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Lead generation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In marketing, lead generation (/ˈld/) is the process of creating consumer interest or inquiry into the products or services of a business. A lead is the contact information and, in some cases, demographic information of a customer who is interested in a specific product or service.

Leads may come from various sources or activities, for example, digitally via the Internet, through personal referrals, through telephone calls either by the company or telemarketers, through advertisements, and events.

Lead generation is often paired with lead management to move leads through the purchase funnel. This combination of activities is referred to as pipeline marketing, which is often broken into a marketing and a sales pipeline.

Lead scoring[edit]

Lead scoring is "an effective model that helps sales and marketing departments identify which prospects are potentially most valuable to the company and its current sales funnel."[4] It involves a quantitative method of assigning a numerical “score” to a lead. This helps the company determine whether a contact is valid for their pipeline and allows them to prioritize leads and allocate resources accordingly.[5]

The introduction of marketing automation in recent years has made lead scoring much easier to implement.[6] Many modern customer relationship management (CRM) tools (e.g., Hubspot, ActiveCampaign) now include software to automate this process.[7]

Criteria for lead scoring[edit]

The score assigned to each lead is assigned based on their level of interest, fit with the company's target market, and likelihood of becoming a paying customer. It is not static and can change based on the demographic or behavioral criteria set by the company.[8][9]

  • Demographic criteria: Based on data points such as age, job title, and/or company information such as company size, revenue, etc.
  • Behavioral criteria: Based on actions a lead has taken, such as clicking on a link in an email, watching a video, or visiting pages on a website.[10]

Once the lead reaches a pre-defined score threshold, it is then sent from marketing to the sales team for examination.

Nationalization Efforts[edit]

In February 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued guidance targeting the manipulation of comparison-shopping tools for financial products due to kickbacks. This manipulation impacts lead generation, steering consumers towards certain products not because of their merits but due to hidden financial incentives. The guidance highlights how such practices may breach federal consumer protection laws, emphasizing the need for unbiased, transparent comparison tools in the financial sector and offering the concept of a federal comparison shopping site as an alternative.[11]

See also[edit]

  • Direct marketing – Model of communicating discounts and other sales offers
  • Direct selling – Business model
  • Lead management – Methodologies, systems, and practices designed to generate new potential business clientele
  • Personal selling – When a sales representative meets with a potential client for the purpose of transacting a sale
  • Sales – Activities related to the exchange of goods
  • Customer experience – Interaction between an organization and a customer
  • Outbound marketing – type of marketing that uses interruption to reach potential customers
  • B2B marketing – Marketing practice


  1. ^ Marvin, Ginny (24 March 2014). "First Touch: In 9 of 10 Industries Search Tops Lead Generation, Social Shortens Marketing Cycles". Marketing Land. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  2. ^ B2B Lead General Survey 2017Chief Marketer Archived 18 November 2021 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "7 Key Marketing Channel Shifts as Marketing Budgets Shrink". Gartner. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  4. ^ "The Basic Science Behind Lead Scoring". Sales Force. Archived from the original on 4 May 2024.
  5. ^ "Maximizing Lead Scoring & Analytics: How to Use Big Data in B2B". 16 February 2015.
  7. ^ Puckrin, Zara (12 February 2024). "Life Science Marketing 101: Mastering B2B lead nurturing - Bitesize Bio Marketing". Retrieved 6 March 2024.
  8. ^ "Oracle Eloqua User's Guide".
  9. ^ "This is What a Lead Management Process That Wins Revenue Looks Like". 12 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Research: Why Behavior Matters in Lead Scoring". 25 April 2013.
  11. ^ "CFPB Issues Guidance to Rein in Rigged Comparison-Shopping Results for Credit Cards and Other Financial Products". Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 29 February 2024. Retrieved 1 March 2024.

Further reading[edit]