One of the keys to business success is always having a full pipeline of prospective clients and customers. New business is the lifeblood of most businesses, and an empty pipeline is a sign that your business may not have enough revenues coming in to support itself in the near future.
Unless you’re selling retail, most businesses have a sales process that their customers or clients go through. And those processes often include lead generation. If you’ve never heard the term, lead generation is the act of finding new prospective customers (aka leads). Growing the number of leads a business gets is a core marketing function, though not all marketers are experts in lead generation.
For this reason, your business might need to hire a lead generation expert to help keep your pipeline full. But not all lead gen experts are the same, and hiring one can be tricky, given that different experts will have different areas of expertise. Here are a few tips for helping you find a lead gen expert who’s a good match for your business.
What a Lead Gen Expert Does
Before we dive into the tips, let’s all get on the same page in terms of what a lead gen expert does—and what they don’t do.
Essentially, the person in this role is responsible for attracting qualified potential customers. This involves researching and understanding the target customers, finding ways to target and attract these customers, and developing and refining the process by which someone becomes a qualified lead. A lead generation expert typically works hand in hand with a sales manager or sales team, along with other marketing roles.
Essential Skills for Lead Gen Experts
Lead generation experts need to have a specific set of skills that cover a broad range of marketing tasks. First and foremost, lead gen experts must be analytical and must have a solid understanding of statistical analysis. They need to be able to evaluate marketing campaigns and tweak them. They need to be process-oriented and able to both construct, analyze, and refine customer acquisition processes. They need to be research experts and knowledgeable about most marketing functions, including copywriting, advertising, market research, email marketing, and others. They should also have a solid understanding of both lead generation technologies and the strategies in which they are deployed. Most importantly, they need to be problem solvers, with the ability to identify an issue and work towards an appropriate solution.
What to Ask a Lead Gen Expert
One of the challenges of hiring a lead generation expert is knowing whether or not they’re truly capable of doing the job. Just as there are in any profession, there are people who are good at their job and there are some who aren’t. Hiring someone to support you with lead generation is as difficult as hiring someone in any position; it’s not always easy to tell whether they’re truly capable of delivering results just by talking to them.
Luckily, when it comes to lead generation, there are a few things you can ask about and review to judge whether a person is truly an expert and can make an impact on your business.
First, it’s a good idea to ask a potential candidate what their experiences have been and what types of companies have they worked with. It’s always a good idea to find someone who has experience in your industry.
Second, be sure to ask about the process they’ve gone through in the past and what the results were. Most experts are going to choose the best examples from their careers, of course, but pay close attention to how they describe the process and not just the results. Don’t be afraid to ask for details, too; lead generation requires close attention to detail, and they should be able to describe the steps they took in the past to achieve results.
Lastly, ask them about the tools they’ve used and what they like about them. Ask them what tools they expect they’ll need while working for your business. While understanding the broader, strategic concepts of lead generation are essential, it’s also important for a good lead generation expert to have a grasp of the tools that are out there and how they can contribute to achieving business goals.