How to Become a Lead Generation Specialist?
Whether you are a business owner looking to learn the skills required to generate more meaningful leads or a marketing professional seeking to improve your repertoire of skills, learning how to become a lead generation specialist can go a long way.
But how do you become a lead generation specialist, and what even is lead generation? Read on to get the answers to these questions and more.
What is a Lead?
A lead is a person who demonstrates an interest in a company’s product or service in any way, shape, or form.
Leads usually hear from a business or organization after they have initiated communications by willfully providing their contact information in exchange for an offer or a trial. However, it is also possible for the lead to arise from someone purchasing the information from a third party.
Leads are part of the customer lifecycle when transitioning from visitors to customers. Not all leads are the same; the type of lead depends on what lifecycle stage they are in, which determines their qualification.
Usually, leads where the person willfully shares their information are of better quality than one purchased as the person had previously demonstrated interest. In contrast, the bought lead may have no interest in the product whatsoever.
What are the Types of Leads?
There are four main types of leads depending on their qualification and their stage in the customer lifecycle:
Marketing qualified lead (MQL)
A marketing qualified lead is someone who has interacted with your marketing team’s efforts but is still not ready to receive a call from your sales team. For example, an MQL is a person who fills out a survey form.
Sales qualified lead (SQL)
A sales qualified lead is a contact who has taken actions demonstrating their interest in becoming a paying customer. For example, a contact filled out a form asking for further information regarding a product or service.
Products qualified lead (PQL)
Product qualified leads are contacts who have used your products before and are now interested in becoming paying customers. PQLs are usually gained from companies that provide free trials or limited product versions with the option to upgrade.
An example of a PQL is a contact who has used a free trial or basic version of your product and is now asking about the full version that is only available after payment.
Service qualified lead
A service qualified lead is a contact or customer who mentioned their interest in becoming a paying customer to your service team.
For example, a service qualified lead is someone who calls your customer service representative and tells them that they would like to upgrade their subscription.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is discovering and interacting with potential customers to build a stronger sales funnel. It is essentially the process of attracting prospects to your business and increasing their interest through nurturing, with conversion’s end goal.
Some ways to generate leads are through blog posts, coupons, live events, job applications, and online content.
Why is Lead Generation Important?
It is much more natural to convert a stranger into a customer if the person shows an organic interest in your business.
Lead generation is part of the inbound marketing methodology, and it occurs after you’ve attracted an audience and are now ready to convert them into leads for your sales team.
Lead generation follows a process as detailed below:
- A visitor discovers your business through one of your marketing channels, such as your blog, website, or social media pages.
- The visitor then interacts with your call-to-action, such as an image, a button, or a message.
- That CTA then redirects your visitor to a landing page where they provide their contact information in exchange for an offer.
- Once the visitor fills out the form and avails of the offer, they are now a lead.
What Does a Lead Generation Specialist Do?
A lead generation specialist is a person who works with businesses to improve their ability to nurture new leads as well as increase the number of leads in their sales funnel.
As more and more leads come in, the lead generation specialist helps in sorting the leads by qualifying and scoring them so that marketing and sales teams know where each lead is in the buyer’s journey.
They can then use this information to make use of the lead by appropriately following up on them and efficiently use their time by nurturing leads most likely to be converted.
Here are a few things a lead generation specialist does daily:
Lead generation specialists spend countless hours researching the best ways to connect with prospective customers, such as by understanding their needs and pain points and then using this information to create an initial sales pitch that addresses these.
Contacting potential customers
Another important job for lead generation specialists is reaching out to prospects through various channels but mostly through phone and email communications. They are responsible for sending follow-up emails and scheduling work demos.
Lead generation specialists are also required to use lead scoring methodologies so they can easily evaluate leads by how much interest they have in your product or service.
They can determine whether a lead meets the requirements to buy a company’s product or service, which helps the sales teams properly allocate their time and resources.
Contact database management
After creating a marketing list of targeted leads, a lead generation specialist must update all this into the CRM and regularly curate these based on the lead’s responses. This is to keep the database as accurate and relevant as possible.
