How do you attract and handle leads? It's a simple question, but few of the companies we talk to have a definitive answer. More often than not, there is no process in place for generating and managing leads from first conversion through sales closing. If a process exists, it's commonly a mix of manual sorting and inefficient communications that risk losing leads and the all-important timing between a bottom-funnel request and a sales response. Here are 10 steps you should take to improve your lead generation and management process.
Telemarketing can be used very effectively in conjunction with other types of marketing. It is flexible in scope, message, and the things it can accomplish. It works especially well with direct mail because it allows you to identify prospects and reach them directly through two media. It is also an enormously effective way to keep advancing and building your relationship and gently leading your prospects to a purchasing decision … which can increase your sales results by up to twenty times. You can use telemarketing techniques to implement extensive campaigns as well as to fill in spare time by generating more business. It also gives you immediate feedback from customers and prospects as no other medium can, allowing you to find out what prospective customers want, what they like, and what they don’t like, as well as helping you qualify them.
Let’s begin by with the definition of a lead. What does a lead mean to your company? Many companies have different definitions depending on their sales cycle, but standard definition is a qualified potential buyer who shows some level of interest in purchasing your product or solution. For the leads that fill out a form, they often do so in exchange for some relevant content or a compelling offer.
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Use social media. Posts asking people to join your team won't likely produce results, but if you're clever, you can use social media to generate interest in your business and possible leads. For example, if you sell weight-loss products, you can promote before and after pictures on Pinterest or Instagram. If you sell makeup, you can post tutorials on YouTube that you share across social sites.
Your website is where the magic happens. This is the place where your audience needs to convert. Whether it is encouraging prospective buyers to sign up for your newsletter or fill out a form for a demo, the key is to optimize your website for converting browsers into actual leads. Pay attention to forms, Calls-to-Action (CTA), layout, design, and content.
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With Pay-per-Click (PPC ) ads you pay for each click on your ad which is displayed on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, or on a website. For PPC on search engines, your ads show up as sponsored results on the top and side of the organic search terms. PPC ads are a terrific way to draw attention to your latest content or service offerings. They are also highly targeted so they can generate very high quality leads. Advertisers bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target markets and your ads will display when a keyword query matches your chosen keyword list.
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Unsurprisingly, the more revenue a company has, the more leads they generate. The differences are most drastic at the highest and lowest end of the spectrum: 82% of companies with $250,000 or less in annual revenue report generating less than 100 leads per month, whereas only 8% of companies generating $1 billion in annual revenue report less than 100 leads per month.
Tracking the website traffic can also help you recognize trends and patterns. For example, a particular time of the day, your website has more visitors than usual or after going through your home page, one particular web page attracts more viewers. This can also help you identify the weak spots on which you can work on to improve the website’s performance.
For example, if your company offers business-grade networking systems, you may know that it takes an average of six months for an IT administrator to research solutions, seek approval, and have a final budget granted for a purchase. You would be wasting time—and probably annoying a potential customer—if you sent a "buy now!" message at the end of their first month on the list. Instead, start them off with what they’re likely to need the most: product information. Then, move into messages about special features, or anything that might convince them that your solution is the best on the market. Finally, when you’re nearing that six month mark, offer them a way to get in touch with you. Timely emails like this are a great way to give potential customers what they need exactly when they need it.
Lead generation is not a new form of acquiring a business, but business trends and time necessities have found a better way to get new clients. Rather than sitting at a trade show table for hours on end, or setting up a display in hopes that targeted consumers will complete a form, you can have leads generated and sent to you using available technology, all while you can direct your time elsewhere.
Email may not be a hugely important part of increasing website leads, but it is fantastic for growing them into customers. When someone signs up for your list, it means they’re interested in you – and that’s half the battle! From there, consider creating an email schedule or marketing automation program that will send targeted messages to users at important stages of the buying process.
If you want to convert the visitors that come to your landing pages and take your lead gen to the next level, you’ve got to continually test out your landing page elements, including the headline, subtitles, bullet points, call-to-actions and more. Consider this a prime piece of real estate in your marketing strategy. In other words, take advantage of what is to offer and experiment with what drives the best results.
Content: While the download of a coupon shows an individual has a direct interest in your product or service, content (like an educational ebook or webinar) does not. Therefore, to truly understand the nature of the person's interest in your business, you'll probably need to collect more information to determine whether the person is interested in your product or service and whether they're a good fit.