Healthy blood circulation makes life more fun, energetic and full of vitality. This is as true for your business life as it is for your physical health.
What is blood to a business? I always think the blood of any business is leads. Robert Kiyosaki has said so well, “if you in business, you are in sales…period.”
How do you generate, qualify, track and cultivate leads? Is there a Crystal Ball?
Yes and no. There is not one answer, or one solution. Every business is different, and so are its target customers. However, there is a system and a way to think and execute that has worked with a number of companies that range from architecture and construction industry, manufacturing, or product marketing/sales business. Let me share with you six keys to success we have in adding more vitality and agility to business strategy of our customers.
Use competitive analysis to understand the market. Use real data.
Whether it’s launching a new product, or focusing on a specific geography, or expanding potential in a new industry vertical, or promoting a new application, or simply reaching out more meaningfully, an analysis based on real data makes your initiative very focused, sharp and much more successful.
Two: Think through the prospect engagement
What is the best way for you to get the new leads? Is it an email inquiry, or a request for product sample, a direct phone call, or submitting an online form, or joining your discussion group?
Answer these three questions –
- Who are they? Think market segments here.
- What would you like them to do? Different customer profiles might have different needs.
- What do they need to feel comfortable in taking that action?
Thinking about how you will entertain the prospects is very critical for effective leads generation.
Three: How will you manage your leads?
What are the steps in your sales process? What do you need to handle the leads? What processes can you automate?
Also, different customer profiles might have different needs.
Have a system to track the leads, and follow up with them on a timely manner, there is little more important than timely responses to lead requests. This will help you retain the value of leads, and maximize returns for your business.
Use the lead management system to understand the performance of your sales team over time and make the necessary changes to increase the closing rate. Subtle changes in your process can signify great changes in the closing rate.
Four: Weave in online tools
The internet and social media bring opportunities for leads generation. Put them to use.
- Who are my target prospects? Where are they?
- How do they find answers online casino to their questions? Is it by calling sales reps that they know of, or searching on Google, or reaching out to friends and professionals in their network? It would probably be combination of all.
- What can I do to get them to contact me? Where/how can I open up the door for dialogue?
- How can I maximize my referral power, or the word of mouth?
- How do I increase my brand strength and enhance my market penetration? How do I remain relevant in the mind of my potential clients?
Have an online strategy for leveraging the search engines and social media. Create the right profile for different market personas, and have a strategy to connect with them using quality content, always quality content.
Maximize your potential by using automated tools for networking and relationships such as email marketing, conversations on LinkedIn/Facebook…etc.
Online advertising on search engines, social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn have created unique opportunities for generating leads immediately. They also allow you to be very selective – zero in to specific profiles using in depth research and well designed campaigns.
Five: Start with clear business objective and time frame
For example –
- I want to get more customers for my interior design products in NYC metro area in next three months.
- I want to generate quality leads quickly, follow through on the sales process in next couple of months. I want to jump start my new product launch using that, and then have business insights for a long term strategy.
- I want to focus on metal finishes for a specific architectural market segment.
Clarity on this keeps your leads generation very focused. The good news is now there is enough data, and also a range of technology tools that allows you to have that focus.
Six: Measure. Marketing is measuring.
Use web analytics to benchmark performance of different marketing channels. Do a very refined segmentation, and understand how the customers behave. This makes your leads generation a system to not only grow, but also to hone your business strategy.
Use a CRM system to track and refine the sales strategy, and quickly understand performance.
What can be even better is integrate the web analytics data with the CRM system. This gives you insights into your business strategy end-to-end.
What is your experience in generating and cultivating leads? I would love to hear from you.