Let’s face it, the cold-calling and face-to-face meetings rooted in every sales department’s DNA all but vanished in the wake of COVID-19, forcing seasoned sales professionals to seek new, more effective engagement tactics – and compete against a new generation of digital-savvy marketers. One LinkedIn study revealed that over 70% of all salespeople have adopted social selling. For millennial salespeople, it’s nearly 80%! Studies have pinpointed the average cost of a qualified lead at about $200. According to HubSpot, organizations with revenues under $500 million have a mean cost per lead of roughly $180. Firms with revenues above $500 million spend about $430 per lead.
No matter what the industry, good leads are the fuel that powers business growth. As communication preferences ebb and flow, channels evolve and society adjusts to new technology. Successful salespeople need to adjust as well – and more importantly, assume that what worked yesterday might not in the future. To be successful today, you’ll need to discover how savvy ‘hunters’ are diversifying channel strategies – and shifting from legacy cold calling to new, ice-breaking engagements. Lead generation will become ever more crucial as we emerge from the pandemic. Here are five suggestions to better engage your prospects and convert qualified leads into actual sales.
1. Pinpoint where your sales tactics are stalling. Understand in detail the behaviour of your current and future buying audience. Feeding them objective information that helps them make independent decisions about new solutions will help you to test and target new markets, products and services – and jump-start your lead-generation efforts. Unearth the real roadblocks that are preventing promising prospects from making their final buying decisions and remove those barriers quickly. It may be something as simple as a price adjustment, not clearly outlining your stance on sustainability or social responsibility (which is especially important to millennials), or listing technical specifications rather than the actual human benefits of your products or services.
2. Realize where your leads originate. Knowing where your leads are coming from is also important. It lets you pinpoint the tactics that work, and which don’t, at attracting the right quality of lead. Whether they’re originating from your website, tradeshows or other events, prospect lists, advertising or referrals, this will give you valuable insights into buying behaviour, as well as what vehicles or channels best convert prospects into customers.
3. Get the most out of each lead. Smart marketers know how to get the most out of each lead. They target prospects who’ve shown an initial interest in their products or services, then cultivate that relationship with follow-up communications that further explain how their company can fulfill their very specific needs. These marketers engage prospects by telling an interesting and compelling story – and never resort to using outdated, high-pressure sales tactics.
4. Use selling strategies that cut through the fog. Successful commercial printers have a crystal clear understanding of whom they target, what engages them, and what drives their buying habits. They don’t use clichés, general selling points, or focus on equipment. These printers understand specifically how they can fulfill the changing business needs of their prospects – and the powerful role that print plays in the customer-acquisition journey. They also realize that today, sharing information, telling their very unique story, and engaging on multiple social media platforms, IS the new selling.
5. Optimize your social media posts. Which hashtags should you use? Which social media platforms should you be on? How do you grow your LinkedIn network? How can you make your company profile stand out from your competition? You must answer these questions to be successful with your lead-generation efforts.
Joanne Gore Communications has two publications that can help. The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing your Social Media Posts answers many of these questions with curated tips, insights and examples from today’s social-selling leaders, movers and shakers. The company’s LinkedIn Business Development Guide explains how to tap into your company’s LinkedIn business page and discover who’s interested in your products, services, solutions and brand. The guide also helps you to pinpoint new prospects and lays out what steps to take next.