WHAT IS LEAD GENERATION?

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1 wowanalytics WHAT IS LEAD GENERATION?

2 Lead Generation: the beginning... In today s business market, generating new business is becoming increasingly difficult. With attention space scarce, companies need to stay one step ahead by generating their own leads. Instead of relying on out of date and time-consuming methods, businesses can now invest in lead generation technology that keeps track of their online website leads for them. This whitepaper will look at the technology available, the trends sales & marketing are currently exhibiting and the best practices moving forward with lead generation. With industry expert advice, you ll understand how to utilise this technology too. Contents What is Lead Generation?....3 Why lead generation technology is important...3 How lead generation is changing the buying process...4 The technology available on the market...4 Current Lead Generation Trends...5 Which tactics are currently working?...5 What challenges do current lead generation trends present?...6 Business priorities moving forward...6 Lead Generation Best Practice...7 Inbound marketing strategies...7 Outbound marketing strategies...8 Lead Generation: The end goal...9 Qualifying leads from lead gen technology...9 Identifying your leads from your lead gen software...10 Contacting your leads...10 What is Lead Generation? Page 2

3 What is Lead Generation? Lead Generation is still a relatively new term in the business realm. Originally, it simply described the marketing process for the use of a programme, database or the internet to find leads and prospects interested in your business. However, now, as more companies battle for clients attention, lead generation has developed into its own technology. Lead Generation Software has been designed to simplify and speed up the process of discovering the companies who are interested in doing business with you. This software works by using IP lookup technology. This technology tracks companies IP addresses from your website to then tell you who has been on your website so you can start selling to them. Why lead generation technology is important We must all accept that the internet has changed our way of life, both personal and professional. The amount of information produced and shared on the World Wide Web is staggering compared to a decade ago. As such, it s getting harder for companies to reach out online to potential buyers. Instead, they must draw buyers in. Then comes the problem of tracking how successful you are at standing out from the crowd and noise. How can companies tell who is coming onto their website, when only 2% of traffic identify themselves through either form fills or by contacting the company in question? This is where lead generation technology has become important and built itself a reputation. Not only does the software allow businesses to track how successful their marketing campaigns are, it can use its IP lookup technology to show the identities of the leads on a business s website. How can companies tell who is coming onto their website when only 2% of traffic identify themselves? This means companies no longer have to find the sources of their own leads, which in the past was a time-consuming process. It also means they don t have to rely on out-ofdate databases to cold call prospective buyers. They can now focus on the leads that they know are interested in their product or service, making lead conversion rates that much higher. What is Lead Generation? Page 3

4 How lead generation is changing the buying process It s no secret that the buying process has changed. Lead Generation no longer means what it used to because businesses no longer market themselves as they did before. Below is a graph of what B2B marketing used to consist of, and what it has now developed into: As you can see, the marketer s life have changed significantly. Back then, Lead Generation would have meant that marketing found the names of potential buyers and passed them to sales. Sales, in turn, would have expected the buyer to be uninformed and treated it much like any other cold call. Buyers are anywhere from 66-90% of the way through their buying journey before they contact the vendor. Lead Generation is changing that. We know that buyers are informed. We know that most buyers actually do the research before getting in contact with a provider they are ready to buy with. Lead Generation s job is to find those buyers before they have all the information they need, so sales can convince them that their business is the one the prospect should be using. A good lead generation strategy should help you capture the interest of your prospective customer long before they are ready to contact you. The technology available on the market More than 1 year 10% Less than 1 month 10% You may feel like potential buyers should obviously see that your product is superior to any other competitors, but they are not mind readers and they do not work for your business. Consumers want something that appeals to all their senses, so you need to make sure you meet their requirements rather than finding the audience that just fits the demographic you are looking to attract months 26% 1-3 months 30% The first step to drawing in your target audience is understanding their current pain points and problems in their industry. By becoming the problem solver you are 12 times more likely to make a lasting connection. 4-6 months 24% What is Lead Generation? Page 4

