How to optimize the lead generation process for B2C companies
Lead generation is an essential process for B2C companies in every industry, as it basically is where the business begins. No leads, no clients, no money, no business.
Companies from every industry, therefore, focus to an extent on generating new leads on a regular basis, as part of their funnel strategy. However, there are certain tips that can help you optimize your lead generation once and for all. Want to know more?
Let’s start from the beginning. Lead generation is the first stage or level in a sales/marketing funnel. There’s no agreement as to whether the funnel belongs only to sales or to marketing teams, as they both are responsible for it. Depending on the company, the funnel is divided into more or fewer stages, which are also given different names.
We are going to focus on the standard funnel for a B2C company, consisting of 3 levels:
Top of the Funnel (TOFU) or Lead Generation Level
As the initial stage, it’s here where leads hear about the brand for the first time. It’s an unintentional first contact because the lead is not looking specifically for your brand or product. It can be, for instance, a post on social media, a TV ad, some PR content on mass media, or through a search engine.
The focus on this stage, therefore, is to create awareness. To guarantee that we get the attention of the targeted audience, it’s useful to use the ‘personas’. These are psychographic and demographic descriptions of a brand’s ideal customer.
These personas give the marketing department the full picture, allowing them to create tailored communication for them. But this resource is not only useful for marketers, but also for the sales department to have a clear idea of the leads before even talking to them.
Therefore, it’s important that both teams are aligned towards targeting the same personas, to guarantee the effectiveness of their efforts.
There are no second chances for a first impression, and brands know this by heart. Despite being the first stage of the funnel, it can also be a turning point for leads to determine whether they like your brand or not.
There are certain tools that can help you optimize your lead generation process, to make sure you get the best out of your first impressions. For instance, Driftrock is software designed to track and analyze the leads’ journey with your brand, to give an accurate insight into their touchpoints through the different platforms.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) or Lead Nurture
Following stage. The lead has heard about your brand before and now it’s looking for more information in order to create a final opinion - to buy or not to buy (that’s always been the true question).
This is a very relevant but sensitive phase because depending on how you play your part, the lead will end up buying from you, your competitors, or not buying at all. At this point is where your efforts creating a community pay off, but we’ll talk about it a bit later.
In terms of the message, the main difference with the TOFU or Lead Generation stage is that you are no longer introducing the brand/product, but positioning it as the solution for the lead’s problem or pain.
The communication from both your marketers and salespeople is, therefore, based on your UPS (Unique Selling Proposition), and the special value your company or product offers.
The purpose here is to get more information from the leads, to learn more about them, and personalize the message to finally convert them into paying clients. It can be done in many ways depending on your company and product, but the most used actions are: using the shopping cart or wishlist, signing up for a newsletter, or creating an account on the website.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) or Sales
The lead has bought your product. Congrats! You have a new client now.
The most important part of this stage, however, is not to close a sale. Or not only. The focus here is to gain, increase, and maintain a loyal customer base. There’s a simple reason for it, and it’s that it’s 70% more likely for a company to sell to an existing customer than to a new lead.
This also leads to the second main objective: advocacy. It’s great for your business that your customers are happy, but it’s even greater that they say it out loud on marketplaces, review websites, social media, and also to their inner circle.
You know, happy customers are the best ambassadors a brand can hope for!
And it all starts with an efficient lead generation… But how to get there?
3 tips to optimize the efficiency of your lead generation process
1. Align your inbound marketing strategy
Remember the ‘personas’? They can be a great help to improve your inbound marketing strategy, because they give you valuable information about the audience you are speaking to. This, therefore, allows you to personalize the communication, address their pain points, and offer the content they are most interested in.
To make sure all your leads get the best first impression of your company, take a close look at all your channels. These include social media, corporate blog, website, ads, etc. Set a clear content strategy and adapt it to the different platforms so that it looks organic and suitable.
2. Spend time taking care of your reviews
As we said before, having a community that supports and recommends your brand online is what every company aspires to. Reviews have become a double-edged sword because of the positive or negative influence they can have on your prospects.
Online reviews are now part of the research your leads make when deciding whether to buy from you or someone else. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to have as many positive feedback as you can showing on the different sites.
And you can’t just expect your customers to have the utter desire of writing a review for you. Therefore, find a suitable way to motivate your customers to leave a review of your product or the service given. It can be offering a voucher for the next purchase, a discount code for a partner’s product, an exclusive piece of content… Try until you find what makes them trigger - and then keep on doing it!
3. Learn from your data
As important as it is to optimize your process, it is to understand your data - learning the best practices, knowing where are your weaknesses, and following the progress towards the KPIs.
The purpose of working with data is to get valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t, to make data-driven decisions for your marketing and sales strategies. Tools like Google Analytics give you the best learnings from your campaigns and traffic so you can invest your money wisely on the following campaigns.
To measure your KPIs, however, there are other tools that can be more accurate. For instance, Plecto is a data visualization software that helps companies create personalized and real-time dashboards to measure performance towards objectives.