Lead generation begins by understanding the location of the target markets and their lives, all along knowing their thinking processes. In commonly found scenarios, there is consistent pressure on the sales and marketing teams to improvise on both, the lead quality and quantity. With multiple systems, sales experts, approaches, and recommendations available, where does one begin?

 Do we start by revamping the CRM system or impart the latest trending lead generation training to the sales teams? Do we refocus our media plans or improvise on the online content? Before embarking on any path, the smartest thing to do is to make sure one has 360 degrees understanding of the potential customers and prospects and their specific buying needs and patterns. The bulletproof path to maximum sales is to think like a customer and modify one’s sales cycle accordingly so that it functions as a true customer buying cycle that fits their needs.

This is where Market research comes in handy and can shed light the insights and information you need, with a view to define your strongly qualified prospects and align your service offering with their specific wants, aspirations and buying preferences and determine your authentic customer cycle, in turn developing the messages that enable prospects to make the purchase. It is of absolute importance to identify the most productive ways to reach out to the prospects at each stage of the customer cycle. Leveraging current customer information to bring in new prospective ones, leads to an increase in the purchase amounts of the existing customers, thereby shortening the customer buying cycle.

The goal is to improve lead generation and conversion, hence the most sought-after place to focus the research effort is with a comprehensive study looking at customer profiles and a competitive analysis. Understanding on a grass root level, as to who buys the services or products and what are the motivating factors involved can help one target non-potential customers on the lines of the same profile.

Researchers commence by collating all the customer-related research data, already available on their hand, to identify gaps in the understanding. Is there substantial and authentic data available with regards to information on customer demographics? but lack of reliable data on their information-gathering practices? Perhaps you have a strong hold of your customer's buying cycles but lack a thorough understanding of what drives and affects their decisions in the entire process. It’s imperative to have a good grasp on the primary customers along with the motivation for occasional buyers. Once you have specifically identified your knowledge bank, it becomes easier defining effective strategies, tallying your current assumptions, and gaining deep dive insights.

We must bear in mind that, that the key to increasing the sales leads is to primarily understand the customer buying behaviours and patterns, to channel your marketing efforts, driving the increased purchases. Relying on assumptions or purchase history may prove futile as understanding what they think in real-time matters. Even the most conventional industries experience changes in customer needs and behaviours, buying preferences etc. Another misconception to avoid is "all customers are the same and their buying experiences are similar”. There are stark differences between a company’s primary customers and its secondary ones. The latter ones mostly may have specifically different needs, customer experiences and brand perceptions. Gaining a thorough understanding of these perceptions and differences can be the first step in capitalising on their business.