5 Lead Generation: Current Trends Current lead generation practice is showing us that more and more marketing departments are investing in lead generation technology to help them drive the right leads to their sales team online. However, face to face events such as seminars, conferences and exhibitions are still one of the most effective ways to qualify sales-ready leads immediately. This is most likely because, despite living in a technological age, we are still human and trust the physical interaction much more than we do online. In saying that, as inbound marketing only continues to grow, businesses must look at how they can use online lead generation moving forward to stay ahead of the buying curve. Use online lead generation to stay ahead of the buying curve Which tactics are currently working This bar chart from Marketo highlights perfectly what is currently working in the lead generation industry As you can see, as we mentioned above, conferences and tradeshows are still a successful lead qualifying marketing tool. However, the two others that maintain importance are the company website and marketing strategies. Here is where lead generation technology is the most powerful. There are a number of tactics within these two strategies that can further a businesses ROI. For example, a website with a successful blog will drive 67% more converting traffic than a website that does not feature any articles. And for marketing, marketing automation based on when leads arrive on your website or interact with a certain page increase your conversion rate by up to 70%. But we ll cover all the best practice methods in part 3 of this whitepaper. What is Lead Generation? Page 5

6 What challenges do current lead generation trends present? As lead generation continues to develop and grow in the business world, it s important to establish the current challenges those who are using lead generation technology currently find. A report from the IDG found that quality leads are still the greatest challenge for marketers. Of course, it is the great debate that sales and marketing have been arguing about since the dawn of time. When is a sales lead a qualified opportunity? This is why we mentioned in the previous section that you should invest in a lead generation technology that implements a lead scoring system. This system allows sales and marketing to agree beforehand on what constitutes a qualified lead and generates your company the leads that can actually be converted into sales. The other highly problematic challenges included converting leads (which requires a lead nurturing programme), creating meaningful content (a developed content marketing strategy) and demonstrating a return on investment (lead analytics).. Of course, with the best practices and lead generation software developed beyond the basics, these percentages should shrink significantly within the next two to three years.having to go out to get prospects attention. What is Lead Generation? Page 6

7 Business priorities moving forward Obviously, as these problems sit at the top of the chart, they are the three priorities for lead generation technology as it continues to develop. Although, there are a number of other factors that are important to remember. Your lead generation should also help you in: Achieving or increasing measurable ROI Optimising the marketing to sales funnel Maximising the lifetime value of customers To find out more about the best practices that can ensure your lead generation software is meeting these priorities, read part 3. Lead Generation Best Practice As companies websites continue to display more information to draw buyers towards them, businesses must develop a working methodology to make sure all the leads coming to their website are processed through the sales cycle properly. There are many tools businesses can use for both inbound and outbound marketing to ensure their lead generation is working effectively. But, despite current trends, you cannot simply implement lead gen technology and expect it to do all the work for you. Similarly, you should not be implementing this system and then still do all the work anyway. Instead, it is a balance of technology and proven marketing strategies that will ensure your lead generation brings you more opportunities, customers and a greater return on investment. What is Lead Generation? Page 7

8 Inbound marketing strategies By definition: Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects attention. Website: Because today s buyers seek out the information they need before they consider buying, and attention-grabbing space is so rare on the internet, your website is the first port of call when building your inbound marketing strategy. It should clearly explain what you do, why you are different/better than your competitors and what you can offer them. When building your website, it s often best to think of the end goal in mind and work backwards. What is it you want the customer to achieve? To get in contact with you? Request a free trial? Fill out a form? Create a logical user journey which can be page scored, so you can use lead generation and scoring technology to establish qualified leads directly from your website. Expert tip: Consider also including easy to use contact request forms, customer testimonials and clear call to actions to encourage further interactions on your website. Content: Consumers expect companies to be experts in their chosen field. In order to get these consumers to come to you and show an interest, you must show that you know what they need before they do. One of the best ways to do this is to provide quality content. Many marketers are confused about what makes content high quality. However, it s simple. Provide relevant blogs (around 3-4 a fortnight), up to date news reports, the latest infographics and even step by step guides and e-books on how your product or service is working to improve consumers lives. Simply regurgitating other companies content will not make you an expert, so make sure what you have to say has a unique, original spin on your chosen topic. Note: Don t promote your product! Instead, provide useful information regarding your product and its uses in the industry. You want to be a pioneer prospects listen to, not a salesperson consumers ignore.having to go out to get What is Lead Generation? Page 8

