Are you wondering how to generate leads in sales? Well, there are more options to consider than you might think, and it can be a little overwhelming sometimes. However, all you need are the right tools in your hands and an alternative way to deliver more value, such as interactive content.
While you get things done, there are some strategies you can use to attract and engage the interest of your audience in the products or services you are selling. Let’s talk about the importance of lead generation for the company’s success through this step by step guide. With the right focus and effort, your leads will be turned into customers before you know it.
Why is lead generation so important?
Let’s just quickly define the basics before taking the next move. Lead is the term used for people who express an interest in your brand, but they are not ready to buy anything yet. Here’s where lead generation starts. It’s the process of attracting and engaging these potential customers.
With this in mind, why is it essential to generate leads in sales? Because it’s the opportunity to influence these potential customers at the beginning of the process. Once you’ve captured data about these leads, you’ll be able to qualify them and increase the chances of conversion. When you have a well-structured lead generation funnel, you might also get:
- brand awareness and a strong reputation
- more sales, which means a competitive advantage
- better Return on Investment (ROI)
- qualified leads (your desired customers)
- data collect regarding your prospects’ preferences
- a cost-effective marketing strategy
After all, we might say that a company’s financial health depends on a good flow of sales opportunities. Through the lead generation process, you can build relationships, confidence, and trust. This makes it easier for a customer to buy your products or services. For business, it’s a way to increase the conversion rates, while leveraging profitable results.
Moreover, there is content marketing as a vital ingredient of any online strategy to get more leads. This aligns with the lead generation process. Besides, today’s marketers can also count on providing value through interactive content. We’ll talk more about it coming up.
So, how do you generate leads for sales?
Now that we’ve settled concepts and benefits of this marketing strategy, it’s time to put everything together and in practice. The question is: how do you generate leads for sales? Nothing can show it better than a step by step guide.
Step 1: Start planning everything
Every good strategy kick off from a clear idea of what you want to achieve through the lead generation. Whether the goal is to get more sales or to nurture your potential customers over inbound marketing, set your target before starting.
All businesses (at least the good ones) have strategic planning with clear goals. It’s the first step, the one that guides actions and metrics to complete them. Take this moment to include your plans to improve the path of the leads in the sales funnel.
Step 2: Identify your audience
When the planning is ready, you can jump to the next step. This is one of the most important steps, because here you will identify your target audience. Success can only be reached when your marketing team knows its buyer persona quite well. You can’t sell anything if you don’t understand your buying audience.
So take as much research as needed to meet your ideal customers and come up with the whole picture: who they are, what they do, or where they live. There is no need to rush! The more information, the better you will be able to create an effective content strategy to attract their attention.
Step 3: Sketch a promotional plan
Let’s create a promotional plan to boost your products and services. First, use your marketing planning to identify the most effective methods (such as SEO, paid advertising, or omnichannel strategies) and channels for your business.
What social media platforms are important for you to engage your leads? Are there any industry events to be aware of? Take this chance to prepare the content strategy (editorial calendar, themes, keywords) for the blog. Don’t forget to take into account all the stages of the sales funnel.
Step 4: Study the sales funnel
The lead generation process can help you to plan how to explore the funnel at its maximum potential and turn this resource into an automated selling machine, create a consistent content strategy, also using all the research you already made about your target audience. The sales funnel is formed by three main stages:
- top of the funnel (TOFU): this is the awareness phase where we use the most general content for the widest audience (blogs, social media, and white papers)
- middle of the funnel (MOFU): this is the consideration phase, so your buyer persona should be attracted through webinars, eBooks, surveys, and more educational content
- bottom of the funnel (BOFU): this is the decision phase, where you can go a step further and show case studies, trials, or consultation to a lead ready to buy.
Step 5: Use automated tools
Automation is a keyword nowadays. Mainly used to simplify management tasks, an automated tool also has an important role when we think about content creation. Did you know your marketing team can use it to make content generation easier? Meanwhile, you will be able to free up more time to focus on creating high-quality content that engages more effectively.
After all, the strategy is one of the most effective whenever we pursue brand awareness or a good relationship with our audience. Through automation, the business gains efficiency during content creation, reduces manual mistakes, improves workflow and the customer experience.
Step 6: Try interactive content
Traditional content is everywhere. So have you ever thought about adding some interactive content to your strategy? You should! Today, engagement is all about the experience. And guess what? There are a bunch of things you can do to encourage a reaction from your customers, at the same time you give them a reason to pay attention to your brand.
Different types of interactive content help to create a two-way conversation between you and your customer. Examples of effective tools include: animated infographics, contests, assessments, quizzes, calculators, eBooks, white papers, landing pages, and many more. With any of these resources, visitors naturally interact instead of passively reading only.
How can a content strategy help?
Whenever you think about how to generate leads in sales, remember the importance of a great content strategy. Traditional formats like blog posts or social media are still effective, but they are not enough anymore. Your customers are looking for an experience, and your marketing team can give it to them through active participation.
When your audience interacts, either answering a quiz or downloading an ebook, they are more likely to buy from you. As content marketers, our goal is to capture and convert these customers, right? So to do this, we need to leverage our strategies and go a step further with highly engaging interactive content.
According to the Enhancing the Buyer’s Journey report, this resource is more effective at educating the buyer over a lead generation—93% versus 70% from passive content. It also provides:
- very cost-effective investment
- tighter relationship between marketing and sales teams
- gather many digital marketing techniques together
- more qualified leads, which means more customers and revenue
Not convinced? A CMI survey among 20,000 marketers found that 77% agreed that the resource provides elevated value to the customers and grabs more attention (87%). 73% realized a bigger retention of branding.
Therefore, if you’re looking for ways on how to generate leads in sales, what about including some interactive content? It’s easy to consume and also gives a personalized experience to your customers, in addition to a reason to connect to your brand. Every navigation, click, and choice provides inputs to your marketing team about the lead. From time to time, you can try different types of interactive content to develop rich profiles and give valuable insights to your sales team.
Not convinced yet, or want to see how it works in practice? Take a look at this case study that shows how one company increases leads through interactive content built in Ion.