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The 21 Best Lead Generation Tools in 2022

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The 21 Best Lead Generation Tools in 2022

Online lead generation is difficult. There’s no way around it. However, you can give your brand an edge by optimizing lead generation pathways on your site.

This article will cover lead generation software and tools that help you reduce friction and increase the conversion rate of website visitors to leads. This will include both paid and free tools.

We’ve compiled a list of the best lead generation tools on the market, including some free options.

The 21 Best Lead Generation Tools in 2022

1. HubSpot Marketing Hub

HubSpot Marketing — and specifically its lead capture tool — can be used for free (then upgraded) and has tons of lead generation that make it easy to capture, store, and nurture leads, including:

… and more. It all plugs naturally into HubSpot’s free CRM, or you can easily integrate with your CRM, email tool, or customer data platform of choice.

Using HubSpot Marketing helps you build an inbound marketing flywheel from start to finish. You create content that allures visitors, capture leads through one of several tools available, and then nurture them through kickback emails.

Eventually, your sales team will have full visibility of the previous touchpoints and can close leads with the full context of their previous touchpoints with your brand. Finally, you can create happy customers with features like free ticketing.

It’s a full suite lead generation machine.

best lead gen tools: hubspot forms

Pricing

Get started with HubSpot for free or opt for one of our paid tiers ranging from $45 to $3,600 per month depending on the size of your company.

What we like:

HubSpot’s Marketing Hub offers a full suite of tools for free and integrates with HubSpot’s CRM making it a great option for those looking for an affordable, but comprehensive lead generation solution.

2. Intercom

Intercom is another product with many components and use cases. You can use their on-site messaging and chat feature to engage with on-site visitors and collect their information.

Once in the system, you can analyze their on-site or in-app behavior and create message triggers to help with onboarding, support, or retention.

They also have an integrated help desk and knowledge base to provide support for current customers.

best lead generation tools: Intercom

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Pricing

Pricing starts at $74 per month for small businesses.

What we like:

This is another great tool when you want to accomplish marketing, sales, and support features under one roof.

3. Proof

Proof is an early stage SaaS startup based in Austin, Texas. They make software that helps you rev up your website’s conversion rate using social proof, personalization, and A/B testing.

Have you ever tried to book a trip on a site like booking.com or Airbnb and seen a message that reminds you, “three people have booked this hotel in the last 24 hours?”

best lead generation tools: Proof

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Proof helps you implement social proof messaging on your own website. Here’s a great example of the product in use by LawnStarter (another great Austin-based startup):

best lead generation tools: ProofImage Source

Pricing

Pricing starts at $79 per month.

What we like:

Proof offers a variety of settings to choose from for each campaign and also integrates with HubSpot, Webflow, WordPress, and Zapier.

4. Paperform

Paperform is a digital swiss army knife regarding lead generation forms, surveys, and quizzes. Whether you want to design a harry potter quiz to boost engagement or increase newsletter signup with a popup form Paperform doesn’t limit you to one or the other.

The powerful editor is a no-code solution that eliminates clunky side menus in favor of a word document-like structure. You can add your brand assets straight from Adobe’s Cloud libraries into Paperform and tweak the colors, fonts, and images.

While most form builders are either pretty or designed for powerful conditional logic, Paperform combines both. This is perfect for people looking to transform their business with smart forms and reduce busy work. For more in-depth insights, you can add complex calculations and tailored success pages and gain deep insights with their in-house analytics. Paperform’s versatile SaaS platform helps you create fully customizable, powerful solutions tailored to your unique specifications.

lead generation tools: paperform

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Pricing

Pricing starts at $24 per month for the Essentials tier up to $159 per month for the agency tier.

What we like:

Paperform is a great option for newbies and small businesses offering customization and professional templates combined with ease of use.

5. MobileMonkey

MobileMonkey chatbots make lead capture, lead qualification, and lead nurturing easier via live chat for your website, SMS text messaging, Messenger for Facebook and Instagram, and other popular chat channels, from one platform.

OmniChat by MobileMonkey is a multi-channel chatbot builder and automation platform that enables you to create chat campaign content once and use it on each of the above channels while unifying customer support chat in one streamlined inbox.

