Lead generation is the process of acquiring potential customers. It means the process of getting your company’s products and services recognized and finding interested prospective customers.
With the spread of the Internet, consumers are now able to collect various information. Now, it is easy to check word-of-mouth before purchasing if you use SNS. Therefore, there is a strong tendency to dislike direct approaches from sales. Many people may feel that conventional sales styles such as tele appointments and walk-in sales do not work.
The focus here is on lead generation. By finding prospective customers through lead generation, nurturing them, and building relationships of trust, you can expect an increase in the project rate and order rate.
In this article, we will introduce you to lead generation, which is effective for acquiring new customers.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the activity of acquiring prospective customers. We mainly aim to acquire personal information of individuals and companies that are interested in our services and products. We will use methods such as web advertisements, content, SEO measures, and holding seminars to acquire lead information with a high willingness to purchase.
A similar term to lead generation is the term “demand generation”.
Demand generation is the general activity that we do to acquire customers. The goal is to create projects and maximize the number of business negotiations.
The activities are roughly divided into three parts, and are carried out in the order of lead generation → lead nurturing (prospect customer development) → lead qualification (prospect customer narrowing down).
Based on the information of prospective customers obtained by lead generation, lead nurturing provides necessary information and eliminates doubts and anxieties to nurture prospective customers. After that, lead qualification is used to select hot leads that are likely to lead to contracts, and finally hand them over to sales to create business negotiations.
In other words, lead generation is a part of demand generation and can be said to be the first important measure to be taken.
Method of lead generation
So what are the methods of lead generation? From here, we will introduce specific methods.
It is a method of acquiring lead information by disseminating information that customers need on your own website or blog, inducing “prospect customers” from search engines and SNS, and getting them to become fans of your company.
The word “content” can mean many different things. In addition to online content such as reviews that post word of mouth, videos, articles, case studies, and white papers, offline content such as paper media can also be said to be content.
Content marketing, unlike web advertising, has no restrictions such as period or cost, so you can freely make proposals with your company’s color. The point is to understand the concept of the product or service and select content that is likely to lead to results.
Traditional exhibitions and events are also effective ways to acquire leads. Recently, due to the influence of the new corona, “online exhibitions” are also attracting attention.
It is important to clarify the concept and purpose of what kind of event you should exhibit at and what kind of users you should appeal to. If you have many points of contact with customers, you will be able to collect a lot of lead information from business cards and surveys.
Recently, in addition to participating in exhibitions of other companies, the method of holding your own online exhibition is spreading. There is a high degree of freedom and there is no limit to the holding period, so if you operate it properly, you can expect high results as a lead generation measure.
This is a method of holding seminars in-house and collecting lead information from visitors’ business cards and questionnaires. Since it is a seminar about your company’s products and services, it will be easy to acquire hot leads that are highly likely to be turned into projects because they are highly sensitive to customers.
Recently, due to the spread of telework, many web seminars “webinars” using Zoom etc. have been held. A webinar allows the organizer to share the screen with the user, so that the seminar can be held and attended anywhere.
You don’t need a large venue, so you can cut costs. Another advantage is that if you record the webinar, you can use it as video content at a later date.
Tele appointments and drop-in sales
Conventional sales methods such as tele appointments and walk-in sales are also categorized as lead generation measures. Although it is an inefficient method, it has the great advantage of being able to approach companies with which we have no contact at all.
If you are proactive in marketing, you will be able to find potential customers who may not know about your product or service.
DM (Form DM)
DM (direct mail), which has been used for a long time, is also one of the methods to acquire new customers. There are several methods of DM, such as email, mail, and fax.
Also, when holding an exhibition, it is effective to send DMs using the organizer’s list instead of the company’s own list. If you include a postcard requesting materials with your event invitation, you will be able to get in touch with customers you have never had contact with before.
Web advertising is a method of placing advertisements on media on the Internet and guiding users to your company’s website or a “landing page” that specializes in acquiring conversions (results).
