B2B and B2C lead generation process is at the heart of every company's concerns. Lead generation literally means the detection of sales leads. Indeed, generating qualified b2b leads is the most critical step that leads to closing the sale.
To convert a commercial contact into a lead, actions must be put in place to bring it to maturity.
What digital strategy to put in place for lead generation? How to proceed to generate qualified leads and feed the company's sales representatives?
- To generate leads, you need to know what exactly is a lead?
Lead generation is the set of methods and tactics that capture qualified contacts for sales.
A lead is a business contact (literally a sales lead) who has shown an interest in your product or service. This interest is expressed by the communication of their contact details (email address, telephone number, etc.) in exchange, for example, for a reduction voucher.
It takes the form of a contact form with minimum contact details that allow it to be identified (first name, last name, email, telephone, company name, etc.)
It can come from commercial prospecting (in b2b) or can be generated by the various marketing levers:
- Contact form
- quote request
- phone call
What is the Difference Between a Lead and a Prospect?
The main difference between these two terms lies in the degree of maturity. Indeed, we do not go from simple visitor of a website to customer of the company in one click.
A lead is a simple contact on which the company has only basic information, and who has shown an interest in the latter (shows an interest).
A prospect a sales contact who has benefited from a qualification from the marketing department, and who has been handed over to the sales department (affirms an intention).
In other words, prospects are therefore leads who have the capacity to become customers. And yet this distinction takes on its full meaning in the context of an inbound marketing strategy that aims to generate mass leads.
- Why is lead generation important?
Lead generation, or lead generation as the marketing pros say, is the very foundation of growing your business. It is the first step in the customer acquisition process and brings many benefits:
With the right qualification processes, it helps companies target the best prospects from the start and therefore shorten the sales cycle and save time.
Especially with inbound marketing, a good lead generation strategy grows brand awareness organically.
It creates opportunities to improve your conversion journey.
It generates a large number of opportunities
- Lead, MQL, SQL… to generate leads you need to understand the conversion cycle
- Generate leads, marketing funnel (MQL, SQL, Client)
- Unknown / Visitor
These are the users who have never had contact or interaction with your company, visitors who are not ready to “identify”
Most of these users found you through:
- Content marketing (example: articles, infographics, webinars, checklists, etc.)
- To the referencing of your website.
- Social networks.
- The advertisement.
- Cold prospecting (direct phone calls and emails).
- In most cases, they don't necessarily know who you are or what you offer.
It's up to you to convince them to take the conversion step in order to generate qualified leads.
Cold prospecting contact
This is a unique type of “prospect” compared to others resulting from inbound marketing lead generation).
Generating leads with cold prospecting involves having to do the sorting yourself and figuring out what is the best step to take to convert them into sales-qualified leads.
This is also an opportunity to create a personal connection with these contacts and present your brand in a favorable light from the start.
Generate MQL leads (Marketing Qualified Lead – qualified for marketing)
MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) are users who have interacted with your marketing efforts in some way, but are not yet ready to make a purchase.
They may have landed on one of your blog posts thanks to your SEO and filled out a newsletter form for example. Or, they could fill out a form to download a free ebook (in exchange for their email address).
It is important to note that if these leads show an interest in learning more about your brand, they are not necessarily ready to make a purchase.
Even if the sales funnel is not linear, there is a good chance that MQLs will lose interest if your sales team contacts them at this stage (too soon) or if you send them information intended for another stage. of the marketing funnel.
MQLs need to mature with lead nurturing to take them to the next stage of the marketing funnel (communications and information about your brand values, quality standards, news, free resources, single value, etc.)
Generate SQL Leads (Sales Qualified Lead)
When a user performs an action like requesting the price of your software or adding a product to their cart, it's a clear sign that they are ready to convert. It is therefore called SQL.
- For your sales team to send them an e-mail,
- To target it through advertisements,
- To use marketing automation to remind him that he has products in his basket or that you are offering a promotion.
- The SQLs have already made up their minds about your brand and they need a boost to reinforce their purchase decision.
It's up to you how you want to do this (in terms of messaging), but remember that you're no longer just selling your business or brand to them (like you would to MQLs). They have already decided that your company is a good candidate for their needs.
Sales Accepted Lead (SAL)
An MQL becomes a SAL when the sales team accepts the lead to mature it (lead nurturing) and move it through the sales funnel.
Typically, when the lead is accepted by the sales team and meets all the requirements to be a potential customer, it becomes an SQL.
