Lead Generation Skills Every Marketer Needs to Master
Lead generation is a challenge that thousands of marketers try to work through on a daily basis. BTOB Magazine performed a survey in 2013 showing that over 60% of B2B marketers still see generating leads as their number one challenge.
While generating leads can certainly be a difficult challenge to work through, it is important to realize that there are ways that you can improve your lead generation skills and become a more effective marketer.
Let’s take a look at some of the lead generation skills that every marketer needs to master:
If there is one skill that is absolutely essential to successful lead generation, it is the ability to communicate effectively. This means communicating effectively through both written and spoken words.
No matter what business you’re a part of or who your target market may be, the ability to communicate with consumers has and always will be an integral part of the selling process. It has long been pointed out that people buy from people they like. And what better way to become liked than to be able to communicate effectively?
While it was once only really necessary for digital marketers to be able to communicate effectively via written word, the intrigue and success of video, podcasts, and webinars has increased the need and desire to communicate through the spoken word as well.
Overall, this means developing an understanding of both how to write compelling copy for your website, emails, and other marketing methods as well as working to become a better speaker. Consistent improvement in both of these areas will be essential to your ability to consistently generate leads over the long term.
Ability to Research & Test
One of the most important aspects of generating leads is understanding your target market, their habits, their goals, and everything else that you can discover about them.
Having a strong understanding of your target market is essential to effective lead generation because it improves the quality of your leads, and therefore puts you in a position to make sales.
In an eMarketer study, the marketing blog found out that just over 40% of found gaining more leads as an issue while just under 60% of businesses said their objective was to improve the quality of leads.
And what is the best way to improve the quality of your leads? Researching to discover more about how to best go after your target market.
While research is essential, it is important to realize that it is only one piece of the puzzle. The ability to effectively test and analyze your progress will also play a vital role in your lead generation success.
No matter what type of marketing campaign you’re going with, it is absolutely imperative that you experiment with different tactics and methods to discover which one works best within your target market. While there are plenty of guidelines for getting your marketing methods started, you will never know for sure how effective your method is until you have tested them within your market.
Ability to Adapt & Problem Solve
One of the most overlooked lead generation skills for marketers lies in their ability to adapt and solve problems as they arise. While having a marketing plan is important, most marketers understand that it would be ignorant to think that everything will go exactly according to plan.
From technical issues to problems with conversion rates, you need to have the ability to act fast when these problems arise. Eric Dontigney of Demand Media pointed out that the biggest problems with most marketing plans has to do with four things; market segment selection, specifics of the plan, measurability, and achievability.
The ability to adapt to issues within these four segments as your marketing plan moves along is as essential as any lead generation skill there is.
There is almost no question that at least some part of your marketing plan will become out of whack at some point in time. How are you going to respond to that and what problem solving steps are you going to take to make sure your entire plan is not affected?
Social Media Skills
While the role that social media plays in modern lead generation isn’t as dramatic some may think, it still has several advantages for both B2B based companies and B2C based companies.
When developing an understanding of how to use social media for generating leads, you need to understand which platforms are most effective for which types of businesses. Impact Branding & Design pointed out in a study that over 75% of B2C companies have generated a lead from Facebook while over 65% of B2B companies have generated a lead from LinkedIn.
These statistics point to the fact that you need to gain an understanding of where your target market is and how they use social media.
For the most part, however, social media is a way to develop your brand, earn trust, and establish yourself as an authority within your industry. Expecting to receive a large number of leads directly from social media would be a bit of a mistake.
Inside Sales recently laid out research saying that social media still falls fairly far behind outbound marketing, digital marketing, events, and traditional marketing in terms of developing both leads and brand awareness.
While developing your social media skills and knowledge certainly has its advantages for lead generation, it should be reiterated that these platforms are not, at this point, the most efficient or effective ways for businesses to generate leads.
The Final Word
While it would be farfetched to say that all of these lead generation skills can be mastered by a single individual in a short period of time, improvement with each of these skills is undoubtedly possible.
For those of you that aren’t interested in developing a particular lead generation skill should do everything in your power to find and work with someone that can make up for your deficiencies with that particular skill.
At the end of the day, having the ability to communicate effectively throughout a variety of different digital platforms, being able to efficiently perform research of your target market, and the ability to adapt and problem solve as time goes on are the most important skills necessary for marketers to successfully generate leads.
It is once again important to realize that it would be impossible to master these skills over a short period of time. Instead, focusing on consistent improvement will help you eventually get to where you want to be.
Don’t let the challenge of lead generation continue to haunt your ability to grow as a marketer. Seek out consistent improvement within these skills and you will quickly find yourself becoming a highly sought after marketer.