How to Generate Sales Leads in Your Small Business
Many successful small business owners are continuously looking to expand their customer base and grow their businesses. Business growth can be a difficult and long-term process, though. One of the foundational elements of growing a business is having access to a steady stream of sales leads. A lead is a person, or business if you have a company that sells to other businesses (B2B), that has an interest in the products or services you are selling.
Here are some tips for creating a system that will help you identify sales leads in your small business, and -- with the right focus and effort -- turn them into customers. 1. Identify Your Target Audience
The first step of lead generation is identifying your target audience. You can't successfully reach and sell to your ideal customer if you don't know exactly who that is, so it's important to research your audience and come up with a clear picture of who they are, where they live, what they like to do, how much money they make, what their lifestyle and personality is like, etc.
If you don't already have one, you should also create a comprehensive marketing plan as part of this step.
2. Optimize your web pages for conversions
All your online lead generation efforts must start with your website. It’s no good generating traffic to your site – be it from Google, social media, or word-of-mouth – if those visitors then decide to leave without taking action.
Your website needs to be optimized to persuade individuals to do something – whatever that action may be. When it comes to lead generation, typically you are trying to capture a prospect’s contact information, such as their name, email address, phone number, and other qualifying attributes that will aid your selling process.
How do you do this? Well, as easy as it is to set up a website in this day and age, that doesn’t automatically guarantee that your website will be optimized to collect leads. There are certain best practices that all of the pages on your website should follow in order to maximize the number of leads you gain.
3. Pick Your Promotional Methods Wisely
In order to generate leads, you need a promotional plan that will get your products and services in front of members of your target audience. There are a number of ways you can promote your business, and again, you will want to use your marketing plan to identify the most effective methods for your business.
Some marketing ideas include an informational website, a blog, social media, speaking engagements, industry events, current customer referrals, pay per click (PPC) advertising, and traditional advertising.
4. Leverage Social Media to Connect and Engage
Social media provides a number of opportunities for small businesses to create conversations with prospective customers and generate new leads. You can create a Facebook page, Twitter profile, Instagram Feed, LinkedIn company page, Pinterest account or a YouTube page to attract and engage your audience, then funnel them through your process to become leads.
Plus, once you have leads in the system, you can use social media to talk to them and find out more about what they need and want. The more positive touchpoints a customer has with your business over time, the more likely he or she will be to trust your brand and eventually purchase from you.
Lead generation should be thought of as a long-term and continuous process. If you get an efficient system in place using the sales lead tips above, you can streamline the lead generation process and increase your opportunities for business growth. 5. Directly engage with leads Direct customer engagement should one of your top priorities.
Most businesses choose to go with in-direct engagement – such as FAQs. This is not the most effective way to engage.
Direct engagement, on the other hand, makes use of live chat, forums and help centers – where customer service representatives are present all the time to make sure every query is handled properly.
More engaged customers results in better word-of-mouth and more leads.
There you have it.
The basics we've gone over in this blog post are just the beginning. Keep creating great offers, CTAs, landing pages, and forms — and promote them in multi-channel environments. Be in close touch with your sales team to make sure you're handing off high-quality leads on a regular basis. Last but not least, never stop testing. The more you tweak and test every step of your inbound lead generation process, the more you'll improve lead quality and increase revenue.