Sales Leads: Finding and Identifying Potential CustomersMost business ideas involve selling a product or service that is helpful in some way. The question that turns an idea into a business is “for who?” Every company has to figure out who wants what they’re offering. That’s where sales leads come into play.
What is a Sales Lead?Any company that depends solely on people finding them physically and walking into their office is going to fold fast. Whether it’s a physical product or an intangible service you’re offering, you need to be proactive in one way or another. You do that first by identifying the kinds of people who are most likely to need (and therefore want) your product. Sales leads are the information that allows you to contact those potential customers and turn them into prospects. They are data that include names and contact information, which you can use for outreach via email, phone calls, personal visits, and traditional mail. They also help to target broad advertising campaigns in regions where many of them are concentrated. Every sales lead corresponds to an actual person or company who could possibly become a paying customer in the future.
How do Companies Get Leads?Sometimes, it’s possible to purchase a huge list of sales leads just ready to call. That strategy can be fast, but expensive, or you just have to be lucky. If you find yourself in the position of needing to generate your own leads, there are several powerful strategies you can reliably use and find success. Boomdemand uses all of these methods to help our own clients generate more and better leads:
- Use social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with other professionals in your market.
- Attend or organize events, both for networking and for experiential demand generation targeted towards potential customers.
- Create useful and educational online content such as blog posts, downloadable eBooks and white papers. Make sure potential customers can find your content through good SEO practices.
- Create an email sequence that keeps new prospects engaged, and build up email subscription lists.
Every company that survives the transition from startup to major player goes through an awkward stage. Like any teenager, they experience growing pains as they adapt to the new conditions and needs associated with maturity. There are three such challenges that can be crucial to making it through this period intact.
1: Finding Enough TimeIn the beginning, employees at a startup may find themselves working on a wider variety of projects. Everything needs to be done, and it doesn’t matter as much who’s doing it, as long as it gets done. As the company grows, and as sales increase, the responsibilities get heavier and heavier. At some point, employees may find themselves with way too much to handle. New coworkers have to be hired to take on some of the added burdens. Hiring is a project on its own, though, so it can also add to the burdens placed on current workers if not done carefully. New hires should always make someone else’s burdens lighter.
2: Developing Organizational ClarityOnce a company does have the employees it needs, they need to know who they’re responsible to. In the beginning, the small startup team often works collaboratively and directly with the founders. The bigger the team gets, of course, the less practical this becomes. It always becomes necessary at some point to implement interdependent but defined teams headed by middle- and senior-level managers. These in turn report to the company directors and executives. When to do this is a strategic question for each individual company. Doing it too soon can lead to micromanagement and top-heaviness, and if too late, an organization that spins out of control. In other words, even sharper growing pains.
3: Implementing a Precise StrategyWhat is your company aiming for, and how is it going to get there? In the beginning, this question is less important. A startup may quickly find that its initial approach was flawed, or that there are more opportunities in a different target market. A small, young organization can pivot on-the-fly to respond to those changes. A bigger company can’t move so nimbly, as MailChimp once discovered. They should already have a very clear idea about who their customers are. In order for a bigger team to focus and achieve their individual and departmental goals, then, they should know what the company’s overall purpose, goals, and plans are. BoomDemand sees these growing pains all the time. What we do about them, though, is make it substantially easier for our clients to scale up. We help them build dedicated and focused teams while keeping costs down. Through memorable experiences, we give them the strategic boost that attracts new customers and helps employees know how to serve them. Contact us today to cut the pain out of your growth strategy!
The Top 5 Reasons to Use LinkedInLinkedIn is, by far, the most powerful social media platform for professionals. For job seekers, there is no substitute for its network of connections. It’s also a great marketing tool. That’s especially so if one of its leading influencers shares a post. Here are the top five specific reasons why you should be using it as a part of your demand generation efforts:
5: Product LaunchesWhen you want customers and prospects to quickly become aware of a newly-designed and released product, you want as many of them as possible to know about it, as fast as possible. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more effective platform to stand on than this one. 91% of marketers regard it as their most-preferred social media platform, according to 2017 data from Regalix.
4: Lead GenerationThe platform’s own internal research stats indicate that 80% of B2B leads are generated there, and that 79% of marketers find it effective as a source for them. Not only that, but a few years ago, HubSpot discovered that this platform was at least 277% more effective at lead generation than any other platform, with a visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 2.74%.
3: Google VisibilityCreating and sharing useful content on any platform will boost a company’s rankings on Google search result pages, but this platform also comes with the added bonus of professionalism. Nothing says “trustworthy” like a solid LinkedIn profile at the top of a Google SRP.
