A company’s lifeblood is sales, and salespeople need leads to increase sales. The quality of sales leads can be more important than the quantity, which is challenging to assess and improve. So, an important question is what’s your lead generation process.
That makes assessing leads vital to selling more, but what goes into assessing leads? Busy business owners and sales managers can use the Sales Lead Management Association’s sales forecast calculator and leads required calculator to better understand how much improvement they need to meet sales goals. Then they need to take a good look at their sales team’s lead generation process.
What Makes a Good Lead?
Customer acquisition is a vital business process, but a substantial number of companies don’t budget the resources for the robust customer acquisition management programs they need to keep bringing in new customers. A study by Buttle Associates, “Managing for Successful Customer Acquisition: An Exploration,” found that only 34 percent of companies it surveyed dedicated the money and priorities to getting new customers. The study found that what makes a good leader is the quality of the customer acquisition process, including targeting the right customers, knowing how to communicate with them, and knowing what to offer them.
Generate More Leads
Searching for new leads is an integral part of sales and marketing, and isn’t a project with a start and end. It’s an ongoing process that needs to be highly focused and managed well to be the most effective. CertainSource CEO Neil Rosen emphasizes that customer acquisition management must be part of customer relationship management for business and sales success. Rosen explains that along with committing time and money to get new leads, it must be supported with good lead management to track the effectiveness and return on investment and get to know what customers want.
Business consultant and social media marketing specialist Lewis Robinson advises companies to use social media for the lead generation process because the statistics show that’s where millions of people spend their time today. He says providing entertaining, informative content delivered through social media attracts sales leads who are interested in a company’s products and services and can expand the sales leads pool exponentially by sharing with their social networks.
Traditional lead generation processes and tactics such as introductory offers, competitions and contests, word-of-mouth, and sales offer work very well in social media with much lower cost than direct mail and newspaper and periodical advertising. Robinson says using social media in the sales process to generate sales leads means sharing the information gained that way with the sales team, not using it as a separate effort.
Alternatives for Lead Generation Process
Finding new customers and managing the lead generation process is a complex ongoing business operation that requires time and money. For small companies with limited budgets and resources for generating leads, purchasing high-quality leads from companies may be the best way to keep good leads coming in without dedicating sales or support staff to the task.
Then the sales team can focus on making sales rather than the more complicated and lengthy front-end process of searching for new leads. Brian Spero, of Money Crashers, recommends paying for high-quality leads as a way to supplement a company’s existing lead generation methods, stimulate referrals, and kick-start a new business.