- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 1
- 5½ [behind-the-scenes] Marketing & Sales Activities You Need To Do in December
- Got something to say?
- Running a small firm? Who holds you accountable?
- Marketing & Sales Success Begins with a Simple Step… Thinking!
- Your Sales Forecast Doesn’t Have to be a Guessing Game!
- Lead generation is a 3-step process.
- Measuring Sales… it’s Not just about Revenue
- 7 Selling Behaviors Seller-Doers Must Employ to be Successful.
- Can you really be “all things to all people?”
- 12 Marketing & Sales Activities you Gotta STOP this Year!
- How to maximize the impact of your marketing investment.
- Revenue Growth? Try the ‘5% Challenge’… it’s Brilliant!
- Should you ever walk away from revenue?
- Get Ready for 2017 with these 6 Marketing & Sales Activities
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 2
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 1
- 10 Guidelines for How to Be Successful at Sales
- Strategy Before Tactics!
- 6 Marketing & Sales Lessons Learned in our First 4 Years in Business
- The Sales Presentation: Stop Reading the PowerPoint Slides and Tell Your Story
- Content Marketing not working? Eh, don’t worry about it!
- Marketing Measurement: 3 New Methods You Have to Try in 2016
- The One Thing You Must Include in Your 2016 Marketing & Sales Plan
- Not using LinkedIn? Are you kidding me?!
- Is it OK to fire a client?
- Take Charge of Your Own Success… Stop Relying on Others!
- Getting first-time clients to take a chance on you.
- 9 Ways to Build your Business During the Summer Slowdown
- The Top 10 Ways to Build Awareness
- The 13 Most Common Website Mistakes
- The Most Important Part of Exhibiting
- Content marketing isn’t a one-time thing… it’s an all-the-time thing.
- THINKING! A framework for creating better business plans in 2015.
- Not happy with your marketing & sales? Then make just one change in 2015!
- For Beginners: Should I Tweet Daily? Yes… and here’s how.
- Got your Marketing Plan for 2015? No?! Now’s a good time to start…
- How to Connect with Booth Visitors – An Exhibitor’s Worksheet
- Not getting the email results you want? Make sure you’re following these 7 email marketing guidelines.
- 10 Ways to Get Clients to Sell FOR You (and they won’t cost a dime!)
- Do you know where you’re going? Why Strategy should drive your marketing & sales.
- 11 execution tips to help you exceed client expectations
- How to Turn First-time Clients into Repeat Clients
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 2
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 1
- 13 Lessons for Researchers Who Don’t Want (or Like) to Sell
- Social media marketing success in 30 minutes a day
- Get it right! You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
- It’s not that complicated! A common sense approach to the marketing & sales process.
- How MR firms are blowing it with new customers: Lessons learned while secret shopping
- Management or sales… you can’t serve two masters.
- Prove it! Nine ways to convince prospects to work with you for the first time.
- Five everyday ways to grow your business
- How that ‘one great client’ could doom your firm
- Six marketing and sales mistakes MR firms make every day
- Eight proven ways to build awareness – and why you should!
- Suspects, Prospects and Clients: Is your firm focused on the right target?
- A Checklist for Conducting Your Own Marketing & Sales Audit
- Learning to play the game: What football can teach us about marketing
- Differentiating your firm in a crowded marketplace
- 25 low- or no-cost ways to grow your business
- 15 Reasons E-mail Still Matters in Sales and Marketing
- Come prepared, dress the part and follow up: 10 dos for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- No rookies, no gum and no Frisbees: 10 don’ts for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- How to see yourself as clients see you
- Marketing 101: It takes Work to make it Work
- Use the 8 Ps of Marketing when Setting Strategy
- Integrate the 4 As of Marketing into Your Planning
- Size Does Matter: 4 Approaches to Growing Your Business
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 2)
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 1)
Lead generation is a 3-step process.
Not every sales lead becomes a client.
On the other hand, you don’t have a single client that didn’t start out as a sales lead.
Sales leads are the beginning of the buying-n-selling process. Generating a steady supply of them is critical to the success of your business.
But the lead generation process is NOT as simple as grabbing a few business cards at a conference. Getting those ‘names’ is just Step 1 in a 3-step process.
Step 1 – Data Capture
Let’s review some of the most common and effective best ways to capture names:
- Marketing. Start with a good overall marketing program and a solid website. Good marketing will drive people to your website. And a good website will compel some people to call, email or complete your online inquiry form. And those that do are sales leads. In fact, if they are reaching out to you – they are often very good leads!
- Networking/Exhibiting at events. An ample supply of business cards and a strong ‘elevator pitch’ are a good start.
- ‘Gated’ Content. Gated content are those high-value resources for which people are willing to give up their contact information. These include eBooks, webinars, white papers, interactive templates & worksheets, and so on.
- LinkedIn connections. Every one of your connections on LinkedIn is a potential sales lead. The key to taking advantage of all of those contacts is to be active on the platform – posting, publishing and engaging. Your activities will show up in their ‘feeds,’ helping you to build a high level of awareness (and awareness is the first step in lead generation).
- Subscribers. Two of the most common marketing tactics – blogging and email marketing – make it fairly easy to capture the names of those who want to regularly read or receive your content. It’s a simple form that can be integrated onto your blog page or linked-to from your emails. Anyone who completes the form is automatically subscribed… and automatically a new sales lead.
OK… that was Step 1 – effective ways to capture names. But that’s all you have so far… a pile of names. The next question is, “Do they have any interest in what you’re doing?”
Step 2 – Assessing Interest
For this, you need to see a little ‘proof’ that your leads have some level of interest. A single ‘touch point’ (e.g. downloading one eBook) is just an anomaly or maybe curiosity. But multiple touch points over a period of time prove they are more than casually interested in what you’re saying.
It works like this… Let’s say that someone attends a webinar you’re producing. Great start! Their attendance then triggers a series of emails over the next few weeks, each linking the recipient to an additional piece of content (related to the webinar topic).
If someone takes the time to attend your webinar, then opens and clicks-thru on two or three follow-up emails, they are proving themselves to be genuinely interested in this topic. These multiple touch-points put them in the category of “sales ready”… and we can then move on to Step 3.
Step 3 – Qualifying the Lead
A multi-touch sales lead – with the right title and working for the right kind of company – is a very strong start. But it’s not quite enough.
There are still two more questions to be answered:
- “Do they have the ability to buy from you?”
- “Are they ready to buy from you?”
To find the answers, you’ll need to “go old school”… and get on the phone with the sales lead. [After several touch-points, though, scheduling a call should not be too difficult.] During this call, your conversation will need to include a discussion to uncover their B-A-N-T:
B – Do they have the Budget to do what they want to do? Do they even know what it will cost?
A – Does this person have the Authority to make the buying decision… or will other, more senior-level colleagues, get pulled into the conversation?
N – Do they have a real Need for your services… or are they just doing some homework to learn a little about your capabilities? Or worse… using you to negotiate with their current supplier?
T – And if all of the above criteria are met, what’s the Timeframe for the work they want to do? That is, how strong is their sense of urgency?
Bottom line: A large percentage of your marketing & sales efforts should be focused on Lead Generation. But don’t stop short… remember that capturing the names of sales leads is just the beginning. To be really successful, align your processes and resources to follow-through on those leads to ensure that they’re interested and qualified. Then the selling can begin in earnest.