The lead generation process involves attracting prospects to your products or services by developing personalised relationships with them. There are multiple methods to generate leads and maximise your sales efficiency.
A lead list is a directory of contacts that sales professionals can use to speak directly to decision makers who could be interested in the product or service you are selling. This article is designed to help you discover how to build a lead list using the tools at your disposal.
The key steps for building a lead list
This is the process you should take in order to establish a lead list:
Step 1: Define your target audience
The first step to building a lead list is defining your ideal consumer base. Create Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) and Buyer Personas (BPs) as filters at the beginning of your sales funnel to help refine your marketing reach.
1. Understanding your ideal customer
Outline your target customer base by building an ICP. This will help you focus your marketing on the right companies and best utilise your resources to improve your sales pipeline. Analyse your existing customers, particularly those who benefit the most from your product or service. Take note of their company’s industry, location, budget and size, then apply that to your lead search. .
2. Creating a buyer persona
A BP is a vision of your ideal customer that includes key details — name, age, demographic, interests and common objections. It allows you to understand how best to communicate with prospects. Survey your existing customers and use their feedback to help you build a customer persona. In most cases, you’ll need multiple BPs to cater to individuals with different needs, challenges and buying habits.
3. Identifying target audience pain points
Pain points are specific problems faced by prospects in your market or industry. Conduct customer surveys and organise focus groups so your buyers can tell you about their issues themselves. Your sales reps can also share their experiences to help you understand common concerns that they witness when meeting clients.
Step 2: Identify lead sources
A lead source comprises any channel through which a prospect discovers your business. Identifying the sources that bring in qualified leads can help you focus your efforts to optimise outreach.
1. Online channels to generate leads
Online lead sources include social media, networking websites, search engines and email marketing. Run ad campaigns to help you reach out to potential customers via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can also optimise your LinkedIn profile and share engaging content. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising attract the kinds of people who are looking for a product or service similar to that which your business provides.
2. Offline channels to generate leads
Capitalise on networking events in your industry to get prospects interested in your business. Print ads and reach out to broadcasting services to get the word out about your product or service. You can also use direct mail or outbound calling to link with your customers.
3. Word-of-mouth referrals
Launch a referral programme to motivate your existing customers to drive prospects to your business. Offer rewards points and special discounts for every referral. This technique can help you expand your client network and increase your chances of closing deals.
Step 3: Choose your lead generation methods
After identifying your lead sources, choose the methods that you believe will bring you the most qualified leads.
1. Creating effective lead generation strategy
Creating an effective lead generation strategy requires a deep understanding of your target audience. This can guide your marketing content and help you create a unique value proposition, understanding which lead generation methods are most suitable for your target.
Build a strong online presence by optimising your social media profiles and business website. Implement lead magnets to gather contact information. Most importantly, track your performance to help you adjust and improve your strategy as you go.
2. Pros and cons of each method
- Reaching out to customers worldwide
- Improved targeting techniques to attract ideal customers
- Flexibility in terms of budget and timing
- Advanced analytics and tracking information
- A lot of competition
- Involve some degree of complexity
- Hard to convert
- Less competition
- Easier to convert
- Simple to execute
- Limited reach
- High advertising cost
- Time constraints due to business hours
- A win-win situation for customers and your business
- Highest conversion rates
- Increased customer trust
- Potential lack of customer diversity
- Incentives necessary to gain genuine referrals
- No control over the type of prospects
Step 4: Capture and store lead information
Lead-capturing tools gather data from prospects to help sales reps communicate with them.
1. Lead capture forms and landing pages
Create compelling and precise copy in your lead capture forms and landing pages to help you get information from potential customers. Provide an offer that is hard to resist so your prospects are motivated to share their details.
2. CRM systems to manage leads
Lead management requires an organised process to qualify, assess and nurture incoming leads. CRM systems offer advanced tools to help you keep up with your prospects and track interactions efficiently.
3. Best practices for lead data management
The best practices to manage your lead data include:
- Documenting your marketing process
- Ensuring correct data format
- Creating a secure repository in your CRM system
- Segmenting leads based on their activities and attributes
- Utilising automation tools to regularly monitor and review lead management
Step 5: Qualify and score leads
Qualifying a lead means determining whether they are worth moving forward in the sales process depending on the data collected.
1. Lead scoring criteria
Lead scoring is a technique used to qualify a potential customer. The scores are typically based on a 0-100 scale. Assign points based on the lead’s industry, budget, needs, pain points, location and authority. Compare each lead with your ICP and BP to help you assign a score.
2. Methods to qualify leads
There are many lead qualification frameworks you can adopt, including:
BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Time) helps you compare your business goals with the lead’s needs.
FAINT (Funds, Authority, Interest, Need and Timing) assesses a lead based on their ability to invest.
CHAMP (Challenges, Authority, Money and Priority) helps you identify a lead’s primary challenges that need immediate attention.
3. How to prioritise and follow up with leads
Following up with leads is vital to shift them to paying customers. Be concise with your follow-ups and add value to help you stand out. Figure out the right frequency so you don’t overwhelm them or lose them to a competitor. Following up once a week is considered appropriate.