2: Influential ContentThe Content Marketing Institute revealed this year that 97% of marketers use this platform for content distribution. That’s a full ten percent more than use Twitter or Facebook for the same purpose. Other platforms aren’t even close. A company will easily become considered a trusted source of expertise in their field with an effective content strategy.
1: Good Old-Fashioned NetworkingThis platform is the best way for like-minded professionals to reach out to each other on a personal level for business matters. It easily connects buyers with sellers. It provides an incredibly streamlined format for companies to demonstrate clear solutions to their customers’ problems. One of the ways we help our Boom Demand clients is by generating and optimizing their LinkedIn content and profiles. We convey your message here, there, and everywhere in the best possible way: with a BOOM!
Experiential Marketing: Treating Your ClientsWhat if you could get your prospective customers to have fun and think about your company at the same time? That‘s the basic premise behind experiential marketing. Any time you can get people to associate your brand with a good time is a major marketing win!
The Sales Funnel of FunThis sort of marketing revolves around activities, events, and meetings with customers. It’s more than showing up to a trade show or an exposition, though. It calls for creativity and imagination that project your brand statement in a captivating way. The message delivered by such an event should be strong, simple, and appealing. Experiential marketing is fundamentally about getting out of the office. It means helping clients see the more personal, more real side of you by inviting them to participate in the kinds of activities that make you feel most alive. Whether that’s a hiking trip, a visit to an entertaining and great restaurant, or great seats at a ballgame, it should help your client see a new you and your company from a different angle. It should encourage them to relax and open up to you, as well. These events could engage your customers and invite them to experience a product or service firsthand, too. It would involve physical and interactive experiences, and it should be immersive and memorable. To be able to catch the audience’s attention is to capture their senses. This kind of marketing aims to create an emotional attachment between the consumer and the brand. This will then develop customer loyalty and influence their decision to buy.
A Wildfire of Good AdvertisingExperiential marketing can draw more public interest than other kinds of marketing campaigns. The engaging and visually appealing features create a satisfying personal experience. A good, lasting impression like that can grow their interest and establish positive word-of-mouth. It thus creates new brand advocates. Clients having fun are clients who provide referrals and repeat business! You can increase brand awareness and make your products and services stand out among your competitors. Another advantage provided by this sort of campaign is direct feedback. Participants who try out a product have the chance to share their thoughts with company representatives. This provides opportunities for improvements that would further enhance your brand. That means this outreach method strengthens customer and brand relationships. It can and should be part of a long-term strategic approach. It’s one more great way to generate leads, keep your existing customers, and boost your revenue growth.
Getting StartedBoom Demand will help you plan powerful and memorable activities that strengthen your relationship with both your current and future clients. This type of campaign is also cost-effective. That means we’ll help you reduce advertising overhead. Contact us today to plan an event your clients will never forget!
Why B2B and B2C Sales are DifferentSelling is always about the seller’s relationship with their customer. The nature of that relationship is different depending on what kind of customer we’re talking about, though. Some companies sell to other companies, and others sell directly to consumers. These two types of sales are known respectively as B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer). There are aspects of each that make them similar to each other, but there are also some important distinctions.
B2CBusiness-to-consumer sales are the kind that almost all of us are most familiar with. The process is simple, and it’s all about the product in question. Relationships are a factor, but the goal of both parties is to get the most value possible out of the single transaction. Repeat business is nice, but it’s not the main goal here, because individual preferences change often. Just because the customer buys an apple today means nothing next week, when they may prefer a pomegranate instead. Because of those shifting preferences, the seller must focus their efforts on a very large market of individuals in order to move enough product to stay in business. Marketing focuses on images and feelings that appeal to individuals who seek intangible benefits. They also must keep the buying process as simple as possible, with clear pricing, to keep the buyer’s attention.
B2BBusiness-to-business sales are less intuitive. They require far more conscious effort and preparation on the part of sellers, because their customers are not usually a single individual. Business customers are purchasing committees and boards, deeply focused on the rationality of a contract and how it affects the bottom line. Sellers in this market have to carefully cultivate trusting relationships over a much longer period of time in order to close a deal. Stability and consistency are key. These markets are also considerably smaller and far more specialized. Competition is fierce, so the seller who is able to definitively prove that their solution offers the best value, through patient education and relationship-building activities, is the one who wins over their customer.
