Sales and marketing are integral parts of any business; they are the powerhouse of any business. It is through them that businesses generate leads and make sales for the business to make profits. But what is lead in business? If you want the answer to that question, then this is where you should be.
In this article, you will find the answer to that question and learn other important things about business leads, especially how to generate high-quality leads for your business.
Attracting clients and customers to a brand is a challenging feat out there.
Therefore, you need all the help you can get to do so.
And this article is here to provide tips to help you with everything.
So, keep reading to find out the meaning of business leads and every other important thing you need to know about this topic.
Meaning of Lead in Business – What is Lead in Business
Lead in business or business lead refers to any individual who has shown interest in the product or service the business offers.
Typically, a lead learns about a company and then interacts with it.
They submit their data to the company for a subscription, offer, or trial.
Let’s use an illustration; you search on the internet for the “best car repair company near me”.
Then, the SERPs appear, and you click on one of the results.
On that page, you see a company that offers the service you are looking for, and then you provide some personal detail on the site by answering a survey.
By doing so, you have become a lead for that business, and they will likely reach out to you one way or the other to talk to you about their services and make you a customer.
This is what a lead in business means.
Lead generation can be done using several strategies, as you will later see in this article.
Lead generation is typically the first step in a sales funnel.
Another thing equally as important as lead generation is converting those leads to sales.
When a company collects more leads, it has a higher chance of making more sales.
Importance of Business Leads – What is a Lead in Business
Getting leads is a major element in the sales cycle; it is the first step.
If there are no leads in a business sales funnel, then the sales representative of that company won’t have people to contact and make sales to.
This might make the sales representatives reach out to people who aren’t remotely interested in what the business offers.
But on the other hand, if there are enough leads in the sales funnel, sales representatives will have a steady flow of people to reach out to.
And since the person they are reaching out to has already indicated an interest in what the business is offering, they can be easily persuaded to patronize the business.
This would, in turn, help the company to make sales.
Business leads are therefore important because they help a company focus on interested potential clients.
Leads will consequently increase the chances of making sales and staying profitable.
To further simplify that, a company’s chances of making sales and staying profitable will reduce significantly if it does not have leads.
Types of Business Leads – What is a Lead in Business
Leads are not generated or qualified in the same way.
This is why leads are typically classified depending on the stage they are in and how they’re qualified.
In this section, we’ll be looking at the different types of leads based on these factors.
Marketing Qualified Lead
This refers to people who have interacted with a company’s marketing team but do not yet want to get sales calls.
A good MQL example is a person who has filled out the form on a company’s landing page.
Product Qualified Lead
A product-qualified lead is someone who has used a company’s product and now wants to become a paying customer.
Product qualified lead is shortened to PQL and exists in companies that offer product trials.
This could be a free trial period, after which the customer would have to pay to continue using the product.
Or it could be a limited version where customers can use certain features of the product but would have to upgrade to get the full features of the product.
A customer would be considered a PQL if they use the limited version of your product but then starts asking about the features they’d get if they go premium.
Sales Qualified Lead
Sales-qualified leads or SQLs are potential clients or customers who have shown that they want to become paying clients/customers.
For instance, if a person fills out a form where they ask questions about the company’s services or/and products.
This would be considered a sales-qualified lead.
Services Qualified Lead
This type of lead refers to people who have shown interest in a company’s service team becoming a customer.
For instance, if a customer contacts the customer service rep asking for a product subscription upgrade, that customer is a services-qualified lead.
In this case, the customer service reps will refer this customer to the sales representative.
Meaning of Lead Generation – What is Lead in Business
“Lead generation” is a phrase that has been mentioned a couple of times in this article.
But what exactly does it mean?
If you have followed the article carefully, you will most likely understand what this term means.
But to reduce the chances of confusion, let’s quickly explain what lead generation is all about.
Lead generation refers to the act of attracting potential clients or customers to a brand and building their interest in that brand through nurturing with the sole intention of converting those potential clients to paying clients.
It is simply the process by which companies get leads.
Importance of Lead Generation
With lead generation, the interest potential client or customer shows in a business is usually organic.
This means that they are not persuaded or coerced into showing this interest.
They see something they feel would be profitable and then indicate an interest.
This is why lead generation is important.
Since the customer’s interest is organic, converting that potential customer into a paying customer is easier and more natural.
A customer typically goes through different stages.
First, they are strangers, then they become visitors, and then they become leads.
In the end, they may become customers.
But it does not just stop there; if a first-time customers get the best services, they become happy customers instantly.
And a happy customer will always be ready to refer your business to others.
So, from being a customer, they can become a promoter for your business.
Overall, lead generation allows a business to convert a stranger into a customer and, eventually, a promoter.
Steps in Lead Generation – What is Lead in Business
Now that you know what lead generation is, you also need to understand the steps involved in this process.
So, let’s look at these steps.
The first step in this process is discovery.
This is when a person discovers your brand via any marketing strategies.
For instance, they see your brand’s social media page or an article on your website.
Now that they have discovered your brand, they will take action by clicking on the call-to-action (CTA).
Your CTA could be a button, message, or image that encourages people who discover your business to take action.
When the person clicks on the CTA, they will automatically be redirected to the landing page for the next and final stage of the process.
On the landing page, the contact may fill out a form asking for their personal data if they are persuaded by what they see on the landing page.
