As mentioned in more detail elsewhere in these pages, lead generation is basically the identification of prospects visiting your website, qualifying them by various criteria, and then making it easier for you or your sales team to make contact and try and turn a prospect into a sale. This should sound good to every business owner with a website – after all, who doesn’t want more sales?
However, despite the usefulness of the software, it’s not necessarily a good fit for every company, despite the hype and the sales pressure you may come under.
Business to Consumer (B2C)
If your business is mostly concerned with selling to consumers, it’s unlikely that lead generation will be of great use to you.
This is because of the way most examples of the software identify visitors using a system known as ‘IP Lookup’ which identifies the computer address of the website visitor. Individual consumers and indeed smaller businesses are very likely to show up under the name of their internet service provider which is obviously of little use. Only larger companies with their own networks are likely to identify themselves by name in this way. (Caveat: some of the more sophisticated packages go beyond simple lookup and have greater success in identifying smaller business visitors, but that’s beyond the scope of this article)
Less sophisticated and cheaper packages like A1 Webstats and Canddi could still have their place if your website already drives sales, as it could lead to a greater understanding of the way your site is performing, but the more advanced features of the more expensive and complex packages are almost certain to be wasted.
Business to Business (B2B)
This is where the lead generation concept comes into its own, especially when dealing with larger clients where a single visitor could lead to lucrative orders and repeat business. By identifying the name and location of the business visitor to your site you have a head start in gaining business from them compared to competitors who rely on prospects contacting them. All lead generation packages can do this to one extent or another, although the information the basic packages supply is more limited.
As we go up the ladder, more detailed information is available including company details such as turnover and so on, all delivered ready packaged. This is probably a level of sophistication that a smaller business doesn’t need, but it’s clear to see that a larger company with a dedicated sales team and the resources to follow up in real time could benefit.
The most advanced packages (e.g. Lead Forensics and WOW Analytics) can not only provide all this but can track existing customers who return (allowing the opportunity for upselling), can track visitors from your competitors, and plug directly into existing systems such as Salesforce to maximise workflow and efficiency.
So in summary, if you mainly sell to consumers then the lower end packages may allow greater insight into the effectiveness of your website, but the extra sophistication of the more advanced offerings will be unnecessary and come at a cost which is probably not justifiable.
A smaller B2B concern could benefit from one of the middle range packages to gain valuable insight into who is visiting your website.
If, however, your company’s success includes relying on an active sales team who are hungry for fresh qualified leads, with as much supporting information as possible, possibly plugged directly into an existing CRM, then a package like Lead Forensics with its rich features and comprehensive support is well worth investigating.