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Lead Generation Made Simple: A Step By Step Guide


Picture of Tim Jones, CEO + Founder
Written by Tim Jones, CEO + Founder
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Lead Generation Made Simple: A Step By Step Guide

Do you need more leads for your business? Follow this step-by-step guide to increase the number of leads you generate each month.

What is a lead?

Before we go too deep, I want to make sure that we are talking about the same thing.

According to HubSpot, a lead is someone who expresses interest in your product or service in some way.

In our experience, this means that they have a problem that they would like to solve, are aware that your product or service can potentially solve their problem. Prospects want to learn more about your product or service to determine if it is the right solution for them.

What types of leads are there?

We look at a lead as either inbound or outbound. Inbound leads come from inbound marketing strategies, while outbound leads come from outbound strategies.

HubSpot outlines the difference between inbound and outbound marketing in this short blog post. You can read it in 3 minutes.


Ways to generate outbound leads

  • TV Ads
  • Radio
  • Direct Mail
  • Networking
  • Tradeshows
  • Billboards
  • Workshops/Classes/Speaking engagements
  • Conferences

Ways to generate inbound leads

  • Webinars
  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks
  • Checklists
  • Newsletters/email
  • Videos
  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Social Media Marketing

For this guide, we'll focus primarily on inbound leads and inbound marketing.


Why Inbound?

For starters, it lines up with how people buy today. Studies have proven that people are doing more online research before they buy.

Inbound ensures that you are there when they look for answers on the marketing side and is more consultative on the sales side.

Inbound is looking to help people make a more informed purchase. It's offering a solution, not selling a product or service.

Outbound marketing is much more disruptive and interrupts its audience, like commercials in the middle of a TV show.

Having clarified what a lead is and the types of leads, let's get started discussing how you can generate leads for your company.

Step 1: Identify the problem

Now that we have a better foundation for this discussion let's define the problem. Why aren't you generating enough leads?

There are a few things you should look at first to determine where you need to focus.

  • Are you attracting the right audience?
  • Are the people you're attracting people you can help? Can they afford your solution? Do they want or need your solution?
  • Are you getting enough traffic?
  • How many people are coming to you for help on a weekly and monthly basis? Are there enough visitors to reach your goals?
  • Are you converting traffic?
  • Are people contacting you for help? Are you capturing their contact information in some way?

Step 2: Focus

If you're not attracting the right people, this could be a branding issue, a lack of defining your audience well enough, or a combination of the two.

If you've never gone through a branding process, I highly recommend it. Maybe your audience doesn't find your brand to be attracted, or you're just not making a connection. Branding can help you resolve these types of issues.

It can be extremely challenging to attract someone if you don't know what they look like, where they are, where they are going, what they need, or when they need it.

You should define your company's primary personas. Personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers.

Some other ways you can focus on who you are trying to reach is by developing anti-personas. These are representations of prospects, leads, and customers that would not be a good fit for your business.

Sometimes the best way to define something is by saying what you don't want it to be.

Another thing you can do is select specific verticles, or industries, that work best for you. It doesn't mean you can't work outside of those verticles; this is just a place to start and a primary focus.

A positioning statement is also a great way to define who you help and how you help them. A good positioning statement undoubtedly makes qualifying leads easier for your sales team.


Step 3: Optimize

I always like to provide a little disclaimer here; I don't mean SEO here. What I mean is optimizing, your website more specifically, for best performance.

If you are not converting enough visitors to leads, you may need to optimize your site to convert.

You want to ensure that your site performs at its highest potential. Make sure the website loads as fast as it can, that all the links work correctly, and that the user experience is excellent.

Every page should have a purpose and goal for conversion, to make sure that it converts visitors to leads, even if it's primarily to get them to the page with more information.

You may need to completely redesign your website to provide a better experience and fully optimize your site to convert. In many cases, you will only need to make a few minor design changes and updates.

To get the best result, you may want to look into Growth-Driven Design (GDD). It's a process to help you improve your website's results month over month.


Download the Free Guide to Using Inbound Marketing to Close More Business

A few ways to optimize your website are by adding clear calls to action, making it very clear what your business does and who it helps, providing contact information above the fold on every page.

Also, make sure that the site loads under 3 seconds, has an SSL encryption, and is responsive for mobile devices.


Step 4: Automate

A considerable part of creating a stream of consistent leads is automation.

Marketing automation and sales automation are vital to saving time, providing a good experience, and helping prospects get to the content they truly want when they want it.

