Many successful small business owners are continuously looking to expand their customer base and grow their businesses. Business growth can be a difficult and long-term process, though. One of the foundational elements of growing a business is having access to a steady stream of sales leads. A lead is a person, or business if you have a company that sells to other businesses (B2B), that has an interest in the products or services you are selling.
If you’re the owner of a gym, you know that generating new gym membership leads is one of the most important aspects of your business. New leads turn into new clients and new clients turn into increased gym revenue. Recurring monthly revenue is the life-blood of any fitness business, and the more leads you generate, the better. However, there is no secret gym lead generator out there. It takes work, patience, failure and practice. However, if you put in the work, you’ll be getting more leads in no time.
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Service qualified leads are contacts or customers who've indicated to your service team that they're interested in becoming a paying customer. An example of an service qualified lead is a customer who tells their customer service representative that they'd like to upgrade their product subscription; at this time, the customer service representative would up-level this customer to the appropriate sales team or representative.
While inbound marketing is getting a lot of buzz, a well-rounded marketing mix should include both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Inbound works for broad lead generation activities, but outbound is good to amplify your inbound efforts, and target specific opportunities. So what exactly is outbound marketing? It’s using outbound channels to introduce your message and content to your prospects, typically through rented attention, rather than making your content and messages availableon your own properties.
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Remember when we talked about lead scoring? Well, it isn’t exactly doable without your sales team’s input. How will you know what qualifies a lead for sales without knowing if your defined SQLs are successfully sold? Your marketing and sales teams need to be aligned on the definitions and the process of moving a lead from MQL to SQL to opportunity before you even begin to capture leads.
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In summary, lead generation is not easy but it is a must have process for any business to survive. Some companies survive on inbound alone. However, for many B2B companies and start-ups this is not an option. I liken lead generation to mining for gold. You should never depend solely on one source of leads but have multiple sources for lead generation in case one vein dries up.
Your lead generation strategy needs to be as dynamic as the people you’re targeting. Trends change, behaviors shift, opinions morph … so should your lead gen marketing. Use A/B split testing to see what CTAs perform best, which landing pages convert better, and which copy captures your target audience. Experiment with layout changes, design, UX, content, and advertising channels until you find what works.
Send an email newsletter. An email newsletter is kind of like a more detailed social media post or a more exciting press release. Incorporate pictures, stats, quotes, and ideally try to have more than one person speaking or lending quotes to the newsletter. Include links to your site and your social media sites. Also, make some sort of call to action: take our survey, use this coupon, follow our Facebook page, etc.
Lead generation often uses digital channels, and has been undergoing substantial changes in recent years from the rise of new online and social techniques. In particular, the abundance of information readily available online has led to the rise of the “self-directed buyer” and the emergence of new techniques to develop and qualify potential leads before passing them to sales.
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Go the extra mile and become a product expert in your respective field. Develop into an advisor that customers can trust rather than just an ordinary salesperson. Customers have a vast amount of knowledge at their fingertips, they do most of their research before ever talking to a sales representative. A way to bridge this gap is by speaking at trade shows or conferences as a way to become a trusted source of information.