Do you want to start a lead generation company? If YES, here is everything you must know about the lead generation business model plus example of successful lead generation companies.
One major factor that should not be relegated to the background when planning to start a business is the business model that you intend building the business on. The truth is that there are different types of businesses hence the need to know the business model that perfectly suits the business you intend starting.
What is a Business Model?
A business model is a model that defines how an organization creates, delivers and captures value, in economic, social, cultural or other contexts. The process of business model creation and modification is also called business model innovation and it forms a part of the overall business strategy that organizations use in growing their business.
In the business circle, the term business model is used for a broad range of informal and formal descriptions to represent core aspects of a business, including purpose, business process, target customers, offerings, strategies, infrastructure, organizational structures, sourcing, trading practices, operational processes and policies including culture.
Lead Generation Business Model – Everything You Need to Know
It is a fact that there are several business models that an investor can build his or her business on and one of the business models that is suitable for most businesses is the lead generation model. Lead generation business model will help you generate leads on a regular basis and if you are smart about it, you can easily convert such leads to committed customers which in turn will help you generate steady revenue for your business.
If you are interested in operating your business on the lead generation business model, then you may likely find this article a suitable resource material for your business.
What is a Business Lead?
A business lead typically is the contact information and of course the demographic information of a customer who is likely going to be interested in a specific product or service.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a marketing term that talks about deploying strategies that will help you identify potential customers that may likely be interested in your goods or services. To better put it, lead generation is the initiation of consumer interest or enquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads.
There are quite some number of ways an organization can generate leads and advertising is one of the major means of generating leads for your products or services.
Lead generation business model is a model that helps sales and marketing teams drive more revenue and better understand their market through database building, custom marketing campaigns & B2B appointment setting. The scientific approach, proven methodologies and market intelligence drive revenue for clients in various industries including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, life sciences, high-tech amongst others.
Other means of generating leads are via non-paid sources such as organic search engine results and of course via referrals from existing customers.
3 Best Sources of Lead Generation
It might interest you to note that there are sources you can generate leads from and some of the obvious sources are digitally via the Internet, through personal referrals, through telephone calls either by the company or telemarketers, through advertisements, and events.
A research carried out in 2015 shows that 89 percent of respondents cited email as the most-used channel for generating leads, followed by content marketing, search engine, and finally events. Another research that was conducted in 2014 found that direct traffic, search engines, and web referrals were the three most popular online channels for lead generation, accounting for 93 percent of leads.
- Online Lead Generation
Online lead generation is an Internet marketing term that refers to the generation of prospective consumer interest or inquiry into a business’ products or services through the Internet. In online lead generation, strategies such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition, building out reward programs, loyalty programs or other member acquisition programs are used.
- Social Media
In recent time, one of the major sources of lead generation is via social media platforms. The truth is that with the growth of social networking websites, social media is used by organizations and individuals to generate leads or gain business opportunities.
As a matter of fact, several companies now make it mandatory to have active presence on social networks. Some of the social media platforms that you are likely going to find corporate organizations and businesses are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
- Online advertising
Leads can also be generated via online advertising medium and there are three main pricing models in the online advertising market that marketers can use to buy advertising and generate leads:
Cost per thousand (e.g. CPM Group, Advertising.com), also known as cost per Mille (CPM), uses pricing models that charge advertisers for impressions — i.e. the number of times people view an advertisement. Display advertising is commonly sold on a CPM pricing model. The problem with CPM advertising is that advertisers are charged even if the target audience does not click on (or even view) the advertisement.
Cost per click advertising (e.g. AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing) overcomes this problem by charging advertisers only when the consumer clicks on the advertisement. However, due to increased competition, search keywords have become very expensive.
A 2007 Double – click Performics Search trends report shows that there were nearly six times as many keywords with a cost per click (CPC) of more than $1 in January 2007 than the prior year. The cost per keyword increased by 33 percent and the cost per click rose by as much as 55 percent.
Cost per acquisition advertising (e.g. Talk – Local, Thumbtack) addresses the risk of CPM and CPC advertising by charging only by the lead. Like CPC, the price per lead can be bid up by demand.
