Lead Generation v/s Lead Nurturing

What is a lead?

In simple words a “Lead” is a person who has expressed interest in the product or service that that your company offers.

In a sales context, a lead refers to contact with a potential customer, also known as a “prospect”.

Depending on the organisation, the definition of the term “lead” may vary. For some companies, a “lead” is a contact already determined to be a prospective customer. But what remains the same across definitions is that a lead will potentially become a future customer. Sales teams therefore have a responsibility to convert a maximum amount of leads to maintain a good rate of conversion.

What is Lead Generation ?

The term lead generation is one that you frequently hear if you are in the online sales and marketing world.

Lead generation is the way that you attract and get people to give you their contact information to you. It is the methods you use to collect leads.

If you are a marketer and have to tell somebody who is not marketing savvy what you do, you most likely tell them that you find ways to attract people to your business.

It is a method of starting to funnel-in eventual purchasers of your product or service down the path of buying.

Lead generation is very important for the growth of a business. The buying process has changed and marketers need to rethink and refocus their efforts in order to stay relevant. If people demonstrate to you that they are interested in your business, when you go to contact them about your offering they are no longer a stranger– but rather a true sales prospect who has “told” you they are interested in your product or service.

What is Lead Nurturing ?

Lead nurturing is a set of integrated marketing strategies designed to turn a potential customer into a buyer. Contact acquisition is the starting point of the lead nurturing. Sales & marketing professionals use a wide variety of approaches to find and nurture leads, including direct email marketing and content marketing. In order to provide sales with the opportunity to virtually hold a prospective customer's hand, lead nurturing strategies include identifying purchase intent, developing a personal relationship with the potential buyer and communicating with the sales prospect on a regular basis as they move through the sales funnel.

The use of third-party behavioral data can help marketers with their efforts to support, encourage and educate prospective customers. It is common for companies to track their prospects through various models such as a sales pipeline in order to segment sales leads into demographics. The ideal candidate for lead nurturing is a customer not ready to make a purchase, but who possesses qualities of a target customer. Lead nurturing programs then follow the consumer through the awareness, consideration and decision stages of the buyer's journey.

Lead nurturing can be thought of as the opposite of lead generation, which places emphasis on gathering as many consumer contacts as possible. In contrast, lead nurturing concentrates on quality over quantity. Instead of trying to reach a broad market, lead nurturing involves focusing on a specific prospective customer and learning as much as possible about that person in order to meet that customer's individual needs.

The buying process has changed, and marketers need to find new ways to reach buyers and get heard through the noise. Instead of finding customers with mass advertising and email blasts, marketers must now focus on being found and learn to build continuous relationships with buyers which can be achieved with the help of both “Lead Generation” and “Lead Nurturing”.