Many successful businesses rely on adding more customers to their existing base to expand their business. One of the best ways to achieve this goal involves ensuring that the company is receiving regular sales leads. Below are a few tips you can use to generate more leads.
Why Are Sales Leads Important?
Sales leads are either businesses or individuals that can buy a service or products from your company. Leads turn into prospects once you have established their fit and levels of interest for your particular business. There are various methods used to establish sales leads. These include social media, marketing, and advertising, consultations, cold calling, networking, and outreach, service or product trials, and referrals.
Inbound marketing techniques can be used to help your company generate a consistent flow of sales leads. Here is a list of lead generation approaches you can use to generate more sales leads.
1. Ask Your Existing Customers For Referrals
Your existing customers are often a great sales source since they have already used your services or bought from you. Since they already know that your services or products work, they should form an important part of the strategy that you use to bring in more sales leads.
Referrals that are already warm are a lot more powerful when compared to cold emails, cold calling, or trying to reach out to prospects that do not know enough about your company.
Many businesses fail to take advantage of reaching out to their existing customers after making a sale, beyond offering customer service or support when asked. They often do not thank their customers for buying from them or ask for a referral to generate more business.
Using one or more of these strategies has the potential to turn your current customer-base into an excellent source to generate more sales leads:
Your account manager should be reaching out to your customers to make sure they are happy with your services/products, and your customer support. Also, ask them to find any ways to improve your current service or products.
Set aside time to have brief conversations with your customers, thanking them for their loyalty and business. You must tell them that you appreciate their business and ask them if there are any other ways to add more value to your existing relationship.
Ask for contact information and names of companies or business contacts that may need your service or product, along with reasons why the company, individual, or business contact would be a great fit.
Ask your contact or customer to prospect for you, through either a short phone call or email. You can also offer a bit of information on what to say in a call or email so that they understand the type of value you are providing.
You can give thoughtful gifts to any of your customers that provide you with referrals. Try to make the gift personal instead of something that relates to your company's services or products.
2. Work With Your Existing Network To Identify Any Sales Leads
Every person has a network of work and personal friends, family, current and, past business associates, service professionals such as landscapers, lawyers, doctors, plumbers, or their neighbors. You may have overlooked these professionals or individuals for many reasons, and yet these should be among the first people you should be contacting. They already trust your business, which makes these people a valuable source when it comes to generating leads.
Many of these people come from different areas in your life, and most do not interact with or know one another. They also have different contacts, meaning that each individual can provide you with a number of valuable leads. If you already talk to these people about business and life, it becomes easy to ask these people to give you the contact details of prospects.
Tips On How To Start The Process
Let your family, friends, or business contacts know that you are looking for sales leads. Make sure you are specific when it comes to the type of business or person you would like to connect with. Describe their business size, industry, revenue, and sales ranges, geographic location along with any other relevant information. If they have anyone you can connect with, ask if they are willing to make an introduction on-your-behalf. Even better, send them an email they can use to send to their contacts.
Keep in mind that you are dealing with an acquaintance or friend that you would like to stay in your network. Mixing personal and professional lives should always mean that you are respectful of the relationship and their time.
3. Interact With Sales Leads At Networking Events
Make sure that you are attending online and in-person events to find new sales leads. Networking is one of the best ways to reach out to new prospects and to build a relationship with people you have already met. It also provides a way to talk to your lead face-to-face.
Networking does take time, so make sure you choose an event wisely. Only attend an event where sales leads are going to result in a productive way to spend your time. Here are a few strategies to follow to ensure success from your networking:
Networking is an act of building a relationship with people. Try not to use a "sales perspective" when you approach people. Rather, focus on trying to solve a problem or help people first. First, find out about the person and their business. This will help you to identify their needs and wants and how to solve their problem.
If you attend an in-person network, make sure that you give out and ask for other people's business cards. Add the contact information of the people that you meet and add these details to your existing customer-relationship management-system. Send them an email within a week to say thank you for meeting them at the previous event.
For online and in-person networking events, ask people if they are interested in connecting on LinkedIn. This is an ideal way to keep in touch. It also means you can stay in contact if they change jobs.
4. Revisit Lost And Closed Opportunities
In some instances, "no", actually means "not right now.". You might have tried to reach out to many businesses or individuals that chose not to buy your service or products in the past. You should not miss out on the opportunity to reach out to them again.