Here are some examples you can get started with to generate leads, sign-ups, and opt-ins using MobileMonkey:

  • Add MobileMonkey’s Free Facebook Lead Generator product to your Facebook Page and Posts to automatically capture names, emails, and phone numbers of those who “like” your posts and follow your business.
  • Use proactive live chat to engage prospects and customers on your website.
  • Setup Facebook and Instagram post autoresponders to capture the contact information of anyone who comments on your content.
  • Run a giveaway or contest with Messenger chatbots on Facebook or Instagram.

Then, run remarketing campaigns with interactive Facebook and Instagram Messenger ads to turn those leads into sales.

Lastly, connect the opt-ins, signups, and leads generated from your chat messaging channels to your CRM, such as HubSpot, as well as your email service providers, training & webinar platforms, and other business applications.

lead generation tools: Mobile Monkey

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Pricing

Pricing starts at $119 per month for the Startup tier. For the Growth tier, contact for a quote.

What we like:

Mobile Monkey offers a code free option in addition to chat box templates which make getting started quick and easy.

6. Mailshake

Mailshake is one of my favorite solutions for email outreach.Basically, it helps you automate, personalize, and optimize your cold emails.

This is great for many purposes, of course:

  • Sales development
  • Content promotion
  • Link building
  • Public relations
  • Fundraising

But it’s also great for lead generation. Mailshake’s AI email writer uses data from thousands of campaigns to help write winning copy.

lead generation tools: mailshake

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Pricing

Pricing starts at $58 per month per user for the Email Outreach tier and $83 per month per user for the Sales Engagement tier.

What we like:

One of my favorite parts about the tool is that you have tons of ready-made templates. So even if you’re not a world-class copywriter, you can still get responses.

7. Qualaroo

Qualaroo is an on-site polling tool that can not only collect user feedback (that can be used to improve any part of your product and marketing experience), but you can also collect leads using the tool.

In the best case, you can use Qualaroo to do both.

lead generation tools: Qaualero

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In this way, your customer feedback tool can double up as a sort of popup form.

Even if you don’t plan on using Qualaroo for lead generation, I’ve found the tool to be invaluable for collecting user experience and conversion optimization insights.

lead generation tools: Qualaroo

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Pricing

Pricing starts at $80 for the Essential tier while the Enterprise tier is quote-based.

What we like:

Qualaroo makes it easy to categorize leads and point them in a designated funnel based on what they answer to survey questions.

8. HotJar

HotJar is a customer experience analytics platform with many helpful tools. They’re one of my go-to solutions for conversion optimization research. Some of their features include:

  • Form analytics
  • On-site polls
  • Heat maps
  • Session replays

Like Qualaroo, their on-site polls can double up as conversion points. Basically, you can use the opportunity to collect feedback as a double opportunity where you can also collect an email address:

lead generation tools: Hotjar

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Pricing

HotJar’s Basic tier is free and starts at $80 per month for its Business tier.

What we like:

In addition to gathering feedback and polling site visitors it pulls double duty as lead generation — allowing you to collect emails.

9. Turnstile by Wistia

Video is a big focus for marketers right now, and I can only see that focus increasing with time. As such, it helps to look at video as a direct lead generation channel in addition to a brand building channel.

Wistia makes a really cool product called Turnstile that allows you to gate videos after a certain time period has elapsed. At this point, the visitor has to enter their email to continue watching.

lead generation tools: Turnstile

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Pricing

While Wistia has a free basic tier, in order to get Turnstile, you’ll need to upgrade to the Plus tier which starts at $19 per month.

What we like:

With Turnstile you can have your form display discreetly on hover or pause the video to get the viewer’s attention. You can also enable viewers to skip the gate altogether and control where the gate is placed within the runtime of the video.

10. Pointerpro

Pointerpro (formerly Survey Anyplace) is an advanced survey tool that has all the features to keep your sales machine running. Forms and surveys are often used to collect information from prospective customers, but they are rarely ever used to return something of value.

