How to Generate More Leads For Your Business
- September 14, 2020
- Posted by: Chris McMullan
- Category: Marketing, Marketing Research, Marketing Strategies
With the overwhelming number of strategies out there today, you as a business owner can feel lost and directionless. The era of Covid-19, like many other turbulent times in human history, is bringing us back to fundamentals. The Internet was intended as a tool to help us, not to replace us. Humans are still the center of any business endeavor in terms of clients we serve.
What is the current picture of lead generation and management in your business?
Here’s the deal: in order to start generating more leads with less time and financial investment, you first have to spend time setting up systems and making some changes. At creation, our bodies are built based on systems; businesses work the same way. Your goal as a business owner or entrepreneur is to establish a solid lead tracking and lead management system, and make small tweaks to your existing lead generation strategies based on the work you completed in the target market and marketing message.
Indeed, there are many different lead generation strategies you can consider. We want you to see the impact that the work you have already done will have on your existing strategies.
Do you know where your current leads are coming from, or how many you get on a daily, weekly, or by-campaign basis?
If we asked you to tell us right now what your top lead generation strategies are, what would you say?
A big part of Step One is gaining a solid understanding of where your business stands right now in terms of lead generation. Otherwise, how are you going to know when your lead generation strategies are working? Or which strategies are working best? In a few minutes, let us show you how to set up a lead tracking and lead management system that works with your business whatever the size is. But first, write down (on your pad of paper or tablet) what you think your top three lead generation strategies are right now.
Every business needs a lead tracking and management system. Do you have one in place?
A lead tracking and management system is absolutely essential to your business for a number of reasons.
One, it is the only way to know which marketing strategies are working, and which ones aren’t. The information your system gathers will allow you to make educated decisions about marketing campaigns and investments.
Two, it organizes your sales and marketing efforts and manages contact information in a user-friendly way. It’s clear who you called, when, what you said, and when you said you’d follow up.
Three, it enables you to manage your sales staff by tracking their progress on several leads at once. You’ll have access to an at-a-glance picture of their sales figures and productivity.
Your lead tracking system needs to:
- record the leads that arrive by phone, in-store visits, and website visits
- track the source of each lead over specific time periods
- record pertinent customer information
- be simple enough to be used by all staff members
Your lead management system needs to:
- track your leads through the sales plan or process
- increase customer communications or contact
- keep track of correspondences and follow-up requirements
- make it easier for you and your staff to close more sales
Here is a list of information you will want to gather from your leads.
Depending on the needs of your business (i.e., do you need a mailing address, or just email address?) and the lead tracking and management systems you choose, some of these items may be optional fields.
- Company Name
- Name of Contact
- Alternate Contact Person
- Mailing Address
- Phone Number
- Fax Number
- Cell Phone
- Email Address
- Website Address
- Product of Interest
- Source of Lead (i.e., how did you hear from us?)
- Reason for Inquiry
If it is appropriate for your business, you also may wish to gather demographic information from your leads – but keep this voluntary. This information would be ideally used in your market research analysis.
Keep in mind that your lead tracking and management systems need to be simple enough for everyone in your company to use.
Unless you are a solopreneur who manages incoming phone calls, greets customers and chases down leads, the systems you implement will need to be used consistently by everyone in your organization.
Once you have decided on a system, schedule enough time to train your staff thoroughly and be open to feedback. Since you’re not the sole user, you’ll need to consider their thoughts on the usability of the systems.
Pick lead tracking and management systems that suit your budget and offer the features your business needs.
Each business will have different requirements when it comes to lead tracking and management. A retail store will have different needs than a realtor’s office, for example. The retail store may only need to record leads based on lead generation strategies, and keep lead information for their direct mail or newsletter databases. On the other hand, the realtor will need to make contact with their leads on several occasions, and need a system that will record and remind them of those correspondences.
Software for lead management ranges from simple to highly sophisticated, and– depending on the needs of your business– it can be a great investment. Some CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools are available online as a web-based system that you can subscribe to and have access to on the road. The features and advantages of a number of different systems are listed below – ranging from low-tech to high-tech, paper-based to web-savvy.
They come in a variety of sizes: 3×5, 4X6 or 5X8. Basic contact information is recorded on one side, notes are written on the other side. They are easy to organize and sort. This is a basic system used to manage leads by those who may be less comfortable with computers. This system will be effective at tracking low volumes of leads.
Holding more contacts than an index card system, it is easily organized and compact. It gathers basic contact information on one side, notes on the other side. A Rolodex is another basic system that will effectively manage leads without the use of a computer. While this system can store a higher number of cards, it is also only effective for tracking low volumes of leads.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Web-based and accessible from anywhere with internet access, Customer Relationship Management software organizes leads and customers by name, company, date, or status. It allows users to attach documents (like proposals or contracts) to leads. It also allows you to write notes and log correspondence by date. You can view a contact’s history and current status. It interfaces with e-mail marketing programs to allow better targeting or personalization of messages. One prominent example is SalesForce.
This is a highly sophisticated system with advanced features. It tracks a high volume of relationship-based leads and provides a detailed, feature-heavy system for lead management. However, CRM software is not ideal for businesses that need to track a high volume of leads with minimal customer information attached, such as retail businesses.
Excel Spreadsheets or Google Sheets
An electronic system that is highly customizable by date, name, source or other variables, it is easily organized and analyzed. Several worksheets in a single file allow leads to be tracked and contacts managed. It is accessible for those with basic computer skills. This is a slightly more sophisticated system that will allow you to track higher volumes of leads. It also allows you to effectively organize the information that you collect into charts that can be analyzed.
You are able to work with a number of tracking sheets in a single file, and you can create hard copy tracking sheets for staff to use at point of sale and reception. This system also has the capability of importing and exporting data from certain other external applications or systems.
Database Management Programs
Database Management Programs provide a high level of organization. There is unlimited space for notes and record-keeping. Data-entry is required.
Examples include MS Outlook, Gsuite, MS Excel Advanced, and Google Sheets Advanced. For your needs in Google products, contact us. This is a more sophisticated system that will interface with spreadsheets and manage high volumes of leads and customer details. It manages distribution lists for newsletters and direct mail campaigns. It primarily manages contact information, but it also provides space for notes, follow-ups and reminders. Tracking high volumes of leads without recording and inputting customer information is best done in spreadsheets with this type of system.
Website analytics monitor and analyze website traffic and online advertising. You can track the number of people who visit your site, where they came from (search engines, online advertisement, website links, etc.), how long they stayed, the pages they visited, and which page they left the site from. It monitors usage statistics and generates reports, charts, graphs, etc for analysis. Google Analytics is an easy-to-use example of this type of system.
Analytics are an ideal way to track and analyze website traffic to complement your overall lead tracking system. This is not a complete system on its own. It requires the insertion of a specific code into each of your webpages, or each of your online advertisements. A high level of computer literacy is needed to set up and use this type of system.
As a business owner, remember that your primary should be your clients, and you don’t have to learn all the technical details of how to stay in touch with your leads and current customers. There are many digital agencies out there to help you get qualified leads. Our next blog will teach you how to get qualified leads, so stay tuned– you won’t want to miss it.
Devoted to your business growth,
When you don’t know where you are going, look where you came from.