How to Plan a Winning Lead Generation Process (2021 Update)

In this article we will be discussing the process that a company should use to plan and execute a successful lead generation strategy. The process is generally broken down into three steps. The first step is to set a goal for how many leads you would like to generate in a given timeframe. This is often referred to as your ideal number. The goal of this step is to determine the target amount of business you would like to generate in a given timeframe.

You’ve worked hard on your marketing strategy, and your business has built up an impressive list of prospects. Now, it’s time to change the game — but what’s needed to take your business to the next level?

Plan your marketing and lead generation process this year! Recapitulate all of the elements of a winning lead generation process and make sure they are in place in the year 2021.. Read more about lead generation process step by step and let us know what you think.

The lead generating process is the Achilles’ heel of business growth for many companies today. Our comprehensive guide will teach you how to produce leads the correct manner and on a regular basis.

They spend a lot of money on closers — salespeople who are motivated and eager to complete transactions — but they aren’t generating enough leads to keep the company busy.

How can your company develop a lead generation strategy that ensures a steady stream of quality leads for your sales team?

This article addresses the most often asked questions about establishing a successful lead generation system, so you can put in place the appropriate procedure to keep your pipeline filled and your salespeople busy completing transactions.

Lead Generation: What You Should Know:

  1. What Is Lead Generation and How Does It Work?
  2. What Is the Importance of Lead Generation?
  3. What is the definition of a lead generation strategy?
  4. The Lead Generation Process in 5 Steps
  5. What Is The Best Way To Begin The Lead Generation Process?
  6. What Lead-Generation Tools Do I Need?
  7. You’ve got a new lead. So, what’s next?

What is the definition of lead generation?

The process of recruiting prospects and turning them into customers of your product or service is known as lead generation. To generate leads, businesses may use a variety of methods. The creation of leads is the first and most important stage in the sales process. It all boils down to attracting the attention of the individuals who are most inclined to purchase from you.

The following are some methods for generating leads:

  • Blogging
  • Marketing through email
  • Landing Pages for Websites
  • Coupons
  • Networking
  • Events that occur in real time
  • Webinars

What Is Lead Generation and How Does It Work?

Any action that raises awareness of a product or service and attracts prospective consumers in order to fill the sales funnel.

Digital marketing, cold emails, cold calls, SEO, webinars, sponsored search, social media, and online advertising are some of the most successful lead generating tactics today.

What Is the Importance of Lead Generation?

We all know how essential it is to close transactions. What we forget is that unless we keep the pipeline full, there will be no transactions to complete.

To meet sales targets, every company must find out how to continuously add leads to the pipeline.

Lead generation is the process of generating interest in a product or service and attracting prospective clients in order to fill the sales funnel.

Digital marketing, cold emails, cold calls, SEO, webinars, sponsored search, social media, and online advertising are some of the most successful lead generating tactics today.

The creation of leads is the first and most important stage in the sales process. It all boils down to attracting the attention of the individuals who are most inclined to purchase from you.

What will you utilize to get people’s attention? Relationship and trust.

Overcoming Attention Overload: The Foundation

Consumers nowadays are bombarded with requests to action. Every day, they get hundreds of emails in their mailbox. Thousands of commercial messages are constantly bombarding them. They’re also balancing priorities at home and at work.

The digital marketplace has made connecting with people simpler, but it has also increased the number of relationships we handle on a daily basis. So, in order to stand out, you must depend on two elements that individuals unconsciously consider when deciding where to focus their attention: connection and trust.

To put it another way, you must overcome attention overload.

To figure out how to accomplish that, we’ll look at two ideas that explain why individuals open one email and not another, or why they respond to one phone call but not another.

What are these ideas? “Rented attention” and “owned attention” are two different concepts.

Rented attention is similar to old-school marketing. It’s all about leveraging someone else’s audience and paying for a portion of their already-earned attention. Years ago, this meant full-page advertisements in your industry’s most prominent trade publication or radio spots on the station your target demographic listens to during rush hour. It’s all about getting someone to sponsor a blog post or an email these days.

Owned attention is earned by providing so much value that you become the industry’s go-to resource. You’re the digital magazine on which everyone else wants to purchase ad space in this instance. Or the podcast where people queue up to be interviewed.

Finally, if you have owned attention, you presumably have a large email list and an active social media following. People respect you and listen to you whenever you talk.

