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Lead generation is a crucial stage in converting a cold audience into customers. Sales and marketing departments are tasked with generating leads, but that begs the question: which department has more claim to lead generation? Beyond that, how effective are the departments in generating leads? Should brands assign lead generation to either sales or marketing teams or both of them? More importantly, how can sales and marketing departments generate leads for both to ensure better conversion rates?
What Is Lead Generation?
A lead is a potential customer with interest in a product or service. A prospective lead is the target audience more likely to be interested in the product or service to become a lead. If you put out content about your brand, for example, some of your audience may reach out to inquire about the product or service you render. Those who reach out are the leads you can convert to your customers. The key factor here is that leads typically respond to content and initiate interest. That’s opposed to the cold calling strategy in which brands contact potential customers first.
Lead generation is attracting and nurturing leads to convert them into customers. Through lead generation, brands attract those who show interest in their product or service and carefully process them to move from being interested in purchasing products and services naturally. Today’s market competition makes it crucial for brands to have a solid lead generation system. If your brand struggles with lead generation, you can improve the process with Pareto. Lead generation helps businesses, whether B2B or B2C, by identifying and attracting highly potential leads, thereby improving the cost-per-lead ratio.
The idea of lead generation is sound; it helps brands target the right audience and get the people who need what they offer. That’s often better than cold calling. Although lead generation explores several methods and platforms, the goal is to bring the leads through a process and make them customers. Both sales and marketing teams work to generate leads, and that’s why there are different types of leads.
What Are The Types Of Leads?
Leads are classified based on their source. There are four types of leads:
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQL): These are leads that indicate interest in paying for your brand’s good or service. SQLs take the first step to make inquiries, usually by submitting.
- Product Qualified Leads (PQL): PQLs are leads that indicate interest in paying for your product after testing it. PQLs have some of the highest conversion rates.
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL): MQLs are sometimes referred to as the basic stage leads. They are leads who interact with the marketing team and indicate interest in the brand but are not open to sales calls, emails, or messaging. MQLs typically engage in marketing content to receive offers and not to become customers.
- Service Qualified Leads (SQL): SQLs are leads generated from customers who already use a service but want to become paying customers. SQLs typically upgrade their service plans to enjoy more benefits.
What Do Brands Need To Generate Leads?
When it comes to lead generation, brands have to be creative while working with a strategy. Because several objectives lead to a common goal, each department involved in a lead generation may implement different strategies. For example, marketers may not avoid pushing sales when interacting with a potential marketing lead as that may put them off. Similarly, the sales team should know when to drive sales strategies and not just market the brand idea to leads. There are different lead generation ideas that you can deploy for your brand.
There are three crucial factors to any successful lead generation campaign.
- Strategy: Every lead generation campaign follows the same pattern: create content that resonates with the audience, provide free but valuable offers, and collect contact details through a form. There are different ways to use that pattern, but every strategy adopts it.
- Lead generation tools: You need email, analytics tools, client management platforms, and a lead generation website. Lead generation tools can greatly improve the process and help your sales and marketing team properly manage their leads.
- Content: All sales and marketing strategies hinge on the content that is put out. Your audience will first interact with whatever content you put out, greatly influencing their interest. The right content will significantly reduce the work of lead generation and bring the right leads to your brand.
Marketing departments were traditionally responsible for lead generation. But today brands onboard sales departments to also generate leads. Why? Both sales and marketing teams can achieve more when they are involved in lead generation. But in reality, lead generation is more related to marketing, while lead conversion is more related to sales. Marketing leads are further qualified to get those the sales team can close with. Sales leads may also be further qualified for retargeting and upselling. It is best to find the best strategy brands and focus on them.