Lead generation is a critical part of any successful sales and marketing strategy. But how do you make sure that the leads generated by your marketing are the best fit for your company’s service or product?
Today I’m explaining what makes a good lead, and how inbound and outbound marketing tactics impact the quality of leads generated for your company.
What Makes a Good Lead?
A good lead is someone who is interested in your business, product or service, and has a great chance of actually buying from you.
You will initially identify a good (qualified) lead by how closely they match up with your buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on interviews with existing customers and market research.
By identifying similarities between your lead and your buyer persona you will get a feel for how good a fit this lead is for your company's product or service.
A second way of identifying a qualified lead is by tracking their engagement with your website. While on paper they may be a perfect match with your buyer persona, if they're not reading your blog posts, or they're deleting your emails, they're probably not ready to engage with you just yet.
If, on the other hand, they're reading all your emails, have read half a dozen blog posts and downloaded a whitepaper, they're clearly interested in what your company offers.
Quality vs Quantity
For many companies, lead generation is a balancing act between quantity of leads generated and the quality of those leads - that is, how many are likely to convert into customers.
87% of B2B content marketers rank sales lead quality as the most important metric they use to measure the success of their marketing, ahead of website traffic, increased conversion rate, and even sales.
A qualified lead will be more useful to your sales team than 10 leads that are a poor fit for your organisation. This is because a qualified lead will require less sales and marketing spend in order to close a sale. Essentially, you will be able to generate more revenue for less cost.
So how can your marketing efforts impact the quality of leads being generated?
Inbound or Outbound Marketing for Lead Generation
"Instead of blasting out interruptive ads and trying to pull people to your company, inbound marketing uses helpful content to attract visitors and get them to engage of their own volition."
- Hubspot - State of Inbound 2015
Inbound marketing tactics work on providing value to the visitor before they become a customer - educating them and providing a solution to a problem they are experiencing. Tactics include:
In contrast, traditional outbound marketing tactics promote the company and its products, through methods such as:
- Cold calling
- Direct mail
- Advertising on billboards
Traditional outbound marketing aims to reach as many people as possible, in the hope that a few will engage with the content that is being promoted.
Inbound marketing doesn't cast such a wide net, instead focusing on a smaller number of people who are already experiencing a need or problem that your organisation's services can solve.
This means that while both outbound and inbound marketing methods will generate leads for your organisation, leads generated through inbound marketing will be better leads, because the visitor has already chosen to engage with your organisation.
Hubspot notes that companies are 3 times as likely to see higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound, and per lead generated, inbound marketing costs 62% less than traditional, outbound marketing.
To learn more about generating qualified SaaS leads for your business, download our eGuide below.