Maximizing the Lead Generation Business Model for Your Business
It is one thing to successfully generate leads for your business, but it is a different kettle of fish to convert such leads into customers and ultimately into revenue for your organization. As a matter of fact, lead generation is usually paired with lead management so as to facilitate the movement of leads generated through the purchase funnel. The technical term for this combination of activities is referred to as pipeline marketing.
Mode of Operation When Operating the Lead Generation Business Model
Once a lead is generated, the ultimate goal of the organization is to convert such leads to clienteles and from clienteles to cash, and in order to do this, the organization usually assigns the leads to a member of the workforce of the organization preferably a marketer, sales person or a customer care officer to follow up on them.
Once the staff (marketer, sales person or a customer care officer) reviews and qualifies it to have potential business, the lead is worked upon in order to get them converted to an opportunity for a business. Thereafter, the opportunity is subjected to numerous sales stages before the deal is finally sealed.
Lead generation business model is a model that has several means of attracting prospects. The most reliable and expensive tactics involve making targeted, one-on-one contacts with prospects to measure purchase intent and status of decision-makers and these are done via;
In telemarketing, the lead generation company calls contacts to feel their interest in a particular product or interest, to verify job title and contact information, or to offer content syndication.
- Database Mining
In database mining, the lead generation company makes use different types of verification methods and computer programs to groom proprietary databases and public records to attract new leads and also to reactive old contacts.
- Content Syndication
In content syndication, the lead generation company sends a business email to various organizations and individuals, these are interest-specific informative content. Interactions with that content show potential interest, and companies can follow up with further content or sales calls.
- Email and Nurture Campaigns
In email and nurture campaigns, the lead generation company makes use of email, phone calls, content syndication, and a variety of other touches, the lead generation company provides services to warm existing contact lists into lists of leads that internal sales teams can call with a higher chance of converting them to customers and generating sales from such contacts.
3 Major Types of Leads
Generally, there are two types of leads in the lead generation business model and they are sales leads and marketing leads. But in recent time, operators of this business model are beginning to work on what is called investor lead.
- Sales Leads
Sales leads are leads that are generated on the basis of demographic criteria such as FICO score (United States), income, age, household income, psychographic, etc. These leads are resold to multiple advertisers. Sales leads are typically followed up through phone calls by the sales team (marketer, sales person or a customer care officer). The businesses that you are expected to find the deployment of sale leads are in the mortgage business, insurance business and finance business generally.
- Market Leads
Marketing leads are leads that are brand-specific, and are generated for a unique advertiser offer. In comparison to sales leads, marketing leads are sold only once. Since transparency is a necessary requisite for generating marketing leads, marketing lead campaigns can be optimized by mapping leads to their sources.
- Investor Leads
Usually an investor lead is grouped under the sales lead but some operators of lead generation business model tend to separate them for clarity. An investor lead is the identity of a person or entity that has the capacity and is potentially interested in participating in an investment, and represents the first stage of an investment sales process.
Investor leads are considered to have some disposable income that they can use to participate in appropriate investment opportunities in exchange for return on investment in the form of interest, dividend, profit sharing or asset appreciation.
Investor lead lists are usually generated through investment surveys, investor newsletter subscriptions or through companies raising capital and selling the database of people who expressed an interest in their opportunity.
Investor Lead lists are commonly used by small businesses most especially businesses that are working towards generating funds to fund their venture or simply needing expansion capital that was not readily available by banks and traditional lending sources.
Qualification Status for Various Leads
In the lead generation business model, business leads are basically grouped into sections to the level of qualification present within an organization and some of the qualifications are;
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are leads that are generated via inbound channels, such as Web Search or content marketing, and have expressed interest in a company’s product or service. Please note that Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are leads that are yet to interact with sales teams.
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) are leads that are subjected to thorough screening by members of the sale team (marketer, sales person or a customer care officer), oftentimes Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), for appropriate qualifying criteria to be followed-up with. Some of the qualifying criteria for Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) are need, budget, capacity, time-frame, interest, or authority to purchase amongst others.