The process of enticing prospects (leads) to your business and converting them into clients is known as lead generation. Typically implemented through marketing efforts aimed at attracting new clients and sales prospects who might acquire your products or services. We’ve put together a mini-playbook to help you define and identify the leads that will have you hitting those sales targets.
What is a lead?
To develop your lead-generation strategy, you must understand and master the fundamentals. Adele Revella, CEO of Buyer Persona Institute, states in her book ‘Buyer Personas’ there are two elements to a lead – demographic and psychographic. In terms of the psychographic factor, your definition of a lead will vary depending on your organisation, where you sell, and who you sell to.
It is critical to highlight that you must assess whether or not a lead is “qualified.” A quality lead suggests that they have made a step that shows they are thinking about making a purchase as a possible client. Every company will have its own idea of what constitutes a “good lead.” There are several definitions of a lead and even more definitions of a “good lead.” According to Marketo, a lead is “a qualified prospect that is starting to exhibit buying behavior”.
When profiling your leads, you should consider demographics, which are measurable characteristics that describe your lead population. The following are examples of typical demographic features for both B2C and B2B:
- Years of experience
- Personal email vs. corporate email
- Education (B2C)
- Age (B2C)
- Income (B2C)
Firmographics are organisational features that assist you to discover your ideal customer organisation and are used as a criterion for B2B firms, for example:
- Name of company
- Company size
- Company location
- Number of divisions
- Number of products/services sold
- Geographic markets served
- Products already owned
A prospect’s position in the purchasing process may also be determined by evaluating their BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline) characteristics. BANT is a more sophisticated lead qualifying technique than demographic and firmographic research alone.
- Budget: Is this lead able to afford the product or service?
- Authority: Is your lead authorised to purchase the product? Are they in charge of making decisions?
- Need: Your lead must require the goods or service. Is there a problem that your product or service can help to solve?
- Time: What is the timing for your lead’s purchase? And how does that fit into your sales cycle?
Where do leads emanate from?
Leads can originate from a variety of sources, including above-the-line advertising, offline activities such as customer referrals and digital marketing efforts. Leads, regardless of where they originate from, usually initiate contact with or express interest in your company first.
Finding the needle in the haystack
After generating leads, it’s vital to then evaluate them so you can engage with those that have the highest probability to convert, as HubSpot states, only 10-15% of B2B sales opportunities become deals. This is where the concept of lead scoring comes into play. Lead scoring is a method of qualifying leads and determining how important they are to your company based on how you defined them using the demographic and psychographic evaluation methods. Each lead is assigned a numerical number (or “score”) indicating where they are in the buyer’s journey. This approach allows for qualified prospects to be assigned to the sales team, while leads with a more casual interest can be assigned to the marketing team. This saves time and resources as the right department can focus on their part of the revenue generation process effectively.
It makes no difference what scoring system you employ in your company as long as it is consistent. Finally, lead scoring is a crucial step in developing a customer-focused business plan that integrates with your whole inbound marketing and sales activities.
At the end of the day, it’s all about making a sale and you want to get there as quickly as possible, minimising any potential waste of time, money or resources. To do this, you must have a clear concept of who your target client is, who will have a genuine need for your product and keep narrowing it down as much as possible.
Need support with generating leads?
To discuss how Make it Clear can support your organisation with defining your marketing strategy, mapping your prospect nurture journey or creating assets to attract leads, book a free 30-minute clarity consultation with us here.