Your lead generation strategy needs to be as dynamic as the people you’re targeting. Trends change, behaviors shift, opinions morph … so should your lead gen marketing. Use A/B split testing to see what CTAs perform best, which landing pages convert better, and which copy captures your target audience. Experiment with layout changes, design, UX, content, and advertising channels until you find what works.
The key to this strategy is to know your participants and to listen. It is dangerous to assume that silence equals agreement or understanding. You must actively ask for feedback, not from the group, but from the individuals involved. The lack of physical interaction and solitude may cause participants to become distracted. Some may feel awkward about jumping in with their own comments for fear that they may interrupt someone else who has been waiting to speak. As the call leader, it is your job to directly request feedback, structuring the call so that all voices can be heard, polling participants as needed, and challenging others to stimulate further discussion. Without visual clues, the leader must be able to sense disinterest or intimidation, and continually press forward for increased participation.
As your company grows, lead management becomes about organizing and tracking not only who your leads are, but how they prefer to communicate with you, what you’ve already talked about with them, and which marketing campaigns they’ve enrolled in. That’s a little more sophisticated than just capturing an email address and adding it to the “To” field on your marketing newsletter.
If you are fanatical about having the most comprehensive listing of companies available, then Hoover's may be for you. It consists of what is probably the largest datatabase of business in the world, a mind-boggling 65 million+ companies and 85 million+ individuals within those companies. Hoovers is a standard fixture at many professional sales organizations and the premium version lets you create lists and have access to more information that the free version.
Of course you want to fill the top of your marketing funnel with lots of leads. But as soon as they enter the funnel, you also want to start qualifying them to see which ones are worth the additional time and effort to guide toward the bottom. Lead scoring and grading help you do just that, calculating a lead’s value to your company (score) and likelihood of converting to an active customer (grade). Using lead scoring and grading together can be an effective way to ensure that only high-quality leads are passed on to your sales team. Lead management software can automate lead scoring and grading as well.
The beauty of lead management software is that it can help you capture information at a point of contact with your organization such as a landing page visit, white paper download, or email open. Based on the action, leads are scored and the next action defined. Having information about when and how your customers are interacting with your brand online allows you to create a one-to-one customer journey and helps your salespeople personally focus on well-qualified sales leads, while other leads can be automatically nurtured.
Attention scarcity is driving a shift from “rented attention” to “owned attention”. Historically, most marketing has been about renting attention other people have built. An example of this would be if you purchased an ad in a magazine or rented a tradeshow booth. But in the noisy, crowded market that today’s buyers live in, rented attention becomes less effective as attention becomes even scarcer. Of course, this is not an either-or proposition; you will ideally use a mix of rented vs. owned attention for your lead generation efforts to be affective.
You also may want to consider internal factors, like making sure all of your sales reps have hot leads to work, rewarding top-performing reps with the most promising leads, or other strategies that work for your business and culture. Different sales organizations distribute leads differently, but however you choose to handle it, lead management tools can help.
Each lead generation technique usually has a tradeoff between quality and quantity. For example, a form on the company website that visitors can fill in to request a call back will generate high-quality leads – these visitors are very likely to buy since they're interested enough to want to hear more – but probably won't generate a lot of leads. On the other hand, a lead list that's based on a newsletter subscription list from another company may generate a lot of leads, but they won't be nearly as interested or qualified. This tradeoff is another reason why companies are wise to use many lead generation methods.
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Free sales leads are not that hard to find at all but you do need to do some work in order to be able to turn them into cold call lists. In this article I will show you some of the main resources professional sales people and lead generation organizations use in creating lists of companies to cold call. As you will see, most of the information you need to get started making cold calls is right at your fingertips!