In terms of your website, this could be a visitor who has demonstrated interest in your website's content. This could be the visitor has filled out a web form, have downloaded content, have signed up for a newsletter or filled up the shopping cart and then left the site. Each type of interaction is assigned a lead score, a metric that is intended to help sales and marketing personnel determine where the visitor is in the buying cycle. If the potential customer is early in the buying cycle, it is usually the marketing department's job to nurture the lead.
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Most successful salespeople already practice some version of solution selling. They know sales is about consulting around the prospect's problems, not closing the deal. It's about letting the prospect define the pace of the process and offering education and advice as a way to build confidence and trust. This makes it easy and safe for a client to buy. Here are a few ways you can make it scalable and efficient on your own.
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We discuss the use of gym sign spinners in another blog post, but it’s a great way to generate leads. If there’s one thing that’s great about sign spinners, it’s that they get a LOT of eye traffic. Just think about the last time you saw a sign spinner. You probably remember EXACTLY where you were at when you said to the kids in the car, “Kids, look at him spinning that sign over by the stoplight.” You also probably remember the business he/she was promoting. Put your gym logo on the sign and get that spinner out there! Better yet, put your FitnessTexter texting code on your sign. That way, if people are stuck at a light, they can text your code for your free week pass and you’ll get an email lead notification. If you’re not a fan of using a sign spinner, sit down with your marketing team and try to think of creative ways to get the word out about your business. You could be the best gym in your entire city, but if no one knows about you, it doesn’t do anyone any good. Time to brainstorm!
Tried and true networking is another key to sales lead generation. It may not be surprising to discover that many people prefer in-person meetings at conferences because it gives them the opportunity to read body language and facial expressions. Overall, aim to be where your prospective clients are. Join organizations that your potential clients will most likely join, and also make an effort to attend the conferences they attend. This puts you in the right place to interact with a large pool of prospects.
Leads may come from various sources or activities, for example, digitally via the Internet, through personal referrals, through telephone calls either by the company or telemarketers, through advertisements, and events. A 2015 study found that 89% of respondents cited email as the most-used channel for generating leads, followed by content marketing, search engine, and finally events. A study from 2014 found that direct traffic, search engines, and web referrals were the three most popular online channels for lead generation, accounting for 93% of leads.
Whether you are hosting a small private function, a large-scale international tradeshow, or an executive-level webinar, event marketing needs to be an integral part of the lead generation mix. After all, events are a critical component of an outbound marketing strategy. Essentially, events offer you the chance to define your brand, clarify the solutions you provide, and establish personal connections with participants. And while they provide you with an invaluable opportunity to engage with prospects and customers, events also give attendees the chance to interact with each other. As every marketer knows, there is no better advertising than the direct words of a satisfied customer. Events also provide a venue to deliver speeches and content that convey your company’s thought leadership and raise your perception in the eyes of buyers. Compared to other marketing tactics, events are more likely to quickly turn a prospect into a strong lead. As a lively, interactive, educational forum, events position your business as a trusted leader in a field of many.
With the new buyer it is important to note that your marketing efforts don’t end once a new lead comes into your system – what we call Top of the Funnel (TOFU) marketing. Many companies do a good job at generating leads, but the problem is that most new leads are not ready to buy yet. And if a sales rep does engage and the lead isn’t ready to talk with them, it reinforces the notion that marketing sourced leads are not great. As a result leads get lost, ignored, or snatched up by your competitors.
This approach costs less, but takes a great deal of time. It’s for the long term though and can lead to quite a few opportunities over time. It incorporates a number of marketing skills: involving the internet, email, social media, search engines, and SEO. Graphics and design elements are integral parts of it too. You place a trail of information and incentives for others to follow towards you and your company. They seek you because you offer something of value that they are already interested in. They are your target audience. What you have to offer would benefit them. What you channel, they have an interest in it. It’s valuable. You choose your platforms carefully and add elements that will link them back to you.
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Gone are the days that a marketer only relied on outbound techniques like trade shows, cold calling, and advertisements to get leads. Today’s buyer is in control. According to Forrester, buyers seek out three pieces of content about a vendor for every one piece sent by a marketer, and for every one piece sent by sales. Because of buyer self-education, your job as a marketer is to be heard through the noise and come up with new ways for leads to find you. To be a marketer in today’s world, you need a solid grasp of inbound in order to truly amplify your lead generation impact.