“Customer is the king”. Yes it is true. It is because of “Customers”, why we are in business. In the B2B business, lead generation and sales management are keys to ensure your sales pipeline always full. But, many big and small companies are not giving heat to it. Not having or knowing how many leads you have in your sales pipeline and at what stage they are in the sales-cycle can have huge impact on your bottom line. So how do you find new customers? Where should you spend your marketing dollars? How do you measure your ROI?
So I am discussing herewith 5 things you can do to generate more and better quality leads.
1) Branding – Does it matter?
This is an ongoing argument. Some will say YES branding does matter and others will say NO it does not matter. So, the question arises, does it matter? Yes it does. Ask a group of your clients how they came to be your clients?
Maximum responses will say by “referrals”, followed by: by reading about your company or learned about you through seminar, in other words your reputation or “brand” influenced their buying behavior and ultimately their buying decision.
2) Target Markets – Who are your prospects?
How well do you know your target markets? Jus answer these questions:
1. Do you know the profile of your target prospect? (Industry, No. of employees, revenue, etc.)
2. Do you know the title of the decision maker you should be targeting?
3. Do you know the names of the actual companies you should be targeting?
4. Do you know the actual names of the decisions makers in those companies?
If your score is 100%, it means you know your target prospects. 80% or less then there is scope for improvement. This is important because: to be successful in lead generation and sales, you need to know, who your best potential customers are. So, I can say knowing your prospects better and ROI on lead generation is directly proportional to each other.
3) Contacting Prospects -What works?
A refined prospect list is the starting point, but what is the most effective way to contact them? Recent Researches shows that two most effective ways to contact prospects is through:
Referrals can come from clients, partners or suppliers and represent your best way to contact your prospects. This is best method to contacting your prospect because the person making the referral already has a trusted relationship with the contact and has prequalified them to some level. You are granted the same level of trust as a result of the referral.
b). Telephone Prospecting.
Telephone Prospecting can be as effective as referrals if implemented correctly. The purpose of the telemarketing is what determines its effectiveness. What you should do is use the telemarketing as a way to introduce your company and learn more about the prospect, not sell them on the phone.
It is very unlikely that you are going to call someone when they happen to be “sales ready”, but you need a starting point and this is it.
4) Nurturing – Is your bucket leaking?
Lead management is the key to long-term profitability. Sales teams are usually highly motivated to find “sales ready” leads. Industry researches show that only 10% of the total leads are in the “sales ready” bucket. The remaining 90% are not ready or able to make a purchase decision and require a nurturing plan…but do you have one?
Lead nurturing: It is about managing qualified leads throughout the sales-cycle. It’s not about weekly calls asking them to buy, but about demonstrating value, keeping top of mind and positioning your company as a resource so when the lead is sales ready, you are the one they contact. A nurturing plan requires strategy, tactics and systems. For strategy, your company will likely have some level of thought leadership where insight and innovation can be harvested. These are key starting points from which tactics will be developed. You will also need a highly automated system that can manage the lead nurturing process using various marketing tactics and then qualify leads as they become sales ready.
5) ROI – How do I get there?
You are investing in Branding, creating refined Prospect Lists, Contacting Prospects, Lead Management Systems and Nurturing Strategies all in the name of creating sales and profit. But how are you going to measure your return on that investment? The only way to do this with accuracy is by having a well defined closed-loop marketing system. This is where you can manage and measure throughout the entire sales-cycle process from initial contact to completed sale. You need to be able to manage and measure your
• Branding Activities
• Target Lists
Having a closed-loop marketing system that you can control and adjust to fit your specific business needs will allow you to clearly define your costs for lead generation. Managing and measuring the lead generation and sales-cycle processes will also allow you to keep track what sales actually closed. Once you are able to match up the lead generation processes and costs with the specific sales that closed, your ROI becomes a whole lot easier to determine.