Marketing automation can help nurture leads, deliver timely and relevant emails, as well as share blog posts and web pages to help answer questions and address concerns at every stage of the buyer's journey.

With tools like HubSpot, you can deliver content based on what a prospect has done on your website, what emails they've opened, and many other ways they have interacted with your company.

Marketing automation takes some planning and strategy to get going, but once it's in place, it can feel pretty magical.

It's the automation that creates a steady stream of leads. Without automation, you would need to manage every aspect of lead generation manually, which would allow for a bunch of errors, a considerable loss of opportunities, and be very time-consuming.

Once you start automating parts of your process, you will want to automate everything. It's very addictive!

If you are looking for ideas on what to automate, check out this blog to see ways you can leverage marketing automation for your business

Step 5: Attract

To generate leads, you must have enough opportunities. If you have defined your audience correctly, then you know who to attract and where to find them.

If you know how many new sales you need, it's relatively easy to reverse engineer how many visitors you need to attract to hit your goal.

Don't assume that you need to use every strategy and tactic to get visitors to your site. You only need the ones that attract enough of the right people.

If your site is generating leads and those leads are closing (meaning they are your ideal customers), but you just aren't getting enough, you likely need to increase the traffic to your site.

Step 6: Convert

You have to have a way to capture visitor information, and you must have something of value they are willing to give in exchange for their information.

We often refer to these as offers, premium content, or conversion tools. You can offer an eBook, checklist, webinar, or another useful resource.

Conversion is an excellent place to focus when you know you are attracting enough of the right kind of people, but not generating enough leads.

Landing pages and online forms are a big deal when it comes to generating leads online. The sole purpose of a landing page is to convert a visitor to a lead.

Another critical piece is a well crafted call to action. There are still millions of websites that don't make their contact information easy to find and don't tell visitors any next steps.

Don't make people figure out what to do next. If they are ready to buy, tell them how to get started. Tell them what to do next if they are not prepared to buy.

A great way to test your conversion and improve it is through data. Converting leads is not an area where you should guess, or go with your gut, to make improvements.

Growth-Driven Design is an excellent process for updating your site based on user-driven data.

Download the Free Guide to Using Inbound Marketing to Close More Business

Step 7: Close

You need a strategy for closing leads. You also need the right tools. You want to do everything in your power to enable your sales team to close more inbound leads into customers.

You should outline a sales plan and have a sales strategy. You should also implement a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between your marketing team and sales team. An SLA will help align both sides with the same goal and expectations.

Using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software will help facilitate most of your sales process.

The right CRM will help marketing and sales teams understand where prospects, leads, and customers are in the buyer's journey.

A CRM will also inform sales teams what content a prospect has viewed so that sales teams can enter the conversation well informed on how to help each individual.

Another part of converting leads to customers (closing sales leads) is nurturing. You can use marketing automation to deliver personalized, relevant content to leads over time.

Automated emails are a great way to build trust and address common sales questions. You could also provide product or service information helping to move leads down the funnel and into the decision stage of the buyer's journey.

Step 8: Delight

Before I get going, let me make this clear. You should work to delight everyone as early in the buyer's journey as you possibly can.

You can delight visitors, leads, and customers by being timely and helpful. Sometimes, surprisingly beneficial.

You should strive to deliver relevant and timely content. Delighting everyone will take a good understanding of your audience, but if you are using the HubSpot CRM and Marketing software, it will be much easier.

If you deliver good content, people will begin to trust you more and will likely come to you whenever they need a solution to a problem they know you can solve.

Step 9: Increase your lead generation opportunities

Complete and repeat. I know it sounds a little silly, but it's true. Do it all over again, and again, and again.

Your odds of generating leads increases as you build out more funnels and landing pages with great offers.

Studies have proven that sites with more landing pages generate way more leads than those with less or without any at all.

According to HubSpot, sites with ten or more landing pages see a 55% increase in leads. Companies with 40+ landing pages typically generate 12X as many leads as companies with five or fewer landing pages. 

Key Takeaways

Building a site that generates leads can take planning, strategies, and lots of work, but it's very much worth the effort.

The return on investment is typically better. Inbound leads are 49% less expensive than outbound leads.

I encourage you to work on developing a few landing pages with premium offers on your own.

If you find this overwhelming, you don't know where to start, don't have the extra time to do it yourself, or feel out of your area of expertise; give us a call.

We'd be happy to schedule a free consultation and offer a few tips and resources. We can also provide an extra hand if you're ready to work with an agency.