Improving the sales funnel is critical when it comes to turning cold prospects into hot leads.
A streamlined prospecting process gives you insight into a potential customer’s thoughts, challenges, and decisions. Without these elements, it’s nearly impossible to convert leads efficiently, let alone grow revenue over time.
So, how can you fill your pipeline with quality opportunities? From sales prospecting to using new technologies and data analysis, here are five powerful, B2B-focused solutions for drawing in potential clients.
1. Warm up the cold-call method
When you call someone unexpectedly without first establishing rapport, you start from a disadvantage. Instead, modernize your approach and make a more meaningful connection. When you want to touch base, a warm call starts the relationship off strong and helps create a certain level of commitment. The warmer the lead, the greater the chance of the conversation turning into a sale.
Make sure the person you’re calling is familiar with your name or business first. You might begin with an email or by communicating over social media to learn more about your prospect. Then, when you do initiate that in-real-life conversation, it’s more informal and personable.
The key to warm calling is to be efficient and effective and add value. Research shows that over 75% of salespeople who time their connection with customers properly experience a significant increase in conversions.
2. Ask for introductions and receive leads
The relationship intelligence experts at Affinity recommend reaching customers through personal referrals and introductions. Most people are happy to introduce you to someone they know — if it happens organically. But requesting a general referral can make others feel imposed upon. If you’re serious about filling your sales funnel with accurate leads, ask for an introduction instead.
Encourage potential prospects to reach out to you first by cultivating relationships in the right social (media) settings, such as LinkedIn. Share insights on a new product launch in a post or publish industry-related articles. As people are steadily exposed to your tips and ideas, your credibility will flourish. Position yourself as a trusted advisor and let your services and reputation do the rest.
3. Dedicate time to building a network
The pandemic gave us opportunities to get creative with online social interactions, but face-to-face networking is still a time-proven option. In fact, studies show that 40% of prospects become customers when in-person meetings take place.
For example, helping a local company sponsor a charity drive is an effective way to get involved in your community and interact with a large pool of business leads. Chances are, you’ll find opportunities to offer solutions — whether it’s your product or service or that of mutual acquaintances.
When you help the people you meet, they’re usually more than willing to pay it forward.
4. Draw in prospects with lead magnets
Email is a powerful way to communicate with potential customers, but building up your B2B email list can be a challenge. Ease the process by offering prospects in-depth, problem-solving content in exchange for their contact information.
The opt-in incentive you’re providing should include enough value to make signing up worthwhile, so think deeply about your buyer persona and the challenges they may face. Your lead magnet could be a white paper, workbook, checklist, a case study, or a template — 47% of marketers who participated in a GetResponse study reported that video- and text-based lead magnets performed best.
Offering real insights and proving your business’s competency also goes a long way towards warming up B2B prospects for the next stages of the sales funnel. Start with one specific lead magnet, observe the results, then continue to the next phase of your strategy. This way, you’ll know which form of content provides the greatest ROI for time and effort.
5. Use the latest data advancements to gain an edge
A business’s success pivots on its lead generation strategy, and as expert marketers know, a sales pipeline rooted in dependable information is a powerful asset. Now’s the time to supercharge yours with a cutting-edge application that will increase the visibility of your campaigns.
Recently, American City Business Journals released a cloud-based prospecting tool that gives marketers a competitive advantage. BizLeads offers self-reported, actionable insights — including decision-maker contact information — on more than 30 million private companies nationwide. Within the platform, data analytics, visualization, and intelligence are just one layer above customer acquisition.
Schedule a BizLeads demo to discover how you can guide the leads that matter to your sales funnel.