Startup Tuesday: Making the Most of Every Lead

Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Marketing, Startups [ 0 Comments ]

startup salesFinding customers for your business might not be easy. Even if you have confidence in your product and a solid understanding of your target audience, building a solid customer base when you’re first starting out can be one big obstacle. Some businesses use word of mouth marketing, others turn to social media, and still others opt to use lead generation campaigns. Lead generation campaigns can provide your business with hot prospects, but making the most of your lead generation spend is a must. A new report from focused on lead generation found that many businesses can improve with their lead nurturing and scoring strategies. Nearly 80% of lead generation participants do not use third-party tools or services to nurture leads (Tweet this!). For startups and small businesses on a budget, here’s how you can make the most every lead.

Related: 4 Common Startup Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Refine Your Funnel

Refining your sales-marketing funnel is the first step in optimizing your lead generation efforts. Knowing the average purchase timeline of your leads, from each individual source, as well as the types of content they need to be continue their purchase process can help you move leads that you receive that aren’t ready to buy right away further down the funnel. Converting leads requires a refined funnel. Your customers could be doing more research online before making a purchase, as many are, or getting purchase insight from more sources than before. When you evaluate your funnel, take a look at:

  • How customers are becoming aware of your business, brand, or product/service
  • What they want to know about it and similar solutions or products offered by your competitors
  • The information they consider most valuable when making a decision
  • The average purchase timeline, taking into account the product or service and the lead source

Related: Get started with a new lead generation campaign.

Qualify Leads

Acquiring quality leads are a big challenge for a number of sales teams and businesses. However, just because a lead isn’t ready to buy right when you receive their contact information doesn’t mean that they aren’t of high-quality. In fact, according to Pardot, 70% of mishandled leads will buy from a competitor within 24 months. Qualifying leads is a must so that you can keep leads in the loop until they’re ready to buy. Your basic lead qualification process should take into account:

  • Demographics. The ones worth paying attention to will vary depending on whether your business is B2B or B2C. B2B marketers may be more interested in company size and position whereas B2C may want information relating to birthdate and location.
  • Behaviors. The behaviors of your lead and the actions they take including visits to your site, emails and social channels they engage with, and products they view are all factors you can include in your lead qualification process.

Nurture Leads

Lead generation isn’t a one or two-step process. From the time you receive a lead’s information until the time they make a purchase, whether it’s with you or a competitor, you need to be nurturing them and focusing on moving them down that funnel you’ve refined. Your emails, videos and other content can help. Segment your audience as you receive emails and leads and focus on delivering the right content that will peak their interest and move them down the funnel at the right time. If you’re unsure about what will content and nurturing process will be the most effective, test a few options and delivery timeframes to develop the most successful strategy possible. It may not be the same for every customer either, so don’t be afraid to ask them what else you can do to help.

Related: 10 Stats about Starting Your Own Business

Startups and new businesses looking to build a foundational customer base can benefit from the opportunities lead generation services provide. However, to make the most of your lead generation spending, make sure you have a refined funnel, are qualifying leads, and are then nurturing them through that funnel to convert them into customers.

(Image: samarttiw via

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