This tool allows respondents to walk away with a personalized PDF report based on their answers immediately after completion. This can be a detailed offering, the best service or product based on their answers, or any key information you want the respondent to have. Turning them from a cold prospect to a warmed-up lead in a matter of clicks.

lead generation tools: Pointerpro

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They integrate smoothly with your existing marketing stack, so you can easily transport leads through to your CRM or email marketing tool and start building nurturing campaigns. Bonus, you can use answers given during quizzes to personalize the follow-up.

Pricing

Pricing starts at $49 per month for Pointerpro’s Essential tier while you’ll need to contact them for a quote on the Enterprise tier.

What we like:

Pointerpro offers a code free, customizable templates that can be used as is or with your branding.

11. Zuko

Zuko (formerly Formisimo) capture tool, but it helps you optimize your lead generation forms.

They provide form analytics that, in my opinion, are the most robust in the industry. They work with pretty much every form, and their reports include:

  • Form Overview
  • Field Drop Off Report
  • Most Corrected Fields
  • Real Time Report
  • Completion Time
  • Problem Fields Report
  • Fields Before Submission
  • Field Times Report
lead generation tools: Zuko

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You can also segment reports based on device, such as desktop, mobile, or table. Additionally, the tool actually gives you ideas and tips for how to improve your forms. You can export and share this data with additional systems so it can be used by other team members.

While they don’t offer a free plan, they have a 7-day trial where you can try out the product.

Pricing

Pricing is tiered ranging from $140 to $700 per month. Enterprise-level organizations will need to contact them directly for a quote.

What we like:

Zuko’s data is viewable live, allowing users to view data in real-time and export it.

12. ProProfs Quiz Maker

Quiz marketing is an effective way to capture leads through website visitors and social media engagement. ProProfs Quiz Maker lets you leverage these leads with visually engaging and highly-shareable quizzes.

ProProfs provides an entire quiz resources library containing 100+ beautiful quiz templates and a massive question bank with 1 million+ ready-to-use questions.

lead generation tools: proprofs quiz maker

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Pricing

While ProProfs does have a free version, you’ll want to upgrade to one of its paid tiers ($20 to $200 per month) to use the advanced features.

What we like:

ProProfs supports integrations with all the leading marketing tools, such as HubSpot, Active Campaign, and more. This allows you to automate and streamline your lead nurturing to create a high-converting lead management funnel.

13. Clearbit

Clearbit has a forms tool, but they have a broader use case for lead generation no matter which form or lead capture tool you use. They help you enrich contact profile data, which means you don’t have to ask for every little piece of information in a mile-long form.

lead generation tools: clearbitImage Source

All you need is an email address or corporate domain, and Clearbit Enrichment fills other important data (like company size and industry) and appends it to your CRM records, in your product, or anywhere else you need them.

Pricing

For pricing, contact Clearbit directly for a quote.

What we like:

Clearbit’s native integrations with platforms like HubSpot, Salesforce, Marketo, Zapier, and Slack make this tool ready to use out of the box.

14. Datanyze

Datanyze is another data company, though they focus on “technographics.” What does this mean? Basically, Datanyze helps you discover what other software tools your website visitors, prospects, or customers are using.

The lead generation purposes for this are unparalleled if you have a way to personalize your website experience.

Imagine if you knew a website visitor was using a direct competitor. You could change up the copy on a landing page or an offer to reflect that.

Or if you had a WordPress plugin, and if you knew your visitor was using WordPress, you could design a custom CTA to let them know about your plugin.

lead generation tools: datanyzeImage Source

Pricing

Datanyze offers a generous 90-day free trial as well as paid tiers ranging from $21 to $39 per month.

What we like:

Datanyze is California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant, ensuring users are collecting business data the ethical way.

15. Hull.io

Hull.io is a customer data platform that helps you collect and centralize all the data you have from different marketing tools. It also helps you push that data out to your marketing tools so you can operationalize it and personalize experiences in real time.