This step is often considered unnecessary by the majority of companies. However, it can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of the B2B funnel.
Quickly identify problems: the rate of acceptance (or rejection) of leads can be used as an indicator (KPI) of lead quality. According to Forrester the acceptance rate should be 90%. If it's below this number, it indicates an issue with lead qualification or communication between the marketing team and the sales team.
Better opportunity follow-up:
With the SAL stage, the sales team is “forced” to follow up on leads within a specific timeframe (within 24-48 hours). Reduce the risk of losing leads: Rejected leads should be re-sent to marketing to nurture them and return them to the sales team later.
In a nutshell: Life cycle phases
- Subscriber: a contact who has subscribed in order to learn more about your company (e.g. newsletter)
- Lead: A contact who converted on your website or through other interactions with your business beyond a subscription.
- MQL: A marketing-qualified contact for the sales team.
- SQL: a contact qualified by the sales team as a potential customer.
- Opportunity: A contact associated with a deal.
- Customer: a contact with at least one completed transaction.
- Other: a contact that does not match any of the above phases.
- How to generate leads? Top tips and techniques to convert your visitors into leads
4.1. Target a specific persona
Target a specific persona to generate leads. The starting point of every marketing strategy is the definition of the target. The same goes for generating qualified leads. It's essential to understand who you want to reach and attract.By defining your ICP (ideal customer profile), you will have an identity card of your ideal customers and will therefore be able to focus your efforts on the leads with the highest potential.
4.2. Work on your SEO (natural referencing)
SEO, or natural referencing, is essential for generating leads. Indeed, natural referencing increases the visibility of your website on search engines and attracts new visitors that you can convert into leads.
To improve the natural referencing of your site, gain visibility and get more traffic, you must keep in mind 3 major points of SEO:
- Technical SEO: to have a high-performance site
- Content marketing: to capture the attention of Internet users
- Quality netlinking (external links and internal networking): to strengthen the authority of your site and gain popularity.
4.3. Set up a blog and a content marketing strategy
A blog is an essential part of a lead generation strategy. Indeed, quality content increases your chances of appearing on search engines and mechanically your chances of generating leads.
Here are examples of the types of content you can use to generate leads:
- Case studies
- White Book
- Free trials or demo of a product
However, to generate qualified leads, be sure to:
- Do SEO keyword research
- Optimize content for search intent
- Contextualize your CTAs
Do SEO keyword research:
SEO keyword research is the foundation of content marketing. It is the practice of finding, analyzing and using the phrases that people use to search for information on the Internet.
Optimize content for search intent:
Search intent is the primary goal (or expectation) of a user when entering a query into a search engine.
Contextualize your CTAs:
To generate qualified leads from your content, it is important to match the CTA to the content.
Pro Tips from ConversionSpree
In Google Search Console, add the following filter:
^(what|who|where|when|how|how much|why|what is|what is)[ » « ]
You will have all the interrogative searches for which your site ranks in Google.
4.4. Launch paid acquisition campaigns to generate leads
SEA (Search Engine Advertising or paid referencing) is an area of digital marketing that brings together all the techniques and advertising formats that aim to optimize the visibility of a web page in search engines like Google.
When you choose the paid advertising route, you have many options like Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.
In addition to reaching cold audiences, you can also use PPC for retargeting. For example, you can place all of your MQLs in a list and target them with discount coupons.
As with any marketing action, it is important to establish a plan before taking action. The following questions should be asked:
- What is the goal of your campaign?
- What are the appropriate products?
- What are the internal/external resources to manage your campaigns?
- What is the monthly budget?
- What is the expected return on investment?
- Either way, our best advice is not to create ads because you want to sell a product or service, but to make your target audience want to buy from you.
4.5. Identify anonymous visitors to your site
Site visitors who request information or fill out a form with their contact information are considered qualified leads…and they are rare.
Indeed, according to Albacross, only 2% of Internet users fill out a form when they visit a website. The remaining 98% are anonymous visitors who leave without giving their contact details.
How to identify anonymous website visitors
There are several GDPR-compliant solutions that identify anonymous b2b visitors to generate qualified leads and implement the right lead nurturing strategies:
4.6. Propose relevant offers (lead magnets) for each stage of the conversion journey
Driving traffic to your site is important, but if it's not translating into conversions, you're no further ahead.
To this end, lead magnets are excellent tools for generating qualified leads.
