Best Lead Generation software of 2020
Finding the top lead generation software out there...
Lead generation software is designed to increase your pool of prospective customers as quickly and as easily as possible.
Lead generation is the process of turning website visitors into newsletter subscribers, or turning social media users to website visitors. Getting more potential customers into your system is one of the biggest single things you can do to increase your sales volume.
Why use lead generation software?
Lead generation software gives you a unified strategy for increasing the number of sales leads you can follow up on. You might have a great website and engaging content, but if that content doesn’t translate into sales, you’ve put in a lot of effort for not much benefit.
Lead generation is the process of turning an interested web visitor or social media user into a potential customer by capturing their contact information, so they aren’t lost into the ether once they “bounce” to another website.
Lead generation is at the heart of inbound marketing: providing content that solves a problem or answers a question for a potential customer. However, inbound marketing only works if you can capture contact information from potential customers so you can follow up with them later.
Lead generation can help you make high-quality landing websites for your marketing campaigns. If you are launching a social media, targeted ad, or email marketing campaign, one of the biggest factors in its ultimate success is the “landing page” you build.
This is the page on your website where users end up once they click the link or click on the ad. Landing pages need to look great and they need to effectively capture a user’s contact info with a call to action. Lead generation software makes it easy to generate landing pages that get email or phone numbers from people who land on the page, and get this contact information automatically entered into your system.
Lead generation software can even integrate email marketing techniques, like having users sign up to have an informational brochure or a white paper delivered to them via email. Now, you’ve got their email and they’ve got the information you are looking for.
Lead generation software can also provide you with a platform to evaluate the performance of different lead generation strategies. If you have a mature lead generation strategy, you might be running several different social media campaigns, targeted ad campaigns, and email newsletters to different mailing lists.
Without one unified platform to evaluate the performance of all of these different strategies, it can be hard to figure out which ones are most effective. Lead generation software makes it possible to compare analytics data from multiple different pipelines to find out which ones actually lead to people entering your lead generation system.
Lead generation software is a great way to enter potential customers into your customer relationship management lifecycle. Customer relationship management, or CRM, is a key part of turning a potential customer into a happy, loyal, repeat buyer.
This process is called the CRM lifecycle, and is the lifeblood of many sales reps. But how do people enter the CRM lifecycle? That’s where lead generation comes in.
By taking people who have a problem or a question that your products or services can address and capturing their contact information, what was once an anonymous website user now becomes a possible client in the CRM pipeline. Good lead generation software can integrate directly with pre-existing CRM software that you have, or even can be installed as an add-on to popular CRM systems.
If your company is short on contact info for potential customers, or if you have very low open rates in your email alerts, you might want to invest in lead generation software to update your contact database.
Old emails might go dead, and previously interested customers may not be interested in your products and services anymore. Keeping up an influx of new potential customers is essential for growing your business, and lead generation software is an excellent way to accomplish that goal.
Who uses lead generation software?
Marketing specialist. The marketing team will be on the front line of lead generation, so it makes sense that they’ll be some of the core users of your company’s lead generation software.
The marketing team launches the advertising campaigns that send people to your landing pages or urge them to sign up for email alerts, so your marketers will constantly be using your lead generation software to set up and track marketing campaigns.
They’ll also use your contact directory as a source for email marketing campaigns. Your sales team will be relying on successful marketing campaigns to drive potential customers into your lead generation software system, so getting them up to speed is crucial for success.
Communications manager. For longer email newsletters and company updates, your communications managers will be more engaged with the content you are sending out via email.
Integrating calls to action into these emails is an important part of turning a normal communication into a lead generating email. You’ll want to have your lead generation software set up to capture inbound traffic from your communications team’s emails, not just to get contact info but to get information about what your potential customers are interested in, and what kind of content they engage with.
Sales rep. Your sales representatives are at the heart of the customer relationship management (CRM) process. They’ll likely want to know about new potential customers in your lead generation system as soon as possible.
Salespeople take the baton from marketers and web traffic: once a user’s contact information gets registered by your lead generation software, the sales team can start the process of working with the potential customer to find out what services or products fit their needs best.
Sales reps will also want to know specific data about each user in the system: what type of product ad did they click on? Is this a previous customer? Is this customer likely to make a purchase, or not? They’ll be especially interested in any lead scoring metrics your lead generation software provides.
