The term “lead generation” comes from marketing and refers both in the B2C and B2B area to the process of winning potential customers or all those measures that arouse the interest of potential customers in a product or service. The lead describes a qualified interested party that is approached by a product or company and who voluntarily hands over his data for further dialogue. The acquisition of new customers comprises various approaches and practices, whereby dialogue marketing is regarded as the classic approach. The contact to the customer takes place via an order, for example, during which he gives his contact data. With the development of e-commerce, however, customers are increasingly being acquired indirectly as prospects.
The primary goal of lead generation is to win a customer who is not only interested in a specific product or service but is also willing to buy.
Types of lead generation
The type of lead generation depends on the strategic orientation of the campaign: Is it about quality or quantity? Which channels are required? Is the campaign based on push or pull principles? Basically, there are the following types:
- Outdoor: Trade fairs, promotion stands or raffles
- Telephone: Call centers answer incoming and, in some cases, outgoing calls
- Online: Websites, e-mails or newsletters, but also social media and blogs
- Print: Advertisements in magazines with discount coupons (couponing) or direct advertising letters with reply letters
Incentives such as discounts or free products are often used to motivate potential customers. For some types, the customer must also give prior consent before the company takes over its data.
For electronic generation, the leads are already available in data records. On the other hand, offline reporting is much more complex, depending on the complexity of the data records.
Tips for successful lead generation
Lead scoring, which divides leads into good and less good contacts according to certain criteria, is of central importance for both online and offline media. The more data already exists, the easier the process is, while often leads are bought. The right strategy helps not only to optimize the degree of awareness in certain target groups, but even to secure market shares in the industry. A thematic affinity of the interested parties is also an advantage. If you’re organizing a competition, the prizes should be linked to the company so that the customer subsequently continues to identify with you.
The more leads generated, the greater the reach of the campaign and ultimately the turnover. This success can be measured by various parameters, such as the cost per lead, the ROI, conversion rate or social return on investment. Monitoring is also advisable in order to be able to intervene quickly if necessary.
Manage leads with CRM software
Companies usually use CRM software to organize and manage their leads. The term CRM stands for „Customer Relationship Management“. With the help of these systems, companies always have an overview of the entire customer interaction. They also identify new prospects and store all customers, leads and service requests, including contact information, in a central database. The programs are also used to identify sales opportunities for lead generation and to make forecasts. In this way, transparency is always guaranteed.