Everybody and their mother wants more leads. As revenue is ultimately the lifeblood of your organization, continually generating new leads is required to keep the lights on.
But what causes leads to be generated?
- If you are in sales, you probably think it’s prospecting, cold calls, networking, and continuing to grind out more activity.
- If you are in marketing, you probably think it’s your inbound marketing efforts, website, and ongoing brand awareness campaigns.
- If you are in operations, it’s undoubtedly going to be your impeccable service and product quality that generates new leads via existing customer referrals.
But what’s the reality? We all know the answer – it’s complicated.
A cause and effect diagram can help highlight what influences new lead generation in your business. What you’ll likely find is that there are a large number of contributing factors.
Some factors are direct, like cold calling or running paid digital ad campaigns. But others, like your employee’s skill level or your buyer persona targeting, have a more indirect impact on the quality and quantity of your lead generation.
Every business is unique, and how you approach optimizing lead generation will vary.
A Multifaceted vs Targeted Approach to Optimization
To be effective in your optimization process, consider ALL the factors in your lead generation process.
Who is leading what initiatives? What synergies exist between some factors? For instance, how does employee training affect your prospecting? Or how does the competitive environment affect your SEO?
For some companies, in particular, larger organizations with more developed resources, a multifaceted approach to lead optimization can be taken. With different parts of your organization each plowing resources into their specific area of expertise.
Of course, you’ll still want everybody working together on a common strategy and overarching business development plan. This means having shared goals and open discussions to ensure that you can leverage the full strength of each team’s skills.
Alternatively, you’ll find that a targeted, “less is more” approach to lead generation optimization works better for other companies. In particular, this works well for smaller businesses that have limited resources at their disposal.
In a targeted approach, organizations must have a deep understanding of what their biggest levers to pull are. If you have limited time and/or money at your disposal, you want to feel confident it’s being deployed most effectively.
How to Start Optimizing for More Leads
So how do you generate more leads then? Below are steps I recommend you take to get started:
- Review your existing leads. – I always recommend starting by asking “what’s working?” Find out where your leads are coming from, and what influenced each conversion. This will help you understand how your current customers are buying.
- Map out your lead generation process. – It helps to then visualize your current lead generation process. Draw process maps, utilize cause and effect diagrams (like the one above) and gain a better understanding of your lead generation system in totality.
- Get key stakeholders together. – You’ll want to get key lead generation stakeholders together to align your goals, messaging, and overall strategy. Think about who this may be in your business (often sales and marketing leaders).
- Start prioritizing and optimizing. – Start optimizing the parts of your lead generation process that will have the biggest impact. What problems need to be solved? What opportunities are untapped? Start with those high importance factors first.
- Review data and iterate. – After implementing changes in your process, set a regular cadence to review your data and continue to iterate on your growth strategies. Did that change work? Do you need to tweak it further? Or should you scrap it altogether? Continually improve upon your strategy.
Trying to generate leads can be a daunting process. But by breaking down the process and being intentional about your approach, you can see results.