What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is web content offered to a visitor in return for contact information. It can be a free guide, a white paper, a checklist, access to a webinar, benchmarks, etc.
Lead magnets dramatically increase your chances of generating subscribers and MQLs. Before you jump into creating a lead magnet, it's important to ask yourself the following questions:
What types of leads do you want to attract?
What are the goals of these prospects?
How will your product or service help them?
Pro Tips from ConversionSpree
Create relevant offers at every stage of the sales funnel
It often happens that we only focus on users at the bottom of the funnel (BoFu).
This approach limits your site's potential to generate leads and robs you of more prospects.
Indeed, your visitors and prospects are not interested in the same thing and are not all ready to become customers. That's why it makes more sense to target each part of the marketing funnel with relevant offers.
- Lead Generation: Create relevant offers at every stage of the sales funnel
- Top of the funnel (ToFu): increase awareness and visibility of your business with your target.
- Middle of the funnel (MoFu): teaching prospects how to choose a solution like yours.
- Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu): Telling prospects why your business is the best fit.
4.7. Create effective forms for generating qualified leads
If visitors come to see you, it's a good sign, it only remains to make them want to convert. To this end, the form is a great classic for generating leads. They are ubiquitous on the web and all have the same objective: to collect valuable information on prospects.
Lead generation inevitably goes through forms, so optimizing them for conversion is a priority:
- Keep the form as simple as possible and contextualize it to the desired objective.
- Limit the number of fields to be completed to what is strictly necessary.
- Indicate clear labels and required fields.
- Use the pre-fill fields to facilitate the task.
- Use progressive forms when relevant.
- Adapt the forms according to the path to purchase.
- Use short, impactful CTAs with action verbs.
4.8. Create and optimize your landing pages
Attracting new visitors with an effective message is useless if you have nothing to convert them. Thus, to generate leads, it is important to think about the creation and optimization of your landing pages (destination page).
- Pay attention to your design
- Work on your calls-to-action
- Take care of your forms
- Add customer testimonials
- Highlight the benefits of your offer
- Do A/B testing to improve your conversion rate
Pro Tips from ConversionSpree:
Use tools that record sessions ( Hotjar, Fullstory ).
Use heatmaps to identify common UX issues.
4.9. Improve conversions on your website
The success of your digital strategy inevitably goes through the improvement of your website. In this improvement, the conversion rate is central and must be monitored regularly in order to improve it.
Here are our actionable tips that can help you improve your conversion rate and impact your bottom line.
- Optimize your site technically
- Improve site speed
- Optimize the mobile version of your website (Mobile friendly)
- Simplify the user experience and ergonomics of your website
- Run an A/B testing campaign
4.10. Create compelling CTAs
A web support without CTA, allows the user to read the content but does not indicate the next step. In other words, no conversion.
A call to action, as the name suggests “calls to action”. It must encourage the user to become active.
- Upload a document
- Subscribe to a newsletter
- Read a complementary article to increase the time spent on the site
- Add a product to your shopping cart
- Request more information
- Submit a quote
4.11. Use “Exit Pop-ups” to increase conversions
An exit popup is a message that appears in front of users when they move their cursor outside the browser window.
According to EngageBay, integrating Exit Pop-ups can help you turn 10-15% of “lost” visitors into leads.
Use “Exit Pop-ups” to increase conversions and generate leads
Examples of use of exit pop-up:
- Offer a discount
- Make a free delivery offer
- Redirect to other relevant content
- Present a limited time offer (FOMO)
- Encourage subscription to the newsletter
- Segment users based on their behaviors
4.12. Use social selling
Whoever your target audience is, they're on a social network. Social networks are powerful levers that offer the possibility of pushing your communication to a targeted audience (organically or paid).
According to Pinpoint Market Research, 64% of marketers generated leads through LinkedIn. This eloquent figure shows the full potential of social media in generating qualified leads.
4.13. Communicate on social networks
You need to think of social media as an extension of your brand.
By building a community on these platforms and regularly publishing quality content there, you are sure to generate traffic to your site and at the same time generate leads.
Pro Tip from ConversionSpree
Especially on LinkedIn, connect with people who like and comment on your posts (and those of your competitors).
4.14. Monitor mentions of your brand on social media and across the web
Let's imagine that you are the sales or marketing manager of HubSpot. If someone Tweets or asks on LinkedIn:
- Which is better Hubspot or Marketo?
