The evolution of lead generation
Lead generation used to involve purchasing lists of names and sales representatives cold calling people at home, but modern advances in technology have made it possible for us to now generate leads based on specific criteria and information. Companies collect information about potential buyers and then tailor marketing methods and sales pitches to the prospects’ needs.
This is largely done through digital channels, using inbound marketing techniques alongside some of the former outbound marketing methods (more on that below). Successful lead generation can make the sales cycle more efficient, and lead to greater success rates in new customer acquisition.
Lead generation in the digital age
The buying journey has changed dramatically with the growth of the internet and the increased availability of information.
- In the past it was common practice for sales representatives to reach out to uneducated potential buyers in order to introduce them to their products and services.
- Today customers have an abundance of information at their fingertips. They can use search engines, social media, blogs, and other online channels to research and become experts about a product before ever communicating directly with a representative of the company. The sales cycle will continue to evolve thanks to new and upcoming technologies.
This vast quantity of information also means that customers are no longer as interested in listening to a traditional sales pitch that doesn’t relate directly to their needs and it might even push them away. It is now important for companies to focus on generating new leads by developing a strong internet presence. This is often accomplished using inbound marketing methods that employ techniques like search engine optimisation and content marketing.
The digital age has also made it easier for companies to research and understand their perspective leads. By understanding the wants and needs of their target customers, companies can tailor information to better draw them in, as well as qualify any potential leads based on a variety of factors, such as engagement and demographic information. It is increasingly important for companies to not only generate new leads but also develop and nurture relationships with them.