Social media director. Since more and more marketing and lead generation comes from social media, your social media director will necessarily be involved with many of the campaigns that drive people to your landing pages.
He or she will also have input on targeted ad campaigns that happen on social media: these targeted ads can focus on a specific demographic, and show them relevant ads for your company’s products or services. As such, your social media team will need to make sure your landing pages from these ads are exceptionally high-quality, and have a call to action to record the contact information of the ad user.
Business intelligence analyst. While business intelligence analysts won’t be engaged in the day-to-day details of lead generation, they will be interested in broader questions about your leads.
What media channels are most effective at generating leads? What factors determine whether a lead will ultimately make a purchase? What steps can be taken to improve the marketing content that generates leads? These are the kinds of questions your business intelligence analysts will want to ask, and to answer them, they’ll need access to the data generated by your lead generation software’s analytics.
Make sure your business intelligence analysts are sufficiently trained in your lead generation software to be able to find and export the analytics information that they need.
Web designer. Your landing pages may be hosted locally on your website, or they may be hosted in the cloud by your lead generation software. Either way, you need to make sure these websites are well-designed and function correctly, both on desktop and on mobile devices.
Your web designers will ensure that your landing pages look great and capture the data they’re supposed to capture. On top of just a pop-up or notification to enter an email or phone number, you can set up landing pages to have automated chatbots or special offers, like getting a brochure or a white paper in exchange for signing up for an email newsletter. Your web designers can make sure all of these features are running smoothly.
Modern lead generation software should offer social media integration. With so much important marketing happening on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and (for B2B sales) LinkedIn, it’s essential that your lead generation software offer the ability to seamlessly integrate with your company’s social media channels.
It should be just as easy to set up a landing page from an Instagram or Facebook ad as it is to set up a landing page for a link in an email newsletter. If your lead generation software is integrated with your social media marketing software, you can often even get metrics on impressions, likes, and shares from within your lead generation tools.
Higher-end lead generation software will offer more detail in the analytics data that you collect. With a basic lead generation tool, you should be able to get essential data like bounce rate and click-through rate on your ads and landing pages. However, if you want more detailed information, you’ll need to opt for a higher-end product.
Top-shelf lead generation platforms offer sophisticated analytics data, like heat maps of mouse activity, time spent on the page, and even percent of a form completed, for people who never finish filling out your form.
If you really want to optimize your landing pages and calls to action, these advanced analytics can help you design and put into action highly effective lead generation strategies. If you’re just getting started, though, all of this data can be overwhelming, and you might be better off focusing on the basics until you get up to speed.
You should make sure your lead generation software integrates with your website’s content management system. Different websites have different content management system (CMS) software on the back end, like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla.
For maximum performance and ease of use, you should ensure that your lead management software supports your CMS software. While compatibility isn’t actually essential, it can make things much smoother and more efficient.
It can be slow and clunky to try to set up a landing page on a website with a CMS that isn’t supported by your lead generation software. However, one workaround is to opt for a lead generation software that hosts your landing pages remotely in the cloud, as opposed to on your actual website.
Some lead generation software offers search engine optimization features, which can be very convenient if most of your traffic comes from web searches. While a lot of lead management software tools focus on visitors to your website that are inbound from an advertisement, a social media link, or an email newsletter, it’s important not to neglect organic web traffic.
These are the users who come to your website from a search engine, and this is one of the best sources of fresh new customers who have never heard of your brand before. By leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) tools, you can make sure that the content on your website is as easy to find as possible. Using SEO tools is especially important if you rely on your website’s content to drive most of your potential customers.
Many lead generation software tools can integrate with your pre-existing CRM software. Customer relationship management, or CRM, technically doesn’t start until you have a prospective customer, but since lead generation is so vital to starting the CRM process, most lead generation software can integrate with many CRM systems that you may already have in place.
As you might guess, many CRM software companies also offer their own lead generation software to compliment their CRM software. If you already have a CRM software system set up, it’s worth considering how to make sure your lead generation software is as compatible as possible before deciding on one.
If you don’t have a CRM system set up, it might be time to think about doing so—since you’re already installing one new software system, you might as well take advantage of the opportunity and install another. CRM is important, because even with the best lead generation in the world, you need to be able to move these newly-identified prospective customers along in the process towards ultimately making a purchase if you want your lead generation to have an impact on your revenue.