I look at customer data platforms as a core component of a personalization strategy, since you generally need three components to make personalization work:

  • Good user data
  • An ability to deliver experiences
  • Content (the experience itself)

Hull.io, and other customer data platforms, help you collect data and deliver experiences.

lead generation tools: hull.io mappingImage Source

Pricing

Hull.io has a tiered pricing model ranging from $950 to $1600 per month based on your business needs.

What we like:

While this is one of the more expensive options on this list, when combined with a tool like Clearbit — which can give you tons of data points to use — you can really ramp up your personalized lead generation campaigns.

16. TypeForm

TypeForm is a survey tool, but it’s got many real world use cases. It’s also got a beautiful user experience. When I take a survey using TypeForm, I actually enjoy the experience.

While I’ve mostly used TypeForm to send customer surveys to get conversion research insights, I’ve also used it in the context of lead generation.

lead generation tools: TypeForm

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Pricing

Tiered plans are available from $25 to $83 per month.

What we like:

As one of the more affordably priced tools on our list, Typeform also scores high for taking a more conversational approach to surveys and forms.

17. Hello Bar

Hello Bar is a CTA and lead capture tool, but it’s got a very specific use case and user experience. Instead of a static web form embedded on a landing page, or an exit intent popup that appears when a visitor is leaving your site, Hello Bar gives you a sticky banner that appears on the top or bottom of the browser.

It looks just like the one on Hello Bar’s home page:

best lead generation tools: Hello Bar

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I find these types of CTAs are great for general campaigns and promotional announcements. Therefore, they’re good for short term lead drives, for things like a webinar coming up shortly or a new product feature announcement.

Pricing

Hello Bar offers a free plan as well as paid options ranging from $29 to $99 per month.

What we like:

Hello Bar is an all-in-one solution for creating CTAs and tracking metrics. Integrations with WordPress, Mailchimp, Webflow, SquareSpace, and Shopify ensure a seamless fit into your current tech stack.

18. Hunter.io

Hunter.io isn’t exactly a lead generation tool, but it helps you find and validate email addresses. If you’re looking to reach a particular person, Hunter is a good way to find their information.

lead generation tools: Hunter

Pricing

Hunter.io offers a free plan, but you’ll need to opt for a paid plan to reap the full benefits of what the platform has to offer.

What we like:

It’s not always perfectly accurate, but it’s free to use, and it’s a good tool to have in your toolkit when you need it.

19. Gravity Forms

If using WordPress, Gravity Forms may be the lead generation tool for you. This WordPress plugin offers payment collection, lead capture and workflow automation in one.

You even have the option of capturing partial forms so that you can use the data to create better conversions.

best lead generation tools: Gravity FormsImage Source

Pricing

Gravity Forms offers tiered pricing from $41 to $181 per year.

What we like:

Gravity Forms uses conditional logic so that you can display certain fields, pages, or sections based on user inputs. Additionally the tool offers accessabilty compliant.

20. Jotform

Similar to other options on this list, Jotform is a form builder platform that allows you to collect all kinds of data, including visitor emails.

This tool offers thousands of templates to help you get started quickly in addition to fully customizable survey templates. Jotform integrates with PayPal and Square to help ensure online payments are secure.

best lead generation tools: JotformImage Source

Pricing

Jotform offers a free base tier with paid plans ranging from $34 to $99 per month.

What we like:

Jotform’s drag-and-drop builder is easy to use and allows teams to collaborate with ease as multiple people can edit a form at the same time.

21. Discover.ly

Discover.ly is a lead generation tool that gives you additional information on social media profiles. For that reason, it’s a great complement to other tools on this list, particularly Hunter.io.

When you want to learn more about specific prospects, this free Chrome extension can give you a lot of additional details like their connections and other social profiles.

lead generation tools: Discover.ly

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Pricing

Free

What we like:

This simple chrome extension is available to anyone, easy to install, and simple to use.

Lead generation software is a big category.

If you want the best lead generation software for your particular business, you may have to try a few of them out.

In my experience, it’s best to have a comprehensive solution like HubSpot to bear the brunt of the workload.

Then you can add in other tools like Pointerpro or Hello Bar to mix things up, and of course, some optimization tools like Clearbit and Formisimo to help you crank up the volume on your results.

This article was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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