Building a true sales network is a challenging and ongoing process. It requires constant investment, training, technical adoption and active marketing. Companies must adapt to changing communication methods, technologies, messages, brands and social norms over time. Capitalizing on all of these changes leads to growing revenue and a successful business. Most importantly, companies need a lead generation component to keep their pipeline full and the sales converting. There is actually a reliable way to build a strong lead generation process. Companies should engage in the following three steps.
1. Build a list of potential customers
Generating lists of target customers is the key task of marketers. They create outbound and inbound marketing strategies that drive potential customers to the company by way of telephone, email, visits to the site, message inquiries and other touch points.
They key to these strategies is to create a message or content that resonates with consumers. It identifies their pain point and suggests ways readers and viewers can address or fix these pain points. At the very least, it should establish the company as a thought leader in the subject area.
Marketers need to make sure their outreach is targeted to the right demographics and customer segment. Firms that are trying to reach the widest possible audience like auto firms and soda makers may advertise on the Super Bowl to 100 million Americans. However, most firms want to create lead generation from a more niche subgroup. A company selling electronic children’s toys may use Facebook to target middle class parents in certain zip codes near where the products are sold. Those parents then visit the firm’s website and enter their contact info to get access to sales, new products and more. The info is then posted to the company’s internal lead generation list.
Marketers may even buy lists of prospects from lead vendors. Although these leads are generally lower quality than ones specifically for the company and produce a lower conversion rate
2. Create an On-going, Automated Email Campaign
Once a prospect is entered into the lead list, it is important that they receive an automatic welcome email. This acknowledges their inquiry and also keeps the company in the front of their mind. The email may have a call to action to visit the site and learn more. However, it most importantly provides a positive impression of the company and welcome’s the prospect into the community.
These emails should be ongoing and regular. Depending on the content, these emails should be every few days, every week or every month. They must provide clear value and a reason for the prospect to stay interested in the company. Sales people can then feel free to continue the relationship and reach these prospects to close the sale.
3. Empower Sales People to Follow Up with Calls and Emails to Prospects
Responding to a lead as fast as possible when it comes in the door is one of the keys to converting a sale. Leads that do not hear from the firm for several days after the inquiry are much less likely to show interest or convert. They may even forget what the initial outreach was for.
In contrast, companies should make sure to let sales people respond to emails naturally and as soon as they come into the company. Even if it is not a top producer, sales people need the freedom and flexibility to respond to a customer’s questions or demands.
If the sales person does not have all the answers, they can immediately channel the right person with the right expertise. The expert can answer any specific technical questions and the sales person can provide the payment method. That way the lead generation is not wasted and the sale can be closed.