What is lead generation

In marketing, lead generation is a technique in which you identify potential customers for products or services of a business. Leads are generated for the newsletter mailing list, sales lead, and list building.

Many times we’re busy in the office or house doing our chores and suddenly the telephone rings and the telemarketer starts asking you questions about a certain product in your workspace or home and after a certain point, it starts to get annoying. This is because you do not require that thing. This is where the lead generation technique comes in, it helps your business identify who is your potential customer and who is not.

We’ll discuss the whole process of lead generation. Following are some steps involved in the process:

  • What is a lead
  • What is lead generation
  • The process
  • Qualifying a lead
  • Strategies

What is a Lead?

A lead is a person or a company that shows interest in your company’s offerings in any way or form. Leads usually hear from a business after opening communication from their end, like submitting a form or completing a survey. Say someone takes a survey about their air conditioner online and submit their contact info. The next day the air conditioning company calls them and starts asking them about their needs, this is better than a cold call and calling them out of the blue. In this way, the company personalizes and open up communication channels with the user, making it easier for both parties. The company won’t spend time and money on people who are not going to convert and have no interest and the user as well will not be getting any spam calls.

Different types of leads are:

  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), these are the leads who have engaged with your marketing team and are not yet ready to make a purchase
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), these are the leads who have shown interest in your product and are ready to make a purchase they just need a little convincing.
  • Product Qualified Lead (PQL), these are the people who have used your product and shown interest in them. PQLs are acquired by giving out a product trial or a free version and when they want to start using more features, that’s where your sales team comes in to do a little bit of convincing.
  • Service Qualified Lead, these are the people who have shown interest in your services that they’re interested in becoming a paying customer. The best example of a service qualified lead is a user who wants to upgrade their current program and buy a better service for themselves.

Why businesses need lead generation?

When a stranger engages with you the journey from visitor to customer is a natural one. This is where lead generation comes in handy. When a stranger visits your business, you have to identify who is a potential customer and who is not, this is where lead generation comes in.

Lead generation process

Now that we’ve understood what lead generation is, how it works, and why is it important, let’s take a walk through the process:

  • Firstly, the potential customer has to discover you, it can be through television, social media advertisement, billboards, some blog or website, a friend can refer them as well, all of this ‘discovering your business’ falls under your marketing team. The better your marketing technique, the more people will discover your brand and get attracted.
  • The stranger who just learned about your business visits your website and follows through with some call to action (CTA), it can be any offer, message or an image on your website. The stranger has now become a visitor.
  • The CTA lands the visitor on some new webpage. This page contains some offers for the visitor along with some important takes about your business. This is where we will see if the visitor converts to a lead or not.
  • Now on the landing page, you have some steps for CTA, there must be some last action the visitor has to perform to get to that offer e.g. he has to share the business on his social media, download your ebook, signup for your newsletter or fill out a survey. Now if the visitor follows through with it, he is a lead.

To sum it up, a stranger learns about your business, he decides to discover your business himself and logs on to your website and becomes a visitor. He then receives a CTA and follows through with all the steps of CTA and becomes a lead. These are the basic elements of getting a lead, this is the whole essence of lead generation.

Qualifying a lead

Following are some scenarios through which you can qualify someone as a lead:

  • Say a person wants to apply for a position in your company, he fills in the application form. Since he wants a job at your firm, therefore, he is willing to provide a lot of information for that. Filling out that form shows their interest in your company, this is a lead for your company’s recruitment team.
  • Similarly, a person stumbled upon one of your discount coupons online and finds the offer very enticing, they are ready to fill a few details like their name and email address in exchange for that coupon. It’s not a lot of information but it is enough for a company to know that a new person has shown interest in them. Which in the future can turn out to be a customer?

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