Lead Generation: A Simple Guide for Beginners

Previously in our blog, What Is a Lead: A Quick Overview for Starters, we delved into the general definition of what a lead is and the processes behind lead generation.

Business development teams are no strangers to lead generation. They are familiar with the hurdles to attract prospects and turn them into people who show genuine interest in our products or services.

These obstacles come in many shapes and sizes. Some of the most common challenges include getting to the right people, identifying the right companies, and getting future clients excited about the solution we are offering.

Due to the immense workload that comes with lead generation, it’s no wonder why companies would outsource dedicated business development teams to do all the grunt work.

Now that we’ve covered the general overview of lead generation, let’s dive deeper into the detailed work of lead generation and underline the challenges when garnering leads.

How Do We Start Generating Leads

Step #1: Product/Service Knowledge

First off, everything comes down to the client for whom we are going to generate leads first. We’ll start by having an introductory discussion of the product or service lines that our clients wish to promote. This includes a deep training session into the components of their products or services. By conducting this activity, we have a clear understanding of the client’s expectations.

Step #2: Building an Online Presence

Once we’ve fully understood our client’s products and services, we move on to the groundwork. Before we can even begin generating leads, it’s important to lay down a strong online presence to serve as a solid foundation. In this digital era, an online presence is a resourceful tool to generate leads instantly.

Below are some of the activities conducted to strengthen our clients’ online presence.:

  1. Competitive intelligence and analysis
  2. Website review
  3. SEO audit of the website
  4. Creation of landing pages

Step #3: Setting Up Email Campaigns

Email campaigns are an effective way of getting in touch with potential leads. But before you start sending out those emails, there are a few preparations in mind that you’ll need to do:

  1. Reviewing of existing email and post formats
  2. Checking existing documentation (e.g., images, videos, press releases)
  3. Identifying target group companies and employees (e.g., CEO, CIO, CSO, CMO, etc.)
  4. Searching the email address and phone number of the possible leads.

Once you complete the steps above, you can start your respective email campaigns. You can run your campaigns through various platforms, ranging from conventional emailing techniques to sending LinkedIn invitation mails.

But don’t just stop at emails. A big part of lead generation is following up on your clients. Continue to build awareness towards your potential leads by sending them the latest updates of your product or services. Alternatively, you can create even more attention by uploading social media posts.

Take one step further and make calls to your potential leads to their respective telephone numbers or via your switchboard. Be sure to follow these cold calling tips to ensure a successful call with your lead.

Common Problems in Lead Generation

Generating leads is not a walk in the park. It’s not instantaneous either. On average, it takes approximately between 4 and 14 interactions with a lead to actually reach it and create awareness.

Many potential leads do not clearly understand what is wanted from them initially, especially if they’re still in the early stage of defining their needs and/or budget. Alternatively, they might have already started a project and aren’t willing to switch to another provider.

Therefore, there’s a 70-80% probability that they wouldn’t respond to our messages or not show their interest.

Considering the hundreds of offers a business usually receives via email daily, we must deliver our offer in a clear, concise, and complete manner. In short, it’s best to go forward with the 1-minute Elevator Pitch speech.

No matter how much we want to encourage a lead to be interested in our offerings, we need to remain professional at the end of the day.

Professionalism begins with the fact that we do not want to appear pushy but want to create added value and demonstrate and emphasize this with our approach and speech.

But despite this, Business Development teams are often exposed to unfriendly comments. Nevertheless, we have to behave respectfully.

A Case Study

We received an SQL from an outside vendor and contacted the person who expressed interest. After conducting initial contact and sending further documents on the product, the person did not contact us again.

We tried to find out via Linkedin eMail, email, and telephone to see whether the information matched his needs. No answer.

As we often look for several contacts from a potential lead – CEO, CIO, CSO, CMOs –  we decided to send an email to the person we contacted and send a copy directly to the CEO.

The CEO replied immediately after 20 minutes and showed increased interest. However, the person we were in contact with, who was the CIO, felt as if he was put in a negative spot. He complained about why we included his CEO in the mail.

We personally replied to the CIO in a friendly manner. We explained that he did not respond to 5 of our queries in various forms, despite showing interest in our product.

In the end, we excluded him from the conversation and continued our communications directly with the CEO.  After further emails and calls to exchange additional information, the CEO agreed to have a direct conversation with our client and got an offer for his needs.

As of a few weeks ago, he ordered the software solution.

Persistence Is Key

What can we learn from this? Never give up. Whether you’re a Business Development team or a Lead Generation specialist, you must always be polite, firm and don’t rely on just one person in the target company to get your point across.

Do you have a project that requires lead generation? Or do you have similar experiences just like the ones mentioned in this blog? We’d love to hear more about them.

Get in touch with us to talk more about lead generation.

Klaus Knops

Klaus Knops

Klaus is an experienced manager, CEO and entrepreneur with over 30 years in the construction industry as a manager and consultant, having lived in Europe and Latin America.

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