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Lead Generation |

7 MIN READ

Are You Following the Best Practices for Lead Generation?

Are You Following the Best Practices for Lead Generation?
Sandra Sepaniak
Are You Following the Best Practices for Lead Generation?

lead gen best practices

As any salesperson with more than five minutes of experience will tell you, lead generation is vital for being able to close deals, grow your business, and improve your sales performance over time.

If you’re unsure whether or not you’re following lead generation best practices, here is a punch list of what to do.

Defining Your Target Persona

How understanding your target person affects your bottom lineIf having a  lead generation strategy is like driving a car, your target persona is the key—you need to know who they are and where they are before you even try to start the car. Sure, there are ways to drive the lead generation machine without a car, but they’re definitely not ideal.

If you haven’t researched your target persona yet, that should be your first step. You may have some idea of who your persona is already, but the best way to confirm that is by having the data to support your theories. One of the best ways to do this is to survey your existing customers if you’re already in business, or by conducting market research if you haven’t. Doing this will help you confirm who they are and uncover more information about how they interact with your products or services.

We also recommend revisiting your target persona on a regular basis—typically once every 1-2 years—to make sure their behavior still aligns with what you know about them.

Creating Relevant and Educational Content

You could post blog content every single day and post on social media three times per day across all your channels, but it won’t amount to much if the content you publish isn’t relevant or educational for your industry.

As someone who writes fiction as a hobby, I’ve learned that it’s helpful to go into anything you’re creating with a plan. Such is also the case for your content. Develop an editorial calendar that you can use as a guide for when you want to publish relevant, informative content. You can even integrate it with certain parts of your sales cycle, which allows you to work with your sales team to turn them from just another salesperson into a trusted advisor and subject matter expert.

Making Use of Your CRM

Firstly, if you don’t have a CRM—get one. HubSpot, for example, has a free CRM that allows you to stay in touch with your prospects and customers and meet their needs.

Secondly, a good CRM will allow you to see how often you’ve engaged with leads and track what they need when they need it. No matter which CRM you use, they’re designed to help you maintain your relationship with your leads and nurture them by providing information they could find valuable before they’re ready to talk to your sales team.

Encouraging Reviews, Testimonials, and Social Proof

Nothing can tank your reputation with leads quite like a bad review, especially if you don’t have many reviews online to begin with. With ways to review businesses on everything from Facebook to Yelp, your leads are looking to get honest feedback on what it’s like to work with you before they start talking to your sales team.

That’s why it pays to be proactive in encouraging customer reviews. Not only will you be able to provide candid social proof to prospects who are already working with you, but they could be one of the deciding factors for whether new leads

Being Active on Social Media

Social media has become a mainstay in marketers’ arsenals over the past decade and beyond. In many industries, it’s become a way for customers to find answers about products and services, or even to get pricing and close the deal in some cases.

Keep your social media active and plan posts that address every stage of the buyer’s journey each month. It’ll drive more potential leads to your website through those new pieces of content and bring those customers who mainly use social media for research closer to working with you.

Placing Lead-Capturing Forms on Every Page

Yes, even your Terms & Conditions.

Okay, maybe you don’t need to be that extreme. However, virtually every page on your website should have at least one way for people to convert. Be it a form encouraging them to submit their email address so they can sign up for your newsletter or subscribe to the blog, or a way for them to download gated content or contact you for a quote, there should always be something they have the option to fill out. Otherwise, that webpage isn’t doing its job in terms of generating leads.

Profitable Lead Gen Series: Optimized Forms

Placing CTAs Strategically with the Buyer’s Journey in Mind

Sticky websites are good websites. That’s a mantra I follow with my own clients, especially when they’re first starting out with building their lead generation strategy. However, forms aren’t the only way to prime a website for lead capture.

Calls-to-action are just as valuable as forms when it comes to keeping people on your site and getting them to convert. It could be as simple as a link encouraging them to view your latest eBook or check out more of your blog, but any CTA can go a long way in keeping people on your website to see what else you have for them.

Optimizing Your Website and Content

Your content should be working for you. That includes your entire website, your blog, and any other searchable content you have. Optimizing your website for search engines is a project unto itself though, so it pays to create your website with SEO and keywords in mind from the start.

However, if you already have a website, it’s never too late to optimize it. Know what your target persona’s pain points are and use that as the starting point for showing them how they address those pain points.

Not sure if there’s a realistic way to optimize your content? Here’s a hint: You’re reading it. This blog post has been optimized for targeted keywords that will help people who want to learn more about lead generation best practices.

Retargeting Ads

It’s an outbound solution with inbound sensibilities. Most websites use cookies so marketers can retarget their ads across the internet to people who have visited their website. That’s partly why if you visit a website looking for a new air fryer because you put five whole potatoes in it and cranked that baby up to full blast not thinking of the consequences, you’ll probably see more ads for similar products.

This strategy is one you can use to generate leads who haven’t converted on your website yet. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and other services allow marketers to use the cookies on their website to remind previous visitors of the solutions they offer. It’s more expensive than the broader means of searching for users based solely on interests and demographics, but the payoff is that much greater. By some estimates, visitors who see retargeted ads are 70 percent more likely to convert to a retailer’s website. Compared to normal display ads—which typically see lower clickthrough rates—that’s not a figure to ignore.

Are You Just Blogging? Or Are You Strategically Blogging? [VIDEO]

Blogging and Creating Premium Content

I’ve alluded to the importance of blogging for lead generation a few times now, but I’ll say it again: If you’re not blogging and creating gated premium content, you’re leaving major opportunities for leads on the table. You’re also increasing the likelihood that your competitors who are creating content will capture your leads before you do.

Blogging shows search engines and potential leads that you keep your website up to date and have recent, vital information that you’re willing to share about your industry. It also establishes thought leadership and allows your sales team to have content that supports their efforts when they’re working with prospects.

There are just as many benefits for developing premium content, and they come with the added bonus that it gives you a more immediate way to engage with your leads as contacts. However, there’s a catch—when you’re developing premium content that you’re gating behind a form, make sure whatever you have to give them is worth trading away their email address. That’ll help foster more trust with them and make them more likely to want to work with you.

The Final Piece: How to Qualify Leads and Measure Success

Let’s assume that you’re already following all of these lead generation best practices. What comes next?

One of the key recommendations LeadG2 has in place for all of its clients is to have someone in charge of qualifying leads. This could be someone on the marketing team, or it could be a sales manager. Whoever it may be, it’s the lead qualifier’s job to determine whether these leads are ready to speak with sales.

A number of factors go into determining this, including the form on which they submitted, whether they actively expressed interest in getting pricing or having their questions answered, and whether or not the lead’s business fits the services they’re offering. It often requires a bit of research to learn about who the lead is and how they got there, but the benefit is that the leads they qualify are more likely to become customers more quickly.

Your leads have more power in the decision-making process than ever before. However, that’s also made lead generation easier than it’s ever been, provided that you follow all of the best practices and have buy-in from your team.

To learn more about lead generation and creating a successful strategy for attracting new business, view our on-demand webinar today.

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: A 7-Step Roadmap to Successful Lead Generation

About Author

Sandra Sepaniak
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