Over the past 14 years, our company has built a great business from doing work that many companies don’t want to do, or simply don’t know how to do effectively.
Lead generation isn’t pretty; it isn’t one of those marketing areas that people think is particularly exciting, but it’s the lifeblood of any successful sales focused organisation and it is more important today than ever before.
Think about lead generation, think about low CPA
Business, in general, is tough. It always has been. But over the past 5-8 years, many marketing executives have become romanced with the idea that lead generation is largely about digital. They have poured large budgets into digital campaigns but I am not convinced many of them have seen a significant reduction in their cost per client acquisition. Nor do I think they have dramatically increased the number of new clients into their business because of going ‘digital’.
Traditional marketing never became obsolete
Don’t get me wrong, digital can do a lot – marketing automation has made nurturing prospects easier, LinkedIn has allowed better targeting, websites now deliver prospects more information, Search Engine Marketing can drive great inbound enquiry and email marketing can distribute a message to an audience quickly. All those tools we use daily to grow our business and support our clients’ campaigns. But it is the support of telephone and smart direct mail that really gets the results.
Having a team of crack phone experts is critical in my opinion. They need to be on hand to support inbound enquiry that is generated by the digital levers being pulled but also actively is used to call outbound to the right decision makers in the right way. If that is done properly and all areas of digital are integrated seamlessly, your lead engine will deliver spectacular results.
Let’s explore practical tips for your new business
Here are a few tips to consider when going after new business:
- Understand your target market. Look back into your current and past clients and work out which industries provide/provided the most revenue, or had/has the most potential for growth.
- Find as many businesses in your chosen market that look like that – LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a great tool to find them and so are business databases that are available for purchase.
- Wash the data by calling it and confirming the decision maker for your product or service; confirm the right address for mailing.
- Write a personal letter and send it to the decision maker you are targeting – make it personal and get to the point quickly. Always hand sign it and be genuine in your intentions. Consider likely the pain you can solve or the business benefits that come from your offering. Avoid the temptation to use it as a tool to ‘sell’ or drown people in technical details.
- Train a phone based team to identify business pain quickly and make sure they are well versed in overcoming as many objections as possible. They need to understand if there is a genuine opportunity and then set appointments for your sales team only if it makes sense to do so.
- Marketing automation should be established to automate communication to a prospect right up until the appointment date and provide information right through the sales process. Open, click-throughs and lead scores should be shared with salespeople so they further understand the areas of prospect interest and use them in conversation to reinforce your company’s offering.
- Linkedin messages should be sent to prospects that have been difficult to reach on the telephone. Connection requests should be made to everyone that has been sent a letter.
- Post-sale or at times where nurturing needs to take place, automation should again be used to send regular and insightful information to your target audience. Again, periodical calls should be made where click-throughs, downloads or visits to your website has been identified, and wherever possible, make sure the same person stays across the phone nurturing for as long as possible. Our average tenure for a phone based executive is 3.2 years, and we always make sure the same person performs nurturing calls to our clients’ prospects. It makes a huge difference to lead generation results.
- Every 3 months, track the source of all sales and dedicate more budget to those areas primarily.
- Lastly but most importantly, keep phone-based lead generation going for at least 12 months or more. Sales take at least 3-6 months to close for many industries; if you stop or wait for ROI before really committing, you will find it very hard to fire up the engine again. If I look back at the clear majority of clients that have committed to 12 months or more of phone based executive lead generation, they have enjoyed massive uplifts in their revenue numbers through and in the year proceeding.
Good luck with your lead generation efforts and get in touch if you would like a confidential discussion on ways to increase your sales pipeline.