Getting leads and turning them into customers can be a challenge, even with the right strategies in place. Because generating leads is such an essential part of growing your business, it’s important to make sure you’re not wasting time with inefficient methods of lead generation.
According to research by Content Marketing Institute, 91% of business marketers claim that lead generation is their most valuable goal. With this, you have to get creative about how you market your product or service.
From social media to pay-per-click ads to press releases, these tips and tools will help you automate your lead generation process and use your time more wisely to produce better results for your business.
1. Learn by Observing
There are thousands of tools on the market to automate your lead generation process, including CRM software. What you need to do is find one that fits in with your industry, then watch how other people use it to generate leads. If you notice a tool that’s particularly effective, ask around about it.
For example, it may be worth investing in a CRM for retailers’ software systems to help organize everything. In fact, these systems have become so powerful they can even calculate which emails will produce more leads (even if you don’t have an eCommerce website). Just make sure you take your time deciding and have a list of examples of CRM for retailers to choose the best software.
2. Determine What Information You Need
One of the most essential steps to automation is knowing what information you need to capture and what needs to happen for that information to flow into your lead generation pipeline. Some of that depends on who your target market is. To generate leads, you’ll want all of your key contact data.
But if you’re selling heavy machinery, such as a piece of construction equipment, you’ll want all of your target’s client data along with their project requirements. Or maybe they need a certain power source or are looking for a legal package that works in multiple states. Whatever it is, just make sure you state the needed information clearly to maximize your lead generation tool.
3. Understand Your Customers’ Needs
It’s important to understand who your lead generation tools are targeting before you invest in any of them. For example, if you’re a retailer looking to generate leads for your eCommerce business, a marketing automation tool like HubSpot is a great option. As per a report by Invesprco, 80% of businesses saw an increase in leads because of marketing automation.
However, if you run an offline retail business (like a bookstore), Leadforensics would be more appropriate because it specifically targets retailers. Learn about different tools by reading through user manuals and checking out YouTube channels for tutorials on how to use each one.
Another good way to learn more about this software is by asking friends or colleagues who already use these tools what they love (or hate) about them. And don’t forget — always look at free trials!
4. Identify Sources of Leads
Identifying sources of leads can be done in a number of ways. First, it’s important to note that most businesses don’t succeed unless they have a steady source of leads. If you need more leads, try identifying sources that produce high-quality prospects.
For example, there are lead generation websites and software designed specifically for retailers looking to generate new sales opportunities by targeting their ideal customers. There are also software programs designed for improving your SEO rankings. Both of these services can help you find new potential customers without much work on your part — and both can be implemented relatively quickly as well!
Don’t let low-quality or unreliable lead sources drag down your business. Focus on finding what works best. Remember, you could make big strides with just a few small changes!
5. Decide How to Qualify Leads
When it comes to lead generation, there’s a simple question to ask: do you want warm leads (people who are ready to buy your product) or cold leads (people who have never heard of your product)? The answer will depend on what your goals are.
If you want more sales immediately, you should pursue warm leads. These customers already know they need your products or services and can be sold immediately. But if you’re looking to establish long-term relationships with people who might become interested in future products or services, cold leads are where it’s at.
In that case, lead generation software becomes invaluable because you can use it as a list-building tool that also helps automate follow-up actions.
6. Test, Learn, Measure
Even after you’ve automated your lead generation process, you need to stay on top of it. Make sure to test your changes frequently and evaluate what works and what doesn’t. You also need to change your strategy accordingly and collect metrics along the way.
In other words: just because you’re using automation for lead generation doesn’t mean you have time to sit back and do nothing. If a campaign is underperforming, tweak it. If a new strategy isn’t working, shift gears. And if something needs fixing or improving, do it — before bad habits start.
Make sure also you know what questions to ask:
- Can you measure success?
- Will you be able to replicate your success?
- How much will all of these changes cost you?
Most importantly, don’t forget to evaluate which is the best social media channel to use for your lead generation process. For instance, a study from PureB2B revealed that LinkedIn is the most effective social networking channel for B2B lead generation.
7. Get Personal with Onboarding Emails
It might seem old-fashioned, but onboarding emails is still one of the most effective lead generation strategies. Including an image of your actual team, your company’s mission statement, and some kind of personalization will put new clients at ease before they even send out their first query.
A simple “Hi Jane!” can be enough to convince a lead that you’re paying attention to them and actually want them as a customer. Moreover, they’ll get individualized treatment once they do sign up — it doesn’t take much to make someone feel like they matter.
You can use email marketing tools like MailChimp or ConvertKit to keep in touch with users over time and help increase engagement with your product or service.
8. Try Something New
Even if your business is currently doing well, that doesn’t mean you can’t do something new to improve it. For example, as much as you love selling widgets, try selling a completely different product or service to some of your customers. See how they react and then use that information to make future decisions.
For instance, if customer A loves your widgets but customer B had never heard of them before, perhaps you should take a hard look at your marketing campaign. Or maybe you should try offering different services to customer C who recently stopped buying from you altogether.
These are just a few examples of how trying something new can help lead generation efforts. There are plenty more out there depending on what stage your business is in right now.
Start Automating Your Lead Generation Process Now
The best thing you can do is to start now. Even if you don’t want to build a full-scale CRM solution and lead generation process, or you don’t know what approach to take, getting started is always better than not. With CRM systems becoming more prevalent among retailers every day, your competition will only keep growing — and it could grow faster than your business. To avoid falling behind, it’s imperative that you begin working with a CRM system and lead generation process of some kind as soon as possible.