Here’s why this is so important…

Your leads check their email, browse through various social media sites, and listen to their voicemails every day. They have a finite amount of time and, by default, a finite amount of attention. They’ll stop scrolling and open your email if they know and like you. You’ll get a short look and swipe if you don’t. That is all there is to it. The game is ended.

Consumers nowadays are aware of the strategies you’re using and have little tolerance with them. As a result, you’ll need to put in a lot of effort to overcome their attention deficit and gain their trust. The only other option is to pay to play, which entails renting attention by purchasing ad space or mentions from someone who already has it.

what is lead generation

The Process: The Key to Generating Leads on a Regular Basis

To be successful at lead generation, you’ll need a systematic, consistent, and repeatable method for putting leads into the pipeline on a regular basis.

Of course, the important term is repeated.

The sales staff must create their own leads since there is no repeatable method for producing pipeline and, ultimately, leads. Less time spent on lead generation equals less time spent closing.

That is seldom a recipe for success, and it often results in dissatisfied salespeople, sales managers, and senior executives who are unable to meet their revenue targets.

But don’t be alarmed. In just a minute, we’ll take you through the steps of creating a smart lead generation process. However, first…

What is the definition of a lead generation strategy?

A well-thought-out procedure for bringing quality leads to the top of the pipeline is what a lead generation plan is.

You must first examine the following while developing a lead generating strategy: What are the most important sources of business possibilities that you can bring into your funnel on a regular basis so that your sales closers can perform their jobs?

Every lead generation plan starts with identifying the organization’s best, simplest, and most dependable lead sources.

This isn’t a case of one-size-fits-all.

Different companies have different ideal lead sources. At the same time, each company’s approach for maximizing those optimal sources will be unique. Let’s take a short look at what’s functioning right now.

The Lead Generation Process in 5 Steps

Any effective lead generating process resembles a seamless integration of all the various lead creation methods and technologies you use.

“You want to have a lot of oars in the water,” as one of my instructors used to say.

how to generate leads

That implies integrating multiple lead generation methods into a sequenced campaign to optimize the chance of producing an appointment from each individual outreach, rather than depending on just one approach to create leads.

One of the most effective methods to set out your lead generation process is to combine your lead generating tools into a well-thought-out campaign.

Let’s suppose you’ve identified a certain ideal prospect and compiled a list of individuals who meet that criteria.

Then you wonder, “How am I going to contact these people?”

So, you start combining the lead generation methods we discussed previously in this guide: cold emails, cold calls, asking for references, determining which exhibitions or conferences to attend, and so on.

You may even collaborate with your marketing team to create direct mail pieces or letters to get in front of your prospects throughout a series of events, so that by the time you call them — or they respond to that email — they already know who you are.

Here are the five stages to having a lot of oars in the water…

1. Make a goal.

Before you establish your goal, meet down with your sales team and talk about what you want to accomplish with the lead generating process. Have a clear objective in mind that will simplify the process for everyone on the team. Your goal should be measurable and well-defined.

2. Make a strategy

After deciding on a goal, the following step should be to devise a strategy. In the lead generation guide, this is the following stage. This method requires extensive research, which includes gathering information about your target market and developing an Ideal Consumer Profile via surveys and questionnaires. Collect as much information as possible about your ICP, including complete name, email address, business name, and state/country.

Finally, don’t overlook social media accounts; they’re data gold mines.

3. Keep your message simple.

Concentrate on creating a straightforward yet genuine message that conveys your value and addresses your prospect’s concerns. In this stage, tone is crucial; it should be conversational and pleasant. As a sales professional, you want your prospect to trust you, which is why a pleasant and approachable tone is so important.

Once you’ve established a working connection with your lead, start with the most basic lead generation techniques, such as emails and social media marketing, and work your way up to the more costly ones, such as in-person meetings.

Use trending keywords and attractive article titles to create useful content and offers that appeal to the client’s weak areas.

4. Create a system for responding to leads.

Make a response procedure that explains how you’ll attract and react to leads. Leads may be routed to a web page, email address, or phone number as part of the process.

Freshsales and other Customer Relationship Management solutions are helpful at this stage since they automate and simplify the response process.

5. Keep a lead database.

Identifying which leads are worth pursuing and nurturing is part of maintaining a database. You’ll also be able to tell which leads aren’t worth purchasing. Lead scoring allows you to keep track of your leads. Even better, it allows you to rank them in order of importance.

This method aids in the identification of new leads as well as the evaluation of current ones.

Today’s Top Lead Generation Techniques

Email, content marketing, and search are the main sources of leads for companies today, followed by live events.

lead generation marketing

Source

It’s worth pausing to consider content marketing for a minute, particularly because it’s the engine that powers most lead generation offerings.

