Many successful small business owners are constantly looking to expand their customer base and grow their business. However, growing your business can be a difficult and long-term process. One of the primary elements of growing a business is achieving a steady flow of sales leads. A lead is a person or a company when you have a business selling to other companies (B2B) and you have an interest in the products or services that they sell.
Here are some tips for creating a system that will help you identify potential clients in your small business and convert them into clients with the right focus and effort.
1. Define your target audience
The first step in creating lead lists is identifying your target audience. You cannot reach your ideal customer and successfully sell them if you don’t know exactly who they are. Hence, it is important to research your audience and get a clear picture of who they are, where they live, what they enjoy doing, how much money they earn, what is their lifestyle and personality, etc.
If you don’t already have one, consider creating a comprehensive marketing plan as part of this step as well.
2. Choose your advertising methods wisely
To create leads, you need a promotional plan that allows you to get your products and services in front of the members of your target audience. There are a number of ways you can promote your business. Once again, you must use your marketing plan to determine the most effective approach for your business.
Some marketing ideas include an information site, blog, social media, lectures, industry events, urgent customer referrals, pay-per-click ads, and traditional ads.
3. Create a sales funnel
Once you know who you are targeting and how to best reach them, you need a plan to collect contact information. The first part of the process is to direct all of your potential customers to a standard form or landing page asking them to share their contact information, usually in exchange for a free gift, coupon, sample, or other value-added incentive.
At this point, it is important to have a CRM (customer relationship management) database that you can use to monitor prospects throughout the process.
4. Use an email newsletter to build relationships
Now that you are in contact with prospects, it is time to cultivate these relationships so you can take them from the leadership stage through selling (and ultimately the repeat sale!). Email newsletter is one of the best ways to create consistent communication with potential clients.
When planning your email marketing plan, make sure you know and follow the regulations that form part of CAN-SPAM.
5. Use social media to communicate and share
Social media offers a number of ways for small businesses to have conversations with potential clients and generate new leads. You can create a Facebook page, Twitter profile, LinkedIn company page, Pinterest account, or YouTube channel to attract and retain your audience and then guide them through your process to become leads.
Once you have leads in the system, you can talk to them on social media and learn more about what they need and want. The more positive points of contact between a customer and your company over time, the more likely they are to trust your brand and ultimately buy from you.
Lead generation should be viewed as a long-term and continuous process. Using the above advice for sales managers to set up an effective system, you can simplify the lead generation process and increase your chances of growing the business.