How to Create a Lead Generation Plan

Many managed service providers (MSPs) struggle with lead generation because they lack the time and resources to dedicate to sales and marketing efforts. So what exactly is lead generation? Lead generation, or ‘lead gen’ as it’s more commonly known, is the process of attracting interest in your business's products and services for the purpose of developing a sales pipeline. Lead generation efforts are tied to your overall revenue goals. Depending on the size or stage your business is currently in, you’ll need to determine how many leads you need to generate to meet your goals.

Author: Chris Rudnick
Author: Datto's Chris Rudnick

Achieving your goals begins with the creation of your lead generation plan. Plans will vary widely between companies. In the end, the goal of a lead generation plan is for you to have a solid idea of how many potential customers, aka leads, you will need to generate in order to meet your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) goals. If executed successfully, your lead generation plan will result in a list of potential customers with contact information.

Without a steady flow of prospective customers entering the sales pipeline, your business will not thrive. In larger organizations, lead generation is a collaborative effort between sales and marketing. For smaller MSPs, it might be a one-person effort, but the concept is the same. Regardless of size, successful MSPs dedicate considerable time and effort to lead generation.

Not sure where to begin? Below are two strategies to consider incorporating into your lead generation plan:

1. Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing refers to attracting potential customers to your business via digital content you’ve created that lives on your website or other properties. Some examples include blog posts, eBooks, case studies, social media posts, and more! While blog posts, for example, are generally free content for prospects to consume, you can also place content, like eBooks, behind forms to gather lead information. Gating longer content can be a particularly effective approach for generating solid prospects because it allows you to capture a lead while simultaneously gathering intelligence about them. For example, if someone is interested in attending a webinar about accounting best practices for small businesses, they might be interested in purchasing small business accounting software as well.

2. Outbound Marketing: Outbound marketing refers to the traditional use of external, paid channels to deliver a business message and content to an audience, rather than making your content available on your own properties. Some examples of outbound marketing tactics include email blasts to purchased lead lists, trade show sponsorships, radio ads and television commercials.

To be successful in your lead generation efforts, it’s important to include the right mix of inbound and outbound marketing tactics. These tactics will differ based on your target audience, services you’re offering, region, etc. It’s okay to try things and discover that it’s just not the right fit for your business. Over time, the strategies that help you hit your lead generation goals will speak for themselves, and you’ll be able to build on and replicate your plan month over month.

If you’re an MSP interested in learning more about lead generation, you’re in luck. In our eBook, Lead Generation Made MSPeasy, you will learn how to create a lead generation plan, tips for identifying quality prospects, essentials for content and SEO, and more! Check it out today.

Christopher Rudnick is senior director for demand generation at Datto Inc. Read more Datto blogs here.