I write a lot about new business development and lead generation. I also run a lot of telemarketing skills training and we undertake telemarketing campaigns for our clients often targeting blue chip organisations with senior decision makers. That gives me a little insight into what elements enhance effective lead generation. My Top 3 Tips are below.
1. Really Know your Target Market
Most companies think they know their customer but they really don’t. Too few companies have asked the question ‘what is the main benefit working with us provides?’
In addition, few have undertaken formal customer research to unearth key benefits and gaps in their service offering. Do you really know the challenges your customers face that you can resolve for them? How insulated would you be if a competitor came along with a cheaper price or a marginally better product proposition?
Dependent on your sector, there may be all manner of external research providers that can provide insight for your target market. Likewise, industry associations typically have their finger on the pulse of what’s current in that sector. Likewise, you can set up alerts on Google and use LinkedIn Pulse to keep abreast of your target sectors.
If you do your own formal customer research, you can use the information gained to:
- Develop some PR about your business
- Develop or flesh out your product or service positioning
- Devise a better sales approach.
- Write a blog or article about findings and publish this on your website
- Utilise Social Media to tweet about it or post it on an industry group on LinkedIn.
If you want to sell more, and at higher margin, into big companies, you absolutely need to understand your marketplace.
2 It’s Not about You
I’ve written about this many times. A large proportion of sales and marketing messages, whether face to face, on the phone, on websites, in emails or in brochures are about what the supplier does and what they are rather than the genuine benefits of their service. Often the benefits stated are actually still features and the overwhelming proportion of communication is inward facing rather than outward.
There is a lack of understanding of why the customers buy and what their challenges are. If you really know your customers, you need to then communicate that when you engage with them however this communication takes place. Hence, it isn’t so much about what you do or offer as how that applies specifically to their type, size or sector of business.
Show that you understand them by talking their language. Make sure you demonstrate that you are used to dealing with issues like theirs whilst recognising every company and every individual may experience similar issues but in a different way particular to their situation.
Remember, it’s all about what’s in it for them. And that isn’t just what you offer and your price or delivery benefits.
3. Every Major Decision is a Risk
They always used to say that no manager got fired for installing an IBM system.
That may or may not be true. However, the point is that any change means risk. Risk that the solution won’t work. Risk that it leads to disruption. Risk that it costs too much money. Risk that it damages reputation. Risk that the ROI calculations are wrong. And risk that the manager responsible will carry the blame.
The bigger the decision and cost, the higher the risk. And most managers in a job (perhaps as opposed to entrepreneurs) tend to be risk averse. Now of course there are exceptions, certain companies that encourage creativity, new ideas and even risk taking. But that isn’t the norm.
So, put yourself in their shoes especially if they aren’t familiar with you or your services. How would you feel? Business is about risk. However, the more you de-risk the purchase the better. That doesn’t mean discount by the way. It might however mean a trial or some other way of showing them (1) that you believe in your services and (2) you understand their concerns.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that suddenly you offer the earth without any payback for your business. However, it does mean you need to think about mitigating risk as a way of closing the deal.
If you’d like to know how GSA Business Development can help generate growth for your business or book one of our new business development and marketing strategy workshops, contact us now on 0845 658 8192 or use the form on this site.