At 4marketing, we understand that all businesses are striving to fulfil their potential and generate the leads and growth they deserve.

When it comes to something as important as business, making the right decisions at the outset is crucial to ensure an organisation reaches the correct destination as efficiently as possible.

As telemarketing specialists, we’re often approached by companies needing help simplifying the confusing jargon they face from other sources.

‘Lead generation’ is a term used in a number of different ways and can be a common cause for confusion. So to help out, we thought we’d explain lead generation and telemarketing a little in this post.

What is lead generation?

Lead generation describes the marketing process of stimulating, identifying and qualifying prospect interest in a product or service and can be broadly split into two fields: inbound and outbound.

Inbound lead generation

Inbound lead generation generally involves displaying an advert (online or offline) and waiting for a prospect to register their interest. The problem with online lead generation is saturation in recent years, moving from a world of information scarcity to one of information abundance.

And naturally, information abundance equals attention scarcity. Social scientist Herbert Simon first explored this concept of information economics during the last century.

Outbound lead generation

More popular traditional and pro-active outbound lead generation channels include telemarketing and email marketing.
Depending on which school of thought you come from, outbound lead generation channels are generally preferred for their cost efficiency and instantaneous customer response. Instead of possibly waiting days, weeks or months for a result, outbound lead generation can deliver immediate impact and instant, valuable feedback from the target audience.

Why is lead generation important?

It’s no secret the world is changing faster than ever before and businesses need to find new ways to reach buyers and get heard through the noise.

Prospects are distracted and interrupted with twice as many marketing messages than a decade ago, meaning the chances of displaying an advert and hoping for a nibble becomes more futile with each year that passes.

This has transformed the buying process. Buyers are overwhelmed with all the noise and they are getting better and better at ignoring the images and messages they don’t want to be exposed to.

Many businesses are turning to professional human interaction channels – such as telemarketing – to create and build continuous relationships with their prospects and customers.

The new buying process

Studies reveal a huge change to the traditional buying process in recent years. According to Forrester, typical modern buyers can be anywhere between 60-90% through a buyer journey before approaching a vendor through an inbound marketing channel.

And sometimes buyers don’t even reach the advanced stage in a buying process if they feel satisfied with vendors who contacted them through outbound lead generation channels.

Lead generation strategy

Creating a solid lead generation strategy can help you build trust and capture the interest of your buyer before they have even approached the rest of the market.

Whilst marketing teams report that lead quality is one of the top priorities for lead generation, it is also one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today. In a recent study by IDG, 61% of marketers reported that generating high quality leads was problematic for their organisation.

This is where outsourced lead generation plays a huge role in relieving pressure from an already busy team and maintains focus of the sales and marketing workforce.

Marketing Sherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Survey revealed that 62% of applicants stated ‘lack of resources’ as their biggest issue, and that outsourced lead generation delivers 43% better results than in house.

Always test a lead generation company first

Whenever starting work with a lead generation company, it is always recommended to test them first with a trial campaign. Depending on the lead generation techniques and channels used, a suitable trial length can vary.

As an example, we are always happy at 4marketing for customers to test our telemarketing abilities in an initial trial campaign. Most customers find that a starting benchmark of around 100 hours is suitable to test the minerals of a telemarketer and assess the quality of leads they can generate for you.

Luke James