New sales leads are the lifeblood of a business seeking to expand its customer base. New leads mean new customers and more profits. Bigger businesses may have a big budget to devote to the process, which means that they can hire specialist help or perhaps even fund a full time marketing department. But what about the newly established business or the small to medium enterprise that is not able to devote huge amounts of money or resources into generating new sales leads? Even within these limitations there are still plenty of avenues to explore for a business that is prepared to be creative. In this article we explore five techniques for generating new sales leads that anyone can use, and that won’t swallow up a huge budget.
Much of the effort that a business expends is in retaining established customers. The main way to do this is to have a great product or service that is backed up by top quality post-sales and customer support procedures. If a business gets this right, customers will speak out and tell others what a great service they have received from you. This is likely to generate new enquiries. As a business, you can sit back and let this happen naturally, or you can be proactive and politely ask existing customers for referrals. This will cost you virtually nothing and will result in third party leads that are highly relevant to the product or service that you offer.
Signage is a great way of letting people know that you exist and what it is that you offer. Getting this information seen in the right places is bound to create some qualified leads. If you have company vehicles and premises that are not displaying details about your business including ways to contact you, then you are missing out on an inexpensive marketing trick.
Getting out and about and talking to other people about what you offer is another way of generating sales leads. You can attend trade shows, exhibitions or even take a stall at within a local shopping centre. Safety is in numbers. The more people you talk to about what your business offers, the more likely it is that you will uncover relevant sales leads.
Joining a Trade Association is another effective networking tool. You may have the opportunity to submit articles for the trade journal or newsletter, and network with other businesses operating within the same area as yours. Business to business networking is extremely useful and rather than exposing you to the competition as many people think, some significant opportunities could arise from developing constructive.
Lead Generation Services
Lead generation services are specialists in using a variety of techniques to generate highly qualified and relevant sales leads for you. In a way, this allows you to hire a complete marketing department for a short period of time. You are normally charged by the lead and you have an account that you top up with credit. This gives you the flexibility to determine how much money you put into the project; as well as when to start, stop or even restart it. Because the leads that are generated in this way are highly relevant, your prospect has already been proven to be actively engaged in the buying process. Converting 20% of these leads into sales are likely to repay your investment and give you a significant upturn in sales as well.
Your Company Website
Of course in this age of the internet, it is almost unthinkable that any business will be without a website. But is your website merely an extension of your sales brochure or has it been designed to generate sales leads? Converting an existing website from a passive vehicle for providing information about your product or service into a proactive lead generation tool that encourages your customers to stick around and invite you to sell to them, is a relatively inexpensive process. Some things that you should consider are:-
- Introducing a small contact form on every page
- Incentives for passing you their details like for example a discount code, voucher or a free gift
- A frequently asked questions page
- Online discount prices
- A discussion forum
- Helpful articles and advice
- Customer Testimonials
This article demonstrates that with a certain amount of creativity, a business that does not have a large budget to devote to the process, can actively engage in generating new sales leads. Using any or all of these techniques is likely to generate opportunities that a business can follow up in a timely fashion and convert into new sales.
David writes for McDowall Communications who create profitable sales leads for major UK consumer brands.