Lead generation specialists always look for ways to improve processes, especially those at the top of the sales funnel. They constantly contribute to developing better sales strategies and looking for the best tools to improve performance.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Lead Generation Specialist?
While you don’t need many hard skills to be a lead generation specialist, the following soft skills are what recruiters are always looking for in a lead generation specialist.
Companies need someone who can instantly connect with prospects and get the information they need without making it seem like an interrogation. They also need to clearly and concisely communicate with the rest of the team, such as leaders and reps in the sales and marketing teams.
A lead generation specialist needs to know how the sales funnel works, such as how the prospect behaves in various stages of becoming a customer. Even if you are working at the top of the funnel, you will need to know what happens at all levels.
The best lead generation specialists know their prospects’ pain points and can explain how their product resolves these issues. Learning about all tech-related developments can help lead generation specialists speak on the prospect’s level.
Analytical skills are essential for people working in sales in this data-driven world. A lead generation specialist with good analytical skills can understand metrics such as conversion rate, drop-off rate, or conversion times. They can make more data-driven decisions and effectively allocate their time to the right leads.
Targeting and segmentation
A lead generation specialist must be able to ascertain whether a lead fits into the business’s customer profile and also be able to identify at what stage within the buyer’s journey the lead is in. This knowledge helps in nurturing leads and also helps in creating more personal communications to take leads to the next level.
How to Become a Lead Generation Specialist?
After reading all the information we have provided on lead generation specialists, if you feel like it is suited for you, then you can follow the steps provided below and forge a career:
Learn the basics
The first and most obvious step is learning the job’s basics. This includes fully understanding what leads are and how they are generated, nurtured, and converted.
Businesses can get up to 13 types of leads, and you must be able to tell the difference between them and know which one applies to your business.
Expand your marketing knowledge
The best lead generation specialists aren’t limited to acquiring new leads but also have a good understanding of various marketing techniques and a good idea of the basics of consumer behavior.
This can help them connect better with their leads by knowing how they think or how a product or service can help them. This allows them to make a more curated lead generation process.
Become more familiar with metrics
An important part of a lead generation specialist’s job is studying and analyzing metrics and identifying patterns.
To effectively do so, you must be more familiar with metrics, such as:
- return on investment (ROI)
- win rate (WR)
- sales qualified leads (SQL)
- cost per lead (CPL)
- cost per acquisition (CPA)
- and others to be able to gauge the effectiveness of sales activities better.
To be a professional lead generation specialist, you will need to get more experience within your industry. A solid portfolio of case studies and successes to show to an employer or client is crucial to building your career.
You can start by doing small freelance projects and work up to more complex tasks.
Create a portfolio
After completing a few projects and gaining valuable experience, you must create an extensive portfolio. Your portfolio should include case studies, metrics, and client testimonials. Try to be as descriptive as possible to display your skills more prominently.
Since lead generation specialists aren’t afraid to speak to new people, it pays dividends to take extra time and network with others in digital marketing and B2B sales. The more knowledgeable and approachable you can be, the more likely you will receive a job offer when a company needs someone with your skillset.
The role of a lead generation specialist is constantly evolving. As new SaaS platforms and CRM programs are launched, there are more scopes for you to improve your approach toward lead generation.
The use of artificial intelligence and data analytics are now revolutionizing the way sales are being conducted. You will be in demand if you can utilize them in a meaningful way.
Find your dream job
After you have gained enough experience and are confident that you can add value to any organization you can step into, you should apply for your dream job.
You shouldn’t be afraid to show off your skills by reaching out to potential employers through outbound marketing or emails. You never know when luck can be in your favor, and they might say yes.
Becoming a lead generation specialist requires hard work and careful analysis, but if you think it is the right fit for you, it can lead you to a successful and interesting career.
If you want to become a lead generation specialist, remember all that was covered in this article, and hopefully, you’ll be able to leave a mark in the industry.