How do I generate IT leads

The beginner's guide to lead generation

For the car manufacturer, this approach has another advantage, because with the information collected, the company can adapt its offer to your needs and personalize the communication accordingly.

What is lead generation?

As part of the Lead generation Companies try to draw the attention of potential customers and previously unknown people to their own offers so that they can express an interest in the products or services and thus convert them into leads. Some proven lead generation tools are blog articles, coupons, live events, and online content.

In order to describe the concept of lead generation in a meaningful way for marketing laypersons, here is another, clearer definition:

As part of lead generation, marketers are looking for ways to bring consumers' attention to their business. You want to incentivize these people to become interested in their company and to get in touch with them.

It's about introducing potential customers to your company and thus preparing the ground for future purchases.

What do you need lead generation for?

When consumers open a channel of communication with you themselves, they are showing “organic” interest in your company. It is much more likely that such prospects will become customers than with consumers who have not initiated contact with you.

The lead generation takes place mainly in the second phase of the inbound marketing methodology ("interacting"). At this point, people in your target audience have shown interest in your company and you are now trying to convert those visitors into leads for your sales team.

Generate leads

Now that we've looked at the role lead generation plays within the inbound marketing methodology, let's look at the individual components that make up the lead generation process.

First, visitors must become aware of your company through one of your marketing channels (e.g. website, blog, social media).

These visitors have to click on one of your calls-to-action (CTAs). These are either images, buttons or notifications that contain a call to action.

The CTA takes visitors to a landing page. This is a campaign-specific website that is used to record the contact information of your prospects. It is important that you offer them a corresponding added value in return - this is usually done in the form of a content offer.

Such an offer is, for example, content such as e-books, training courses or templates. The offer must provide value to visitorsso that in return they reveal their personal information.

To do this, use a form on your landing page consisting of a series of input fields. Visitors have to enter some information there in order to be able to use your offer. It is common to use these forms on landing pages, but in theory you can embed them on any page on your website. As soon as a visitor has completed and submitted the form, you have generated a new lead. (Follow these forms best practices to generate as many qualified leads as you can.)

Ideally, the individual steps in this process follow one another seamlessly.

To recap: Visitor click on one CTA and will be on a Landing page forwarded. There they fill in form off to a offer to receive, and so become new Leads.

Incidentally, HubSpot offers free lead generation tools that you can use to provide lead capture forms on your website without a complicated setup or programming effort.

Lead generation in the context of your marketing

Once you've made the above preparations, it's time to promote your offering on various channels to drive traffic to your landing page and generate new leads.

Which channels you should use is a question of your marketing.

The following figure shows the lead generation process in a simplified form, from the presentation of offers in various marketing channels to newly recorded leads.

But there are far more channels than those listed here. Let's look at some of them.

Content

Content is a great way to get an audience to your landing pages. To do this, you first need to create free content that has some value for your potential customers. It is important to insert one or more CTAs in or around the content. The more visitors like your content, the more likely it is that they will click your call-to-action to be redirected to your landing page.

Email Marketing

Email is a great medium to reach contacts who already know your brand and your product or service. It is also easier to get these addressees to take a desired action, since they have chosen to interact with you of their own free will. E-mails can be quite confusing under certain circumstances. So in order to better capture the attention of your readers, we recommend the use of conspicuous CTAs with unmistakable calls to action.

Ads and retargeting

If you place an advertisement, you want to evoke a certain reaction in your audience. Otherwise the whole effort would hardly be worth it. So that you don't spend your money in vain, your advertising text must contain a clear call to action. And of course, your landing page and your offer must also fulfill what you promise in your ad.

Blog

Your blog is a particularly useful tool for promoting content because you can use it exactly according to your ideas and needs. Let's say you have a training video on the Google Search Console. Then it is advisable that you now write an article that takes up one aspect of this topic and illuminates it in more detail - for example, the observation and interpretation of marketing metrics. In this article you then insert one or more CTAs that link to the offer. The likelihood that readers will also be interested in your offer, the greater the closer the topics dealt with in the blog article and the offer are related to one another.

