Generating sales is an age old problem.
Before the telephone was invented sales were done mostly by referral. Businesses and industries were built on reputation and location was an important factor. Proposals and discussions took longer as they were brokered by letter and telegram, meetings were booked weeks in advance and the traveling could take days.
Technology has undoubtedly hastened this process dramatically.
E-mail is instant, video conferencing and high speed travel now allow deals to be completed in seconds as opposed to days.
All these advancements allow us to generate leads in high volumes; but getting over the line and completing a sale is still an art form.
Don’t Look for a Technology Solution to a Human Problem
There are a number of tools available that peddle lead generation when in actual fact they offer very little in the way of meaningful information; and you still have an enormous amount of work to do to get over the line.
If a visitor comes to your website you can ALREADY identify a lot of information about them from your analytics:
- How they got there eg Paid Search, Organic Search, Referring site etc.
- What keyphrase they typed.
- How long they spent on site.
- Which pages they visited.
A few of these “lead generation” tools may only offer a company name on top of this standard information, providing it exists on their database and matches an IP address.
This is not actually that useful! It offers a layer of irrelevant detail on a lead that your website has already pulled in.
It still requires some telesales skill to follow up. You would likely have to use a social network like LinkedIn to try and find the right contact at this company. Then you are faced with how to approach them (if it is even that individual that has been on your site!). It may not even be a relevant company to your business and distract you from more targeted methods.
So it becomes an expensive and time consuming punt!
Target Your Leads More Efficiently
A better tactic is to pull people into your site when they are actively searching for a relevant service or product, and demonstrating a need for this right now in real time.
Focus your efforts on the user experience on your website and doing all you can to get that targeted visitor to contact you by phone or by completing a contact form.
A good Internet Marketing strategy can deliver this though Paid Search or SEO, or in combination.
You could also do worse than to consider your target market and purchase a detailed database of the type of companies you want to do business with. These lists can be provided with contact details based on job title and increases your options of how to approach them. You can start with a mailer and follow up with a telesales call for example.
More Haste Less Speed
A sales role is a difficult role, of that there is no doubt. With such a low barrier to entry it is difficult to identify a good sales person or a good method of generating leads.
It takes a solid strategy and intelligent use of tools to generate good leads.
But to get over the line it takes good old fashioned human interaction. Technology can only get you so far so be wary of relying on it to do everything for you!
If you would like a review of your Sales Strategy and information on how the Internet could start working hard for your lead generation efforts please get in touch with a member of the Ignition team.