I read a great quote from a marketer named Ron McDaniel the other day: "When it comes to the Internet in general, it matters less which online community or tool you use, and more on your commitment." Mr. McDaniel could have been referring to any stage in the lead development process, but the message of commitment is paramount to successful lead generation. Why? Because lead generation is more than filling a quota.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a tactical effort to drive interest toward your solutions. Assets should include pain points, value propositions, and CTAs. The objective for most enterprises is to gather prospects in volume then distribute those records as leads to the sales team with the goal of closing a fraction of those leads. However, lead gen is more than collecting prospect data for use in lead nurturing practices. The broader objective should be a commitment to brand development.
Tactically, lead gen requires a committed strategy of asset deployment, messaging, lead allocation, evaluation, and a focus on lead generation outcomes.
As Mr. McDaniel said, the channels or tools used to attract leads are somewhat inconsequential. Sure, your messaging must be delivered through appropriate channels that your prospects engage with. But most successful companies understand that lead generation requires multiple digital assets. Although there are plenty of studies indicating which assets companies are deploying, there is little record of which channels are the most effective.
Lead quality should always be considered when deploying assets. Lead generation should start the qualification process, but many see the two objectives as distinct processes. This couldn't be further from the truth. Lead generation is simply the first step in a protracted process of engagement. If your marketing messages are driving irrelevant leads to landing pages that don't convert, the problem isn't always in the landing page but in the first touch point. A database full of poor quality leads only serves to frustrate salespeople, often leading to ignoring or discarding contacts acquired through lead gen practices, which is why studies have shown that 80% of leads are discarded, lost, or ignored by salespeople.
Lead gen is not simply acquiring targets with a single shot. Too often companies deploy lead gen messages that are short-sighted. Certainly, the objective for lead gen messages is to attract but there should be a deeper goal: connection with your prospect. Companies will see greater success in nurturing leads down the line when prospects connect.
Messaging should not be static, and those who approach leads as a homogenous group are likely to fail at achieving lead gen goals. Buyers enter your marketing funnel at different stages of the buying cycle. Ensure that messaging is dynamic and evolutionary; as markets, offerings, and business goals change or evolve, so should the messaging being used to attract your prospects.