Every business needs to focus on two things in order to grow and develop: generating new leads alongside retaining existing customers. As long as you maintain a high level of service and competitive prices your customers should stay with you for a long period of time. The tricky part is finding ways to attract genuine leads, then safely guiding them through the sales journey until they become an official customer.
Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that lead generation and pipeline management are the same thing, however there are subtle differences that you need to pay attention to, otherwise your business might not be performing to its full potential.
Lead Generation Campaigns
A lead generation campaign is used to create interest around a certain product or service with the aim of building stronger relationships with your target audience. Lead generation campaigns often start with sharing a piece of content that your customers will be interested in, such as a social media post, a blog, a video or infographic. Lead generation also focuses on increasing your online conversion rate through implementing better SEO, keywords and meta-data, as well as reviewing the performance of your website, landing pages and CTAs.
Lead generation campaigns are long-term strategies that require research, planning and testing. Failure to analyse the success of your lead generation campaigns will create a stale business strategy.
Pipeline management tools like HubSpot and Salesforce are used to monitor every step of the customer journey, from first contact with the prospect, to building the relationship, to closing the sale. Pipeline management tools are designed to ensure a prospect doesn't just slip through the net without your knowledge.
CRM tools with integrated pipeline management let the user add deals, track progress and assign tasks to different members of staff.
Lead Generation vs Pipeline Management: What's The Difference?
There are subtle differences between the two:
- Lead generation campaigns focus on casting the net far and wide to encompass as many prospects as possible, for this reason, lead generation focuses on the top of the sales funnel; whereas pipeline management aims to guide as many people to the end of the funnel as possible. Pipeline marketing sees the entire funnel holistically.
- Lead generation doesn't focus of which leads convert into customers, whereas the primary goal of pipeline management is to convert as many leads as possible to boost overall ROI.
- Lead generation tends to be a slower process because it encourages the user to contact unqualified leads, therefore wasting time. Pipeline management has a faster turnaround because (in theory) the user will only be contacting customers that express a genuine interest in the business.
- A huge advantage of pipeline management is the fact the marketing process doesn't stop when the lead has been converted. Pipeline management encourages the user to constantly assess existing clients. Other tools within pipeline management software includes conversion marketing tactics like re-targeting, nurturing, emails and reviews.
- Lead generation can sometimes waste company budget and resources on unpromising leads, whereas pipeline management lets you focus on genuine people.
Lead generation and pipeline management focus on different aspects of the sales funnel, however both strategies must work together in harmony to see a real progression in your business' ROI and customer retention.
The JDR Group are Gold HubSpot Partners with over 13 years' experience of helping B2B businesses develop their lead generation and pipeline management to increase overall performance and annual revenue. Call a member of our team today for an informal 20 minute review of your current strategy to help you pinpoint areas for improvement.