I think the thing new players to the game especially must understand, is that there are different phases and types of leads.
The front end let's call it, the initial point of contact with a "lead," could be a cold introduction, meaning they've never heard of you, read your blog, etc., it is a first time contact. These leads in most cases need to be "warmed up" or educated on what it is you do, how does that apply to them and is there a mutual benefit to the two of you doing business together.
Many people skip that part. They go from cold contact to buy my stuff without ever qualifying the relationship to begin with.
Let me point out that when I say relationship Im speaking of the dynamic interaction between to elements in close proximity of each other. Relationship doesn't mean you have to know my life story before commerce can commence. We just need to lay a simple foundation...
Who am I, Here's what I've got, Here's what it will do for you.
If that jives with your needs then, Here's what I want you to do next...
Now you can take them to your "sales" page or what ever conversion mechanism you have in play.
The second lead type is a person that knows you to a degree, knows your reputation, etc., You have a deeper rapport with this person.
You may take them down a completely different funnel experience or sales process when introducing them to your business. Knowing how to interact with those leads and having a system to process them is a different approach.
This is why generic leads often do not work out for people.
They could be qualified to look at your business.
But you are sending them (a certain type of lead) through the wrong machine.
Recognizing the difference and having the tools and process in place to handle each scenario is vital to realizing the results you're looking to produce.