We all watch our follower numbers. It’s a bit addictive. Did I break 1,000? Who unfollowed me?
As marketers, we know a following is not the ultimate goal. We want business. We need to convert contacts into business leads and, ultimately, customers.
- First, we need to attract followers and connections.
- Next, we need to gain their interest so they become business leads.
- Third, we convert to a customer.
- Finally, we move into the phase of managing an ongoing relationship with the customer.
Business Leads Defined
A lead is someone who lets you know that they are interested in your products and/or services. They have moved beyond being a connection. They have asked a specific question that signals they want to become a customer.
They have invited you to have direct contact over a specific interest. They are engaging you in the first stages of the sales process.
Lead generation is the process of converting connections into sales leads. This step can involve sending someone to your website for more information and one or more meetings and phone calls. You start to provide specific information of interest to the lead.
Ideally, lead generation should be part of an organization-wide sales and marketing strategy. Everyone on the team should be part of the process from attracting contacts to nurturing customer relationships.