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How many types of lead generation are there?

    Lead generation is a term that’s thrown around often in the business world, but what does it mean? Although lead generation doesn’t refer to just one thing, it can be divided into two main categories: inbound and outbound. Inbound lead generation refers to leads that come to you naturally, whereas outbound lead generation refers to those you have to go after actively. 

    Direct Leads

    These are your most direct method of generating new business, but also some of your least effective. In other words, there’s no fishing for fish in a barrel here. When you’re calling or emailing directly to sell your services to leads with interest in what you offer, you’re literally talking to people who want to hear from you. This is great, except that it can be difficult to scale up these efforts without investing a lot of time into them. 

    One way around that is to automate as much as possible through various lead generation software platforms available today. That said, if you have an opportunity to get face-to-face with someone interested in your products or services, do it! It’s one of the best ways to make a sale (and ensure future sales). It is also taught extensively in lead generation training programs like Modern Millionaires. Check out this review to find more.

    Indirect Leads

    These types of leads include people who have shown interest in your product or service, but haven’t necessarily expressed any desire to buy anything just yet. A potential customer has expressed an interest in your product by requesting a free trial, signing up for e-newsletters, or downloading case studies from your website. They may not be ready to make a purchase just yet, but they’re at least showing some level of interest. Indirect leads can be nurtured into direct sales opportunities with additional nurturing and education about your products and services.

    Outbound Leads

    As their name suggests, outbound leads are those that you’re seeking to find. They tend to be people who have expressed interest in your product or service or who have been seen as potential clients because of their company. Examples include: being referred by a business partner, responding to a request for proposal (RFP), attending an event, taking part in a webinar or joining a community. When you’re looking for outbound leads, concentrate on marketing tactics that allow you to identify leads before they reach out to you – for example, by advertising in places where you know your customers will see it (like industry publications) or running promotions that require visitors to respond before seeing any content on your site.

    Inbound Leads

    Inbound lead generation occurs when a customer actively seeks out your company’s product or service on their own. Inbound leads typically come from content marketing, organic search engine optimization (SEO), and public relations campaigns. This is also known as earned media. Rather than paying for advertisements, inbound leads capture a buyer’s attention by building genuine interest in your business through reliable content marketing and SEO strategies. These leads may then be passed to sales teams as qualified opportunities that require minimal nurturing to close.

    Authority Leads

    The most desired form of lead generation, authority leads have a higher conversion rate than regular cold leads because they’re pre-qualified. The process for generating these types of leads includes using experts on your team, running online contests and promotions to get more exposure, attending events in your industry, or hiring a marketing agency. Authority lead generation isn’t so much about what you do but how famous you are. If you’ve already got an audience or even if you’re building one through social media channels—this type of lead will be easier to generate. However, don’t disregard it because some authority figures with smaller audiences can actually charge a lot per lead if they know how to leverage their authority into a larger marketing budget.

    Push vs. Pull Leads

    When you hear someone say, I’ve got some leads for you, what does that mean? This traditional means of reaching out to potential customers involved a salesperson’s cold-calling individuals at random. It may have had some limited effectiveness, but these days it’s more likely to annoy than to generate new business. If a customer sees your name on their caller ID, why would they pick up or respond to your message if there was no value in it for them? Today’s consumers are savvier than ever before; they know exactly what they want and can easily find it online. They’re also smart enough not to give out personal information too freely over email or phone calls. So how do you reach them? With push leads. Push Leads: Push leads are generated through advertisements or other methods of promotion (such as telemarketing) where potential clients contact you directly about products or services that interest them. This is often referred to as pull marketing because your target audience pulls themselves towards whatever catches their eye.

    Qualifying a Prospect

    When it comes to lead generation, qualifying prospects is a huge part of what salespeople do. In fact, it’s one of their biggest challenges. The first step in qualifying a prospect involves asking qualifying questions that filter out people who aren’t ready to buy. It could also mean explaining certain aspects of your products or services that might help influence a person’s decision-making process. Sales reps should be asking questions like: Do you have any questions about our offerings or how we can help you with X?, How much budget do you have for Y per month?, Have you already tried other solutions for X? If so, what did they cost and what were your results?, etc.

    Understanding Your Target Market in Depth

    Every single business, no matter what it offers, has a target market—it’s just a question of how in-depth you need to look at them. When thinking about your target market, think about why they’re interested in what you’re offering. Write down three or four reasons: _____, _____ and _____. Once you know that, use that information to write a description of your ideal customer. Here’s an example: Our target market is all small business owners who have not yet purchased online marketing solutions.


    In a nutshell, lead generation is about strategically attracting prospective customers for your business. Prospects will learn about you through different channels: events, seminars, webinars, product demos or any other number of ways—but it’s up to you to get their attention in order to guide them through various sales stages. And while there are numerous ways to generate leads, there are only two types that truly matter: soft leads and hard leads. A soft lead refers to someone who has expressed some form of interest but isn’t ready to commit just yet—like signing up for an email newsletter or filling out a form on your website.

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