Irrespective of the business you are in, your leads or prospective customers are essential to the growth of your organization. For decades, print media, radio and television dominated lead generation, until the eventual birth of the internet, when everything began to change.
In the early 2000s, as search engine usage was beginning to take hold and overall internet usage increased significantly, lead generation was dominated by email, the rise of pop-up ads, and websites jamming keyword density by filling up the bottom of their homepage with keywords repeated over and over.
However, in the last decade Google Adwords, mobile-readiness, landing pages, web forms, and the marriage between sales and marketing has become table stakes for effective lead generation. Inside sales and remote sales teams have continued to rise to just under 30% of the universal salesforce, according to 2017 research from InsideSales.com.
With the arrival of the internet and all things digital, lead generation techniques have advanced massively in recent years transforming the approach taken by sales and marketing teams transform from what it once was. With this much advancement in technology achieved, what does the future hold for lead generation? Here are some trends that we believe are the next big things in lead generation:
In 2018, Gartner predicted, “by 2022, two-thirds of all customer experience projects will make use of IT, up from 50 percent in 2017.” Highly integrated CRM platforms that marry the customer journey throughout the sales cycle may prove to be essential if the prevalence of universal agents and complex content marketing strategies expands. According to Jennifer Nelson, president of jennymiranda, “AI, machine learning, and automation will greatly assist the sales force. The simple and repetitive tasks sales teams do daily will become more automated … this process will more efficient.”
Marketing departments in the near future will expertly combine human instinct with the predictive learning capabilities of digital technology. The result will drive effective marketing campaigns and lead generation strategies effectively and with greater efficiency.
Multi-channel essentially means that a company generated leads and sells in multiple online channels (e.g. a web store, marketplaces, and social media). Omni-channel refers to sales with both a physical and digital presence to maximize prospects. It is a fairly modern approach to commerce that focuses on cohesive user experience for customers at every touchpoint. This differs largely from traditional marketing, where individual channels were optimized without considering the whole experience.
Omnichannel gives customers a fully integrated, unified buying and customer support experience with your brand across all channels and devices.
The goals of omnichannel are:
- To be present everywhere the target audience of businesses are.
- To capture customers and consolidate it into one central location.
Doing so will allow businesses to:
- Create a cohesive, seamless, personalized sales, and buying experience that makes interactions consistent, easy, and fun.
- Align efforts to deliver the best customer service by giving customers multiple ways to interact with the brand. Additionally, seamlessly integrate all services as one unified customer experience.
Personalization offers content and messaging that is tailored to users’ interests and actions, making it an ideal method for guiding them down the customer funnel. Utilizing personalization can, therefore, mean businesses are able to ensure that their products or services are suitable for an individual, as well as address any pain points they may have that could stop them converting.
It is a challenge filling the sales funnel with quality leads. Sales teams sell better when they have qualified leads in large numbers. On the other hand, marketing teams strategize better when they have a clear and accurate database. While sales teams want marketing teams to provide highly qualified leads, marketing teams expect sales teams to nurture leads. They create gaps that ultimately do not allow the lead to finally successfully convert.
Personalization here plays an important role by allowing marketers to get highly qualified leads. This allows marketing and sales teams to work in sync and perform better.
Lead generation is moving towards a frictionless experience for both the prospects and sales professionals. People do not enjoy slow navigation, long reading, and sharing their data all over again. Individuals demand a seamless experience to get what they want and get it fast.
Lead generation as an integral part of the sales process has been under constant change with every passing day. Artificial intelligence, omnichannel presence, and prospect personalization are the ultimate future. If companies want to ensure sustainable growth for their business in this rapidly evolving technological world, they should evolve their strategies to consider the latest innovations and shifts in consumer needs.