Once they fill out this form, you have successfully generated a lead.
Your business can then contact this person, and this could be via email, calls, or any other communication method.
Then, your sales representatives can convert the lead into sales.
How To Generate Leads – What is Lead in Business
Businesses use several types of marketing strategies and campaigns to attract people to the business.
The idea behind lead generation is to ensure that you can get the contact info of those you attract to your business.
This is the only way your sales department can contact these people and make them become paying customers.
But how do you generate leads?
The following strategies should help you do so.
Despite the recent changes in the marketing world, word-of-mouth advertising still has a lot of relevance.
If people say good things about your business, others will love doing business with you.
This is why referral programs are effective and unique ways to generate leads in today’s world.
Consider starting a referral program where customers get something in return if they refer others to your business.
The reward can be discounts or anything your customers will appreciate.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is no longer just a tool to connect with other people on a personal basis.
Many companies are now employing social media strategies to attract potential clients/customers to their businesses.
What’s more? It is even easier to make people take action on social media.
For example, on Instagram stories, people can swipe up to send a message to your business.
You can post on social media about what your business offers and add a CTA in the caption.
You can also add the link to your landing page on your bio.
This way, people can click on the link and then fill out the form on the landing page.
Another great way to attract people to your business landing page is to create free, useful, high-quality content.
For instance, if you run a shoe business, you can write an article or blog post on how people can take proper care of their shoes.
And you can put your CTAs anywhere on the blog post.
If the person is happy with the content, they may click on the CTA.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Simply having amazing content on your website is not enough.
This is because if you have amazing content that no one sees, then the purpose will be defeated.
Therefore, consider using search engine optimization (SEO) for your websites.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing a website so that it can rank high on search engines such as Google and Bing.
When a website ranks high on search engine result pages (SERPs), the website will gain more visibility.
Email Marketing – What is Lead in Business
This is a great strategy to contact people who already know about your business and what it offers.
Since they already know about your brand, convincing them to take action will be much easier.
However, to effectively use this strategy, you need to have a compelling message and CTA.
This is because emails are typically cluttered.
If your email isn’t eye-catching enough, it will get lost in the clutter.
Product Trials – What is Lead in Business
People love freebies, and if all they have to do to get them is give up their contact info, they most likely won’t mind.
And once someone has used your product/service and finds it useful, you’ll have an easier time convincing them to purchase it or upgrade to the premium version.
You can get more leads via paid advertisements.
A good example is Google ads.
When people search for things on Google, websites that have paid for Google Ads will pop up at the top of the SERP before properly optimized websites.
This will give your website more visibility and help you generate more leads.
Tips for Successful Lead Generation Campaigns – What is Lead in Business
Every lead generation campaign is made up of several parts.
And all of these parts have to work properly for the campaign to succeed.
This is why you also need to know how to carry out a successful lead-generation campaign.
The following tips should help you in this regard.
Ensure Your Landing Page is Interesting – What is Lead in Business
The landing page is where the person interested in your business gives their contact info.
If the landing page isn’t interesting and impressive enough, the person may leave without giving their info.
So, you need to ensure that your landing page is good enough to impress your visitors and make them give their contact info.
Use a Lead Generation Tool – What is Lead in Business
Effective marketing teams use tools to store and organize their leads.
These tools do not just help them to store leads, but it also helps them answer important questions about their leads.
Additionally, they have made it easier for businesses to connect and interact with their leads.
So, when carrying out a lead generation campaign, you need to use effective lead generation tools, templates, and software to make the job easier.
There are several available for you to pick from.
All you have to do is research them and select the best one for you.
Ensure Your Message is Consistent and Fulfill any Promise You Make
Many people click on a CTA because they like what they are offered.
But some businesses will offer something on their blogs or ad and then turn back on that offer on their landing page.
This is not the best practice, as many people will simply leave the page once they notice this.
If your website offers something, ensure your landing page mirrors this too.
Ensure your message is consistent from the first step to the last step.
This includes even the deliverable (product/service) itself.
If a lead is converted to sales and the customer does not get the expected product, they will be unsatisfied and will not patronize your business again.
So, ensure your lead generation campaign is not all about getting contact info but about getting a new customer and a happy and loyal one.
Your CTA Should Be Linked to a Specific Landing Page
This may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of marketers make this common mistake.
They have a general homepage that all their CTAs redirect to.
This should not be the case.
Instead, you should have targeted landing pages based on what CTA the person clicks on.
So, when a prospect clicks on a CTA, they are directed to a landing page about the specific offer they are looking for.
One thing about the market and people’s needs is that it is constantly changing.
What may work today may not work tomorrow, and vice versa.
This is why your campaign should be dynamic and flexible too.
It should accommodate new business trends, changes in opinions, behaviour shifts, and so on.
Test your CTAs using the A/B split method to see which performs better.
Do the same for your landing pages and content copy.
Keep experimenting with your design, content, UX, layout, and so on until you find the ones that work best.
Conclusion on What is Lead in Business
A business lead is any individual who shows interest in a business’s product or service.
Leads are essential to businesses because they allow a business to interact with potential customers and convert them into paying customers.
This article has shared the best strategies to generate good leads for your business.
All you have to do is choose the best strategy and then follow the tips shared in this article to help you carry out successful lead-generation campaigns.