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Revitalise your lead generation


Formalising your lead generation process is a good way to secure the future growth of your business.  Many companies’ focus on lead generation eventually blurs due to the day-to-day demands of keeping the business going; whilst other companies which have enjoyed high levels of referral business may now need to adopt a more proactive approach to winning new business.


Selling requires more time and resources due to increased competition and a longer sales process as buyers take more time to consider their available options.  Too few resources are dedicated to “front end” lead generation so there often aren’t enough active prospects to fill in the gaps. 


On average sales teams spend less than 15% of their time on lead generation and, in addition to this, leads are not managed very well and often not followed up on properly.


Here are six strategies to revitalise your lead generation process.


  1. Make more time for leads.  Recognise that demand creation is not demand management.  An analysis of your sales and marketing performance will likely show that an incremental investment in “up front” lead generation will produce larger returns than spending more money managing the sales pipeline or the lead-to-close ratio.
  2. Keep better score.  Measuring your effectiveness at creating demand is a huge opportunity.  By tackling basic problems such as improving accountability and benchmarking your team’s performance you create a system where effective information is available.  In many companies, creating new leads is a small part of everybody’s job, but not the primary focus of anybody’s.  Also, sales people have very differing opinions of what a lead is.  A good lead should have the potential to generate a real sale.  You also need to be careful where you set the bar for performance.  Look at constants that can be measured such as the number of leads generated, how many sales quotes are produced, the sales cycle in general and most important, the overall cost efficiency. 
  3. Use timing to improve targeting.  By knowing your market and subsequently your customers, you should be able to ascertain where and when they are ready to buy.  Look at key triggers in your industry.  If you are in a seasonal sector, plan how you are going to maximise your quiet times.  By nurturing potential customers during this period, you are tying them into your business ready for when they need to buy.  You are increasing customer receptiveness by hitting them at the right time and will ultimately see the results on your bottom line.  The key challenge is to get the right product or service in front of the right customer at the right time.
  4. Make the sales force your client.  Treat your sales team like customers.   By offering the same level of respect and commitment to your sales team, you are vastly improving morale, encouraging their ongoing commitment and increasing your revenue.  Have a good customer relationship management system available for your team to use, making it easy for them to plan workloads, call prospects when they need to and feel that their efforts are making a real contribution to the business.  By supporting your sales channel, you are ultimately making it easier for your external customers to buy from you.
  5. Look for growth in the “white space”.  This is the area where most customers shop, but where existing media, channels and promotions cannot reach.  White space represents unexploited opportunities.  For example, uncovered and under-resourced markets, new markets and customers as well as gaps in existing markets.  Invest some time in looking outside your normal customer base and markets to identify areas that could potentially become a huge source of additional business for your company.  What else do your customers usually buy?  Look at ways to perhaps form links with non-competitive suppliers to maximise your exposure to your customer base.  Reciprocal links on web sites can also be effective.
  6. Use more interactive direct marketing.  Look at direct and interactive marketing campaigns to accelerate customer acquisition at a lower cost as you could potentially reach markets that traditional vehicles found it difficult to penetrate.  For example, can you link into an association or a membership body who regularly contact their members (your customers)?  Could you provide input that will benefit their members, subsequently placing you as an expert in your field and raising your profile amongst this audience?


These are just a few ways to increase the level of sales leads your business can generate.