Many economists believe that the future growth of the UK economy will be driven by the SME sector. In this installment of my SME Marketing Guide, I will look at how SMEs can improve their lead generation approach and offer some tips for generating new leads.
Avoid cold calling
The art of effective lead generation lies in the ability to warm the prospect before you make that first phone call. In my experience, I have rarely seen a successful outcome from an approach that is based on pure cold calling. It is important that you give your sales team every chance possible to succeed when they make that first contact.
The starting point
Before you embark on a lead generation strategy, you must first of all define the benefits of the service proposition that is going to be used as part of your promotional campaign. This may seem pretty straight forward to most, but it is clear from my own experience, that many sales/marketing people simply cold call without any awareness of exactly what it is that they are providing that is different or better than the competition.
You need to give your clients/prospects a set of clear benefits of doing business with you and clearly demonstrate how you can help them become more profitable, efficient or provide a better end service.
Great content with the WOW factor
Behind every successful lead generation campaign lies killer content – this is content or a message that has clear relevance and benefit to your prospect/lead. The next step is to present this content/message in the most compelling way and make it stand out – if your prospect can remember what you sent them, you have done a good job – making the task of selling easier for your sales team.
Turn up the heat on your pipeline
Do not send your prospect 1 piece of marketing collateral and expect the phone to ring. Effective customer touchpoint marketing is dependant upon a sustained approach, so make sure your strategy is based on at least a 12-month plan (a prospect should receive at least one sales/marketing touchpoint every month) otherwise the initial message will be lost and forgotten.
Define your client targets
Use the latest market reports/revenue rankings available by your sector associations or media publications to get to know who the key players are within your target market. You could also monitor competitor websites to find out the customers they are working with.
Define your contacts
Once you have identified the clients that you would love to approach, you need to find the specific contact details for that client. If marketing directors are the types of people who you sell to, then do not pester the human resources manager. Alternatively think outside the box, as you should develop a set of customer profiles for each of your service/propositions as Brand Managers or NPD Managers may also be interested in your offer and this will help you develop your pipeline.
In tomorrow’s follow-up blog, I will present a selection of the most effective marketing tactics for generating new leads.
If you would like to arrange a consultation to discuss a bespoke lead generation programme for your business, then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07796322894.