Just what is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the use of a system to obtain information or data for the purpose of increasing business sales, looking for new customers or expanding a business. These leads usually consist of contact details such as names, home addresses and e-mail addresses of specific individuals or businesses. Lead generation is most commonly used by businesses to find new customers or clients.
Lead Generation Companies in the UK
There are several lead generation companies based in the UK. Great Guns Marketing claims they work with their clients to increase their sales and state they are the only UK based lead generation company which has been awarded the Institute of Customer Service's "National Customer Service Standard". The company uses professional and experience telemarketers to obtain the required information. GetBiz is another UK based lead generation company. They offer a Pay-per-Lead system whereby they only charge clients for verified enquiries they receive. They claim this is one of the least expensive lead generation products. Other UK based companies include MintFresh, LeadsToYou and Anedam Ltd.
The Negative Side of Lead Generation
Some lead generation tactics are frowned upon and many see these as immoral. Spyware software can generate information from an individual's or businesses' online activities. Telephone directories can also be filtered to generate leads. Such practices are widely condemned as they often lead to unsolicited contact.
Lead generation is a marketing tool that aims to increase a business' sales or customer group. There are several legitimate lead generation companies based in the UK who work for their clients to obtain the required information in a professional and legal way. This being said there is a darker side to lead generation which often invades people's privacy and results in unsolicited mail and phone calls. It is therefore important that a reputable company is used for lead generation projects.
How can this be done?
There are a number of techniques which can be applied to Sales Lead Generation by a company's Marketing team;
Networking with sales consultants from a competitors company may not seem like a very wise idea but, if you can form a relationship with them, share leads and information concerning your target customers, it is possible to complement each other's services and, hopefully, generate sales for both parties.
Cold calling is a rather unpopular technique but can work well if applied properly and with perseverance.
Holding a seminar will need investment in room-hire, refreshments, rental of audio-visual equipment and promotional materials, but can generate excellent sales leads. The audience will be attending specifically looking for solutions to their business problems which, hopefully you can solve for them.
Trade Shows are really best left for a business with a large marketing budget whose prime objective is getting their name in the public sector. Attendees will generally consist of those who "recommend and influence" rather than the true decision-makers in an organisation.
Mail Shots and Advertisements can be successful if they are properly targeted and designed well. It is very easy to deplete a marketing budget through badly researched advert placements, or ineffective promotional material, so beware.
Advertising via the Internet can offer some advantages for small, independent businesses that need to find the most effective way of reaching a large, target audience. The advert needs to be well designed, and feature keywords which the prospective customer will be looking for on the search engine, providing the appropriate link to the information.
Many sales representatives are starting their own e mail newsletters, targeting potential customers through sign-up generated from promotional events, seminars and trade shows. By sending a monthly communication with the latest industry news, product information or business tips, they can keep their profile high in the client's consciousness.
Are there companies to do this for you?
For a business who doesn't have the time or the staff to apply these Sales Lead Generation techniques for themselves, there are companies like Great Guns telemarketing who can do it for them. The only UK telemarketing agency with Service Mark accreditation, they have a 90% client retention level, a dedicated, loyal workforce who have recently been awarded a National Business Award for customer focus and can claim that over 30% of their generated leads are converted into sales for their clients. Each of their customers is assigned a dedicated marketing team who will work for that business with a passion to succeed in the acquisition and retention of new business, delivering the potential for growth from sales generation.