Lead generation is not new. In fact, it’s pretty much been around forever. However, lead generation has changed drastically throughout the years. To determine how best to improve your game in 2020, let’s start at the beginning by answering the question, what is a lead? A lead is basically anyone interested in your product or service that has the potential to become a customer. In order to create interest and convert a prospect to a lead to a customer, organizations create a marketing/sales funnel that works for them. Which leads to the next question, why is lead generation so important? Unless you are selling unicorns or found the cure for the common cold, you have competition out there. In order to be noticed by consumers, you need to get your name out there. So, what has changed? Lead generation used to be a matter of pushing your information out by advertising on large billboards, in newspapers, or sending mass emails. Now, potential customers will seek out what they are looking for in their products or services by searching online or receiving recommendations requiring organizations to generate leads through being found.
This new reality in lead generation causes a whole newfresh set of obstacles for marketers. For instance, there is a lack of high-quality information and data such as mailing lists to drive campaigns. Organizations also report a trend towards limited insights into target customers decreasing their ability to send information directly to high probability customers.
So, what do we do to increase lead generation in 2020? Below are several lead generation tips that could help you with your new strategy.
Centralize your data
One simple solution is to centralize the data. Information silos have resulted in an inability for companies to integrate customer data and apply it to gain and retain customers. Utilizing Software as a Service (SaaS) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions are an extremely effective way to collect and retrieve information whenever and wherever it is necessary. Such tools also allow you to document and keep track of customers’ past concerns, allowing for accurate and effective pain point recognition and improved ability to provide solutions.
Map your customer’s journey
Another effective solution is to create a customer journey map in order to get a good understanding of the holistic point-of-view of a customer on a personal level. This map would include everything from the first interaction through possible scenarios to transaction completion.
Customer journey map best practices:
- Set clear objectives
- Profile your personas and define your goals
- List out all touchpoints
- Take the journey yourself
- Perform A/B testing
- Continually implement changes
You’ll be amazed at what you can learn about your customer by figuratively putting yourself in their shoes.
Prepare buyer personas
Another tactic to increase lead generation is to create a detailed buyer persona to understand who your ideal customers are, what they really need and how best to sell to them. This will allow you to market in a more personal way, with a true understanding of their pain points, challenges and solutions to these challenges. Leveraging your CRM software can help create buyer personas through survey creation, distribution and collection, and allow you the ability to store them for quick retrieval.
Choose your primary channel
Taking care to choose your primary channel can also help with your 2020 lead generation strategy. By and large, research has shown that content marketing is the most effective channel to drive leads. High-quality content will bring potential customers to your website through organic traffic, links from your social media posts, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keywords, etc. Specific types of effective content include informative and/or entertaining ones such as blogs or videos and long-form content such as eBooks, case studies and whitepapers, which give potential leads even more detailed information.
In order to save time, money and resources, it is also a good idea to get into the habit of content repurposing in order to get the most out of your content marketing. For instance, this blog post can be repurposed into a video featuring interviews with lead generation experts, a presentation on steps to obtain leads, an infographic depicting the information visually and a whitepaper going into the details of the research. Then, in 2024, this blog may be repurposed once again, updating the content for your 2025 lead generation strategy. No need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to lead generation content.
As mentioned previously, SEO should be integrated into your content marketing in order to increase your reach. As you create your content, include keywords and build links that will increase your search engine results. Using tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, will allow you to increase your search results and analyze the data to ensure your efforts are working.
Now that you’ve figured out what information you should put out there and to whom, you may be wondering how you’ll determine which leads are worth your time and which are not. Lead scoring will help you measure the viability of a lead and their probability of becoming a customer. Setting up lead scoring is very customizable as needs for each organization vary greatly. Your sales team would determine what type of potential customer would receive higher points based on buying power and what would determine them to be market qualified based on behavior and actions. The process would then be automated to send these qualified leads to the sales team.
Focus on lead management
Finally, in order to make all of the pieces work together, it’s important to consider focusing on lead management to capture, track, qualify and nurture these prospective customers until the sale is made. Lead management will help your sales team focus on real, qualified leads thereby allowing you to focus on increasing sales.
Lead generation has changed throughout time, but keeping these tips in mind will help you with your lead generation game in 2020 and ultimately help you increase sales and save time, money and resources, ultimately resulting in higher revenues and greater organizational success.