3 Steps to Getting Started with Inbound Lead Generation

By Sean McCusty | Jun 28, 2013
More Articles by Sean

Frustrated SalespersonFor many businesses, lead generation is simply a numbers game; contact enough prospects and you’ll eventually uncover someone willing to buy. I spoke with someone in recent months who actually wanted to generate 100 leads per day for their sales force to call – quite a large volume of unqualified people for a small team of salespeople to contact. How many sales did they expect to make that way?

The problem is that this approach can require a significant allocation of resources. Hiring and training enough outbound sales people and purchasing call/contact information can be expensive and time consuming. Not to mention the time is takes to contact a sufficient volume of prospects, conduct a needs assessment, deliver the sales pitch, etc. Unfortunately the result is often a) they don’t need your product, b) can’t afford your product or c) aren’t interested in buying in the foreseeable future. The result: time wasted by you and your prospect.

Why not let your prospects qualify themselves?

Recent studies have shown that upwards of 92% of B2B buyers are conducting online research prior to making a product or service purchase. That means that your prospective customers are out there looking for you right now. Why not make it easy for them to find you? Developing an inbound lead generation strategy can result in a steady stream of qualified prospects that are already moving down the sales funnel.

How to get started?

The process for moving towards an inbound lead generation strategy can be summarized in the following 3 steps:

  1. The first step is to understand who your customer is and translate that knowledge into messaging that addresses their needs.
  2. The second step is to generate high quality online content that speaks to your product/service’s ability to meet your client’s needs and is optimized for the keywords they are searching for.
  3. Third, keep your content fresh; new webinars, whitepapers, infographics and blog posts give your prospects a good reason to return to your site. You can also use paid advertising to create more impressions and use social media to deliver your message to a more narrowly targeted audience.

If you are able to add marketing automation to the mix, then you can nurture relationships as prospects interact with you. Tracking which assets (whitepapers, webinars, infographics, etc.) they view can give a very clear indication as to their level of interest and where they are in the buying process. At the appropriate time these prospects can be passed along to a sales person to set an appointment, present a sales presentation or provide additional information. Tasking your sales force with contacting these “qualified leads” results in more efficient interactions, higher conversion rates and increased revenues and profits.

By using an inbound marketing strategy, you greatly increase the likelihood that your sales force will spend their time interacting with prospects that a) want and need your product/service, b) have a budget available to purchase, and c) are ready to buy now.

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