When it comes to clever tools and software that can help support your lead generation efforts, the possibilities are endless. For bigger players in the market this is great news, as they’re likely to have a good level of budget and the resources needed to wade through and pull out the best options for them. But for smaller teams, it’s not quite as simple.
So, if you don’t have the budget for an all-singing, all-dancing solution, what should you do?
The first thing is to get your hands on our quick start guide to lead generation and check you’re ticking all the boxes when it comes to turbocharging your lead generation efforts.
Online lead generation is basically about attracting visitors to your website and converting them to leads. There are tons of strategies out there for how to go about this, the key question is what is going to be the most effective use of a limited budget?
When it comes to choosing the tools that are going to be the best fit for your small team (and which will give you the greatest return on your investment), you need to have a clear understanding of the basics. Start by taking each stage of the process in turn and considering which specific software could help you optimize your results. The stages can basically be broken down as:
- Before someone converts on your website
- When they are converting
- After they have converted
Tools: pop-ups, Lead Forensics, website analytics
At this point in the lead generation journey, you will be using various tactics to drive traffic to your website. The overall goal being to convert those visitors. However, since most visitors won’t end up converting (the average estimated as being just 2%), you need the right software in place to help you.
Internet pop-ups are one such tool to consider. The way they work is that a screen will pop-up when a visitor has met certain criteria, with the aim of engaging with them. For example, if someone is on your pricing page then a pop-up may appear that asks if they would like to talk to someone about pricing. If they respond, they are then connected with someone from your team. One thing to bear in mind if you’re going to use pop-ups, is that they need to be well placed and tied to specific rules, so as not to annoy people.
Of course, we hope you’ll opt for trying out our highly effective Lead Forensics software, which gives you the ability to know which companies have visited your website, even if they never make contact with you. A huge benefit of this system is that you can pro-actively connect with a prospect, long before they may otherwise have converted. You can also set up alerts so you know when a specific company you are targeting visits your site and what they looked at, so you can pick up the phone and have that all important perfect timing.
Another important tool is website analytics. Google Analytics is the absolute minimum you should be using, if you’re to gain any information about what’s actually happening on your website. The software will provide you will lots of data to help you better understand visitor behavior. Best of all, it’s free.
At the point of conversion
Tools: form generator, landing page generator
This is the moment when a website visitor finds something you’re offering so appealing that they are willing to give you their contact details in exchange for it. For example, an e-book, a free demo, a call back request, or anything in between.
Typically, this exchange of information will be done via a web-based form that asks for basic contacts details - the minimum of which should be their email address. While it may appear a simple thing to create at first glance, there is an art to creating an effective form. It needs to be short and sweet, asking for just a little information at a time and gradually asking more as the relationship builds over time.
The kind of tools that will be useful here are often ones that can be found within mass mailing software, such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. They all offer some type of form builder. Or, consider using dedicated software, which will give you far more options to choose from.
The landing page itself – i.e. the web page the person looks at which includes the information about the offer - is another key element to think about. The simplest solution is just to strip it of anything that’s not related to the offer. That includes any links to other pages on your website, so you are guiding the reader to just one conclusion - get the offer now!
Tools: CRM, LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Once someone has converted on your website, depending on the nature of the offer you can then start connecting with them in other ways, such as by email. The data they provide needs to be saved in some sort of customer relationship management database - a CRM. In an ideal world, you will have one database linked to all touch points someone has with the company. In reality this is very hard to achieve for smaller teams, so use the best compromise you can afford.
Again, if you’re just starting out your mass mailing software may be enough. Or if you are a Lead Forensics client then you can use our lead manager product. Once you’ve grown you may then consider investing in a bigger system.
When you know who you’re dealing with - either before you start a conversion (if you’re a Lead Forensics customer), or after they have converted - you need to set up a system for drip feeding emails. Your aim here is to qualify each lead and start building a relationship.
For more ideas
In this blog, we’ve focused on the core tools you need for online lead generation. There are of course many more, so check out these blogs for more ideas and inspiration:
Another interesting source of information is this thread on Quora asking about lead generation tools. Happy reading.