Whether your business is a startup or you’ve been in operations for years, every business needs to generate sales leads to sustain and grow revenue. Even the local favorite businesses have slow days and will benefit from a well-planned sales funnel. A business’s marketing plan and sales funnel are also extremely important for securing funding. They support the sustainability of the business and show the owner is invested in its success.
What Is a Sales Lead?
A sales lead is a person or business who is interested in purchasing the services you provide or products you sell. In short, they are a potential buyer of whatever you are selling. Since most small businesses want to grow and increase their clientele, they’ll always be attempting to gather sales leads through various marketing strategies. Common strategies include emails, direct mailings, trade shows, advertising, and using a variety of other means that would encourage a potential buyer to leave their contact information with the business.
How Do You Build a System to Gather Sales Leads?
The first step in building an effective lead generation system is to identify your target audience. You need to know who your target audience is and what motivates them to buy. What are the characteristics of the typical customer you hope to entice to buy your products or services?
With target marketing, you can focus on a particular group or category of people who will most likely purchase from you. Instead of wasting your time and money by going after everyone in America – or the world, you wisely spend money trying to get leads of people who want or need your product or service.
To define your target audience, start by looking at your current customers.
- How old are they?
- Are they married?
- Where do they live?
- What is their ethnicity?
- Are they male or female?
- What is their education level?
- How much money are they earning?
- What products or services are they purchasing?
When you find common interests and characteristics of your target audience, it’s then time to find other people that have the same interests and characteristics to see if they want to buy from you.
Take a look at your competition and see who they are targeting. What are the characteristics of their customers? In doing this, you might notice something your competitor has not, thus giving you a competitive advantage by serving a specific niche market.
How Do I Get Sales Leads?
There are many ways to make people aware of your business and what it offers. You just want to find the best methods that will work for you. A popular and effective marketing method to get sales leads includes content marketing where you offer high-quality content in the form of a webinar, blog, or newsletter in exchange for the prospect’s email address, phone number, address, and more. Even just an email address can be a good lead.
Build Your Online Sales Funnel
Begin by creating a landing page for your website. It is the first thing these potential buyers will see because all of your content will drive them to the landing page. The landing page should be nicely designed and very user friendly. A nice landing page gives you credibility and increases the likelihood of visitors signing up for a newsletter or free e-book or something else where they will leave you their contact information. That’s what you’re after – their permission for you to make a connection.
To gather this contact information, you need to funnel all potential customers to your landing page and offer something of value to them for free. This can be an e-book, coupon, or any other incentive that adds value. In exchange, ask them for their information. Hopefully, they’ll see this as a small price to pay and they will be receiving something of value. It’s important to keep a database of these potential clients or customers for your follow up steps in the funnel and so you can have a history of what they received and what might interest them in the future.
Start the connection
Now that you have the contact information of your potential customers, send them a newsletter or email to start building and maintaining a relationship and building trust in your products or services.
Tap into the Engagement Powers of Social Media
Social media is an excellent way to communicate and engage with potential customers. Having so many people in the marketplace using so many social media platforms creates a lot of opportunities to capture a new prospect and send them to your landing page. Some of the top social media platforms for acquiring sales leads are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit, Pinterest, and Quora.
As you grow your database of prospective customers, maintain and cultivate your relationship with them using social media. Keep them aware of offers, promotions, events, industry news, and new products they will find interesting and attractive. The more they engage and purchase, the better you can focus on your offers and product recommendations to them.
Lead generation is essential for every business. The more you tweak and modify your lead generation strategy, the more efficient your lead generation system will become which will ultimately increase your business growth potential.