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Is lead generation worth it?

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Finding good customers online is hard. Every small business owner–and experienced lead gen company–knows this.

Although over 260 million people in the United States shop online, finding a constant supply of ideal consumers online is one of the most difficult challenges for small businesses.

The internet is a vast place. While that has its own advantages, what it often means is that many businesses and their services, including yours, can get lost in the crowd. Even the best-run companies require a healthy dose of marketing if they plan to scale. 

Some business owners adopt marketing with a “spray and pray” approach. That is, their idea of marketing involves distributing their product or service as far and wide as possible to everyone. The success of this approach is limited and can be quite expensive. Even worse, the quality of B2B leads often generated by this approach are usually low.

But what if it didn’t have to be like that? What if there was a way you could ensure your ad reached your target buyer persona and generated the high quality B2B LinkedIn leads and other leads that your business deserves? What if your marketing becomes a laser, rather than a flaming wildfire, targeting those in actual need of your service and saving everyone from useless ads?

 Sounds too good to be true? Well, it isn’t. Welcome to lead generation.

How does lead generation work?

business owner developing lead gen strategy A surgeon can’t operate on a patient without having all medically relevant information and tools. Likewise, lead generation is impossible without accurate data. The more specific your customers’ needs are, the more data is needed to generate quality leads. For many businesses, the process of gathering B2B leads is often too difficult to do on their own. And, frankly, it takes some expertise. So this is where a lead gen company comes in.

Lead generation companies work by finding potential customers and then providing those potential customers with information that might be of interest to them. This can include anything from offers and discounts to new products or services.

Lead generation companies look for potential customers in different ways. One popular method is by using a B2B lead database software generator such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator or UpLead to find and qualify potential prospects.

Ultimately, the goal of a lead generation company is to create a connection between a potential customer and a business that can result in a sale.

What is the lead gen process?

Generating and closing leads is largely a filtering process. 

The entire process (or entire pipeline) of turning disinterested strangers to curious followers and finally into dedicated  customers is called a lead funnel, and it is the most important concept in the lead generation marketing process. Here is how lead generation works:

1. Define your audience or sales criteria 

Once you have identified the goals and objectives of your lead generation process, it is important to define who your target audience should be. Who are they? What demographic do they belong to? Answering these questions can help you refine your prospect list and tighten up the criteria for qualifying leads. For example, if you’re selling a product or service suitable only for people over the age of 25, make sure you are targeting the right demographic. Having clear sales criteria will help you save time by quickly filtering out any leads that don’t fit these criteria. 

2. Gather audience contact information

For people who meet the minimum requirements of your sales criteria, collect their contact information (email, LinkedIn profile, job title, etc.) so you can launch targeted campaigns at them.

At this stage, you need to gather important information such as industry, company headcount, location, years of experience, intent data, and other relevant criteria for each potential lead to gauge whether it is the type of customer you should target. The more information you can collect, the more correlations you can find among your target customers, which is important for converting them.  

3. Import contact information to campaign 

Once you have all the necessary lead information, it’s time to launch campaigns that will attract potential customers and capture their attention. Create content that resonates with your target audience and use various channels (email, social media, etc.) to distribute your message.

The most effective lead campaigns for businesses that sell B2B products are matched audience campaigns. Matched audience campaigns ensure that only your target prospects can see your ads. A matched audience campaign targets prospects by combining your personal business data with available professional data. To run a matched audience campaign on LinkedIn, for example, all you need to do is upload your LinkedIn leads (that is, the list of prospects you’d like to advertise to) to the app. Then, LinkedIn matches the contact information you upload to profiles within the app. 

4. Review results and adapt 

As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to constantly evaluate and refine your lead generation strategy. Regularly track and review your results to understand what campaigns have been successful and which ones need improvement. 

Make sure you keep changing ads, so your audience doesn’t get burned out. This also allows you to determine which ads work best and which require refinement.

The lead funnel can be time-consuming and expensive, but it’s necessary to generate B2B leads and then sales. Using the right mix of lead generation processes can maximize your chances of success while minimizing your costs.

Pros of lead generation services

Services from a lead gen company offer a number of advantages for brands and businesses interested in B2B leads. 

Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that lead generation services can help you find new customers. By targeting potential customers who are not already familiar with your business, lead generation services can help you expand your customer base.