Step 6: Nurture leads with targeted campaigns
Targeted campaigns are valuable for getting in touch with your ideal customer base.
1. Understanding the buyer’s journey
By understanding the problems your customers face on their journey and the factors that influence their decisions, it becomes easier to empathise and present the value of your solution accordingly.
2. Creating targeted email campaigns
Targeted email campaigns take into account your prospect’s unique set of needs and interests. Create email campaigns based on segmented attributes and activities of your prospects to help nudge them towards buying your product or service.
3. Using ad retargeting to keep leads engaged
Ad retargeting is directed towards people who have visited your social media profiles or business website before. By sending them personalised emails and displaying specific ads, this marketing strategy nudges them to move forward in their buyer journey.
Step 7: Analyse and optimise lead generation efforts
Lead generation is a continuous process. For it to work, you need to make adjustments regularly and optimise your strategies over time.
1. Metrics to track for lead generation
Important metrics and KPIs to track your lead generation efforts include:
- Landing page conversion rate: This metric tells you how effective your landing pages are at converting leads.
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): CPA tells you how much you have spent on acquiring each customer. It helps you decide which channels to invest more in.
- Average Revenue Per Customer (ARPC): ARPC measures the average monthly or yearly revenue generated from each customer.
- Web Traffic Metrics: Tracking click-through rates helps you determine the performance of your CTA. Bounce rates indicate how many people leave your website without visiting other pages or clicking links.
- Return On Investment: ROI indicates how much value you receive based on your marketing costs.
2. Analyse data to improve results
Analyse the results of these performance metrics to help you figure out where you should focus your attention. For example, if you have high CPA in offline channels, direct your effort towards online marketing. Similarly, if you have a low ROI in email marketing, consider focusing on social media.
3. Tips for continuous improvement
Here are some improvement tips for lead generation:
- Keep updating your content
- Clean your lists regularly
- Set clear goals
- Track KPIs to analyse your performance
- Keep your landing pages simple and concise
The difference between an email list and a lead list
An email list is a collection of emails from people interested in and currently using your offerings. A lead list, on the other hand, is more descriptive and typically includes names, email addresses, locations, job titles and phone numbers. You can include different types of information in lead lists depending on the customer profile you want to create.
Common mistakes to avoid when building a lead list
|Failing to define your target audience||Without a clear image of your ideal customer, you might struggle to produce genuine leads.|
|Relying on one channel||You might think focusing on one channel will pay off, but it can significantly limit your potential reach.|
|Collecting inaccurate/incomplete data||The quality of your lead data is critical to the success of your lead generation efforts. Inaccurate or incomplete data can waste time and effort, and may harm your reputation.|
|Not segmenting your lead list||Segmenting your leads based on criteria such as industry, location or job title can help you personalise your outreach and increase your chances of success.|
|Failing to prioritise your leads||Not all leads are created equally. Prioritising them based on factors such as engagement level or likelihood to convert can help you focus your efforts where they are most likely to pay off.|
|Ignoring lead nurturing||Lead nurturing involves building relationships with leads over time, rather than simply pushing for a sale. Neglecting to nurture your leads can result in lost opportunities and reduced ROI.|
|Failing to assess and improve regularly||Your lead list is a dynamic asset that should be continuously evaluated and refined. Failing to do so can result in missed opportunities and reduced effectiveness over time.|
What is a lead list?
A lead list is a collection of people who have expressed interest in your business. It provides you with all the information needed to reach out and sell your solution directly.
What are the benefits of having a lead list?
These are some of the key benefits of lead lists:
- Improved definition of ICPs and thus, more targeted marketing strategies
- Discovering new buying trends to expand your market reach
- Generating new business opportunities
- An improved approach to content creation
How do I know if my lead list is high-quality?
A high-quality lead list is targeted, accurate and consists of leads that have expressed interest in your product or service. Look for engagement metrics like open and click-through rates to determine the quality of your list.
How often should I update my lead list?
It’s recommended to update your lead list every quarter. This ensures its accuracy and that it’s updated with contact information or interest changes.
How can I ensure GDPR compliance when building a lead list?
To ensure GDPR compliance, take consent from each lead to collect and store their information. State your purpose for collecting their data and offer an easy opt-out option.
Can I buy a lead list?
While it may be tempting to buy a lead list, many contain outdated or inaccurate information and can result in spam complaints or legal issues. A better option is to use fullinfo, which is a database of companies, employees, emails and phone numbers that is updated every two weeks.
Lead generation is an ongoing cycle that can help you continuously improve your marketing efforts. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand how to build a lead list to improve your outreach and potentially boost sales. Ensuring you have the correct contact information is key to this, and fullinfo’s regularly updated database takes its information from the source, company websites. Get started with fullinfo today to get precise information and engage with decision makers sooner.
References & Further Reading
- How To Be A Successful Inside Sales Representative And Crush It
- How to Dramatically Improve Your Sales Pipeline + Examples
- The Essential Sales Team Performance Metrics To Track
- The Importance of Referral Marketing – Statistics and Trends [Infographic]
- The Simple Guide To Sales Qualification Frameworks
- 6 Ways to Optimize Your Retargeting Ad Campaigns
- 9 B2B Sales Time Management Techniques Of Top Salespeople