As compared to “outbound” which generally focuses on reaching prospects or target customers through advertisement or in-person strategies, “inbound” targets customers who can find a business organically.
Often, these inbound leads are website visitors turning into leads. These web visitors are generally divided into five main categories:
- Strangers – potential prospects who are about to become first-time visitors. They are not yet aware of the company or the solutions offered
- Visitors – website visitors who have just landed on the site or interacted for a few times while still exploring your content and the potential solutions you offer
- Leads – prospects who have interacted with the website through landing pages, call to action buttons, and filling out forms for webinars, freebies, product demos or so. They haven’t paid anything yet but demonstrated higher engagement with the business.
- Customers – leads who have paid for a premium solution sold by the business. Those include first-timers, and recurring paying clients.
- Promoters – highly engaged customers who actively participate with the business, share content, bring referrals, write about the business or generally promote it to their own circle.
While inbound marketing can incorporate a large suite of strategies, the general concept is focusing on high-quality content, relevant free resources for visitors in different stages of the buying cycle, targeted landing pages that bring visitors or leads closer to becoming customers, and various engagement components such as email marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and interacting with visitors.
In a nutshell, most service companies like a web development agency need the ability to generate a consistent number of leads, convert them to clients, and deliver results in the most efficient manner.
Leads are often generated using these:
- Offline events – conferences, meetups, industry events
- Referrals from old or existing clients
- Online job sites
- Online freelance and contractor networks and portals
- Your website (through content marketing, lead generation, etc)
- Participation in communities
I’ve explained our B2B sales process in this detailed answer in this blog.
Basically, nurturing your customers does not stop when a sale is made. It must happen throughout the process of managing expectations, nailing down estimates, handling scope creep, and hitting milestones like a pro.
The better you handle these areas with 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed, the more chances you will have to receive ongoing leads.