For the longest time, sales leads have typically doubled as ‘lead generation’. But over time, lead generation and lead nurturing became more differentiated as we shall discover. Firstly, it’s wise to remember that leads are not customers when understanding the sales leads definition. That is not yet anyway, until they are ready to buy, a person/business who may eventually become a client. Furthermore, a sales lead is always the first step in the sales funnel. Consequently, leads become prospective clients(‘prospects’). To further our sales leads definition let’s look at some concepts.
A system not a Campaign
Generally, every business needs a consistent flow of leads throughout the year, not just every few months. Consequently, for that, you need a system not a campaign. Specifically, companies try a number of marketing tactics annually hoping to find something that works. But it all starts with a proper system because some of these tactics will work or fail. Furthermore, too many of these tactics are judged by too little data, wrong data or no data all. Additionally, some judgments are often made against unrealistic expectations. Develop proper sales systems first, not campaigns.
Ironically, many business owners always have big expectations at first. As the sales leads definition will further reveal, it’s a patience game! Many expect single ad campaign or direct mail campaign to produce endless new customers. Yes, sometimes a well-constructed advertising or email campaign can produce immediate sales leads. Though one batch of new leads is not the way to build a new sustainable business program. A long-term strategy considering sustainability is key.
Sales Lead Magnets
Another element of sales leads definition are sales lead magnets. Offers that provide educational information, pdfs, free white papers, a how-to-guides closely aligned to the services being sold are known as “sales lead magnets.” Specifically, these lead magnets are typically made available to a target audience with very little commitment. This is other than turning over some basic contact information. Additionally, if your organization produces articles, blogs, reports, research/helpful information, these can act as content for sales leads magnets.
Sales Lead Tactics
When exploring the sales leads definition, we learn some expectations of prospects/leads. Leads always expect marketers to understand their company’s business model and be matter experts or thought-leaders. Furthermore, they expect you to provide valuable resources, consultation, education as value addition. Firstly, ensure you create content to capture leads your website and develop blog posts. Additionally, generate traffic from other blogs and social media as you also capture leads from speaking engagements and published articles.
Plan for the long haul
Great sales lead systems aren’t short fixes when we see the deeper sales leads definition. They are long-term solutions engineered producing a consistent flow of new leads and customers. This is not just for three, five or eleven months but for many years to come. Furthermore, this allows you plan for the future adequately and enables you scale campaigns with ease. This is paramount in most sales systems.
Measure Absolutely Everything
Don’t just measure front-end activities but everything for efficiency and effective strategy. All from response rates from direct mail, open rates from email, click-through rates from pay-per-click ads. Furthermore, website visitors from search engines, friends, followers and other connections from social media. For instance, with direct mail, performance is usually measured by the “response rate”. Though response rates don’t work when comparing direct mail to other media. Similarly, emails can be used when inviting new prospects. These invitations can be webinars, participate in survey or a poll, watch or read a tutorial. Additionally, read some frequently asked questions or white papers.
Accordingly, every lead generated has potential to become a customer. That’s the basis of the sales leads definition. Though in truth, some of your leads have good potential while some do not meet the criteria. Generally, they either express long-term interest or none at all. I’d advise using the phone to qualify regardless of the source of your leads. Furthermore, remember the goal of qualification is not to promote your business. But to get answers to some key questions, such as: Do you have a need for our product/service? Do you have decision-making authority? Have a budget for our service?
In the sales leads definition, lead nurturing is about building a relationship with your prospects. With the goal of improving sales opportunities. In truth, not all leads will be ready to buy right away. In retrospect, some will take a few weeks, months or even longer before committing to making a purchase. Lead nurturing keeps your name in front of leads over time, building trust and credibility with prospects. Additionally, a program should have both a short-term and long-term aspect. Furthermore, when lead nurturing, engage your prospects with additional responsivity and interactivity all with the help of good content.