For many companies, lead generation can be the most difficult part of running a business. And of course, there is a near-infinite supply of other websites and products competing for your customers’ attention.
After you’ve caugh their eyes with great ads and offerings though, you need to “hold on tight” — you need them to become leads so you can hopefully convert them into paying customers.
This article will give you a step-by-step guide for lead gens or lead generation. We’ll break down exactly what lead gen is, and show you how to use an actionable lead management template and monday sales CRM.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation involves obtaining contact information from your website or social media traffic in order to drive them towards a later conversion, such as a purchase or subscription enrollment.
Without lead generation, your business’ influence on the buyer’s journey is cut short. A deeper aspect of lead generation is also tagging and sorting these leads by common traits and behaviors.
Here are some more general activities related to lead generation:
- 1:1 targeting
- Messaging across multiple channels
- Educating the customer
- Creating meaningful relationships
It’s usually a sales and marketing combined effort as well.
What does lead gens mean? Why is it important in marketing?
Lead gens is simply a shorter way to refer to lead generation or methods used for lead generation.
Lead generation matters. 82% of companies that make less than $250,000 per year produce 100 or fewer leads per month. The majority of companies that produce 101–500 leads per month earn $1 million or more each year. And more than a quarter of companies that produce 10,000 leads per month bring in $1 billion each year.
What does the lead generation pipeline look like?
Lead generation should help teams create a clear pipeline to the sales funnel. Your potential customers could be broken into categories like this:
- Unaware refers to customers who aren’t aware of your brand
- Aware are customers who have visited your content pages like social media or website
- Friendly customers have made multiple visits to the above outlets, they fit the description of your target audience, are interested in your product, but they haven’t made contact.
However, you might also hear about different types of leads.
4 types of leads
Part of lead generation is understanding the different types of leads. Let’s quickly define four of them.
Service qualified leads
These are existing customers who have given feedback to customer care that they are interested in a conversation with someone in sales about a new product or service or an upgrade.
Product qualified leads
These leads going have gained experience in using a product firsthand through something like a fixed term free trial.
Sales qualified leads or SQLs
SQLs are leads that have been generated by marketing team efforts and have then had interactions with the sales team — once sales has qualified them.
Marketing qualified leads
Marketing qualified leads have met certain criteria, such as sign ups for a product on social media platforms or leaving their contact information on an email capture landing page on-site.
Marketing teams have distinct qualification criteria as well, but SQLs are usually considering more valuable than MQLs due to extra vetting.
You can track any type on lead on monday sales CRM.
How do you create an effective lead generation process?
Creating a solid, scalable lead generation process can help you effectively turn traffic into sales. Follow these five steps to get started…
1. Turn traffic into leads
The first step of the lead generation process is converting traffic into potential leads.
Traffic is anyone who stumbled across your business — someone who’s seen your brand on social media or read your blog post (inbound traffic), or clicked on your Facebook or Google ad (outbound traffic), etc.
However, until you convince your website visitor to give you a way to contact them, they can’t help your business. Without an inbound lead generation strategy that turns social media traffic and blog readers (as well as an outbound lead generation strategy to turn ad clickers) into leads, those visitors quickly become lost amongst the other billion specks floating around the world wide web.
Landing pages, popups, opt-in bars, and forms are all popular ways to convert your site visitors into leads.
Each lead-generating strategy has its strengths and weaknesses…
- Content marketing (oriented around inbound lead generation) can be a long-term strategy to generate top-of-funnel leads who will need significant nurturing to turn them into sales.
- Facebook lead ads and Google lead form extensions can be a quick way to invest heavily in a lead generation campaign focused on a single offer.
Then when we come to the actual tools you use, there are still differences…
- Landing pages can convert targeted traffic at almost 25%, depending on how you’ve optimized them.
- Popups (which tend to have far less targeted viewers) convert just 4.22%, but are a leading way to convert blog readers into leads.
You can create and manage your lead generation content and data using monday sales CRM.
