The first step to developing a lead generation program is to determine what constitutes a good lead and making sure sales and marketing are on the same page. In just five steps, you could have your own lead generation program up and running.
What is Lead Generation?
Where traditional marketing methods such as email blasts used to be enough to draw customers, the increase of competition and information abundance is making it more difficult for companies to track, reach, and engage with potential customers. Lead generation, the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing a sales pipeline, allows companies to nurture targets until they’re ready to buy. Lead generation can be useful for any type or size of business, and for both B2C and B2B spaces. Sixty percent of marketers state that lead generation is a key pain point for their company. Determining a good lead is more complex than just targeting people who downloaded your white paper, and it’s important that your sales reps don’t waste their time cold calling unqualified leads when there are ways to narrow down the pool.
When you implement a lead generation program, you increase brand awareness, build relationships, generate qualified leads, and ultimately close deals. The higher quality leads you direct your sales team to, the more of those leads will result in sales. In doing this, you are helping your company grow, while also growing the credibility for your marketing department by showing tangible results and proving yourself to be a valuable part of the revenue team.
Lead generation has been around for a long time, but methods have changed from simply finding a customer early on in their sales journey and sending the sales team their way. The self-directed buyer is inundated with information, so it’s vital to find new, creative ways to cut through the static and reach potential customers. Instead of finding customers through mass advertising and email blasts, marketers must rely on being found and building relationships with their buyers. In the age of information abundance, marketing is going through a massive shift.
“Customers are now smarter, more connected, more informed, more influenced and influential socially, and less likely to respond to campaign-bait. Marketing has to create content people actually want.”
How to Be a Leader? Your Way to Greatness
At some point during your career, the time will come when you are required to step up and become a leader. You may find yourself managing a team of people, running your own business, or even just trying to inspire a colleague. While it may seem like some people are natural leaders, there are many leadership skills you can develop even if you feel like leadership does not come naturally to you. Read on so you can learn how to be a leader.
1. Becoming an Expert
By performing exceptionally well in your current role, you can get noticed as someone who is willing to grow within your organization. This will provide a path to a position of influence.
2. Keep Learning
The only way that you will be able to become an effective leader is by learning and adopting good leadership traits. This will require constantly working on your leadership skills, as well as becoming better at your job role.
3. Empower Teammates
Rather than being critical, be a mentor to others when they lack certain knowledge or skills. Provide them the guidance they need to succeed. Support them in their pursuit of improvement and show them that you have confidence in their abilities.
4. Take Risks
Sometimes tough choices have to be made for the good of the entire organization. When making such choices, remember to remain accountable for your actions and make sure that team members are held accountable as well. Do not let the fear of criticism prevent progress.
5. Be a Team Player
To truly understand your team, you need to be able to work side-by-side with team members in the trenches. This will help develop a bond between you and your team.
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6. Listen to Criticism
While hearing criticism is never pleasant, understanding the error of your ways will allow you to grow as a leader. This way, you will be less likely to repeat past mistakes. Also make sure to ask your superior for honest feedback so that you can continue to improve in your own job role.
Tip #2: Welcome Failure
Failure is a crucial stepping-stone toward success. Not every decision you make will result in a positive outcome; it’s important that, as a leader, you can both acknowledge and accept this early on. The key to growing from a good leader into a great one is learning how to appreciate that failure can also often lead to bigger achievements when it’s embraced rather than hidden from.
In a situation of failure, it’s important that you take responsibility for the problem and be honest about what went wrong. An inaccurate representation of the issue affects everyone on your team, and your co-workers will value your honesty. In fact, a recent study found that 61 percent of employees viewed admitting mistakes as one of the most important traits among effective leaders.
When failure happens—such as an assignment that went over budget or an important deadline that was missed—meet with your team and discuss where the problem occurred and how to avoid it in the future. This discussion can also lead to a better understanding of difficult patterns affecting your group’s efficiency—such as unproductive meetings or a lack of one-on-one time with individual team members—and give you the opportunity to address those patterns in real-time.
What is true leadership at work?
You can probably think of great leaders, and not just in business: Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Nelson Mandela and Gandhi all fit the bill. So what’s the difference between how to be a leader at work and in other situations? Being a leader at work involves a specific set of skills that anyone can develop with practice.
Employees often look out for themselves and potentially their immediate coworkers; they certainly don’t have the company’s values at heart. While this may not seem that important, you’d be surprised how rare it is to find an employee who can verbalize the goals and beliefs of the organization they work for. That’s why leaders are more than employees – they embody the vision of the company. A true leader has a deep understanding of the company’s mission and believes in its core values .
Leaders don’t get far if others won’t follow them. When an employee keeps the cultural mainstays of the company at the forefront of all they do, they are in a better position to influence others . This is often where leadership at work begins – not in an executive office, but out in the bullpen or in the field : making connections and creating goodwill that is based on a genuine interest in others.
– Emotional intelligence
This is the ability to understand others’ feelings and reciprocate in kind, while also controlling your own emotions. Emotional intelligence requires deep self-awareness, social awareness, empathy and humility – but it can be developed and practiced. In one study, 71 percent of managers valued emotional intelligence (EQ) more highly than intellectual intelligence (IQ), and experts agree that a high EQ correlates directly with being a leader at work.
Transformational leadership is a leadership style where leaders create an inspiring vision of the future, motivate their followers to achieve it, manage implementation successfully, and develop the members of their teams to be even more effective in the future. We explore these dimensions below.
Providing a Compelling Vision of the Future
The first part of being able to do this is to have a thorough knowledge of the area you’re operating in. See our Bite-Sized Training session on Building Expert Power to find out how to develop this.
From there, good use of strategic analysis techniques can help you gain the key insights you need into the environment you’re operating in, and into the needs of your clients. See our Strategy section for more than 50 powerful techniques that give you these insights.
With these tools, you can explore the challenges you face and identify the options available to you. You can identify the best of these with good use of prioritization skills and appropriate decision-making techniques .
Finally, to sell your vision, you need to be able to craft a compelling and interesting story. Our article, Powers of Persuasion , can help you open closed minds, so that people consider your ideas fairly. Another great way of inspiring people is to use vivid stories to explain your vision: find out more about this in our Expert Interview with Annette Simmons, titled Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins .
Motivating People to Deliver the Vision
This is closely related to creating and selling a vision. You must be able to convince others to accept the objectives you’ve set. Emphasize teamwork, and recognize that when people work together, they can achieve great things. To provide effective leadership by linking performance and team goals, use Management by Objectives (MBO) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) .
Ultimately, you need to motivate people to deliver your vision. To better understand your ability to motivate, complete our quiz How Good Are Your Motivation Skills? , and explore our articles on Herzberg’s Motivators and Hygiene Factors and Sirota’s Three Factor Theory .