In the competitive global marketplace, businesses are always scrambling for more sales. Ensuring sales growth comes from effective lead generation. There are many steps to lead generation and most companies simply do not have the bandwidth nor resources to adequately implement these steps. That’s why companies of all sizes and from all industries depend on lead generation outsourcing.
Lead generation is defined as the process of identifying or attracting leads, contacts or prospective customers to be managed through the sales funnel/buying process, then qualifying these leads’ likelihood of buying, with the objective of passing the leads to the sales team to convert into actual customers. Lead generation outsourcing would be hiring an external company to do the lead generation processes from the outsourcing provider’s premises.
Lead generation process
Major steps in the lead generation process are as follows:
- Identifying the company’s target audience. Targeting a very broad base lessens the chances that the prospects will turn into customers.
- Setting a campaign plan, and preparing messages and fulfillment materials. Under this step are other sub-processes such as preparing resources for the entire campaign; choosing the lead generation media appropriate for the campaign goals; developing a clear, compelling message; developing fulfillment materials; and ensuring the sales team is integrated in the lead generation process.
- Acquiring leads. Lead generation outsourcing providers can execute any or all of the following: inbound and outbound calls; email marketing; internet marketing and online lead generation; and using social networking sites.
- Fulfilling responses. This keeps prospects engaged. Lead generation outsourcing providers will send fulfillment materials such as information packets, complimentary giveaways, and others.
- Qualifying and nurturing leads. This is turning an unqualified inquiry into a qualified one with the duration of the process lasting from a few minutes to several months. Again, this is a methodical, time-consuming process that can be done efficiently by a lead generation outsourcing provider.
- Passing leads to sales. Once the prospect is ready to buy the product or services, this qualified lead is then passed to the sales team to close the sale.
- Evaluating the lead generation process. Even with leads converted to sales, an effective lead generation process should always be monitored, analyzed and evaluated to make the process even more effective and to increase the sales conversion rate.
It is clear that the preceding steps contain within each a multitude of tasks that have to be done thoroughly. A business looking to increase its sales – and that would be all businesses – would do well to outsource its lead generation activities to an experienced outsourcing company to establish and maintain ongoing dialogues with leads. Business process outsourcing (BPO) companies may hold the key to a company’s improved sales performance.