Lead generation is one of the hot new topics of conversation surrounding transacting business online. Tens of thousands of words can and have been written about it, delving into the finer nooks and crannies of what the software is capable of, much of which may be somewhat unintelligible to someone taking their first look at how this concept could help their business. With this in mind, here we give an overview of what lead generation is and what it could mean for your business’s bottom line.
Leads from your Website
If you’ve set up a website hoping to draw in huge amounts of new custom, chances are you’ll have been a little disappointed in the outcome. Even with the best designed and most compelling site, it’s estimated that only 2%-5% of visitors end up making contact and therefore become leads to pursue.
Lead generation attempts to solve this problem by identifying prospects who visit your site, and providing extra information which you can use to follow up offline (or by email) in the hope of capturing extra business. The amount of information provided by the software varies from a simple company name and location (e.g. A1 Webstats) to full company details including turnover, employee data, even credit rating and financial information (e.g. Lead Forensics).
This is all well and good, but how does this differ from simple cold calling? The fact is, if a company representative is visiting your site looking at your products, it’s a fair bet that the company is looking to purchase those products, and is in the so-called ‘buying cycle’ during which a timely contact could pay huge dividends.
Imagine that your company manufactures a range of consumer products, and you’re alerted, in real time, that a representative of Walmart is researching a particular part of your range – isn’t that something that you’d want to know about straight away? This is exactly what the more advanced lead generation systems can do.
Even the less advanced packages that don’t support real time alerts have their advantages. Even though the benefit of swift contact is lost, your subsequent sales call is more likely to be effective if you’re furnished with details of what the prospect was looking at on your site and therefore might be open to discussing. Even this simple advance in itself is a great improvement on basic cold calling.
This is, in essence, what lead generation is and what it could do for your business. The cheaper options will provide some or all of this basic functionality, while the enterprise-ready packages are capable of so much more. The best examples of the software genre also come with extensive support to help you get the most out of both the software and the concept in general, and can have a real positive impact on your online business potential.