Effective lead generation strategies for businesses today

By James M. Gatheru – Are you looking for effective lead generation strategies to reach your target customers? Here are strategies worth considering. We define it in so many ways—the backbone of a business, the bread and butter of digital marketing, or the crucial driver of a sales funnel.

One thing is sure, lead generation is an absolute necessity for any business looking to thrive in the digital marketing space. Yet for all its usefulness, up to 61 percent of marketers indicate that generating high-quality leads is no mean feat.

We mostly blame stiff competition for this, but ineffective strategies also play a huge role in how effectively we can reach target audiences.

If you’re tired of being obscure or don’t want to reach that point, here are effective lead generation strategies to help you pull in the right audiences.

  1. Cold Calling

This is arguably a top strategy for gaining leads. Don’t take my word for it. A survey by RAIN Group showed that callers who educate their listeners on new perspectives or provide industry-relevant insights influence purchase decisions.

You want to be the company that influences purchases in its favor. Now, there are two ways to go about this. You can round up your team and brainstorm your value proposition or outsource to a competitive sales outreach firm.

With the latter, you’ll have access to a team that’s experienced in targeting and delivering value to the right prospects to ensure you achieve your goal.

Let’s look at some cold calling best practices, shall we?

  • Know your quota. Record the number of calls you make daily or weekly and how long it takes to reach, interest, and convert prospects. Tweak your pitch to ensure you can express your value proposition in a shorter time.
  • Use local numbers. Calling a prospect on the other side of the country? Use a local number to increase the chances of them taking the call. Most people are suspicious of calls with long-distance area codes, especially when they are not expecting them.
  • Identify the right contact person. Many organizations have specific people that handle procurement. Identify more than one decision-maker, so you can be transferred to another person if the one you’re looking for isn’t available.
  • Make calls at the appropriate times. “Appropriate” depends on your target industry. For some, it’s in the morning and others late afternoon. Note these times and contact your prospects then.

2- Use Lead Generation Tools

Back in the day, businesses relied on TV ads, brochures, conferences, and trade fairs to generate leads. The process was long, unpredictable, and generalized. The kind that cast nets too wide but caught little.

Today’s businesses invest in software that automates the lead qualification process and provides teams with insightful information to help them stay in touch.

This cuts down the time your team would otherwise put into research, and channel it to following up well-qualified leads and converting them.

Benefits of investing in lead generation software include:

  • Identifying new prospects. The software captures information about website visitors at the point of contact, be it content download, landing page visit, or opening emails. By understanding online visitor interactions, you can personalize their journey to increase conversions.
  • Pinpointing effective strategies. Lead source tracking lets you know which strategies or platforms bring in the most leads. You can then maximize those that work, tweak those with potential and consider abandoning the ones that don’t bring in leads.
  • Lead scoring. Lead scoring distinguishes casual browsers from qualified leads. The team focuses on well-qualified leads, while the system nurtures casual leads to interest them in your offerings.
  • Maintaining accurate records. Outdated data is a nightmare that keeps you from reaching your ideal audience. People change jobs, companies change telephone numbers, and new businesses are formed. Lead gen tools keep up with changes in contact information to ensure your efforts aren’t in vain.

3- Live Chat

A prospect or customer is on your website researching your offerings. If they have a question, what’s the quickest way to get answers?

Live chat.

Up to 41 percent of buyers, expect to find live chat on company websites. A researcher in need of quick answers will look for a brand that provides this support. If you aren’t offering it, they will find a competitor that does.

The top benefits of incorporating live chat include:

  • Increasing conversions. You can take your prospects by hand, educate and help them beat the objections that keep them from reaching buying decisions.
  • Reducing overhead costs. Research showed that a single customer support agent can handle up to six chats simultaneously. It translates to lower costs since fewer human agents are needed to handle requests.
  • Gaining competitive advantage. Six out of 10 B2Bs employ live chat to offer real-time support, well the other 4 are losing opportunities for engagement. Live chat differentiates you from the competition and gives you an edge over them.
  • Understanding customer needs. Reviewing chat transcripts gives you insights into your site visitors’ mindsets. You can then tweak your copy to meet needs and answer queries, effectively eliminating the barriers to making purchases.

4- Retargeting

A big headache for B2Bs is that online visitors come to their websites and leave without converting. Retargeting paves the way for you to re-engage these former visitors across the web.

This strategy allows you to sustain brand awareness even as the visitors look at other things on the internet (including your competitors). Retargeting also helps recapture lost leads and encourage them to re-engage.
Best practices include:

  • Create a remarketing list. Use behavioral data to map out users and understand their position in the purchase cycle. In mapping you can segment and create unique messages for them. The goal of these messages will be to move the leads towards conversion.
  • Create landing pages that encourage users to take specific actions. Create landing pages that speak to their unique needs and intrigue them to move forward.
  • Create ads. Running a remarketing strategy will require the use of ads such as display ads, search ads, and social ads. They literally place you in the face of audiences.
  • Create supporting content. Go for the softer side of selling through content marketing. Use blog posts, email content, white papers, and videos to further explore and educate audiences on their needs and solutions.

5-Use Case Studies

This hidden gem of content marketing proves that your solutions have successfully worked for another company. Successful case studies incorporate brands, their challenges, your solutions, and user experience so far.

As readers read or watch the case study, they envision their own challenges and how your solutions can help overcome them. It’s through this relatability that you can win over leads.

Here are some considerations:

  • Keep case studies concise. The goal here is to prove your offerings move “the needle.” That’s what potential customers want to know. Replace flowery promotional tactics with analytics to strengthen your case.
  • Go into detail. No, it doesn’t contradict the first point. Go into details how your products/services addressed customer needs. It helps increase audience relatability.
  • Focus on client goals. Alongside metrics, an impactful case study showcases the unique needs of your customer and the measurable impact your solutions had on their bottom line. If your needs can impact bottom lines positively, audiences will be interested.