- What tools to generate leads?
- It's obvious that this is a potential client.
By monitoring mentions of your brand or business, you have a good chance of generating valuable leads.
Pro Tips from ConversionSpree
In addition to monitoring your own social media mentions, you can also monitor mentions from other competing brands.
4.15. Implement a prospecting strategy by emailing
Social networks are not the only levers you have at your disposal to generate leads. Email marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to generate leads and increase sales. It is an effective marketing tool to acquire, retain and convert your prospects into customers.
- Learn from the best practices of the competition and authoritative companies in your field.
- Write emails with relevant and engaging content that set you apart from the competition.
- Write email subject lines that are short, engaging, and highlight the main points of your message.
- Take care with the design of your emails and make sure that your message immediately grabs your reader's attention.
- Add impactful CTAs (call-to-action) to entice prospects to click.
- Analyze the performance of your emailing campaigns (deliverability, opening rate, response rate, click rate, etc.)
- Optimizing the signature of your emails can significantly improve the number of conversions.
Pro Tips from ConversionSpree
Use the footer of your emailing in an optimal way.
In the majority of cases, the footer of an emailing is used to indicate legal information, the link to unsubscribe or the company address.
Yet, you can do better, here is an example of Magic Spoon that “adds” a promise of happiness.
Use the footer of your emailing optimally to generate leads
4.16. Implement a lead nurturing strategy
You have a lead, now what? It's important to remember that generating leads is part of the journey, not the destination. If you don't actively engage prospects who take the desired actions on your website, their eventual conversion to a customer isn't guaranteed.
Lead nurturing is a marketing approach that helps maintain and increase the interest of your leads. The goal is to create a relationship of trust with your prospects.
Pro Tips from ConversionSpree
Use a lead scoring system
Create great content : Write and educate your audience about the topics they care about and optimize for SEO so they'll be found organically.
Share your content multi-channel : through social media posts, email newsletter, guest articles, podcasts, whatever you have at your disposal.
Retarget your leads with remarketing : Awareness or conversion ads can be created for leads who are already qualified in part of the funnel.
Adopt a personalized approach : use marketing automation to personalize your communication.
Segment your database to better target : relevant content for someone who has just discovered your product will not be relevant for someone about to make a purchase.
Offer specific offers to prospects : Reward your customer base with coupons, discounts, free trials, freebies, and more.
Lead nurturing is a great way to move leads through the conversion funnel. It is also a way to retain your customers and encourage them to make other purchases (cross-selling or up-selling).
4.17. Use a lead scoring system
To fully understand the importance of marketing scoring for businesses, let's review some statistics:
- 70% of conversions are lost due to poor tracking. (Source NuGrowth)
- 79% of marketing leads never turn into customers. (SourceHubspot)
- 57% of b2b companies say converting qualified leads to customers is their top priority. (SourceHubspot)
- 39% of companies say proving marketing ROI is one of their biggest challenges. (SourceHubspot)
A lead scoring system is a solution to these marketing challenges because it allows:
- Eliminate a large part of subjectivity in the process of selling or qualifying prospects and therefore Improving lead generation
- To highlight the hottest prospects,
- Automatically launch nurturing campaigns for other prospects.
4.18. Improve the loading speed of your pages
The loading speed of your pages to affect your lead generation.
Pages that load slowly can also impact your SEO, which can lead to:
- A drop in ranking,
- A drop in traffic
- A drop in the number of leads.
- Compress image file size
- Reduce coding
- Reduce or remove redirects
- Use browser caching
- Use a content delivery network (CDN)
4.19. Use marketing automation
From B to B to B to C, marketing automation is an accelerator that allows you to:
- Generate leads,
- Convert them into customers.
- And reduce tedious and repetitive tasks.
- Increasingly accessible, marketing automation increases your chances of transmitting the right Content at the right time and increasing the productivity of your sales teams.
4.20. Set up retargeting (remarketing)
Retargeting, also called “advertising retargeting”, aims to retarget users who have visited your site but have not converted (free trial, demo request, download of a white paper, etc.).
This strategy makes it possible above all to relaunch Internet users who have abandoned an action on your site. It is an effective technique that can significantly increase conversion on your site and generate qualified leads.
4.21. Generate leads through webinars
According to a study by Ready Talk:
- on average, between 40 to 50% of registrants actually participate in the conference;
- 20-40% of attendees become qualified leads
- A webinar is therefore a great tool for generating leads. It is now one of the essential elements of a successful marketing strategy.
