Understanding Lead Generation
When one person asks a question, such as making an inquiry, about a product or service there may be no intention or capacity to make a purchase. But another person may be directly or at least to some extent be involved in the decision to do so.
Example: You might be interested in cars and explore online and off line for the latest photos, brochures, features and prices of new ones. Maybe even take a test drive. But unless you go beyond gathering information to satisfy your curiosity, you are not really a lead. If however, your latest phone bill is through the roof and service is faulty, and you are actively seeking an alternative supplier to obtain detailed comparisons to your current service provider, you have become a lead. In fact, if a sales person reaches out to you with an offer that better meets your needs, you have become a “qualified” lead.
Therefore, lead generation essentially involves gaining the attention and interest of qualified prospects enough for them to learn more about a product or service and engage in a process with a business that hopefully will convert to a purchase.
How are leads generated?
Your approach will depend on whether you sell to consumers or to other businesses, online or off line. Nearly every marketer will use some, or maybe even all of the following to begin the process: