Sales Leads (or prospects / inquiries) can be generated using multiple sources and marketing channels. Traditionally, sources such as Television, Radio, Yellow Pages, Print Magazines, Tradeshows and Direct mail were used to acquire leads for products and services provided by organizations of all sizes.
However with the proliferation of Internet usage (including email and social networking media) by consumers, businesses and marketing professionals are increasingly turning to Internet as a major medium for sourcing leads. Research indicates that over 70% of American consumers use internet research as a starting point for their purchases (both on-line or offline). Hence internet as a lead source cannot be ignored for long whether you are a small business or independent professional or a marketing in medium sized / large organizations.
Obviously, the volume of leads gathered through the internet (for both B2B and B2C) will be considerably higher than the traditional media, as the reach is much wider. The costs are also significantly low.
The lead tracking and management system used by your organization should be capable of capturing internet leads in real time. The following could be the lead sources:
- Your own websites (contact us forms, sample requests, whitepaper download forms, webinar registrations, etc.)
- Blogs, Social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Web 2.0 resources (such as Slideshare, DocStoc, Scribd, EzineArticles, etc.)
- Third party web sites and Internet lead generation companies (such as LendingTree, LowerMyBills and NetQuote)
The website forms can be directly interfaced to the lead capture database systems such as LeadPro 24|7. Depending on your requirements, one or more methods can be used to collect lead data from the web forms. While SOAP based API is a preferred method, implementing the same will be technically complex and might need assistance from your lead system service provider.
Simple form posting methods can be employed to collect the prospect information from the forms. Though this method is not a robust one, it can serve the purpose for small organizations and professionals.
Lead Distribution systems provide direct interfaces with third party lead providers providing leads such as:
- Mortgage leads
- Debt settlement leads
- Insurance leads
- Autowarranty leads
- Loan modification leads
- Education leads
- Payday Loan leads
- Legal Service leads
- Home Improvement leads
Check with your lead management system provider when you plan to buy internet generated leads from third party providers. If pre-built interfaces are not available, the system provider would make every attempt to get it done.
Once the leads are captured in real time from the Internet, the system should immediately carryout the rest of the processes such as:
- Lead scrubbing / cleansing
- Lead verification
- Duplicate checking (or de-duping)
- Grouping for similar / associated leads
- Automatic lead routing / distribution
- Delivering leads via real time alerts / Voice / SMS / APIs to sales agents and lead buyers
- Drip emails to prospects
In addition to capturing online web leads, the lead system should be capable of accepting leads via manual entry, email parsing and data file import processes too.
If you are interested in finding out more about lead capture processes and best practices using LeadPro 24|7 lead capture, distribution and tracking software service, please get in touch with us today.