We aim to acquire lead information in various ways, such as posting on major sites such as Yahoo!, listing advertisements linked to search engine search results, and SNS advertisements using Instagram and Twitter. Clarify the purpose of advertising, the target of products and services, and select the appropriate platform and method.
Read also: What is Meta?
Ideas for lead generation
Next, I will explain the three points necessary for promoting lead generation.
First, don’t focus too much on the number of leads you get.
A low lead count can keep your next lead nurturing off track. However, in order to increase the number of leads, it is necessary to be careful about implementing free services, attracting customers with campaigns, and showing a sense of value. Leads with low purchasing intentions gather, and it may be difficult to lead to results.
It is important to narrow down the target firmly and approach users with high needs. Aim for profitable leads.
Second, don’t be wary of personal information.
Year after year, customers are becoming more cautious about the handling of personal information. They worry that their information will be misused or leaked, or that they will receive persistent sales calls.
Therefore, it is essential to clearly indicate the personal information protection policy, security measures, and SSL support on the site. If you make your customers feel at ease, you will be more likely to generate leads.
The third is to set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
We quantify the series of steps leading up to lead acquisition, such as the number of website accesses and form completion rates, and set them as KPIs for each process. If there are indicators that anyone can understand, it will be easier to set goals and employees will be more aware of the measures. Also, when a problem occurs, such as when the number of lead acquisitions is declining, it can be efficiently resolved.
MA tool for efficient lead generation
As a tool that helps lead generation, I would like to keep track of the MA tool. From here, we will introduce the use of MA tools in lead generation.
What is MA tool
MA tools are marketing automation tools that visualize and automate marketing activities.
If you use MA tools, you can automate and centrally manage prospective customer information that was previously managed manually. In addition, you can send emails according to user reactions, detect hot prospective customers and notify sales, and efficiently create business negotiations at the optimum timing.
How to use it in lead generation
Then, how should MA tools be used when actually performing lead generation? Here are some examples of how it can be used.
Recognize site visitors
With MA tools, you can analyze your site visitors and understand which companies are visiting your site. If a company that is likely to be a target has access, it is possible to use the company log to send DM or make a direct call to approach. You can also obtain company information such as industry and number of employees, which will be useful for future marketing activities.
Lead to content analysis and improvement
With the MA tool, it is also possible to analyze the access log and analyze what kind of company is reading which page and where they left. This will let you know if your content is reaching your target companies and what information they are looking for.
If you don’t have access from your target industry or company, you need to improve your content. On the other hand, if it reaches you properly, you can come up with the following measures, such as sending information about seminars and exhibitions.
Also, if you receive access from an unexpected industry, creating different content for that market is also effective. If you use MA tools, you will be able to proceed with content marketing efficiently.
Creating a database by creating a registration form
If you use the MA tool, you can create a registration form, and it is also possible to automatically create a database of the entered information. Since prospective customer information is automatically accumulated, it can be used immediately for marketing activities.
Forms can be created easily, so it is recommended to create a white paper that summarizes the information that is in high demand and add a form for downloading materials.
For users who say, “I’m interested, but not enough to inquire…”, creating content with low hurdles, such as “downloading useful materials” and “free subscriptions,” will make it easier to complete the form registration. Create lots of forms to capture customer information.
Sales departments tend to leave “potential customers” and “potential customers” alone. This is because a lot of man-hours are required before it becomes a project. However, leaving potential customers whose level of consideration is raised by nurturing them as they are leads to a large opportunity loss, and there is a high possibility that they will flow to competitors.
Therefore, if you acquire prospective customers with lead generation and turn demand generation well, you can prevent potential customers from being left unattended. Furthermore, if you can systematize a series of flows using MA tools, you will be able to create a strong sales organization that can consistently receive orders.
There are still many potential customers who do not know about our products and services. There are tools that you can try for free, including the MA tool provided by our company, so why not try lead generation for the first time while making good use of digital technology?