Lead Generation is an effective method of marketing, but it is not easy. If your approach to marketing is to blindly send out mailers with fingers crossed, your results will be disappointing. However, if your business development process is strategic and tactical, your efforts will yield success. The secret to this success lies in three steps.
First, create a valid database. Spending your time, money, and resources on anything without this is a waste. If your existing database is lacking, purchase lists from appropriate sources. If you already have a solid contact list, within that list are new prospects. Identifying these new prospects is a vital process that will take time. You must thoroughly add and update information for every contact. Obtain their email addresses, names of their assistants, and anything else that will give you a broader view of their organization.
Then you can find new prospects within the list. Secure three levels of contacts within each company, and three peers for each of them. Whether you have 100 companies on your list or 1,000, do not skip anyone in this step. Outsourcing this task may be necessary if you don’t have the time to do it yourself. If you are diligent, this step will save you a lot of money in the future and significantly increase positive results in your campaign.
The second step is to decide how you will reach your market. Do you use direct mail? Is an email campaign beneficial? Should you contact them directly by phone? While one strategy may work better than others, it is wise to combine methods. Remember to make it convenient for clients to find you. Directing them to a webpage makes it easy for them to get information and contact you.
Most importantly, always include an offer with your campaign. Offer discounts, free assessments, an invitation to a customer conference, or whatever appeals to your market. Incentives make people more willing to get to know your company. These campaigns fuel growth and accelerate sales.
The final step is to decide on your sequence of marketing and frequency of contact touches. If you’re using more than one medium to reach your market, have a step-by-step strategy. A teaser email or postcard of the anticipated offer is a great way to lead up to a more aggressive correspondence. Be careful not to make too frequent of contact touches. You don’t want to irritate your market by bombarding them.
Space out each step of your campaign by two or three weeks. Save your teleservices approach for last.It will take the greatest investment and time to execute, but it is the most effective medium to reach your audience. Immediately give your best leads to your best salespeople. If your sales team has poor or zero follow-up, even your best lead generation efforts will prove futile. Proactive efforts breed success, and the entire business development process needs this level of commitment.
By John Hester