Do you have a refined lead generation strategy? Or are you just following the crowd?

Lead generation is a term that is easily bantered about but a strategy not often well executed. We take it for granted that if we work hard at delivering good information, then our lead generation will work. This tactic often ends poorly, particularly if you don’t quickly realize that lead generation is the beginning of a longer process, and must be approached correctly in order to work.

Let’s begin with our definition of lead generation – to find and communicate with your targeted prospects to generate interest in your products and services.

Notice that we are simply generating interest – not making sales calls but one thing and one thing only. Generating interest in your product or service.

Basic Needs for Lead Generation

To figure out if your lead generation is working, you must first understand three basic components:

  • Clear Target Market Profile – who are you selling to? Do you understand the consideration set of your target audience? Are your profiles clearly written? Do you know the buying behaviors and pain points?
  • EasyTo-Understand Offer – what are you selling? Is it presented in a straightforward manner that is easily understood by your target audience?
  • Fair Pricing – how much does your product or service cost? Is it competitive in the marketplace? Do you provide solid value for the price point?

All of these basics require thought and appropriate execution. Plus, it is critical to approach each need from the target customer’s perspective, rather than your own or simply copying the competition.

Challenge the Norm: Too often we set up lead generation based on some “expert” advice rather than performing appropriate due diligence to create a strategy that is focused on our own customers’ needs and in alignment with our business culture. It’s time to put forth effort in creating a true lead generation strategy that will improve your marketing and sales efforts.
Before you can begin with a lead generation strategy, you must first understand that there are two separate funnels for lead generation and sales. Each funnel will have its own processes and content. This ensures that the sales process begins when appropriate – not prematurely causing a prospect to head for the hills.

In order to create solid lead generation tactics that really work, first write a true target audience profile. Second, have a clearer understanding of marketing versus sales. Lead generation is a marketing effort. Use the information gathered from your target audience and your product information to secure interest in your offer and build your lead generation funnel.

Third, and most importantly, understand how to develop a process to move people through the lead generation funnel, and ultimately over to your sales funnel. There are three steps in using a channel strategy for lead generation:

  1. Define where your potential buyers are based on WHO (your target audience), WHAT (your product or service) and WHERE (the best place to find your target audience, known as a channel).
  2. Determine lead generation opportunities by channel. There are four primary channels – Guerilla, Organic, In-Direct and Direct (which we will cover in a future post). This should be well-defined and easy to understand.
  3. Develop a process that converts the leads into sales.

Lead generation strategies are powerful – if you know what makes them work. It is tempting to use a tactic that you read about in a business magazine or try something that a fellow entrepreneur suggests. However, to make the most of your lead generation efforts, you need to hunker down, do the work and figure out how best to reach your target audience. Then you can focus on generating sales.

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