Master and his obedient (German Shepherd) dog

You may hear marketers banging on about the importance of lead generation, lead nurturing or lead scoring – but have they ever stopped to define what a lead actually is?

The word ‘lead’ has many meanings when used in different contexts.  You can lead your dog around the park, lead by example, take the lead in a race, get the lead role in a musical, lead someone on… or even write with a lead pencil.

In the world of sales and marketing a lead is a person who has in some way, shape, or form indicated interest in your company's product or service (Hubspot.com).

For most companies this means that someone has interacted with their content or resources on their website.  This could be in the form of taking a survey, downloading an eBook or whitepaper, signing up to a newsletter or requesting a product trial.

So how do you know who your leads are?

The best way to capture information on who is showing interest in your product or service is by having them fill out forms in exchange for something of value from your website.  This is an effective method to generate leads. Having your website visitors fill out a form before receiving valuable resources such as white papers or eBooks enables you to record who is really interested in the type of services your company has to offer.

Once they have shown interest and initiated a relationship with your company (rather than your company ‘cold calling’ them), you have the opportunity to nurture that relationship into a potential sale.

To learn more about capturing qualified leads download our eBook ‘30 great ideas for generating leads online’.

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