For years, one of the most popular (and smart) lead generating strategies has been content marketing. This is because it educates prospects, providing them with information about their issues, your solutions, and what they may anticipate. It may also be beneficial at any point throughout the buyer’s journey.

Content may attract individuals who are eager for what you provide at the top of the funnel, when consumers are either ignorant that they have an issue or unaware that there is a viable solution.

  • Articles, blog entries, and books
  • Speeches, webinars, and other types of presentations are available.
  • Slide presentations, infographics

Content may assist individuals self-qualify and discover the features and advantages that are most attractive to them in the middle of the funnel, when they are investigating their choices.

  • Reports and polls
  • How-to manuals and training
  • Templates, checklists, and other tools are available.

When consumers are at the bottom of the funnel and contemplating a purchase, content may help them get off the fence and close the sale.

  • Case studies are used to illustrate a point.
  • Success tales from customers
  • White papers are a kind of paper that is used

Lead creation may happen 24/7 simply by producing content and optimizing it for organic search, resulting in lists that your sales representatives can utilize to nurture leads and close deals.

Keep in mind, though, that since content marketing has grown so common, standing out is becoming more difficult. Owned attention comes into play in this situation. Even if someone doesn’t know who you are, they will recognize you if you are well-known in the neighborhood. From the start, there’s a bit more trust.

But let’s pretend you don’t have a lot of your own focus.

Even if you’re a totally new connection, you may develop the name recognition you need to be recognized. To do this, just make enough touches in enough various channels to be noticed.

That’s why having a variety of lead generating activities is crucial. Consider the following scenario:

  • Events that occur in real time
  • Email
  • Postage stamps
  • Pay-per-click and display advertising are two types of advertisements.
  • Use of social media

What criteria do you use to make your decision? To figure out what works, you’ll have to experiment with various kinds of material.

Test the outcomes of one or two kinds of lead generating efforts. If something is working, keep doing it. Attempt to improve your efforts in order to generate even more leads. If something doesn’t work, try a different technique or a different activity.

lead generation tips

It’s OK if you want to concentrate on a task that you aren’t now prepared to perform – whether because you lack the money, equipment, or personnel. Set goals for when you’ll be able to attempt them. For example, suppose we have a team of ten employees or an advertising budget of $XX.

How to Maintain the Efficiency of Your Lead Generation Process

After you’ve determined which lead generating methods are most effective for you, the remainder of your lead generation plan revolves around who is responsible for what:

  • Who will be in charge of making sure your lead generation systems are up and running?
  • Who will ensure that individuals responsible for producing those leads are using the most effective strategies?

Keep in mind that closers aren’t always the ideal people to handle lead creation. Allow them to concentrate on the pipeline. Allow your SDRs or BDRs to create and qualify leads so that your closers have a pipeline full of sales-ready prospects to deal with.

Develop a lead generation strategy.

You’ll need solid answers to the following questions to provide the groundwork for your lead generating strategy:

  • Who will be in charge of your lead generating efforts?
  • Are they focusing on cold email, cold calls, generating referrals, or direct mail marketing as outbound strategies?
  • How do you truly improve each component so that your lead generating plan is as effective as possible?

Please take your time. Your responses should be based on your resources and budget. You don’t have to be concerned about making a mistake since your approach will evolve with time. To these questions, there is no such thing as a “bad” response.

What Is The Best Way To Begin The Lead Generation Process?

First and foremost, B2B companies must have an inbound lead generating strategy.

Your aim is to establish a variety of “entry ramps” and “doorways” for individuals to discover your organization and learn more about what you do.

How to Begin Generating Sales Prospects

“Nothing occurs unless something moves,” Albert Einstein famously remarked. You must do the following steps:

  • Make your own lead generating plan and put it into action.
  • Get out there and put the tools to good use.
  • Create an accountability strategy for how you’ll produce the amount of leads you (or your team) need on a daily or monthly basis.

When I work with clients on this, we often start at the beginning.

We start by considering the following question: “How many sales do we need to make in the end?”

Then we question ourselves, “How many leads do we need to create in order to achieve that sales numbers?”

Finally, we address the issue, “What do we need to do on a daily or weekly basis to produce all of those leads?”

It’s just a matter of carrying out the strategy after we’ve determined the activity mix. Consistency is one of the most important aspects of lead generation execution.

