The lead generation struggle: The legendary Zig Ziglar famously said “You are out of business if you don’t have a prospect.”
After all, every satisfied customer begins as a prospect, and every successful business relationship begins as a lead.
These leads require varying degrees of nurturing and qualification to officially convert them into sales.
Anyone who has ever been involved in the sales aspect of a business can speak to the stark contrast between cold leads and warm leads.
Cold calling can be an arduous task, and often does not yield great results, as you are effectively reaching out to people who have shown absolutely no interest in your product or service in hopes of being able to expose a need and proactively draw them into the buying process.
That’s not to say, it’s a fruitless endeavor. Cold calling can be extremely productive, but it requires a massive time investment, as well as persistent follow up.
When working with cold leads, the sales process is much longer and more drawn out, and the chances of converting that lead into a sale is far from optimal.
Warm leads, on the other hand, are prospects who have shown some type of interest in your product or service. This could have happened by viewing your website, following your business page on social media, submitting an inquiry through your web contact form, or even being referred by another customer.
It all comes down to the lead generation struggle
It’s important to keep in mind that just because they’ve expressed interest doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to commit to a purchase right away.
Some may be future buyers who are just beginning the process of researching different options, rather than now buyers. Others may not have the budget required to afford your product or service.
However, the fact that you’ve received an indication of their potential interest puts you at an advantage as you begin the sales process.
Warm leads are much more likely to convert into sales than cold leads, but they still must be nurtured to provide your company with the absolute best chance of earning the prospective customer’s business.
The next step in the process is qualifying your leads. This process looks a little bit different for every company, because there are no universal standards for lead qualification.
Typically this involves a few questions to determine the prospects timeframe, budget, and overall commitment to making a purchase in your industry. It’s usually best to wait until after a lead is qualified before pitching your product or service to that prospect.
Imagine the frustration of getting to the cusp of closing a deal, only to find out that the prospective customer has a $100 for a product you sell or $500.
It’s very easy to get carried away and put the cart before the horse, especially when engaging with a warm lead, but thoroughly qualifying leads first will save you a lot of time and stress in the long run.
When it comes to lead generation, there are so many different options in this day and age that it can be quite overwhelming for business owners who do not have a dedicated marketing team in place.
The days of traditional forms of marketing, such as TV, radio, and print advertisements have given way to more web-based marketing platforms. There are very few businesses in any industry that can survive, let alone thrive, without a strong web presence and some type of investment into digital marketing.
We live in a world where there is a wealth of information at our fingertips at any given time. Long gone are the days of picking up a phonebook to search for a company to provide a desired product or service.
When people are searching for something and deciding which company they want to do business with that process is more than likely going to begin on Google.
When someone is searching for the product or service that your company provides, it’s vital to get in front of them right away. According to Forbes, recent studies suggest that pages listed on the first page of Google search results account for somewhere between 71% and 92% of clicks.
Search engine optimization is extremely important, but depending upon how competitive the industry, it could cost an exorbitant amount of time and money to achieve that search ranking organically.
Paid Google ads are highly effective in getting a first page impression, but the specific targeting of those advertisements is one of the most important, yet most overlooked factors.
One of the biggest issues with traditional advertising is that it’s quite difficult to target your ideal customer.
Sure, you can run commercials during TV shows that your target audience is likely to watch or run a print ad in a magazine they are likely to read, but web-based allows you to drill down much further to target the EXACT types of prospects who are most likely to do business with you.
Having a clear vision of what your target audience looks like and how they behave online is crucial, because it allows you to target those exact websites and social media pages where they are most likely to be.
It’s important to remember that nobody will ever know what your ideal customer looks like better than you do.
If your company sells a workout supplement, you don’t want to waste your resources advertising on pages where people go to search for lawyers.
Instead, you would want to target social media users who like and engage with pages for gyms, follow fitness-driven influencers, and view and research reviews for similar supplements.
Better yet, once a prospect has engaged with your website or one of your advertisements, you can consistently retarget that prospect using a tracking pixel.
We’ll get into more detail regarding tracking pixels in future posts, but in short, retargeting is a tremendous way to stay in front of your prospects until they are ready to engage with you further.
If your ads pop up from time to time while a prospect is browsing the web or scrolling through social media, that’s going to give you a significant leg up on the competition once that prospect is in a position to commit to someone in your industry.
Lead generation is certainly not easy, and it can be beyond time consuming, but like the brilliant Zig Ziglar said to open up this post, “You are out of business if you don’t have a prospect.”
Spare your team the frustration of ever having to deal with prospecting cold leads again. Contact CNV Creative today, or book a call, so we can set your business up with a consistent and predictable stream of precisely targeted and highly qualified leads!