2. Qualify new leads
Once you’ve generated a lead, you need to qualify them, which means segmentation. Each lead is different. One might be all but ready to buy your products while another might be familiar with your product, but unconvinced that they want to pay for it.
You can (and should) use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to keep track of your leads and qualify them. Doing it manually (if you’re generating leads as you should be) quickly gets impossible. Qualifying leads is important because it makes it easier to optimize communication with them and nurture them through your sales funnel at a speed and with the content most likely to result in a conversion.
Qualifying leads so you can properly nurture them can reduce sales-related costs by as much as a third and increase sales opportunities by 20%.
A recap of the few common lead qualifications (or stages) that companies use are:
- Marketing Qualified Lead
- Sales Qualified Lead
- Product Qualified Lead
- Service Qualified Lead
3. Nurture and manage new leads
Once you’ve generated and qualified a lead, you have to nurture them and help them grow. You should have a lead nurturing process that helps to push them through your sales funnel and turn them into paying customers.
Segmentation is important as differently qualified leads should receive different communications from your company. Personalizing market material through segmentation increases their open rate 28.05% from 18.3% for non-personalized marketing.
You can send communications to customers based on how you qualified them and send additional resources or marketing to them as they interact with your product more. Here’s what this can look like on monday sales CRM.
monday.com’s Lead Management Template can also help you keep track of your leads, segment them, and reach out to them to help move them down your sales funnel.
4. Send leads to sales
Once you’ve turned a lead into someone who is considering buying your product, it’s time to let your B2B sales team take the lead. Send your potential customers to the sales team and let them close the deal.
Your sales team should focus on turning the customer’s desire for your product into the action of buying it. The sales team (in conjunction with support) should also work to retain paying customers and upsell them to higher tiers of service. Use handy automations to save you time and help teams move faster.
5. Evaluate your lead generation process and iterate
Lead generation, as much as any other marketing strategy, is a process that needs to be evaluated and iterated constantly. And, as you test and tweak, remember to focus on the bottom of your lead generation funnel.Just as there’s no point in getting a visitor that doesn’t become a lead, there’s no point in getting a lead that doesn’t convert.
For instance, a landing page that gets email addresses from 20% of your website’s visitors might not be worth as much as a page that gets phone numbers from 5% of visitors. A high quality lead (by definition) has a higher average value than a low quality lead, so you would rather get one high quality lead than four bad ones.
A/B testing (showing one variation of a page or flow to half your traffic and another variation to another to see which converts better) offers different ways of generating leads to see which produces more and better leads can be worth the investment as you’ll learn about your customers and what convinced them to buy from you.
Each target audience will respond to different marketing and lead generation strategies in different ways. A business to business (B2B) marketer that promotes their business to other companies will respond to different value propositions than a B2C marketer looking to sell more shoes. A/B testing is crucial to widening the bottom of your marketing funnel, but requires constant iteration and comprehensive analytics (of the entire funnel).
Optimizing lead management with templates
Turning traffic into leads, qualifying them, and tracking where they are in your marketing funnel can be difficult, even with a good CRM tool.
And mismanaging a lead can mean a lost customer (and negative marketing ROI), so make sure you treat every lead personally — that means personalized communication (or at least communication that feels personalized) and relevant content delivered to them when they want it. monday.com’s lead management templates enable you to make sure your marketing and sales team is on the same page throughout your lead generation process.
Duplication of a template enables you to use the same tested process across multiple offerings, saving you from reinventing your process each time.
You can also view the performance of individual members of your sales or lead generation team, which can help you target feedback and training for your team.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best software for lead generation?
In addition to our number one pick, monday sales CRM, which allows you to integrate with many lead generation tools, we’ll share some of the highest rated lead gens software on Capterra:
Why is automated lead generation better?
Automation saves sales and marketing teams time and effort, so they can reduce manual tasks and focus on making an impact.
Generate and manage leads more efficiently
Lead generation can make or break your business. Finding the right lead generation process — and then refining it ad nauseum — can help your business turn traffic into potential customers and potential customers into loyal ones.
monday.com’s powerful CRM for businesses small and large can help your team design and execute a successful lead-generation process.