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.
Robert Clay helps entrepreneurs and business leaders to outsell, outmarket and outperform their toughest competition; turn any good business into a GREAT business; and turn any great business into one of the leaders in its niche. MEET ROBERT in this video and learn more about his journey from automotive innovator to business transformer across multiple industries.
Although lead generation no longer revolves around using the phone to identify qualified leads, that doesn’t mean the calling has stopped entirely. To engage and qualify prospective buyers, inside or outsourced teams will often still call prospects who have shown some level of interest. Sometimes they’ll call to highlight a value proposition or event as part of the lead nurturing and engagement process. In other cases, they’ll call simply to ask questions and determine interest as part of the lead qualification process.
Each lead generation technique usually has a tradeoff between quality and quantity. For example, a form on the company website that visitors can fill in to request a call back will generate high-quality leads – these visitors are very likely to buy since they're interested enough to want to hear more – but probably won't generate a lot of leads. On the other hand, a lead list that's based on a newsletter subscription list from another company may generate a lot of leads, but they won't be nearly as interested or qualified.
A powerful technique for building your reputation with a defined audience over a period of time is to regularly send them a newsletter, which can either be free or paid subscription. Newsletters can be used to position you as an authority in your marketplace, to build closer relationships with clients. You can use them to educate your target market so they can make more informed and more frequent buying decisions or educate them to the full extent of your services and how you can add value through those services.
MoFu: Leads in the middle of the funnel need nudging. They’re not completely clueless about what you do, but they’re not ready to buy either. They have many questions about your business, and they’re also starting to compare you with the competition. Be prepared to share content like case studies, testimonials and videos that continue to educate and yet make a strong case for your brand.
Advertising should be nothing less than ”salesmanship in print,” i.e. it should do the same job that a top sales person would do face to face. If you approach advertising in a scientific manner, following proven principles and facts, it no longer has to be a gamble. There are many extremely effective ways of using advertising in a highly targeted manner, that can’t help but grow your business. This includes 1) advertising only in media that reaches a sufficiently large number of the kind of people you’re trying to reach 2) focusing the entire thrust of your communication on your prospect’s interests, not your own 3) giving your prospects enough information and education and 4) offering them something appealing that’ll get them to respond now.
For example, maybe you took an online survey to learn more about how to take care of your car. If you got an email from the auto company that hosted the survey on their website about how they could help you take care of your car, it'd be far less intrusive and irrelevant than if they'd just called you out of the blue with no knowledge of whether you even care about car maintenance, right?