How to Make the Most of a Lead Generation Service
How to Make the Most of a Lead Generation Service
If it has been a while since you have turned your focus to lead generation then you may be surprised at how much information is available now from a wide range of suppliers. One thing that hasn’t changed is that you still need to actively manage a lead generation system and common sense still rules. Even if you intend to fully outsource lead generation, the processes still needs to be managed, and information needs to be vetted to ensure information is current, relevant and reasonable. The avenue you choose will depend on how aggressively you want to pursue lead generation and how much of your budget and personnel you can devote to the task.
The easiest entry point is to simply buy a portion of a master database by selecting those attributes that most nearly match a prospect profile. This may take a little digging to locate someone that has the right kind of data that you need. Companies pride themselves on the size of their databases, but if they don’t match your needs, or the information is not current, then it’s best to move on. A common approach is to use your existing customer base as a template for your prospects. This works best when you have a narrow niche to address. For example, if you provide window cleaning and repair services within a limited geographic area you could look for homeowners in a metropolitan area limited by zip code. This still means that you need to generate an offer and have the people available to follow up to any leads that you generate.
EXPAND YOUR REACH
If you work in the B2C environment, one of the more effective means of lead generation is through referrals. This is especially effective for fairly short duration home services: kitchen/bathroom remodel, solar installation, patio/deck, etc. These projects run from several days to several weeks. At least one company offers a mobile app that allows your customers to download and keep track of their project and then provide a rating of the service [GetTheReferral.com]. These ratings, along with comments are a good way to leverage to other jobs. Of course you need to manage these referrals, match them to customer needs, develop your unique value proposition from the customer point of view and get permission to share contact information if you are relying on a personal referral to close a deal. When properly managed, referrals can be a very effective form of prospecting.
TARGETING BROAD GROWTH
If you are in a competitive B2B environment, then your options expand tremendously. Most lead generation services promoted on the internet are targeted to the B2B customer and offer a wide range of advice. In this case a lot depends on how broadly or narrowly your prospect base is defined. Usually the more specific, the better in terms of allocating internal resources. If you have a product or service that can be used pretty widely, you will need to cast a wide net. The following techniques (available via existing software, or you can build your own) would be productive.
- CREATE OPT-IN OPPORTUNITIES - Join your newsletter, follow your blog, email updates.
- MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CLEAR AND CONCISE OFFER ON YOUR LANDING PAGE - If you are going to promote a particular product or service via email, LinkedIn, or some other service be sure the landing page directs the prospect through a very simple set of steps to take advantage of that offer. Simple graphics and simple steps generate action. If anything is confusing, the prospect will bail.
- SIMPLE CONTACT FORM - If it’s not simple, and just the minimum info needed to respond, then you’ll lose that contact.
- OFFER SOMETHING FOR FREE - Put some thought behind this and offer something useful. Depending on your industry you would want something that ties in with your product. If you make sensors to measure temperature then a desktop thermometer might make sense for example. Lots of companies offer Logo’d merchandise.
- MIRROR YOUR COMPETITORS - Assuming they are following best practices, gather intelligence on your customers’ search engine strategies, ad spend, customer offers, etc. Join their newsletter. Use this information to strengthen your position
GOING ALL PRO
Finally, if you are investing heavily into a long term strategy to really grow your business, you may need to hire specific talents either full or part time to execute more strategic initiatives, such as:
- REGULAR A/B TESTING OF ALL COMMUNICATION - sometimes changing one work can double your response rate.
- REMARKETING - drop a 30 day cookie on an account and see if they return to your site. Direct them to an enhanced landing page if they do.
- SALES INTELLIGENCE TOOLS - Keep continuous track of any noteworthy personnel or business changes at a list of target companies.
- "BUYING INTENT" DATA - Look for patterns that indicate more than a curious interest
- AI CHATBOT COMBINED WITH CRM - to deliver and flag more targeted questions
- VIDEO MARKETING - product demos, case studies
- BUSINESS NETWORKS - Cultivate market influencers in your industry
- GAMIFICATION - Increase interactivity of web site
From database mining to AI Chatbots there are a lot of tools that can be used to generate, grow and nurture leads. This is by no means the complete list of actions that are available. Some can easily be done in-house, depending on your resources. Others will require more experience. Feel free to explore. Try some simple A/B testing, make some "How To" videos, add some data mining. Start simply and see how far you can grow.
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