9 SEO & Social Media: The backbone of your content, SEO will show search engines that your content is high quality, and, therefore, your website is too. Through creating quality content that gets seen, you break through the roar of the thousands of other companies vying for attention and establish yourself as a thought-leader who will attract more consumers. By also having content that is interesting enough to warrant sharing on social media, you boost your engagement. This in turn boosts your SEO and Google ranking giving you a higher level of visibility to market from. Outbound marketing strategies By definition: Outbound marketing is where the customers find you, mostly through various paid and natural search engine marketing efforts. Marketing/Direct Ads: marketing is the bread and butter of any marketing campaign. It doesn t matter what you are promoting whether it is new content on your website, an event you are attending or nurturing a lead through the pipeline after they have trialed your product. is still one of the most effective ways of B2B communication. 81% of businesses say marketing is their most effective communications channel.et Direct mail, on the other hand, is a great way to get straight to the point with a key decision maker. With the right lead generation technology, if you know a company has looked on your website, you can find the key decision makers details and them directly. It may seem old fashioned, but for those executives who don t browse the website yet hold all the monetary power, it can be a very effective way of cutting through that first barrier to qualifying a lead. Pay-per-Click Ads: Pay-per-Click, otherwise known as PPC adverts, allow you to pay for each click on your advertisement that is displayed on the likes of Google. You may have seen the Sponsored Ads on Google when you ve searched for a particular term this is PPC. These adverts are a great way to stand out from the crowd, whether you are promoting a new product or simply saying why you are better than a competitor. With a clever campaign and keyword selection, you can see exponential growth for very little money. What is Lead Generation? Page 9

10 Events: Again, as we mentioned earlier, face to face events are an integral part of your lead generation strategy. It is the second most effective way to determine leads and qualify if they are sales-ready. We crave the human interaction that the internet can t provide us with, hence why personalisation has become so big. After all, the best marketing that has ever existed is word of mouth, so it s important to go to these events, build up a trusting reputation and watch the word spread about your business. Lead Generation: The end goal Every business would like every lead that comes to them become a sale. In reality, that is never the case. Instead, we must use lead generation as a quantity AND quality tool to continue to improve business conversion rates. The software you choose and the practices you implement will have a big say on how effective your lead generation is. So it s important to acknowledge the areas in which your business is successfully performing and where you could look to improve, by either investing more money or more talented staff in those areas Qualifying leads from lead gen technology: Lead generation is useless if it doesn t actually find prospects who are interested in your business, otherwise known as qualified leads. The technology you implement should have a way of segmenting your website traffic to tell you who is sales-ready, who needs nurturing and the percentage of your traffic who are time-wasters. Lead Scoring is the methodology lead generation experts are using, and rather than relying on the time a lead spends on your website, they focus on your website journey. To find out more about effective lead scoring, and how it can qualify your leads for you, read this guide here. What is Lead Generation? Page 10

11 Identifying your leads from your lead gen software : This technology is advanced enough that in can provide you with contact information on the leads coming to your website. By using a software with a high-match private database, you can ensure that the leads being passed to your sales team are legitimate. It s important the information this technology provides you with is correct, so you can make sure you are connecting with your target market. To make sure you are able to target and tailor your sales pitches to the right leads, use lead generation software that can tell you: The company profile, including the industry they are in How many employees they have, including job titles Their financial data Any employee names or s that have been tracked with cookie technology Contacting your leads : Once you have the technology in place, you can use your lead generation to tailor your sales pitches in a way you haven t before. By being able to see exactly who the key decision maker is in the company and asking for them by name, you ll be able to get straight past the gatekeeper and start building a relationship with the right lead from the start. What is Lead Generation? Page 11

12 About WOW Analytics WOW Analytics was founded in 2008 by Lee Chadwick and Aaron Yates. Both work in senior IT positions in high profile technology companies. During the last few years, they have been researching, testing and creating web analytics solutions for B2B companies, using the best technology to accomplish the markets needs. WOW Analytics Version 2.0 is a powerful web analytics and lead generation tool which has been successfully implemented into the market through its user-friendly design and advanced sales and marketing functions. The platform offers you real time data feeding and powerful lead scoring capabilities, allowing you to get more from your online investments, and ensure that you never lose another online prospect. Contact us website: telephone: WOW Analytics Ltd, The Old Byre, Peper Harow, Godalming, Surrey, GU8 6BQ, UK. Tel: Company Reg Copyright 2014 WOW Analytics Limited All rights reserved.

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