You know what they say: you can catch a lot of flies with honey, but you can catch more honeys being fly. Try that cliche in a bar and it might end with a drink thrown in your face, but adapting that mindset in your inbound marketing strategy could not only improve lead generation rates, but also increase the number of qualified leads your business attracts.
Look at your leads and create definitions for a lead ready to be passed on to sales as opposed to a lead that still needs to be nurtured by the marketing team. Some common ways to define a sales ready lead is if there is a healthy profile created about them from different data points, their lead score is high, certain behavioral attributes show there is high interest, they appear to have a budget, the authority and need of your services and lastly, their timeline implies that the entire buying process must be expedited.
Lead scoring is a shared sales and marketing methodology for ranking leads in order to determine their sales-readiness. You score leads based on the interest they show in your business, their current in the buying cycle, and their fit in regards to your business. Lead scoring helps companies know whether prospects need to be fast-tracked to sales or developed with lead nurturing. Lead scoring is essential to strengthening your revenue cycle, effectively drive more ROI, and align sales and marketing.
The aspects of your lead gen campaign should mirror everything else on your website, on your blog, and within the product that you will eventually try to sell. If not, you’ll have a difficult time getting your lead to the next lifecycle stage. Your campaign should be about more than just obtaining an email address — it should be about developing a new customer.

Tried and true networking is another key to sales lead generation. It may not be surprising to discover that many people prefer in-person meetings at conferences because it gives them the opportunity to read body language and facial expressions. Overall, aim to be where your prospective clients are. Join organizations that your potential clients will most likely join, and also make an effort to attend the conferences they attend. This puts you in the right place to interact with a large pool of prospects.

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3. Video How To’s – If you are a subject matter expert or just passionate about your business industry, you can pop in front of a camera to record tips and best practices. This can then be pushed out through your online channels to capture potential leads. This, in particular, is a great lead generation tactic used by business owners banking on video’s popularity and media consumption.

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It’s easy to see that social platforms have gained dominance as they are increasingly the preferred way that many people interact.  It’s no wonder the professional networking site LinkedIn is the main site that professionals use as a way to stay in contact with people they you meet. However, crafting the right approach is just as critical as cultivating your connections. Don’t send generic invites when requesting to connect. Instead, send a personalized message that reminds them of who you are, and how and where you met. For example:
It's tough to figure out if your lead generation strategy is working if you aren't looking at industry data. That's why we partnered with Qualtrics to survey more than 900 marketers from all different industries in North America and Europe to create a demand generation report with data on website visitors, leads, opportunities, customers, and revenue.

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While inbound marketing is getting a lot of buzz, a well-rounded marketing mix should include both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Inbound works for broad lead generation activities, but outbound is good to amplify your inbound efforts, and target specific opportunities. So what exactly is outbound marketing? It’s using outbound channels to introduce your message and content to your prospects, typically through rented attention, rather than making your content and messages availableon your own properties.
In summary, lead generation is not easy but it is a must have process for any business to survive.  Some companies survive on inbound alone. However, for many B2B companies and start-ups this is not an option. I liken lead generation to mining for gold.  You should never depend solely on one source of leads but have multiple sources for lead generation in case one vein dries up.

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Many successful small business owners are continuously looking to expand their customer base and grow their businesses. Business growth can be a difficult and long-term process, though. One of the foundational elements of growing a business is having access to a steady stream of sales leads. A lead is a person, or business if you have a company that sells to other businesses (B2B), that has an interest in the products or services you are selling.

Offer your own expertise. When you’re experienced in your own business sector, you might want to write articles of your own for trade publications. Authorship can put you in front of new audiences. The articles you write are also excellent self-promotion just like your press hits. Promote your authored articles as well in your emails, newsletters, social media, etc.

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Email is a cornerstone and key component of every marketing campaign. Whether you are hosting an event, sending out a new piece of content, promoting a new service offering, or staying in touch with customers, email should be one of your main forms of communication. According to MarketingSherpa, the most used lead generation tactic is email marketing, with 81% of respondents citing it as the most effective channel. By putting your content in front of prospects, you can find people who might not be looking for you.
In order to expand a business, you need new clients, new customers. Just how do you go about accomplishing that? That’s what lead generation is all about. There is quite a process from knowing nothing about a business to eventually becoming a promoter of it. This begins with strangers becoming visitors that develop into leads. If everything evolves well, those leads turn into customers. Please and satisfied clients/customers want to spread the word and become a part of referral marketing. Through their conversations with others, whether that is in person, or on social media, they become promoters. Due to their connection, trust, and loyalty they highly recommend it and often provide testimonials. It is now personal.
LinkedIn is a business-centric platform, so if you do pitch something to an executive, it will be accepted. In some cases, other platforms such as Email, WhatsApp Web, or Facebook might work, but you run the risk of upsetting the person you contact. If you are going to use these platforms to communicate with potential leads, then its best you do your homework first by finding out more about the person you are contacting.
Clearly, there has been a huge change in the traditional buying process.  In fact, according to Forrester, buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their buying journey before they even reach the vendor. The reason this is happening more and more is because buyers have so much access to information that they can delay talking to sales until they are experts themselves.

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Use different modes of social media. You might start with a general site like Facebook, a business networking site such as LinkedIn, or a microblogging and all-purpose site like Twitter. However, consider expanding to picture-based sites like Pinterest or Instagram. Also look for any types of social networking platforms specific to your industry, like Glozal for real estate, Lawyrs for law, or Architizer for architects and designers.[2]

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Most successful salespeople already practice some version of solution selling. They know sales is about consulting around the prospect's problems, not closing the deal. It's about letting the prospect define the pace of the process and offering education and advice as a way to build confidence and trust. This makes it easy and safe for a client to buy. Here are a few ways you can make it scalable and efficient on your own.

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Remember, networking isn’t all about you. It is easier to listen carefully to others as they speak about their challenges in business. Chances are, you will find opportunities to offer solutions, whether it’s your own product or service, or a product or service from one of your contacts. Helping associates even when it means not closing a sale is not only friendly, it paves the way for referrals. As mentioned earlier, strive to be an advisor that is committed to helping customers find the right solution whenever possible.

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Let's say you take an online survey to learn more about how to take care of your car. A day or so later, you receive an email from the auto company that created the survey about how they could help you take care of your car. This process would be far less intrusive than if they'd just called you out of the blue with no knowledge of whether you even care about car maintenance, right? This is what it's like to be a lead.

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Product qualified leads are contacts who've used your product and taken actions that indicate interest in becoming a paying customer. PQLs typically exist for companies who offer a product trial or a free or limited version of their product (like HubSpot!) with options to upgrade, which is where your sales team comes in. An example of a PQL is a customer who uses your free version but engages or asks about features that are only available upon payment.

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Coupon: Unlike the job application, you probably know very little about someone who has stumbled upon one of your online coupons. But if they find the coupon valuable enough, they may be willing to provide their name and email address in exchange for it. Although it's not a lot of information, it's enough for a business to know that someone has interest in their company.

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