“It’s fascinating how the fundamentals of business-to-business marketing are the same today as they were 50 years ago. It’s still about relationships, although today we have new tools and techniques at our disposal.” (David Meerman Scott)BoomDemand focuses on the nuances of B2B selling strategies. Our team of expert SDRs has mastered the art of cultivating strong relationships between our clients and their potential business customers. Contact us today to give your B2B marketing efforts a BOOM!
5 Tips to Find Success in Your Sales JobWorking in sales is not for the faint of heart. It takes a particular personality. You have to be someone who feels passionate and driven to success, alongside a good pile of self-confidence. Anyone can develop this kind of personality if they work on it, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes. That’s because almost every sales job consists of long stretches of monotony and lots of rejection, punctuated by exultant moments of triumph. Those moments make the rest worth it, but it’s key to have the right approach to the whole process if you want to reach them. Here Boom Demand presents 5 powerful tips (and 5 awesome quotes by sales master Zig Ziglar) to help anyone in a sales job cultivate and maintain success every day.
1: Listen and Observe Before You Speak.You were made with two ears and two eyes, but only one mouth. There’s a reason for that. Sales is fundamentally about service. You are providing something that you know people need. Rather than going on and on about how great your stuff is, you should make sure that it will actually help the person you’re talking to. How? By listening to them. Let them tell you what their problems are, and watch their body language. They will show you what to say, and when.
“Stop selling. Start helping.”
2: Believe Passionately In What You Are Selling.If you are selling something that you don’t think will actually do any good for the customer, they won’t believe you either. You must understand your product and its capabilities on a fundamental level. You must be willing to use the product yourself. You should, whenever possible, have personal experience with its benefits.
“Have an absolute and total belief that what you’re selling is worth more than the price you ask for it.”
3: Trust is Everything.Your credibility depends on your personal level of honesty and sincerity. Customers hate slimy tactics, misrepresentation, and high pressure. It’s unfortunate that sales has a reputation based on those who used such tactics in the past, so to stand out, be trustworthy. Trust is currency. Trust is a deal closed, and it is repeat business. Never, ever betray your customers’ trust.
“The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity.”
4: Follow Through.Don’t let prospects slip through the cracks. Stay organized and keep in touch with everyone. You never know who might give you a referral, nor when. Any prospect who shows interest should be contacted again, and every interaction should end with a mutually agreed-upon next step. Always be moving forward with everybody you serve in your sales job, whether employer or customer.
“Take time to be kind and to say thank you.”
5: You Have 960 Minutes.If you’re getting a healthy amount of sleep each night (you ought to, for top performance), then you have less than a thousand minutes awake each day. You should be acutely aware of that number, and plan your activities in advance to make each and every one of them count, because they are irreplaceable. Use every single minute to move closer and reach your goals.
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
Which Social Media Platform is Best for Your Business?Social Media is everywhere, and for marketing, it’s almost everything. So many people use these modern communication systems that any company that doesn’t actively engage their customers through them might as well close up shop. Time is money, too, so it’s important to know how best to direct your posting efforts. Each platform has particular strengths that cater to one type of business or another. Here’s how they match up:
B2B: LinkedInAll social media platforms are networks, but LinkedIn is the platform that is most specifically designed for business networking. There is no easier way to find the best person at a prospective client company to contact regarding your solution. LinkedIn is especially powerful for SaaS companies offering an entirely non-physical service, where the right contacts are key. Example companies that are right at home on LinkedIn include Domo, Salesforce, and most other major international corporations that you want for clients.
Retail and E-commerce: InstagramInstagram was originally designed as a way to share beautiful photography. That makes it especially well-suited to marketing where appearance is key. The platform makes it incredibly easy to show off your retail products in the best light and from all angles, and interact directly with your customers. You can get instant feedback on your designs. Both well-known retail brands like Adidas and smaller sellers like FoxyRedsDesigns can derive the same benefits from the ability to show off their products with photos and videos on Instagram.
B2C Services: FacebookAs the reigning king of all Social Media platforms, with over two billion registered users, it pays for almost any company to have at least a minimal presence on Facebook. That said, this platform lends itself to more local and family-oriented engagement. It may even soon beat Google at its own game:
“Nearly half of consumers are already using social networks, like Facebook, to discover local businesses through brand pages, the Places feature or recommendations.” (Forbes)Local construction, repair and handyman-type services that work in a limited geographical area can use this structure to great effect. As well, small regional chains and Mom-and-Pop stores do great with Facebook. It’s great for spreading word-of-mouth reviews, and when people ask for local recommendations, these small businesses really shine. Each of these platforms can be useful one way or another for almost any business. To get the maximum benefits from them, consider the expert help we can provide at Boom Demand. Contact us today so we can drive your online presence with a BOOM!