It’s hard to talk about lead generation without thinking about the 1990s classic Glengarry Glen Ross.
The film revolves around a team of salesmen who are waiting, not very patiently, for a stack of new leads that promise salvation from all their problems and missteps. If they can get their hands on those leads, everything will work out.
It’s a fictional story, but a real challenge — one sales professionals know too well. Business development is a numbers game: The more you can connect with prospects, the greater your chances are of turning them into clients. But finding those prospects is hard: More than 40% of sales pros say that finding prospects is the most challenging part of their work, according to a recent survey from Hubspot.
So how can you find the right leads to convert new customers to your business? Here are our tips for building a comprehensive lead generation strategy.
Get active online
Social media allows you to reach users around the world, and all businesses — B2C and B2B — can benefit from maintaining an active presence.
Use those platforms to share content and information with your audience on a regular basis. Educate followers about your product or service, and don’t lean too heavily into promotion. Consider this a chance to be helpful. After all, the trick to building a dedicated following online lies in providing value.
Another important part of a strong social media strategy is engagement. You cannot simply share content and hope customers will come. You must interact with your community, respond to comments and join groups related to your product or service. In our new normal, when social distancing prohibits face-to-face interaction, this is perhaps more important than ever before.
Capitalize on events
Whether hosted in person or virtually, events are a fantastic way to attract leads and establish credibility within your field. They also provide you with opportunities to interact directly with potential prospects.
When designing your event, it’s important to tailor your programming, so do your homework on your target audience and the challenges they are facing. You stand a stronger chance of gaining someone’s business when you can provide valuable insight or solutions.
An event is also an opportunity to learn about your prospects and target them more effectively in the future. When prospects sign up for your event, use that as an opportunity to collect contact information, as well as other information that could prove helpful, such as title, industry and current business priorities. Then, once the event wraps, you can start sending those prospects a steady stream of content focused around their specific interests and needs.
Reconnect with former clients
Sales is all about relationships. That goes for future, current and former clients.
As you look for new prospects, consider reaching out to customers you have worked with in the past. Ask how business is going and if there are any areas where you can help. If it’s relevant, tell them about new products or services you have to offer. That could provide an opportunity to reinvigorate the relationship.
At the same time, consider reaching out to prospects who inquired about your product or service but never purchased. Now could be the time when they are looking to buy, or it could provide an opportunity to get valuable feedback that could help you fine-tune your marketing and sales approach moving forward.
Find a niche
Expanding into new markets can be a boon for sales, but the inverse can be true, as well. Refining your outreach to a specific niche and owning that territory is one valuable strategy for generating leads.
When you know exactly who you’re targeting, you can develop marketing materials that answer questions, solve problems and add value. You can figure out what events (online or in person) matter and then sign up to attend or sponsor. Overall, you can start building your reputation as a thought leader in the space and a contributing member of the community, which will pay off in time.
Enlist the power of digital tools
These days, technology is a critical part of building a comprehensive approach to lead generation. There are a variety of tools out there designed to point you in the direction of potential customers.
Earlier this year, American City Business Journals launched a new option: BizLeads, a digital platform that allows users to mine a database of information on more than 19 million private companies across the U.S. It’s cloud-based and lets you target specific geographic areas to ensure you find only those companies that matter for your territory or your business. Users get access to contact information, revenue numbers and more, so they know who to reach out to and how. Plus, it offers the ability to export that data to facilitate email marketing campaigns or even direct mail. It’s a powerful complement to all the other work you do to generate leads, find clients and build long-lasting relationships.
Business development takes time. But with the right plan in place and the right tools at your disposal, you can find your way to new clients and strong business growth.
Schedule a demo to see the power of BizLeads to find your future clients.