What’s involved in the lead gen process?
A lead is basically a prospect. It’s not a sale but it has the potential to become one and if you’ve done your homework, that should make it easier. Ultimately, what you’re trying to do is drive interest in a product or service to increase sales. As for the tactics behind it, lead generation activities can pretty much be put into two distinct groups, inbound and outbound.
With inbound leads, your potential prospect has expressed an interest in your company by having clicked a link, responded to a post or filled in a landing page. This of course, is the preferred outcome but getting to this stage requires a lot of work and planning. First of all, who is going to be searching for your content? To discover this you’ll need to delve deep into your buyer personas and remember that not all buyer personas will be looking for the same content. Once you have created the content, test and measure it constantly to see what is generating the most response. Once a prospect has gotten in touch with your company, you may find they’re easier to covert into a customer as they have already displayed an interest in your product or service.
The generation of outbound leads is all about directly contacting your target prospect group with a message promoting your company, service, or product through various channels. For example, direct email campaigns reach highly curated prospects with a custom message about a service or product. Before doing any reach out whatsoever though, it’s important to research your client. For this you’ll need to know about their company, its size, number of employees and how many sales they make. The more information you have about your prospect the better as this will help you find where you fit it to their circumstances. In addition, it will point you in the direction of how you can help your prospect and their company, allowing you to be seen as a trusted advisor. One thing you need to be aware of though, are the companies that claim to do lead generation but are just sending out mass emails and phone calls to customers who may not even be in your target market. There is a real risk in using this method that might result in you company being known as spammers which will adversely affect your reputation. This is no way to do business and the practice is even forbidden by law.
Overall though, lead generation is typically pursued across both inbound and outbound channels for the most successful campaigns.
How to action lead generation
Planning is the most important aspect. You need to assess your current assets to see if you already have customers in the relevant field. This way, you have a ready list of contacts who might be most receptive to your message.
It is also necessary to have a structure in place. This gives you a plan to follow and helps to keep you on track as you can measure your progress against the plan at every stage to see if the things you hoped to happen are happening on schedule. It’s also really important to have a weekly team catch-up. This gives you a chance to analyse what’s working, what’s not and how to continue.
There are a set of ‘rules’ for the tactics you use that are always useful to keep in mind. Firstly, people don’t really like being sold to or talked at rather than to. Try to treat your prospect with a more casual air. Also, if you can make it look you’re really trying to help rather than sell, that’s more valuable to the client and a useful way for you to formulate your pitch.
Another tip is to research your product thoroughly. The prospect is going to need to fully understand what you are selling and what is the specific relevance to them. Also, and this is particularly important in tech, you may sometimes have very complex benefits to explain. If you can do this in a way that makes it easy to understand, this will help you enormously.
In conclusion, a good SDR will know how to build rapport quickly and have excellent conversational skills. They will also research prospects thoroughly so they can ensure the outreach has relevance to them.