leads, sales closes them, right? Wrong. Successful lead generation today relies on two-way collaboration between your marketing and sales teams. Both need to be involved at every stage of the design, development and delivery of your lead-generation planning.
Sales can help marketing understand exactly who you should be targeted and offer coal-face insight into what messages and media are likely to work. Equally, marketing can help sales build and nurture the one-to-one personal relationships that become profitable leads.
3. Lead generation is about specifics
Now, more than ever, general marketing messages are going to disappear without a trace. If you can’t give people direct answers to specific problems, or if you don’t have a razor-sharp proposition that makes them sit up and take notice, you’ll become just another voice in an already overcrowded market.
It is possible to stand out though. At Proctors, for example, we’ve had great success recently in building a lead-generation campaign around direct, specific and single-minded offers to a targeted group of companies in the logistics industry. By doing our homework upfront – in conjunction with our client’s sales and marketing teams – we’ve been able to cut through the noise and talk to prospective customers about what actually matters to them.
4. Lead generation means getting personal
Prospects will become leads far more quickly if you can establish a relationship with them. So a single postcard or impersonal email just won’t cut it. You need to make meaningful connections, based on the quality of your offer and message, and your understanding of who you’re talking to.
We’ve spent the past couple of years working on this area in particular, developing an approach that draws together web analytics, personalised content, social outreach, direct marketing and automation platforms to make the right connections for you – and turn them into high-value leads.
5. Lead generation is about active measurement
Because opportunities for lead generation permeate every aspect of your business, you need the systems in place to measure its effectiveness and capture the ongoing creation and cultivation of leads. There’s a plethora of tools out there to do just that, so choosing the right one can seem daunting.
The truth is, things can be far simpler than you might believe. It’s all a question of co-ordination and consolidation of technology. And then having the mechanisms in place to take appropriate action as you measure ongoing lead-generation work. That might mean modifying your messaging, showering more love on certain sections of your target audiences, or adjusting the media mix as time goes on.
As with most things in marketing, lead generation works best when you’ve got the fundamentals absolutely right. And that’s where we always start at Proctors, swiftly turning robust plans into hands-on, accountable action.
So, if you want to have a chat about the lead generation opportunities available to you, or if you have a specific project in mind, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.