The 7 Golden Rules of Lead Generation for Growing Your Sales Pipeline
If you’re in business, then you’re probably focused on one very important element – sales! Whether you’re a product or service-based business there’s no denying the importance of driving more sales.
You could argue that you need to be just as good at driving sales to your business as you are at doing the business in the first place. After all, what’s the point in being skilled and talented if no one knows about your products or services? Without an effective lead generation strategy you could wind up very quiet and worried about the future.
By using strong and helpful lead generation software you’re building a powerful machine in your business to farm and nurture new business.
SalesRadar ensures that your lead generation is captured and constantly monitored and matured.
But how do you get the leads in the first place?
Here are our 7 golden rules of lead generation. You may already be dabbling with some of these, but you’ll need a strategy behind them and a good sales pipeline to turn those leads into business.
Networking Generates Leads for your Business
Business networking is one of the oldest ways to generate leads for your business. Simply getting out and meeting people is a time-honoured tradition in business and a very effective way to grow your customer base. Networking leads to conversations and relationshops, and they lead to meetings and business if you follow the right system.
Networking works well when you’re a useful asset to a group or network. It’s not about selling; it’s more about being a useful part of the network. Link up other networkers and the return will happen to you. Show an interest in others and pay more attention to them than your business. Listen, act, link-up and you’ll be amazed how much more effective that is than just selling what you do. No one appreciates the selfish, pushy talker.
Networking takes time but the relationships formed there can be very strong.
Using a tool like SalesRadar makes sure you don’t forget the important conversations and it also keeps you following up for those all important 5 touch points in a follow up.
Social Media Can Drive Your Lead Generation
Social media really has turned the business world on its head but it’s not that complicated really. When you think about it, social media is just like networking. You’re simply having conversations (or should be) with interesting prospects that can turn into sales. It’s much like networking though in that it takes time to finally convert. But it can and does happen often. There’s nothing technical or confusing about social media when you remember that it’s just talking which happens to be online.
Have relevant conversations on social media by searching the problems you can fix:
- Use the search option on Twitter to find people in the pain that you fix. Simply search for the words your customers use (these are probably not the words you use!) when they need exactly what you have. What problem do you solve? Start there.
- Get involved in the right groups and conversations on LinkedIn and Facebook. LinkedIn and Facebook are great resources of groups and conversations about business. Find some vibrant groups, get involved in plenty conversations, and jump in when you see a perfect time to mention your product or service. Speak like a real human and not a robot. People don’t buy from robots.
Email Marketing Keeps Your Lead Generation Alive
Email marketing is still a powerful tool in business. For all the social media activity, email marketing is still a more solid strategy. You own those email addresses whatever happens. If Facebook falls over tomorrow what happens then?
Gather email addresses from when you go networking, capture their email address on your website or advertising on social media, then send useful and relevant content that drives people to you by nurturing and helping them.
Email marketing is simple but notoriously difficult. Try not to sell, sell, sell but nurture, educate and benefit. Your list will grow strong and stay engaged if the content you share is of value. No one like a sales pitch in their inbox, but everyone is looking for a leg-up!
Email subject lines and first lines are also massively important. “Open me now” titles are what you should aim for. Urgency and shock tactics can work well; just be careful that it suits your business and brand. Some great titles ideas, words and tactics for great emails can be found here.
Advertising – Facebook Ads
At the time of writing this, Facebook ads are very affordable. From 5-6p per click, Facebook ads are far cheaper than Google Adwords and are way more targeted. Get good at Facebook ads – it’ll really help you grow your leads and business.
A good way to generate leads with Facebook ads is to give away something of value. An eBook is favourable here. Create some content that your ideal prospect would find valuable and give it away with some targeted ads.
Facebook ads work based on locations, gender, age and more importantly – interests. Spend time working out the perfect interest for a good lead for your business. Then craft a perfect first line that sings to your lead:
“Are you in need of more leads for your business?”
Add a great graphic that’s vibrant, and engaging. Or even better – use video. This will capture attention in the Facebook feed.
Then tell them the solution to your question in the first line.
SalesRadar helps you gain and nurture more leads for your business – try it for FREE!
Find a problem, fix it, and then demonstrate it in your image or video. Then capture their data in exchange for your freebie and start to use email marketing and your sale pipeline to monitor them.
Exhibitions Can Really Grow Your Leads
Exhibiting at an event can be costly but very effective when done right. The idea of an exhibition is the start the conversation with a prospect. Get your pitch right, your stand set-up well, and start the right conversations with the right people and you’re onto a winner!
Exhibitions are ideal for gathering data and business cards. Design your stand like a honey pot! Get something on your stand that attendees at the show simply can’t stay away from. A competition or game is perfect for this, as is a fish bowl to win something like a bottle of champagne.
But try to be clever with this. What is it that you’re going to use? Does it make sense to your business? Will you be memorable to your lead when you follow up in a few days? Will you help give them a lightbulb moment? Can they tell their colleagues what they’ve learnt from you?
You’ll also have a lot of business cards to process after an exhibition. Why not use an app like ours to process those cards and put them right into your sales pipeline.
We’ve got more tips on Increasing Sales from Exhibitions and Trade shows here.
Adapting Your Sale Pipeline
Simply adapting your sales pipeline can improve your lead generation. When you use a good sale pipeline tool you’ll notice trends, gains, losses and everything in between. Your job as a lead generator is to find the good trend and harvest them.
For example: Let’s say that you spend money on Google Adwords, you go networking, you’re using Twitter and LinkedIn and you have a press advert too.
You’ll want to tag those leads as you generate them and populate them into your sales pipeline. Knowing and learning where your leads comes from is paramount to your future success. Why would you waste money on a certain ad or piece if it doesn’t convert to anything?
Once you have some good data and a flowing pipeline you’ll be able to see how much it’s costing you per lead, per stream, per activity, and you’ll be able to see what the conversion rate is per activity.
You’ll want to do more of what works and less of or improve what doesn’t. Knowledge is power in lead generation. Don’t go blindly into the field on this one!
Think Off-line in Your Lead Generation
Too much lead generation is based on online activity. It’s very true that you can gain leads online and we’ve discussed a few here. But don’t forget about the real world, too.
If you get a chance to speak at an event, then take it. Give value and show you’re an expert in your field. Give away something in exchange for business cards and then add those people to a specific process in your pipeline.
Newspapers are still relevant. Getting some good PR in local or national press is still a powerful part of your lead gen. You’ll gain attention, website traffic and enquiries. Set a consistent PR strategy in place to get those all important 7 touch points in marketing rolling out.
Advertorials can gain your business leads. Advertorials are a free way to gain space in magazines and newspapers. You should be on the look out to get some space in print. Most print magazines or papers also have online version too so you’ll get a link back to your site and some traffic too.
Get your homepage set up to attract leads. Be ready for traffic and eyeballs. What can you instantly attract them with? Try to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) otherwise your visitors will suffer from choice paralysis!
Gather your leads – but remember to follow up and take action…
Lead generation is important for your business. Without it, you don’t have a business. Put in place a good sales pipeline and lead generation system to grow your opportunities and sales.
And don’t shove those business cards in a draw, never to hear from them again.
Don’t go to the effort of gaining new interest to miss the chance or sign that you have a sale.
Using a tool like SalesRadar will make you a lead gen follow-up machine. Put the right system in place and grow those leads. Good luck!