Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of business development. It helps build your brand, gain awareness and most importantly, gets you that much closer to closing deals. With the rise of social media, marketing automation systems, pay per click advertising – which lead generation channel has the most potential to convert the most leads? That depends on your product and business. Luckily for us, we have had the chance to work with a few different clients that have given us the chance to realize which channels have the most potential.

Lets start by examining the Sirius Decisions Demand Generation Waterfall – the bible of sales and marketing for today’s modern marketer. The waterfall tells us that there is a distinction between inbound and outbound marketing which can be reflected to pass on higher and more qualified leads.

Outbound marketing – this includes print advertisements, television advertisements, radio advertisements, tele-prospecting, trade-shows and e-mail blasts

Inbound marketing – Blogs, Ebooks, Whitepapers, Viral videos, Search Engine Optimization

The Sirius decision waterfall tells us, no matter how the inquiry came in, it will go through a marketing automation system, then once scored, passed onto the proper sales team – for proper follow up.

Something to keep in mind is the pipeline and MQL nurture stream – as all inquiry’s will not close upon first touch (as we all wish they would).

There are many lead generation channels, and many, if not all, convert leads with the proper amount of time and effort put in when following the Sirius Decisions Waterfall. According to Salesforce State of Marketing 2015 e-mail is keeping a high profile as “an integral touchpoint along the customer journey for the majority of marketers”. Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10%. (Aberdeen Group) Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.

Best practices on follow up time are 20 minutes. (InsideSales.com) This is key to keep in mind if you have an inbound marketing campaign running – have your sales reps ready to follow up within twenty minutes. Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months. (Gartner Research) 46% of marketers with mature lead management processes have sales teams that follow up on more than 75% of marketing-generated leads. (Forrester Research)

The main takeaway from this blog is no matter what lead generation channel you use, inbound, outbound or both – ensure it is followed up by the proper sales or marketing representative in order to close the deal.