The most advanced lead generation software offers lead scoring algorithms. The next step in lead generation is not just getting as many leads as possible, but assessing them for how likely they are to become a customer.
Anyone in sales knows that not all potential leads are equal: some prospective customers are far more likely to end up making a purchase. Leading companies like Act-On, Hubspot, Salesforce Pardot, and Hubspot all offer lead scoring, which uses artificial intelligence algorithms to assess the likelihood that a particular sales lead becomes a customer.
This might be based on the original source of the customer, whether or not they completed a request for information or a quote, or whether they interacted with a live chat bot. Lead scoring is best used by companies that have huge numbers of potential customers—by prioritizing your time and energy on those that are most likely to make a purchase, you can increase the efficiency of your marketing and CRM.
Lead scoring is less essential if you have a more manageable number of leads, since you’ll probably end up following up on most or all of them anyways.
Q: How can lead generation software help with real estate?
A: Lead generation can be very helpful in real estate because realty, as an industry, tends to have low numbers of leads compared to others.
Getting more prospective buyers interested in a house, for example, can boost the eventual sales price: more people means more demand, and hence a higher ultimate price.
Lead generation helps get you in touch with a greater fraction of the people who may be interested in a particular property, and helps lower the amount of effort required from the customer. If all you have to do is click an ad or send a text, you’ll get far more leads than relying on old-fashioned phone calls.
Q: How can lead generation help with B2B sales?
A: Lead generation works a little different for B2B sales, because you have to first identify companies interested in your product, then identify which people at that company are actually responsible for making decisions related to your product.
To this end, specialized platforms like LinkedIn Sales Navigator can be indispensable for making the right connections. Even if you offer a great service, a company may not be interested if you pitch it to the wrong person. B2B lead generation is about finding the specific people at a given company whose problems you can solve with your products or services.
Q: How is B2C lead generation different from B2B lead generation?
A: B2C stands for “business to customer,” which is the kind of sales you are probably used to. Some companies have a product or service, and a customer buys it from them. Much of traditional marketing and lead generation is set up for B2C sales.
B2B, in contrast, stands for “business to business,” and involves businesses marketing services and products to other businesses. B2B lead generation adds an additional layer of complexity, because not only do you need to market your product or service to a business; you have to market it to the right person at that business. B2B lead generation usually calls for different strategies than B2C lead generation for this simple reason.
Q: What is local lead generation?
A: Local lead generation means identifying customers in your specific geographic area that are interested in your product.
Local lead generation has traditionally been difficult, but thanks to the rise of targeted advertisements, both online and on social media, local lead generation is much more feasible.
Lead generation software can help with local lead generation by flagging local leads from your marketing efforts, helping you prioritize the most promising leads in your area.
Q: Is lead generation the same thing as marketing?
A: Lead generation is a big part of marketing, but it’s not the only part. Marketing can encompass campaigns that drive customers to make purchases directly, skipping the lead generation part.
Lead generation is at the intersection of sales and marketing, and involves getting new people interested in your company, and handing off their contact info to the sales team for customer relationship management. So, while your marketing team will be involved in your lead generation process, it won’t be the full extent of the entire project.
Q: Can you use social media for lead generation?
A: Yes, in fact an increasingly large fraction of lead generation is coming from social media. Thanks both to targeted ads on social media sites, and from promotional campaigns that you can run on your own social media channels, it’s easier than ever before to reach out to new people who might be interested in your company.
By integrating lead generation software with your social media channels, you can capture contact information from these new prospective customers.
Q: Can lead generation software help with healthcare businesses?
A: Healthcare businesses can benefit from lead generation software just like a traditional retail business would. The primary difference is that a huge proportion of marketing to prospective customers for a healthcare business will involve what’s called “inbound marketing”—they’ll find your business because they have some health complaint that you can solve.
As such, providing great content, and providing strong calls to action, are essential for successful lead generation in healthcare.
Lead generation software streamlines the process of collecting the contact information from prospective customers.
Whether they’ve found your website from an internet search, clicked on a targeted ad, or seen a social media post, you need to get their contact information into your system before they vanish.
Lead generation software can help you capture this information, and act on it to drive more sales from more customers.