Let’s set the stage: I’m about to dig into the best darn pile of spaghetti and meatballs I’ve ever seen. Just as I twist my fork in the pasta, spear a mouth-watering meatball, and go in for my first savory bite…the phone rings. “May I speak to Lindsay Kow-low-witch?” asks the telemarketer on the other end. “This is an important message regarding your oven preferences.”
This frustrating interruption is why HubSpot is here to discuss inbound lead generation — a solution that can save your business or organization from being that annoying, disruptive cold caller that is ruined by spaghetti night.
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Let’s start with defining a lead, and then we’ll cover what online lead generation is, why you need lead generation, how you qualify someone as a lead, how to label lead types — such as sales qualified leads, how you generate leads, and why inbound lead generation is much more effective than simply buying leads.
What is a lead?
A lead is any person who indicates interest in a company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form.
Leads typically hear from a business or organization after opening communication (by submitting personal information for an offer, trial, or subscription) … instead of getting a random cold call from someone who purchased their contact information.
Let’s say you take an online survey to learn more about how to take care of your car. A day or so later, you receive an email from the auto company that created the survey about how they could help you take care of your car. This process would be far less intrusive than if they’d just called you out of the blue with no knowledge of whether you even care about car maintenance, right? This is what it’s like to be a lead.
And from a business perspective, the information the auto company collects about you from your survey responses helps them personalize that opening communication to address your existing problems — and not waste time calling leads who aren’t at all interested in auto services.
Leads are part of the broader lifecycle that consumers follow when they transition from visitor to customer. Not all leads are created equal (nor are they qualified the same). There are different types of leads based on how they are qualified and what lifecycle stage they’re in.