Top 40 Lead Generation Techniques

Lead Generation – The Great Start

Lead generation is one of the Five Business Improvement and Optimisation Action Points that form part of the Olympic Sprint Business Coaching method. In practice lead generation can be measurably improved in two ways, either quality of leads generated or quantity.

Lead generation in reality starts with the sales cycle. You have to know your product and all the reasons why a potential customer would, or should, spend on your product or service. Then it’s about building a profile of your potential customer(s). Now you have to identify everything about these potential customers including their location, habits and motivations. Finally you want named specific individuals, their contact information and have narrowed down a specific way each of them should be contacted. That is now a bona fide lead.

Giving someone a business card is not generating a lead, at least not in the sense that I am talking about. Taking a person’s name, telephone number and email address is creating a lead. You have to have the necessary information and means of contact for a lead to be valid as well as a clear indication of which product or service they are likely to buy and why. Develop the habit of always getting something in return when you give away a business card, preferably their contact details.

If selling is like a sprinter getting up and into his stride and hitting maximum speed, then generating leads is akin to getting a flying start and a powerful drive phase. You don’t win a sprint simply by having a great start but you can certainly lose the race with a bad one. If you  cannot generate leads you just cannot have business success. No leads would mean that the greatest salesman would have nobody to sell to. It would mean the greatest product would never be known about, and the greatest sales techniques would not see the light of day.

scenario

Product: Gas boilers for houses

Price: £900

Target: Home owners

Leads Generated: 100

Conversion Rate: 8%

If in a given scenario we examine the data and find that 20% of the leads generated were home owners and that all of the 8% of conversions came from that 20%. Then as a business coach this would suggest three possible courses of action.

1. Spending more time qualifying leads.

2. Changing the way leads are generated.

3. Targeting non homeowners in a different way or with a different product.

Qualifying Leads

By qualifying a lead we mean making sure the lead really is a potential client. Ensuring you have the relevant and up to date contact details is part of that. Clarifying that they are actually able to authorise or make a buying decision is another. In the above scenario this would mean finding out if they are a homeowner or not. The point is that you must invest time, energy and the necessary finance and other resources into seeking out and qualifying leads. Often this means deep research, but sometimes it’s just a matter of asking and extra question or adding an extra tick box. It also means that you have to increase the energy and vary the lead generation techniques you use. As part of the Olympic Sprint Business Coaching programme you will get to examine in depth a number of techniques (over 40) in order to find those that particularly suit your business. We mention some of them at the end of this chapter.

Again, looking at the scenario of Business X. If the same 100 leads are generated but all of them are homeowners then converting 8 out every 20 leads now becomes a 40% conversion rate. That is five times the revenue and five time the profit. The additional work needed to qualify leads will be offset against the time saved chasing impossible leads. Now a sales team may have moved from converting two sales a day to converting one per hour (eight for the day). Psychologically this can be the difference between a motivated salesforce expecting success, and a non-motivated salesforce expecting failure and simply going through the motions. Not to mention a low paying job becoming a higher paying one. It’s about finding the crucial tipping point and staying on the right side of it.

Varying the Product Range

Let us remind ourself of the original scenario

Product: Gas boilers for houses

Price: £900

Target: Home owners

Leads Generated: 100

Conversion Rate: 8%

We have shown that by qualifying leads the conversion rate might increase to 40%. However in qualifying those leads you still have a list of people, though not home-owners they may well be rent-paying tenants. They may not be in a position to purchase a new boiler but they still want to live comfortably and to save on utility bills.

This is where it may become prudent to offer those people something they could well be interested in and have the means and authority to purchase. For example a money saving Eco Lamp that helps to halve your electricity bill and costs £70.

Homeowners may be willing to spend £900 on a product or service that adds value to their property. This is not the same for tenants. However, tenants may be willing to rent or subscribe to the same product for £50 per month knowing they can step away or cancel the contract at any time. Effectively the subscription is a different product from the outright purchase.

Lead Generation Techniques

Lead generation techniques can be classified into two categories, namely inbound and outbound. Inbound can also be called passive lead generation. It revolves around making sure people can find you when they are looking for a specific product or service. This may mean being listed in appropriate directories and ensuring you can be found via internet search engines.

Outbound or aggressive typically means you approaching potential clients in some way and showcasing what you have to offer. This might be stopping people in the street, telephone calling, leaflet drops or public displays and presentations.

In deciding which techniques to use (and when) will depend a lot on your industry, the profile & demographic of who you want to target or attract, and of course your own strengths and preferences. Suffice to say the old adage of not throwing all your eggs in one basket may be worth some attention.

It must be understood that somebody who knows and even admires your product or service is not yet a lead. They only become a lead when you know how and where to contact them. In this respect simply giving away hundreds of your business cards is not an effective way of generating new leads. You need to develop the habit of getting something in return, even if that is simply a name and email address. if you can then make a note of the time, place, event and circumstances where you collected that information, you now have the beginnings of a viable lead. Indeed in some instances that information is totally adequate but the more information you can get then usually the better.

In the online course 40 Top Lead Generation Techniques we highlight some popular , and also some less well know, methods used to generate interest in a product or service that might lead someone to make a direct purchase or do an action that gives you enough information to know they are a bona fide sales prospect or lead.

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