Pros of lead gen services

Additionally, lead generation services can help you:  

Save on your marketing budget with targeted ads 

Lead gen can help you target potential customers more efficiently, saving you from wasting resources with mass advertisement strategies. By targeting potential customers through LinkedIn and other online platforms, you can save money while reaching a larger audience.

Communicate more specifically to different targets 

Lead generation services are perfect for B2B companies who are looking to expand their customer base. By targeting potential customers who are not already familiar with your business, lead generation can help you find new customers and improve your marketing efforts.

Foster an audience, not just a sale

The process of lead generation focuses heavily on building positive and deeply meaningful connections with customers.  The aim is not just to sell a product, but to retain a loyal and satisfied customer.

Achieve better attribution 

Attribution in marketing means identifying the specific marketing initiatives that resulted in desired business outcomes, like sales or new customer sign-ups. The aim is to know which channels or messages had the most significant influence on the choice to convert. 

With lead generation, because you are advertising to a specific audience, it is much easier to know which ads are converting and which aren’t. 

You can even get attribution down to each ad that you run. With this, you can improve your creative content as needed to increase the effectiveness of your lead gen campaign.

Cons of lead gen

As with everything,  lead generation services have certain considerations that might not make it suitable for you. The caveats of using lead gen services include: 

Cons of lead gen services

Possibility of receiving low-quality leads 

The first note of caution is that you may not get the quality of leads you were hoping for. Quality is often largely dependent on the competence of the lead generation company you hire. An excellent lead gen company will do the research and deliver great leads, and an inexperienced one … well, you get the picture.

Cost

Depending on the lead gen agency you hire, you may end up paying a lot of money for leads that don’t convert into customers. In addition, you may need to invest in additional software or services to make the most out of the leads you generate. That being said, when it’s done right, you can drastically reduce your advertising costs.

Time-consuming 

Finally, lead generation can be time-consuming. You’ll need to create valuable content that will attract leads, and then you’ll need to track and analyze your results in order to make sure you’re reaching your goals. It’s the type of campaign where you need to be persistent and adapt to your results. If you’re looking for a quick win, this might not be the best strategy for you.

Is lead generation right for me?

selling to a qualified lead If you’re looking to generate quality leads for your Nashville business in this attention-deprived age where your customers are spammed with hundreds of irrelevant ads, consider a lead generation campaign.

Lead generation, when properly executed, allows you to send the right message to your ideal targets (and potential customers) at the right time of their sales cycle.

Think about the following questions and ask yourself whether a quality lead generation company can help you with these issues.

Do you know your audience really well?

The success of any brand hinges on its ability to connect with its target demographic. It’s the engine that propels successful advertising campaigns, builds consumer trust in a company’s brand, and boosts sales and profits.

When you have a firm grasp on who you’re trying to reach, from potential leads to paying consumers, your efforts will be more likely to bear fruit. This is how you build brand loyalty and advocacy over time and maintain contact with your audience over the long haul.

Your business and marketing will struggle with leads if you can’t quite define this most elemental part of your business. The more defined your target audience, the higher your chances of finding ideal customers.

Do your offerings have niche appeal?

If your Nashville business only offers specialized services, generating quality leads will probably require a much more personalized marketing strategy that directly addresses your potential customer’s pain points, as opposed to merely “spraying and praying”.

When you market to a niche market, you avoid having to compete with the big brands in your industry and instead focus on developing meaningful relationships with your local customers. The smaller your market, the better you have to know your customers.

Do I have a limited ad budget?

Mass marketing is expensive. Almost unbearably so. The resources it can cost to reach millions of strangers through ads can be extremely draining, especially for small brands and businesses in Nashville.

In contrast, lead generation can be much less expensive and is perfect for businesses with a small ad budgets, primarily because the strategy focuses on a small, select group of targets with actual demand for your service.

Do I have a large number of different audiences?

For businesses offering services that can be used by different segments of the population, defining buyer personas can be a challenge. By targeting potential customers who are not already familiar with your business, you can send out more targeted messages to each segment to hit on their specific benefits from your offerings.

If you find yourself needing help with any of the questions posed above, a lead generation company can help you address these issues. You can contact us for help.

Ready to start your lead generation with a lead gen company?

Take the Stairs is a Nashville-based lead gen company with the resources you need to find the right customers for your business venture. We can help you identify, curate, and expand your potential customer base through effective advertising. Contact us today to discuss your needs and how we can help you reach your business goals.

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