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The Evolution of Lead Generation

TrafficSwarm member since February 2013


The Evolution of Lead Generation 



Businesses need leads. Since the dawn of time, at the core of any business’s success is the ability to identify: who is interested in what I am selling. That piece of information is called a lead.


Knocking on Doors

So you’ve invented the wheel. How do you let others know about it? How do you let them know they need one? Thus was born the door-to-door salesman. From caves to igloos to houseboats to highrises, peddling persisted for the longest time of any other sales method. Door-to-door salesmen still exist to this day, in fact.


Phonebooks: The First Sales Lists

Once the telephone was invented, one was suddenly able to speak with a prospect before schlepping all the way to their home. You could gauge interest and then travel to the person’s home to close the deal.

Sales lists came in a zillion different grades of quality, freshness and exclusivity. Some lists would just be a spreadsheet of a certain demographic and your sales team would have to cold-call their way through to find the good leads. Others would be very pricey, having already been qualified as interested in what you offer. Some leads were old. Some were sold to your competitors as well. And no matter how good the leads were, you still have to have the luck and persistence to get the prospect on the phone and win their attention.

The Internet Age: The Lucrative, Yet Inefficient, Lead Form

The Internet created a whole new mode of lead-generation: the passive lead-generation form. People search on Google when they want prices for a new car or some insurance. Third-party companies bid on the top keywords and promise the consumer quotes. What they end up getting are phone calls from you and your competitors. The smart consumer will have you bidding against each other. Most will just be pissed you are calling during dinner time. You can do your own lead-generation or buy explusive leads, but it gets quite expensive and time consuming.

The Connected Social Web: Time For Crowdsourced Leads Generation

The cost of getting in touch with a qualified prospect can run into the thousands when you take into consideration the true cost of marketing, advertising, and lead nurturing. But you know who your ideal customers are. You know who you’d like to have a high-value business conversation with. You would pay good money to skip right to the serious business conversation, and closing deals with these ideal people. Other people know these people. All you have to do is put a bounty out on the social web and your message will be delivered to the people you want to reach – by the people they want to hear from. Then your ideal lead contacts you directly, qualifies themselves by answering whatever questions you need answered, and BOOM – you are closing the deal. And the connector earns your bounty directly.

Finally, some efficiency. And the evolution of lead generation, from the knock on the door to the ready-to-do-business lead, sitting in your inbox.

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