Sales teams have a lot on their plates, and often carry a lot of company weight on their backs. There's no diminishing the value of a solid, well-performing sales team. But while sales teams are not the ones specifically responsible for building lists and facilitating campaigns (ie. are not apart of the lead generation team) sales teams need lead generation to do their job, and they need to care about it as a key part of any strategy if they want to improve their sales.
Regardless of the prowess of a sales rep, there's no doubting the importance of generating leads as an essential part of any business's success. After all, without leads, you wouldn't have any potential customers to sell to.
There are a number of ways lead generation teams generate their leads: online advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), outreach campaigns, word-of-mouth referrals, and tradeshows or events. The most effective lead-generation strategies will often use a combination of these methods.
But what about after the lead generation team has done their job?
What about after the lead has been qualified and entered the pipeline?
The Lead Generation Handoff
This is where the sales team comes in and needs to build on the campaign ideas, the well-constructed selling vectors, and momentum the lead generation team has set in place. They must know what the lead generation team has set them up for, and they must take the lead through the various stages of the buying journey until they eventually make a purchase.
Lead generation doesn’t stop just after the lead has entered the pipeline. Lead Generation is the entire process. You’ve got to close!
But remember, it's important to keep in mind that lead nurturing takes time, so don't expect instant results. It's a process that requires patience and consistency. It's also important to remember that not all leads are created equal. Some leads will be more qualified than others, so it's important to focus your efforts on those that are most likely to convert into customers or clients.
Lead Generation - Create the Awareness
The first stage of the sales process is known as the awareness stage, where your goal is simply to make potential customers aware of your product or service.
Often times a lead generation team has set this up for you already, and so you must know what drew the lead in. Thats called a lead magnet. A lead magnet is something that you offer potential customers in exchange for their contact information. It can be anything from a free e-book to a discount on your products or services, or even just pushing the value prop of your services..
The key is to make sure that the lead magnet is something that your target market will find valuable. If it's not, they're not likely to give you their contact information. Work with your lead generation team is you think their magnets can be stronger.
Lead Generation - Maintain the Interest
Once potential customers are aware of your product or service, the next stage is known as the interest stage.
Here, the goal is to get them interested in what you have to offer by providing more information about your product or service. This stage is more dependent on the sales rep, a full standard deviation removed from the lead generation team, but it's still building on the interest the led generation team began to develop.
Lead Generation - Catalyze the Decision
The third and final stage of the sales process is known as the decision stage. This is where your goal is to get the customer to actually make a purchase.
It's important to remember that not all leads are ready to buy right away, so it's important to nurture them until they are ready. This can be done through a variety of means, such as providing an irresistible offer, making it easy for them to purchase your product or service online, or by providing excellent customer service.
Make the lead generation team's hard work pay off!