Social media

Social media platforms offer a number of ways to get their target audience to interact with your content - from "swiping up" in Instagram Stories, to links in your Facebook profile, to bit.ly URLs on twitter. You can of course also promote your offer in your posts by adding a CTA to your text or the captions of media content.

Trial versions

The best way for potential customers to get to know your products or services is to try them out for themselves. Therefore, trial versions or time-limited test runs are a great way to move the sales process forward. During the trial period, you can make purchasing decisions easier for your users with additional offers and helpful resources. Depending on how the trial version of your product is designed or whether it is publicly available, you should also make sure that it contains your branding and links to your other offers and your website. In this way, users who are not yet familiar with your company can also become potential customers.

Referral marketing

Referral marketing or word of mouth marketing is also an effective method for generating leads. This allows you to expand your audience and potentially generate more leads.

No matter which channels you choose, the ideal contact point for your audience is always a landing page. As long as this site can effectively convert your visitors into leads, you will get a steady flow of new contacts.

What speaks against it, lead data too to buy?

Both marketing and salespeople want to fill their pipeline - and if possible fast. In the process, many people succumb to the temptation to buy lead data.

It is actually easier to buy lead data than it is to generate it organically. It takes less time and effort - but is also more expensive. And if you're paying for advertising, why not pay for leads too?

First off, you should know that leads whose data you've bought somewhere are you and your company not knowing. Typically, such leads have “agreed” to receive notifications from another company by signing up for something on another website. So you did not specifically choose to receive messages from Your Company to get.

Accordingly, your messages are not wanted, and sending leads unsolicited messages usually does not serve the intended purpose, but just seems intrusive. When consumers receive unsolicited phone calls, emails, or other messages, they inevitably form a bad opinion of the company.

A good rule of thumb is: If a contact has never visited your website and has never shown any interest in your product or service, you can assume that making contact will be considered unpleasant or annoying.

If contacts have never specifically chosen to receive your company's email, they are likely to mark your communications as spam, which can be dangerous to your reputation. This means that not only can your subsequent messages end up in the spam folder - it can also alert the email providers of your recipients.

If your messages are marked as spam enough times, you end up on a "blacklist" that is shared with other e-mail providers. And once you're on that blacklist, there is a very good chance that you can't change that. And it goes without saying that this will have a negative impact on the deliverability of your e-mails and your reputation on the Internet.

Its ever - really always - Far better to generate leads organically than to buy them.

Qualification of leads

A lead is a person who has shown interest in a product or service of your company in some way. Let's see how you can identify such interest

Essentially, you generate new leads for your sales department by collecting qualifying information about people who have shown interest in your company or your offer. You will receive such information when, for example, someone fills out an application form online for a position in your company, or when someone gives their contact details to receive a voucher, or when someone fills out a form to download informational content.

How interested is your leads?

In the following, we will deal with different methods of qualifying contacts as leads. These examples show that both the volume of information collected and the level of interest are weighted differently in the qualification. Let's take a closer look at some scenarios:

  • Job application: When someone fills out an application form, that person is willing to provide a huge amount of information to demonstrate their qualifications for the position. Filling out the application shows genuine interest in the position, which makes that person a good lead for the company HR department Your company will (but not for the marketing or sales teams).
  • Vouchers: Unlike an application, you probably know little about the people who happened to come across one of your vouchers. If your voucher has some value for these people, they may be willing to provide their name and email address in order to receive the voucher. Even if not a lot of Information, it still shows that someone is interested in your company.
  • Content offering: Claiming a voucher shows that someone has a specific interest in your product or service. This is not the case with content offers such as an informative e-book or participation in a webinar. Here visitors only show that they are interested in the specific topic. In order to qualify this type of lead, you will need to gather additional information.

These three very general examples show how lead generation can vary from company to company and from person to person. You need enough information to find out if someone is actually interested in your product or service. > How much information is enough information, however, depends entirely on your company.

Let's look at Episerver as an example. You can see below that Episerver has reports on web content on its landing page for lead generation and asks for seven pieces of personal information in return.

