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Seven lead generation tips

I’m taking a break from blogging, just for a few weeks, while I complete my book, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale (McGraw-Hill Trade 2005).  I can’t wait to share it with you! 

In the meantime, I put together a list of my seven favorite lead generation tips.  I hope you find them useful.  Be sure to check out my archives, I’ve updated many of my previous posts with new ideas. 

  1. Build a ideal customer profile – Focus your energy on leads that best fit your ideal customer profile.  What separates your best and worst customers?  What are their attributes and demographics?  What magazines do they read?  What organizations do they belong to? 
  2. Talk to you best customers – How much do you really know about your customers?  A simple phone call can generate plenty of useful information.  Ask your customers why they chose to work with you?  Is that the same reason they keep doing business with you?  How has working with you helped their business?  Would they refer you to other people?  Use this information to refine your message to gain more leads just like your best customers. 
  3. Know the needs you can solve – once you under stand why clients chose your products or service you can tailor your message around the needs you solve.  Why are you relevant?
  4. Define your goals for lead generation – Be clear on what you want.  Do you want 200 more leads to your database?  Do you want to generate $600K in new business in revenue this year?  Do you want to add 26 new customers this quarter? 
  5. Define what is a qualified lead to your sales team?  Savvy marketers know that the fastest way to fail is to not get buy-in from their sales team before they start their lead generation.  I repeat, it’s essential to get your universal lead definition written and agreed upon by all parties.  Typical definitions include the following criteria:
    a. Is there a defined need or initiative for your solution?
    b. Do they have the authority?  Are they a decision maker?
    c. When is their decision going to be made?  Time frame?
    d. Do they have a formal/informal budget? 
    e. What’s the potential size of the opportunity?
    f. Are they ready to speak to a sales person? 
  6. Have a follow-up plan – While you may generate leads from your initial campaign, you will generate more by following up with additional touches.  What kind of follow-up plan does your sales team follow? 
  7. Develop a good house list – purchased lists have limitations.  Even the best lists are not 100% accurate.  During the planning phase you should make sure your list fits your ideal customer profile.  Even if you doing a direct mail campaign it is important that you purchase a list that includes as much information as possible so that it can be used for future marketing campaigns.  Enlist your sales team to help you update your database with new information as they follow-up on leads. 
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