We don’t want to make 200 cold calls one day and then nothing for the rest of the week. For a week or a month, we want to keep track of the amount of cold calls, emails, and referrals. As a result, the process consists of a manageable number of actions that produce leads.

In general, there are two methods for doing so: inbound lead generation and outbound lead creation.

Generation of Inbound Leads

What Is Inbound Lead Generation and How Does It Work?

A lead generation approach that includes the utilization of high-value content in funnels and marketing campaigns to attract and entice your ideal prospect to join your mailing list.

Inbound marketing may attract sales-ready prospects who are actively searching for a product or service like yours, while the focus is on giving information (not selling).

Consider inbound tactics to be lead generation activities that attract website visitors by gaining attention, building brand awareness, and generating leads.

They tend to provide a steady stream of cold leads, which relieves some of the strain on your outbound lead generation efforts. With an inbound marketing plan in place, prospective customers will be able to:

  • Find you
  • Keep an eye out for you.
  • Examine your material.
  • Raise their hands to show that they want to speak with you.

For most companies, they are, of course, the summit of leads. As a result, having a consistent procedure in place for producing high-quality content is critical.

Here are my five recommendations for getting your incoming process up and running:

1. Make a list of qualified leads.

You need to know precisely who you’re going after and that you’re going after the correct individuals.

To better understand the DNA of your greatest consumers, do specialized business research. Enter your top customers into a search tool like LinkedIn. Investigate a company’s industry and revenue. Examine a person’s age, income level, geography, home value, and other demographic information.

2. Create a strategy for your whole prospecting campaign.

Don’t attempt to make it up as you go along. You’ll need a graphic representation of the whole campaign. As an example:

lead generation guide

Whether you’re sending a direct message, sending an email, or making a phone call, you need to know precisely what you’ll do at each stage.

3. Over the course of a month, map 20+ touches.

According to research, sales representatives make far too few touches. In fact, getting an appointment takes 18 touches. However, managing 20 or more touches may be difficult, so you’ll need to remain organized and stick to the procedure.

4. Make use of all of your resources.

You may have a favorite channel or set of tools, but it’s critical to make advantage of everything available to you. That’s how you gain people’s attention by establishing name recognition and trust.

Using a sales engagement platform that houses all of your resources in one place is a smart idea. You’ll receive reminders to get you to do the next step, and you’ll be able to dial a phone number or send the next email in your sequence from that tool.

5. Repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition,

Stick to the plan. Stay within the parameters of the system. Always go on to the next stage in your sequence to keep your leads list fresh and reach out to new individuals.

Another thing to remember is to write notes in your CRM. Consider it your Prospect Relationship Manager (PRM), and use it to keep track of your interactions with each lead.

Creating Outbound Leads

What Is Outbound Lead Generation and How Does It Work?

Any lead generating activity that is sent out to a target list based on demographics, industry, or job title rather than any action that showed interest, such as direct mail, cold phoning, or cold email.

When it comes to outbound marketing, you almost never know if the receiver is interested in what you’re offering. The campaign is intended to spark that interest and, if they are, to motivate them to take action.

There are a few main techniques for producing sales leads in an outbound lead creation strategy. Let’s take a closer look at the most successful ones today.

Email that isn’t warm

Cold email is the most popular method for generating outbound leads in today’s industry. Cold email is the 21st century’s equivalent of a cold call.

But it’s not as simple as launching a 10,000-person email blast from your Constant Contact or HubSpot account. Instead, generating highly customized sales outreach is what successful cold email is all about.

  • In a human manner, connects with the possibility.
  • It demonstrates that you have completed your assignment.
  • Persuades the prospect that you are aware of their problems.

At the end of the day, these emails should result in prospects responding positively. Cold email outreach has been shown to work. But, even when done at scale using automated technologies, the key is extreme customization for each prospect.

Calling from afar

Another effective method to get sales leads is via cold phoning. (Cold calling isn’t gone just yet.) It is effective.) Cold calling, on the other hand, may be aggravating since it is a low-return activity.

It has the potential to produce revenue if done correctly. However, in order for this to happen, you must:

  • Demonstrate that you’ve completed your assignment.
  • Make it obvious that you are familiar with the prospect.
  • Check to see whether what you’re providing is appropriate for the prospect.

A key to successful cold calling, like with cold email, is to only call the appropriate individuals.

You want to make sure you’re engaging with the customer on a deep level. If you’re going to the trouble of conducting cold calls, be sure the list of individuals you’re contacting is really a list of economic buyers – the people you want to speak to.

