Over the past few years while running training workshops with SME’s or MNC’s a recurring issue is shared by the sales team and it’s always a similar conversation – “Our marketing people are not generating enough new leads for us to follow up!” Despite the frustration these salespeople are experiencing, there is good news – There are several new and cost effective ways for companies to generate leads.
However, before I get into the different methods, there are two elements the marketer should review before deciding which lead generation tactics to employ for their campaign.
Let’s first look at the target audience. It is important to have a clear understanding of who the target market is for our product or service. A business simply cannot market to everyone. The more you can fine tune who you sell to, what problem you solve for them and which of their wants and needs you meet, the easier it is going to be to reach out and capture the hearts and minds of the prospect.
Speaking of ‘Reach’ brings me to the next point. Not only does a marketer need to know who the target audience is, you must also know where they hang out both offline and online. According to WeAreSocial.com as of March 2013, the number of social media users (covering social, digital and mobile) in 24 Asia nations has increased to 874 million which represents an 18% growth since their last report in October 2012. If your prospect is hanging out on different social platforms, ask yourself, are you hanging out there to engage them?
So now, let’s look at just a few ideas for lead generation.
Start a discussion in LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the world’s largest social networking site for professionals. A large portion of the members are in positions of power within their business. Look for LinkedIn Groups related to your field or those prospects you would like to reach. Listen to the conversations taking place and then weigh in. After some time, start your own discussions. Lead with a comment or question or the first paragraph of your blog post then leave a URL where they can read more. Those who like your posts or see you as an authority in your field will begin to seek your out. The investment is simply the amount of time you commit to this each week.
Submit an article to your local newspaper
Writing articles for local newspapers, magazines or online directories is referred to as article marketing. There are some people who would say that this is a waste of time or not an effective lead generation tool. I would have to disagree. I have received some quality leads from prospects who read an article in the paper and called within days of reading it, while another kept the article and called me three months later when she was ready to enquire about my services.
Article marketing is not only good for lead generation; it serves to create brand awareness, it keeps you top-of-mind to prospects and it builds your credibility as an expert in your industry.
Give away a free eBook, report or white paper
Unless you are selling the latest must have cool gadget, chances are prospects will not buy from you right away. In fact, the higher the price tag, the longer the selling cycle. Therefore it is important that you have a means to capture a prospects details (at least a name and email address) when they come to your website. Offer to give them a free eBook, report or white paper in exchange for their email address. The content must be something of interest or benefit to them; you must give something to receive something. In this case, it is receiving an email address so you can continue to build a relationship with the individual. Make sure you have an opt in box above the fold on your website or consider using an Opt-in pop-up plugin.
Lead generation need not be a daunting task. It’s just a matter of knowing who and where your target market is, positioning your products and to remain top of mind. Your goal is to bring them into the sales funnel and keep the sales team happy and occupied and ultimately increase your company’s bottom line.
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