They might remember what your business offers. You may have provided a service or product demonstration, or you may have called them already. Even if they chose not to buy in the past, they might be interested now.
Revisit lost or closed opportunities. Have a plan in place to reconnect with your prospects every 4 to 6 months. Ask if anything may have changed in regard to their business, including challenges, priorities, goals, and needs.
A company that has not purchased a product or service from your business before, is already a "qualified" sales lead. Invest resources and time into marketing and advertising to these types of prospects. Make sure you stay connected through marketing emails (approved), personalized communications, and blog posts.
You may not land a sale the first, second, or third time. But you may find success on your fourth, or sixth attempt. The situation of your prospects will change. For example, their budget may have increased, which means they can now afford the solution you are offering. Or the contact might have moved to another department or company, where there may be an impetus or need to include your solution.
Making sure you stay in contact with your sales leads, will ensure you are the first company they contact when they decide to choose what you have to offer.
5. Find Your Sales Leads On Social Media Networks
Just about every person is online, and this includes sales leads. All it takes is to find them and connect with them.
You probably already have a LinkedIn account, so make sure you use this platform to generate the best sales leads. Your most desirable companies and connections in your particular niche are definitely on LinkedIn. They are on these platforms to grow their own networks, to conduct business, promote their services and products, and to find solutions for their own business needs.
Here are a few strategies you can use on your own social media profiles for generating sales leads:
Connect with people that you have in your existing networks, along with people and sales leads within your industry. All these connections will help you to expand your reach, allowing you to connect with any contacts' connections. It is not necessary to know a connection personally, all connections are great sources for sales leads.
Make these networks aware of your "ideal prospects" and the problem types that your business can solve. You can share updates or write posts on what you are looking for. For example: "We are looking to assist orthodontists and dentists in the California area with increasing their promotional outreach during the upcoming back-to-school season".
Ask a few of your existing clients to give you testimonials or recommendations for the services you have provided to them to show your customer service and value.
These are the strategies that are focused on LinkedIn. However, it is possible to expand your reach and your brand to any other social network, that matches up to your business, like Twitter, Facebook for Business, Snapchat, Instagram, and so forth. Make sure you have chosen the correct social media networks for your company. Also, ensure you are focusing your efforts on the social media platforms that will offer the best types of sales leads.
6. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles To Attract The Best Sales Leads
If you have social media profiles, make sure you keep each one up-to-date. Making sure you keep Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other profile on social media current will assist you with bringing in a lot more leads. Focus on attracting buyers and making it a lot easier to find you.
Create a very solid description and a headline that appeals to a target audience. The summary and the headline should offer a description of who you are currently serving and what your business offers. Focus on what target buyers are looking for, and use keywords that they use. For example, avoid calling yourself a "Sales Manager", rather use a headline saying "Sales Manager: Creating Solutions For Human Resources Managers In The Automotive Industry".
Over and above the link that directs to your account for your business and the title, include professional profile photos, another link to LinkedIn, and any relevant hashtags for your targeted audience. Follow the Twitter profiles within your industry and any prospects. Comment and retweet to make sure your account remains active.
This is a very visual social-media platform. It includes professional photos, relevant and attractive images, and hashtags that matter to your sales leads. Keep it fun, but professional.
7. Create An Email Sequence
An Email Sequence involves emails in series that automatically send to people or groups in your mailing list. The focus involves using email marketing in order to build up an interest according to the services and products that you provide.
Email sequences come in two primary types:
– Trigger-Based Sequences
These send emails according to an action that a person performs, such as subscribing to your email-list, browsing pages on your website, buying a service or product, or when they have left something unpurchased before checking out.
– Time-Based Sequences
These are emails sent at a specific time. An example of this is 2 weeks after they have made a purchase, straight after they have opted-in to your newsletter or on anniversary dates.
To attract your sales leads effectively, an email sequence needs to serve a precise purpose. Each of the emails in these sequences will add to the previous ones to help grow the interest of your readers. Here is an example of a sequence where all the emails end with a direct call-to-action (for example, click here to buy a product, call for more information).
1st Email: Introduce yourself, mentioning a common point of pain that the reader may currently have.
2nd Email: Discuss the value relating to your service or product.
3rd Email: Talk about how clients have solved their issues with your service or products.
4th Email: Discuss what services you provide to your clients.
5th Email: Offer a list containing the benefits that your customers receive from your services or products.
6th Email: Reach out a final time with a discount or special offer.