What is a lead? You’ve asked and we listened

Leads, leads, leads. Once reserved for sales teams in smoke-filled offices, the word has been let off the leash and now it can be heard in unsuspected places, emerging from the mouths of people with no track record of selling anything. Anyway, let’s cut to the chase: a lead is a potential customer showing interest in your company. But why is everyone suddenly talking about lead generation and the importance of leads? Well, those are different questions, but we’ll happily answer them both for you.

A story of time, money and noise

The world is very different today than it was two or three decades ago. There are more companies, products, and consumers than ever before in the history of mankind – and thanks to global shipping and the internet it’s all sort of connected now. As a result, the act of selling products and services has changed in a radical way: consumers are not necessarily who they were before, nor who we think they actually are. If you like puzzles, just look at the many digital footprints that all of us leave around the web!

In this context of extreme competitiveness and unprecedented levels of information noise, generating and managing leads towards closing sales requires almost surgical precision. And that is exactly what’s happening – tech has done a great job in providing the lead generation (and management) tools for companies. Examples abound: Facebook is amongst the best companies for lead generation, offering target personalization to impressive levels. In fact, targeting is changing too: nowadays, you can pretty much ‘invent’ the target audience based on your preferences and Facebook will connect your company to them. In short, lead generation is all about cutting through the noise to save time and money (and sell, of course).

Managing leads

Once the leads arrive, a lead management stage begins. This is important for a number of reasons: first of all, leads can be very different: some will fit the company’s priorities, and others simply won’t. Managing leads means classifying and tailoring answers for each group and individual in order to provide meaningful experiences and reach sales targets. Companies like Salesforce and Hubspot provide excellent tools that turn lead management into a simpler task. Business owners can always turn to their marketing advisors to manage their leads and develop a funnel towards closing sales. A good point of departure consists in developing a Sales Level Agreement (SLA), where the marketing and sales teams agree on common goals for managing leads and closing sales.

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Summarizing: Getting leads requires a combination of marketing, advertising, branding, production and analysis efforts within a clearly defined strategy. Once the prospects show interest, the management work begins, and it’s usually a fun one: dealing with people that are reaching out to your company, showing interest for a product or service is way better than, let’s say, cold calling. Effective lead management is closely related to customer support, while great lead generation requires experience, creativity, and analytical skills.

If you have any questions or would like to share your ideas and thoughts with us, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a chat. We’re always eager to listen to new stories and work on challenges!

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