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Lead generation is the use of a computer program, a database, the Internet, or a specialized service to obtain or receive information for the purpose of expanding the scope of a business, increasing sales revenues, looking for a job or for new clients, or conducting specialized research. Leads can consist of the names and addresses (or e-mail addresses) of individuals, corporations, institutions, or agencies. Lists of leads can be gathered or filtered from targeted databases such as telephone and Internet directories.

On the Internet, Web sites and search engines can be excellent sources of leads, although the process can be time consuming. Web sites, such as TechTarget.com, have evolved for the specific purpose of making it easy for personnel to obtain leads. Companies have emerged that specialize in lead generation for a fee. They perform the research, and then provide the client with a list of leads. Services of this kind have been used by insurance companies, real estate agents, wholesalers, marketing firms, private investigators, research scientists, and educational institutions.

Several vendors offer computer programs designed to assist businesses in lead generation. Ethics are an important consideration in the choice and implementation of such programs. The use of spyware , Trojan s, or other intrusive means of gathering information without the knowledge or consent of targeted individuals or entities is frowned upon. Mass unsolicited e-mail advertising (or spam ) is also considered unethical by many, and it can result in electronic blacklist ing.

Eloqua, a supplier of specialized software for lead generation, notes that the process of lead generation has changed. Traditionally, lead generation was a telephone-based role. It was the responsibility of telesales agents to contact prospects to question them about their buying intentions. The process now starts further back. Marketers develop social media programs and offer educational content, such as webinars and white papers, to prospects and customers by e-mail. By tracking the response to e-mails, using tools developed by IT, marketing teams can analyze levels of interest. When a prospect shows detailed interest in a product or requests information, the marketing team passes the leads to telesales executives.

Marketing executives are responsible for the initial stages of lead generation. They require good planning skills to develop advertising, e-mail, online and social media campaigns to create interest in the company’s products and encourage initial response. They must have excellent analytical skills to identify a prospect’s level of interest in a product and move them to the next stage in the lead generation program. Marketing personnel must be familiar with marketing automation tools, such as Salesforce, which allows them to track the progress of the campaign.

Telesales consultants contact prospects who have responded to the campaign and have shown a high level of interest. They use the information on the prospects’ initial responses to ask questions about their needs and timeline for buying. They ask prospects if they would like to arrange a meeting with a sales representative or a consultant and fix a time. They then pass the qualified leads to the field sales team to follow up. If any prospects are not ready or willing to commit to a meeting, the telesales consultants passes the lead back to marketing, who then e-mail further material to maintain contact and build relationships. To carry out this role, telesales executives need good interpersonal skills to build a rapport with their contacts.

Published at: Recent Health Articleshttp://recenthealtharticles.org

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