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Small Business Lead Generation
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Small Business Lead GenerationGetting the right answers is often just a matter of asking the right questions. And there are just three most important ones when it comes to small business lead generation.

  • Do customers understand the solution? Many times, customers don’t even realize how the product or service being offered can transform their business. The most common thought that comes to the mind is that the service provider is try to sell them something they don’t need, and it’s an uphill climb trying to convince them otherwise
  • Can they afford the solution being offered? Impressing clients or customers with the quality and utility of the brand offering is only half the battle won, simple because one also needs to make sure that they can pay for the same. This is one of the most common lead generation mistakes with disappointment towards the end of the sales pitch!
  • What can you do? There are times when it’s a level playing field, with both parties stating their points. Giving valuable suggestions that can help improve the business is a great way to book a place in the good books of the client

Once the answers of these three questions are in place, an organization can analyze the situation and decide the future course of action.

 

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Small Business Lead GenerationOne of the most tempting propositions in the domain of small business lead generation is that of criticizing the competitor’s offering, if the prospect is using them. This trend can be seen across all kinds of industries, and seems to be quite the easy way to go about things. However, what sales and marketing teams often ignore in this context is the fact that while one is seemingly proving how the product or service being offered is better than the one the customer is currently using, one is also treading on thin ice side by side, since the customer’s intelligence is being questioned.

So, while one might think that it’s a very smart idea to generate sales prospects and convert them into customers, it’s not always the easiest of tasks to accomplish when every word can lead to the lead being closed forever (pun intended!). So, instead of just being targeted at inspiring the prospect to discontinue their association with their present service provider, it’s a much better idea to deliver constructive criticism, i.e., suggesting things that can be done to help the business, and then gradually drawing attention towards the brand offering.

More in the next post…

 

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Small Business Lead GenerationPre-qualification can arguably be referred to as the most under-rated procedures in small business lead generation, in spite of the fact that it’s an essential and extremely rewarding step in the process. During the course of getting in touch with new clients, one can ask qualifying questions that can not only set up the base for lead scoring, but also help in managing leads better. Since one obviously wants to generate the highest quality leads, it’s necessary to know whether the lead in question fits the bill or not. Because if it does not, then there’s no point even going further than the first call.

Often, marketing teams don’t want to make the extra effort during their small business lead generation, since they are constantly in a very aggressive mode, trying to expand operations by showing results. However, sales and marketing must get along towards the common goal of getting leads of better quality and closing them. Agreed, these departments have different roles, but if marketing does not attract good quality leads, there’s very little sales can do to achieve targets, which impacts the entire organization. For this purpose, telemarketing is generally the best way forward, as it involves a human angle.

 

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Small Business Lead GenerationScoring leads and segmenting data are among the most widely accepted industry norms. And for a good reason, since they ensure the efforts of the sales and marketing team are well rewarded. However, they require significant time and effort, which is often a deterring factor. Lead volume is another concern that stops firms from lead scoring, while segmentation can be done as many times without any apprehension! However, small business lead generation is greatly impacted by these factors. The reason is that quality always supersedes quantity, and the time, effort and resources being spent on pursuing inappropriate leads are most certainly a waste.

So, lead scoring, and then chucking out poorly performing leads should be the order of the day, because the sooner it is done, the better it is for the ROI. Agreed, small enterprises and startup firms may not be able to afford the luxury of omitting leads with little potential permanently, but at least these can be put on the backburner for a while, so that the genuinely high quality leads can be focused on, resulting in better conversion rates and consequently, more revenue and better growth!

 

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Often, startups find it hard to get the desired kind of leads mostly because they are up against the behemoths of the industry. However, they are following the same small business lead generation techniques that are being used by their contemporaries, whereas what is needed is the extra effort to convince prospects that the organization is interested in their business. For this, it’s imperative that the firm utilize a technique known as activity targeting.

Small Business Lead GenerationThis entails keeping all the activities associated with a product in mind while planning the small business lead generation strategy. For instance, if the organization sells watches, then it’s not necessary that the activity be recent, for a person who loved watches a couple of years ago would, in all likelihood, still love watches. So, one can always connect with them and promote the brand’s product range, i.e., watches. Another example could be deducing whether or not a person would be interested in the product or service offered based on the knowledge of a particular liking or interest. For instance, if someone loves to go to the movies, they would most probably need a taxi service. So, such ancillary services can also be promoted to get the job done!

 

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As it gains momentum, the concept of lead scoring would be seen as an iterative process. So, as feedback is received from the market (via the sales team), the marketing team would spend more time making modifications to their lead scoring criteria and taking into account aspects they had previously ignored or left unmeasured. As this happens more often, lead scoring would soon gain the reputation of being an important tool to measure demand and control the capacity of leads being sent to the sales, resulting in a higher conversion rate and better optimization of resources.

Another benefit of lead scoring with regards to small business lead generation would be to initiate better conversations between marketing and sales teams. Since the lead scoring done be the former would translate into better success for the latter, the teams would interact with each other in a better manner. Sales, on their part, would share on-field experiences with the marketing teams, leading to even greater success. These discussions would lead to better collaboration and the setting up of pre-defined parameters for measuring success. Further, common terminologies will emerge, and the former pattern of working in isolation or with minimal cooperation with each other would slowly fade away.

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Resuming from where we left off…

Lead scoring is certainly going to have an impact on the way marketers treat the conventional processes, with regards to experimentation becoming more frequent. That social networks have had a significant impact on small business lead generation is hardly news, and business to business communication is increasingly becoming people to people communication. As this phenomenon continues to grow, there’s a certainty that lead scoring would be used to monitor individual behavior relation in relation to the company’s behavior. Needless to say, a single lead scoring method would not be sufficient to get the job done. The result? Marketers will come up with innovative means of lead scoring to deduce the individual’s as well as organization’s score. The earlier approach of setting a system in place and then letting it be is now obsolete.

With lead scoring playing such an important role in small business lead generation, social media will also come into the picture with regards to playing a more active role. As mentioned above, prospects are extremely active on social networks, and marketers would certainly look towards leveraging this phenomenon to their advantage by tracking and evaluating responses of their TG on similar social forums.

 

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For many, the very concept of lead scoring is a very new idea, but nevertheless, it’s a goldmine of opportunities when it comes to small business lead generation, since it allows businesses to be more productive and proactive in their approach, which helps them scale the ladder faster. Organizations can be more productive and see what the latest trends in the market are, understand how they can adapt to them, and lastly, achieve better results. However, this methodology is not about predicting which prospect will be more interested in buying the product or service on offer. it’s more about improving the efficiency of the team and the process.

Over a period of time, as scoring in small business lead generation becomes more commonplace, marketing teams would be expected to evolve in terms of their role. So, organizations would be able to identify the necessity of hiring more analysts and thinkers than conventional marketers, which would certainly go a long way in reaching the targets faster. Also, the available data would be analyzed in a much better manner, which would mean that the sales team would be able to close deals in a better manner, much to the delight of one and all!

 

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