The example illustrates well what information is usually collected in lead generation forms:

  • Full name: Without this basic information, it's hard to personalize your communication with leads.
  • E-mail address: This information is mostly used as a unique identifier for leads. Of course, you can also use it to get in touch with leads.
  • Companies: This information enables you to get to know the company and the industry of your leads better. You can even use it to find out how your product or service can help these companies (mainly for B2B).
  • Number of employees: This information is not necessarily common, but can be extremely informative for companies in certain industries or with clearly defined target groups. It is mainly used for classification (keyword: lead scoring) and segmentation of contacts.
  • Field of activity: When you know what role someone has in a company, you also know how best to communicate with him or her. The different stakeholders of a brand will look at your offerings from different perspectives (mainly for B2B).
  • Country: Location information enables you to assign contacts to different segments according to their region and time zone. Depending on the offer, this information will help qualify your leads.
  • Phone: This information is only used for the company to contact you. It should be noted that the specification of the telephone number goes a step too far for many visitors, i. H. seems too personal. So it might be worthwhile not to make this information a mandatory field.

Lead scoring

Lead scoring - also known as lead evaluation - is about qualifying leads using quantitative data. Leads are assigned a numerical value (or score) to place them on a scale from “interested” to “ready to close”. Which criteria are included in your evaluation depends entirely on the individual circumstances in your company. However, your marketing and sales teams should use the same criteria to avoid inconsistencies.

The score can depend on the behavior of your leads or on the intensity of the interaction with your company or on any other criteria that you define yourself. For example, leads could get a very high rating if they often interact with your company on social networks or if their demographic information exactly matches that of your target audience.

Likewise, leads would get a slightly higher score if they used one of your coupons, because that's how they showed interest in your company.

The higher the rating of your leads, the better the chances that they will become sales-qualified, so-called "Sales Qualified Leads" (SQLs). That would only take them one step away from becoming customers. It is quite possible that you will have to change your criteria and ratings over time, because only experience shows what actually works. However, this adjustment process is a very valuable preparatory work that turns your lead generation into an effective preliminary stage for customer acquisition.

Lead generation trends and benchmarks

Once you generate enough website traffic and leads, how do you compare to your competitors? How many leads should you ideally generate?

To determine the effectiveness of your lead generation strategy, you can compare the results of your efforts against the numbers of other companies in your industry. To make this work easier for you, we worked with Qualtrics to launch a demand generation survey among more than 900 North American and European marketers from various industries to find out how many website visitors, leads, opportunities, customers and sales their companies had.

For example, it found that 74% of companies that did not exceed their sales targets had no data on their visitors, leads, MQLs or sales opportunities. Of the companies that didn't meet their sales targets, more than 70% were generating fewer than 100 leads per month and only 5% were generating more than 2,500 leads per month. Statistics like these allow you to get an overview of your industry and to align your strategy accordingly.

Cost per lead, by industry

The media and publishing sectors have the lowest cost per lead at $ 11-25. The software, information technology and services, marketing agencies, and financial services industries have the highest average cost per lead at $ 51-100.

New leads per month, based on annual sales

The higher a company's sales, the higher the number of leads it generates. This becomes clear when we look at companies at both ends of the scale: 82% of companies with annual sales up to $ 250,000 generate fewer than 100 new leads per month. Among companies with $ 1 billion in annual revenue, only 8% get fewer than 100 leads per month.

Leads per month

58% of the companies generated a maximum of 500 leads per month and 71% generated a maximum of 1,000 leads per month. And, as mentioned earlier, the top-selling companies also generated the most leads.

In the following diagram we have broken down the distribution of new leads by company size (number of employees).

Lead generation software

We have observed that the most successful companies have implemented their own system for storing and organizing their lead information. 46% use Google Docs, 41% marketing automation software and 37% CRM software.

Lead Generation Strategies

If you want to generate leads online, you can choose from a whole range of different tactics, campaign types and strategies. Which one you ultimately decide on also depends on which platforms you want to be active on.

In this section, we'll look at how you can use different lead generation platforms.

Lead generation on Facebook

Facebook has been a useful lead generation platform from the start. Companies first used the option of embedding links to external websites in their posts and providing contact information via their profiles in order to draw users' attention to their websites or to forward them directly to them. Then in 2007 adverts were introduced on Facebook