20 Jun 2014, 11:39 — 7 min read
Irrespective of the kind of small business you own, using traditional sales and marketing tactics can prove to be expensive.
On a shoestringed budget, testing several different lead generation strategies and measuring its results can be tricky and time-consuming, especially if you’re a start-up facing competition from already established and better-funded organisations.
So how can you get acquainted with lead-generation tips, while including the best methods and mediums for finding prospective customers, on a shoestring budget?
The solution is to discover channels that capitalise on brand exposure without breaking the budget. Clearly, one method doesn’t fit all; hence here are some tips to generate high-impact sales leads, economically and effectively.
1. TARGET YOUR GROUP OF ‘HAPPY CUSTOMERS’ AND GET REFERRALS FROM THEM!
If dogs are a man’s best friend, and diamonds are a woman’s, then customer referrals are indeed an organisation’s best friend!
If you’ll closely look at your financial statement, you’ll realise that ’80-20’ rule is working in your business. That is, just 20 percent of your clientele is giving you 80 percent of your profitable business. These are your ‘happy customers’ or ‘dream clients’. And, there is nothing more satisfying than getting a sales lead from a happy customer! This would ultimately mean that your contented existing customer probably has a good idea of what the referred prospect needs and is going to have tremendous credibility with the prospect.
Ask for referrals and make it easy for your best customers to refer you to their family and friends.
2. GENERATE DIGITAL LEADS THROUGH SEO, SEM AND PPC
If a start-up IT company or a or a service-based B2B company is thinking on the lines of lowest cost-per-acquisition in order to generate leads, then it is best suited for them to go through Pay Per Click (PPC) model. Or simply opt for the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) route that your audience could benefit from. Create rich content around your targeted keywords and start generating traffic.
To boost the numbers further and pump the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and PPC campaigns, one must sta
rt fuelling in long-tail keyword phrases, typically consisting of three words or more. You need to select the right keywords and website presence for your services keeping the following features in mind - relevancy, traffic and conversions.
3. DEPLOY CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES
Once you know your target audience, and have devised a plan to reach them, you need to have a plan that encourages two-way interaction with your customers. CRM provides you with valuable intelligence that escalates long-term sales trends, helping you adjust the existing corporate sales strategy.
For instance, a six-month analysis of your car accessories business sales data shows that income from 35-year-old and above men is on the decline, while your main revenue is derived from 18 to 27-year-old men. Based on this result, you may now decide to target younger audience with funkier range of car accessories suiting their sensibilities, gradually pulling back from middle-aged audience.
In such a scenario, you can:
4. VOLUNTARILY SPEAK AT TRADE SHOWS, CONFERENCES AND INDUSTRY EVENTS
One of the most impressive methods of generating sales leads is to share your knowledge, wisdom and start-up challenges and experience at an event presentation and follow it up with customised letters, calls or emails to individuals/companies that you met.
This would give your business and your name immediate brand and face recognition, separating you from your counterparts. Moreover, by offering your prospective customers with helpful information in the form of blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, webinars, case studies or demos, you can win their trust and soon their business.
5. COME UP WITH A PRACTICAL & REALISTIC SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN
Map out a plan where you have your eyes set on the kind of things your social media plan would have – for instance, the kind of information mentioned in your posts, its tone, a dedicated resource managing this activity and what’ll be the frequency of it.
Like any other typical nature of a business, a social media plan should have a definite ROI (Return on Investment) for a definite measurement of the success rate. Use these platforms to provide thoughtful freebies in the form of a free gift, a coupon, a sample or some other value-added incentive to lure prospective customers.
To stay atop of your social media game, one could use:
6. SALES FIGURES SHOULDN'T BE PRIORITISED OVER CONNECTIONS
Never try too desperately to sell your product, because the internet-savvy modern day consumers can always see through your efforts. On the other hand, personal connections, even when made online, will always go a long way making sure that numbers naturally follow. Treat people like people and not just cash cows!
Katherine Barchetti once said, “Make a customer, not a sale”. It is no secret that customers are an organisation’s greatest asset and it costs much less to hold on to a current customer than it does to acquire a new one.
Take action and follow through these tips and start addressing high user engagement levels, large community following, end-user involvement and see your business thrive!
Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
We are a team of experienced industry professionals committed to sharing our knowledge and skills with small & medium enterprises.
Recommended articles for you
By Suraj Rengan
By Shiv Joshi
By Sameer Vakil