4.22. Set up a sponsorship program
Sponsorship allows you to generate leads of a higher quality than other prospecting sources. The sponsor will provide quality information on his godchild and his expectations, which will make it easier for the brand to transform this prospect into a new customer.
4.23. Encourage your visitors to act quickly
Suppose a customer is looking at a product page that they clicked on on a whim. He's still not sure if that's a good idea. He therefore decides to wait a few days before making his decision. But in the meantime, he is distracted by something else and forgets about his visit. So you need to add some form of urgency or prompts to action.
According to a Bazaarvoice survey, more than 70% of internet users said their buying decisions were influenced by coupons and discounts.
Promo and discount codes are a great way to generate leads. It's up to you to offer an advantage to encourage visitors to leave you their contact details:
- 10% promotional code
- Exclusive offer
- Limited time promotion
- Referral system
- Free trials
According to Totango, 62% of companies surveyed get 10% or more of their revenue from free trials.
If you are a SaaS publisher, offering a free trial period can be a formidable weapon for generating leads.
Quizzes are everywhere, especially on social networks. They can also be used to generate leads (B2B or B2c e-commerce).
There are a wide variety of use cases for quizzes, and they're particularly effective at creating engagement at every stage of the marketing funnel.
In addition, they make it possible to collect much more information (interests, definition of needs, profile diagnosis, etc.) than a simple classic form. This allows you to generate much more qualified leads.
FoMo (Fear of Missing Something)
Fear of missing out (FoMO, an acronym for “fear of missing out”) is a real fear that you can use to your advantage.
The use of language that evokes urgency encourages visitors to “act quickly” so as not to miss the opportunity.
For example, you can use phrases like “today only”, “48h validity” (to support a reduction)…
The thought that a good deal might be missed or that a product might be out of stock is often enough to prompt the visitor to act immediately.
- How to measure the effectiveness of your lead generation campaign?
A campaign to generate leads is successful if it meets the objectives set by the action plan. It is therefore essential to regularly check the performance indicators and compare the results with the objectives.
Lead generation on the Internet allows you to monitor your performance in real time using analysis tools such as Google Analytics.
Thus, to monitor this entire process, a few performance indicators must be taken into account:
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
CTR tells you how compelling your CTA or ad is.
The calculation is as follows:
CTR = number of ad clicks / number of ad views * 100
The conversion rate
The conversion rate shows how many of your visitors take an action like filling out a form or making a purchase.
The calculation is as follows:
Conversion rate = total number of sales / number of unique visitors * 100
Keep an eye on the different conversion rates:
- Contact at MQL
- MQL to SQL
- SQL to client
The duration of the conversion cycle
Time plays an important role and greatly affects your strategy for generating leads. Also, in the world of sales and SDRs, we often see limiting beliefs like:
- The sales cycle is long with the type of customers we sell to
- The sales cycle is long in our industry
- Customers need more time to make purchasing decisions
When sales reps have this perception that sales cycles “are” long, naturally, the duration of their sales cycles stretches.
By focusing on the duration of the sales and conversion cycle, you will be able to reduce it and predict the number of leads you need to generate in order to achieve your business goals.
Cost Per Lead (CPL)
The cost per lead is an indicator that allows you to anticipate the profitability of your lead generation campaigns and to optimize their calibration
CPL offers many opportunities to a company:
- Evaluate the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
- Qualify the nature of the leads (not all leads are equal)
- Calculate the profitability of a marketing action
The cost per lead is calculated in the following way (you must take into account the variable and fixed costs):
CPL = total spent capturing leads / total number of leads
- Number of visitors
- Conversion rate (Contact to MQL, MQL to SQL, SQL to customer)
- Cost per lead
- Income generated by leads
- Number of sales made
The ROI, or return on investment, is the quantified result which makes it possible to measure the profitability of an investment. During a marketing campaign, calculating the ROI of your campaigns makes it possible to identify the actions that work and those that are less effective.
ROI = (investment gain – investment cost) / investment cost.
Learning how to generate leads is one of the key activities and it is a challenge for many companies.
A multitude of marketing tactics are available to you to generate more leads and develop your sales. Whether through SEO, quality content, social networks, mailing campaigns… the main thing is to favor qualified leads in order to convert as many of them as possible into customers.
Need help with b2c lead generation? Let's find you quality b2c leads without having to sweat it.