According to Google chairman Eric Schmidt, “There was 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilisation and 2003, but that much information is now created every two days, and the pace is rapidly increasing.” It's incredible to think about the amount of information that your customers and prospects are seeing each and every day.
The buying process has drastically changed too. No longer are buyers relying on Joe the local car salesman to help them make a decision. Instead they are doing their own research and educating themselves throughout the buying process: Think review sites, social channels, Google, and more. By the time a buyer walks into your business, she is armed with information and likely has already made a decision.
All these factors, put marketers in a complicated position.
How do you find these leads, break through the noise, and create relationships? How do you make sure your messages are heard and resonate with your audience? And how can you help your customers educate themselves through the buying process so that they ultimately choose you and your company? It's a lot to think about!
Lead generation is your answer. Lead generation describes the marketing process of engaging and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing a sales pipeline and ultimately gaining new customers.
Lead generation helps your company increase brand awareness, build relationships, drive more qualified leads into your sales funnel, and ultimately close deals. Sounds pretty great, right? But, it’s not simple.
Marketing has changed. In order to grow your business, you need to reach your buyers through many different marketing channels - Such as social media, search engines, your website, events and more. And, by creating a well-thought-out lead generation strategy you can effectively grow your business. The more channels you utilise I your lead generation system the more effective you will be.
The aim is not only to generate more leads, but refine your system so that it is producing better leads. We call these ‘Warm leads’. Warm leads are prospects you have found or prospects your have nurtured to being very close to buy-ready.
Unless you are acquiring hundreds of leads monthly, this conversion system doesn’t have to be expensive, just consistently and actively managed. Software helps automate the tracking process, but that software can be as cheap as an excel spreadsheets if you have the discipline to keep it populated with the results of your lead nurturing.
However your structure your lead generation solution, here are a few steps that it should contain:
Acquire quality leads (SEO, SEM, Landing Pages) Don’t skint on prequalifying your leads. Stuff your sales funnel with prospects that have a chance of becoming customers. Quantity is less important than quality for a small business with limited sales resources.
Hit your mark: Contact the prospect within the time you promised (24 hours or 24 minutes, depending on your industry and what your competitors are doing.)
Give the lead a special place to interact with you.Website page, Twitter address, dedicated phone number, e-mail address, etc. Make it easy to find, and a conduit to a live person that responds quickly. Chat features work well here.
Stay actively in touch. Remind them of the details of the conversation, which have been captured in your nurturing system.
Track, track, track the content and results of all interactions
Ask for the business. Whatever your selling script is, train your representatives to listen for agreement and spot the times when the prospect indicates willingness to proceed to purchase.
Ask for a referral. Never wait for the sale to close to ask for a referral. Use judgment here. Only ask people who are clearly happy with how you have handled them so far.
Learn from your mistakes and adjust your lead generation and conversion systems to improve your ROI. Use your experience to adjust lead sourcing and conversion systems.
- Acquire Quality Leads
- Respond Quickly
- Strengthen your core channels
- Stay in respectable contact
- Track Everything
- Ask for the business
- Keep learning from yours, and competitor mistakes