Introductions and referrals

Requesting recommendations and introductions is another no-brainer lead generating technique. Using your current customer base is the low-hanging fruit for this strategy. Talk to your current customers about people they know who may be a good match for your services.

Because they are uncomfortable with the concept, most salesmen do not ask for recommendations or introductions. They believe that asking for recommendations will irritate or anger their customers.

But in the 15 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never heard of a salesman losing a customer because they asked for a referral to another company.

You’re losing out on a lot of fresh lead possibilities if you don’t ask for introductions to new sources of business.

Upsells and cross-sells

Of course, another way to generate leads is to sell more deeply to your current customers. To put it another way, get in front of your customers and sell more to them.

Most businesses and salespeople are content with the first sale, but we can frequently sell much more deeply to current customers who like and trust us.

Consider this: What can you do to assist them in growing their businesses? How can you convert a $50,000-per-year account into a $250,000-per-year account by simply delivering additional services and products that enable them to achieve their main objectives?

Networking and Conferences

Conferences and networking are a last important source of lead creation. Get to the locations or activities where your ideal prospects will be if you can find them.

Do whatever it takes to get there. Participate in the trade show if it means participating in the trade show. Go to the conference as an attendee and speak to people if that’s all it takes.

However, have a detailed strategy before attending any conference or trade fair. Determine who you want to speak with in order to make the most of the chance.

You may also combine a conference or trade fair with other lead generation strategies.

Determine who will be there and send them emails through a cold email campaign, for example. Let them know you’ll be there as well and that you’re looking forward to seeing them.

You may also call others who are doing the same thing.

You may also ask your current customers for introductions to individuals who will be attending the trade exhibition.

Make the most of all of these lead generating opportunities to make the most of your time at a trade show, conference, or industry event.

What Lead-Generation Tools Do I Need?

There are a slew of fantastic lead generation tools available. What exactly do you require? And how do you make your decision?

First and foremost, you’ll need to locate a solution that can serve as an actual source of lead data, such as a list business that can provide you with high-quality prospect databases.

The other essential tool for any lead generation professional is LinkedIn Navigator, which is one of the most effective methods to find prospects by industry, title, or company size.

You’ll need a set of tools to contact your leads after you’ve determined who you’ll contact.

  1. Of course, you’ll need a telephone.
  2. And you’ll need your CRM system to keep track of those calls.
  3. You’ll also want to implement cold email automation.

There are a plethora of cold email automation solutions available to assist you send cold emails at scale.

Tools that may be used on their own:

Within your CRM, you should:

Your sales engagement platform is as follows:

You should start utilizing some of these tools to help you utilize your time.

You may then add a variety of additional pieces of technology to your sales stack from there. But it all starts with a few basic tools that will help you plan and execute this procedure on a regular basis.

have-many-oars-in-the-water-300x251

You’ve got a new lead. So, what’s next?

Lead creation is just the beginning of the sales process; there are additional steps that must be completed once a lead has been generated, such as follow-up and the use of sales tactics.

The new lead should be nurtured in the following ways:

Following lead creation comes lead nurturing, which is following up with prospects and engaging them in order to develop a connection.

You want to turn your lead into a prospective customer as a salesperson. To accomplish so, you must first build trust. You may do this in two ways: by employing a friendly tone and by providing information that is both interesting and useful to the lead.

Create useful material for the new customer:

Make sure your material is relevant to the prospect’s interests and problems. It’s something you can include in your emails, website, and social media profile. A multichannel distribution strategy is the best way to expand your reach.

Maintain numerous lines of communication:

To sustain communication across many channels, your channels should be linked. Marketing automation may help with this. This technology is groundbreaking because it simplifies and automates your marketing activities, resulting in increased productivity and income. It also guarantees that your leads get the most up-to-date information at the right moment.

In the not-too-distant future, you’ll be able to call up a robot that will take the lead on your next marketing campaign from start to finish. A robot, of course, won’t have a sense of humor, nor will it be interested in what you have to say. So here’s the challenge: how might a robot plan and execute a successful lead generation campaign?. Read more about lead generation process flow chart and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you do lead generation effectively in 2021?

In 2021, lead generation will be done through social media and email marketing.

How do you create a lead generation strategy?

A lead generation strategy is a plan that includes the steps needed to generate leads.

What is the process of lead generation?

The process of lead generation is the process of finding potential customers for a product or service.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • b2b lead generation strategies
  • b2b lead generation meaning
  • lead generation process flow chart
  • lead generation strategies 2018
  • lead generation examples