A proper lead generation strategy is essential to the long-term growth of your company; without one, you and your executive team may wonder why you’re not meeting your sales objectives. In fact, your product or service could be the best in the market, with a spectacular price point; however, none of that will matter if your company doesn’t have a proper system in place to handle the leads generated.
You probably think of lead generation as the process of identifying potential clients that are likely to buy what you’re offering. Your marketing is targeted specifically to that group to show how your product or service meets their needs. All of that is correct, but it’s only half the story. Typically, problems with lead generation come later in the sales funnel, when trying to organize and lock in prospects who have expressed actual interest. These “quality leads” often get lost in the system, experiencing poor customer service or no follow-up.
I’ve seen this a lot in my career. Money is spent on well-crafted ads, which are then used in search engine marketing (SEM) and social media campaigns. People click through, requesting more information, only to communicate with someone who cannot execute the sale quickly and efficiently. Or worse, customers’ requests for more information are met with silence. This means countless lost sales opportunities.
Think About Implementing A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
CRMs have changed all that. Available for any industry, these cloud-based software systems are helpful for businesses big and small. A CRM aligns all of a company’s teams with actionable data by streamlining its marketing, sales and customer service processes into one.
Imagine a place where you can go to track every customer and supplier interaction, including phone calls. At a glance, you can know if a client has purchased a product, what they paid, when it was delivered, information about service calls and more. You can also see a list of prospects who have requested more information. Reminders are also part of the system, precisely so that a customer or qualified lead does not get forgotten.
All of a CRM’s information can be integrated into marketing promotions, and this data is invaluable when it comes to customer retention. By knowing all the details of a customer’s history, you can target them with future promotions that are relevant to them.
Remarketing is often overlooked, but you should also consider using it as part of your strategy. I rely on it heavily. Consider that 92% of consumers visiting a retailer’s website for the first time are there for reasons other than to make a purchase. Setting up retargeting campaigns so people can see your ad after leaving your website is a great way to make sure you stay in front of interested prospects. The more they are reminded of you, the more likely they are to buy.”
You can also do list-based retargeting with your company’s list of email addresses or mobile phone numbers. The CRM platform will match this information with profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., and display your ad.
For your postmortems, you’ll easily be able to determine which new sales tactics are working through the CRM’s dashboard, or you can have the system generate a report.
Now that you have all of this data at your fingertips, knowing who you need to follow up with is that much easier. Although some leads may not be ready to buy right away, it doesn’t mean they will never buy. You’ll definitely want to come back to them later so that you stay top of mind. You can send them email messages through the CRM tool with information pertaining to their original inquiry. Remember to personalize each message (“Hey, Tom. It’s Jennifer”) and offer relevant information (“For those products we discussed, we now allow for client customization of any color”).
You may have to keep this up for months or even a year or two, just to show you haven’t forgotten them and that you are ready to help with any questions or a sale. This doesn’t mean you have to message often. Quite the contrary — you don’t want potential customers to start looking at your emails as spam. Once a week or so is fine. Just keep the messages short and helpful.
This strategy has worked for me. I’ve had clients reach out to me after receiving one of my personalized emails, followed by a sale.
Pick Up The Phone
If someone responds with a phone number, call them right away or when they’ve specified you to do so. The longer you wait, the colder that lead gets. I can’t tell you how many times my company has generated leads for clients with a qualified lead who left a number with a “call me” message, and our client didn’t reach out until days later. That just says to the customer that they’re simply not that important, and by the time contact is made, they might no longer be interested, or worse, they might have forgotten about it.
With my business, this action is so important that we have now taken over the follow-up process for our clients to ensure leads are called the day they request information. We also will follow up multiple times. We have seen the response rate increase twofold (and, in some cases, threefold), just by doing this step.
Customer data is crucial to successful lead generation; handling that information effectively will help you make more sales with existing clients and rope in new ones. Let the CRM do the heavy lifting for you; the system can remind you of important tasks and you can look up a client’s details from days, months or even years ago. For new prospects, you’ll know exactly where they are in the sales funnel, which will put you in a position to start building business relationships that will last for years to come.