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Lead generation is a process that finds and captures potential customers’ information for your sales team — one that can be simplified with the right tools.

Marketing connects potential customers with your brand. Lead generation, on the other hand, connects potential customers with your brand for a specific purpose: to capture information and grow your sales team’s prospecting list. Luckily, there are plenty of tools, services, and software solutions designed specifically to capture lead information, analyze it, and support your sales process. The downside, of course, is the indecision you may experience when sifting through so many options!

The best lead-gen tools are those that work for your unique audience, industry, and goals. What the “best” is for one brand, may not offer the greatest results for another.

Below, we’ll explain how lead gen tools work and how to pick the right option for your brand.

What do lead gen tools do?

A lead generation tool is a software or service that automates the process of finding new leads for your brand. Automation is the key term here; this is what makes these tools so valuable. They continuously work to generate new leads while your team focuses on other tasks at hand, multiplying your sales team’s output overnight.

What kinds of lead generation tools exist?

Lead generation comes in many shapes and sizes. Several categories of software have popped up to support lead generation for every type of consumer and industry. Here are just a few of the most popular categories of digital lead gen tools:

  • On-page Lead Generation:

    Within your website, these tools use forms, pop-ups, and other digital features to drive visitors to input personal details in exchange for a discount, freebie, mailing list, and more.

  • Digital Advertising:

    Paid advertising on popular sites like Google or Instagram can support lead generation when connected to landing pages built to convert.

  • Tradeshow Lead Generation:

    Tools or services with a focus on event marketing can be an effective way to specifically target and access attendee information.

  • Email Marketing:

    Email drip campaigns and personalized appeals can work to convert cold audiences into valuable leads over time.

  • Email Finders:

    These tools scrub websites for bulk contact information of individuals who could be a fit for your brand, helping you rapidly grow your prospecting list.

  • Appointment Scheduling:

    Save time and improve your lead’s user experience by using a flexible tool or service to book appointments with interested leads.

  • Data Acquisition:

    Collect public web data to refine your audience and better understand their behaviors and motivations.

  • CRMs:

    Gather, track, and nurture leads throughout the sales funnel with an all-in-one CRM built for sales.

  • Live Chat Tools:

    Connect with visitors as they land on your site; answer questions, explain your value, and communicate with them in a more personalized way.

When people think of “lead generation,” on-page lead gen tools are what usually come to mind. This type of software captures contact information from visitors whose interest is piqued by your brand’s product or service. This is usually accomplished by giving away a free item of value, like an e-book, whitepaper, or video, or by In exchange for the item, visitors offer up information such as their email address, name, phone number, and other information you deem to be of value.

When used in conjunction with many of the other tools listed above, this can be a highly effective way of simultaneously capturing the information you want and enticing a lead to engage with your brand.

Are there free lead generation tools?

Free lead generation tools do exist; often, lead gen software uses a freemium model, where basic tools and access are free for first-time users, but more robust features or adding additional users require a paid subscription.

While free lead gen tools can be a great way to dip your toe in the lead gen software market, don’t forget to think about the long-term value of investing in a proven, highly robust lead gen tool. While the initial investment may seem high, lead gen tools focus on growing your sales pipeline so you can grow your revenue over time. Buying a subscription to a lead gen software and committing to using it is usually worth the investment.

Which lead gen tool creates the best quality leads?

The best quality leads are those people who want and need your product or service and are qualified to purchase it. So, it makes sense that the best lead gen tools help you narrow your list to only include these types of leads.

Here are a few tips for narrowing down your options:

  • Define your goals: what do you want to accomplish with your lead gen tool?

Obviously generating more leads is the ultimate goal, but that won’t be the only measure of success. Do you want to establish a rating system for leads to help direct your team’s efforts? Do you want to create actionable timelines to organize sales outreach tasks? Think about what your ideal prospecting process would look like and make sure you keep your “must-haves” at the top of your list when reviewing options.

  • Figure out your weaknesses: what do you need help with most?

In the same way, take a critical look at your weaknesses. What has your team struggled with in the past when it comes to gathering or nurturing leads? Does your small team struggle to follow up in a timely manner? Do you have problems finding qualified leads? Don’t pursue your goals and forget about your weaknesses. Make sure you find a tool that offers a solution that will help you tackle the current problems your team faces.

  • Think about your comfort level: what type of solution will your team truly use and benefit from?

Robust software platforms with highly customizable features can be great for teams that feel comfortable navigating complex software. For others, a simplified user experience should be high on the priority list. You don’t want to sign up for a lead gen tool only to find a few months later that it’s too difficult for your team to use. Stay realistic about how your team works and what learning curve they’ll be comfortable working through.

  • Review plans and pricing.

Your new tool should fit your budget, but sticker price isn’t everything. Make sure you have the ability to scale and add new users down the line if you need to. Check in on their customer support: how are their online reviews from current customers? Also, determine what contract you’ll be held accountable for: is it a month-to-month service, one-time investment, or quarterly plan?

Lead Generation Isn’t One-Size Fits All

As you can see, there is no shortage of options when it comes to lead gen solutions. Digital tools are a great place to start if you’re looking to get the ball rolling for your sales team and there are lots of options to choose from. The great benefit of many of these tools is that they are fairly low-risk; usually, you can try one out without having to commit to annual contracts.

However, another option you may consider is outsourcing the process to a lead generation company. At Launch Leads, our exclusive lead generation service acts as a secondary sales team for your brand, offering incomparable time-savings and a highly personalized lead nurturing approach. For those companies looking for a supplement to their existing lead generation strategy, or those that prefer to outsource it entirely, Launch Leads’ range of services are a great solution.

To learn more about Launch Leads and our unique approach to lead generation and appointment setting, contact us.

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