Lead Generation for Small Business


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Lead Generation for Small Business: Experts Weigh In

Managing your sales using a simple CRM is critical. The question is how do you even generate leads in the first place? Lead generation is the lifeblood of small businesses. If done right, generating great quality leads can be a major catalyst for growth and revenue. But with so many lead generation tactics and approaches available out there, small businesses want to know which are the most effective to use.

To help answer this question, we’ve reached out to a panel of small business sales and marketing experts and asked them all a single question: “What is the most effective lead generation technique(s) for small businesses“?

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Lead Generation for Small Business

  2. 2. There is no “most effective” lead generation technique. This is the trap of S. Anthony Iannarino mutual exclusivity, believing one method should be used to the exclusion of others. And it is also a conceit to believe that because you prefer to generate leads in a certain way, in a certain place, or at a certain time, Anthony Iannarino is the President and Chief Sales Officer for SOLUTIONS Staffing, a best-in-class staffing firm, the Director that this is the method your dream client prefers. You need to be where of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, and the author of your dream clients are, and you need to get in front of them. The “most thesalesblog.com effective” way to generate leads is to use as many methods as are available to you. This includes traditional advertising and marketing, your website, social media marketing, a lead generation firm (like Pointclear), business journals, your local Chamber of Commerce, networking events, referrals and, dare I say, a well-trained sales force? 2
  3. 3. Your mission as a sales person should be to find companies that have Alen Majer immediate wants and needs. This means that something happened or is happening to them: a move, a merger, new investors, etc. You have to Alen Majer is a sales expert, writer, trainer and author of sales blog (www.AlenMajer.com). He draws upon more than 20 years of international sales, management, business development, training, coaching and entrepreneurial experience. look for any event that might create the opportunity and trigger the sales for you.Opportunities are everywhere. You just need to know where to find them and you always need to be on the alert for them. Such Trigger Events can be a springboard for your selling career and you need to be prepared to act on them as soon as they are recognized.By staying on top of your game, you’re always going to be a step ahead of the competition. When businesses are making changes it means that they are already primed for shifting into a new gear. With this pre-knowledge and some further background research into the business, you could arrive well-armed to present a winning solution that can assist in building a better business. When a business is moving through a transitional phase, they are almost always ready to take on new opportunities and to make positive changes. Be ready to help them!As always, your research and understanding before approaching the client is going to be crucial in your presentation. This is what separates you from the rest of the competition. By taking the initiative in being first in line and having the greatest insight into their business, you have put yourself into a powerful position. Now it’s up to you to reveal your expertise and divulge the finest solution that will benefit their business in the most efficient way.Always be on the lookout for Trigger Events that can open the door to new sales and new clients. It could be the action-injection that your career needs. 3
  4. 4. Thanks for viewing! Nice find! You're well on your way to becoming a sales machine. Now be a friend and share this resource with hundreds of your closest Internet pals.
  5. 5. The most effective technique is one that maximizes the return on your Art Sobczak time and money investment. One low-cost method is optimizing your website for organic search so you drive free traffic for your Art Sobczak helps provides ways to prospect and sell using the phone, without rejection. Get his report on “The Top 10 Dumb Mistakes Made by Cold Callers” at http://www.SmartCalling.com 4 key search terms, provide a free offer to capture your prospects’ contact info, then putting them in a follow-up sequence (phone, email, or mail, or all of them) to get the prospect to take the next desired action
  6. 6. Hands down, the best way for small businesses to generate leads is with Brian Halligan inbound marketing. Creating content about topics that matter to your prospects, optimizing that content for search engines, and sharing that Brian Halligan is the CEO of HubSpot, a marketing software company he founded to help businesses transform the way they market their products by leveraging the internet. Brian is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at MIT and author of the books Inbound content in social media will enable your target customers to find you. Then, once they’ve landed on your website, using calls-to-action and Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs and landing page forms to convert visitors into leads is the best way to start Marketing Lessons From the Grateful Dead. filling up that sales funnel with qualified, quality leads. Simple as that! 5
  7. 7. I think there’s a shift in lead generation for small business really as a Chuck Swanson result of the emergence of social media networks. Small businesses can now effectively compete with larger ones provided their voice is heard. Chuck Swanson has worked at various agencies in a strategic business development roles with companies to help them better understand their marketing and lead generation goals. Currently, Chuck is a partner at Digital C4, an agency that helps companies of all sizes improve their online brand visibility. Getting your voice heard in social media (and frankly in search as well) is a three part endeavor and all centered around the keywords that define your products, services and company in general. These three efforts need to combined with other traditional communications, but if done effectively can boost results. (1) Smart SEO – your site needs to be optimized effectively for your keywords. (2) Well written content (blog) using your keywords in the appropriate places. And finally (3) sharing this content in your established social media networks – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or wherever your prospects and customers are gathering for information. 6
  8. 8. Before thinking about effective lead-gen techniques for small business, I Dan Olson believe a small business first must have a web presence via their own website. Once the website has been created, I break lead management Dan Olson is the CEO of DIYSEO, a provider of SEO software. Dan is the former Vice President at Performics, the largest search marketing company in the United States that was acquired by DoubleClick, Google, and eventually Publicis Groupe down into three questions:“How do I drive traffic to my website to ultimately generate leads? ”“What is the best way to get a visitor to provide lead information to my site? ”“How do I manage this lead information post submission”Driving Traffic – Many small businesses quickly realize that a web presence alone isn’t enough and they need to find ways to drive traffic to their site. I’m a bit biased but we really feel that small businesses and especially ones with a local presence can now take advantage of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) including local maps optimization to get traffic for free. Many of our small business clients didn’t know what SEO even meant a couple of months ago and are now tapping into SEO via our application and getting leads.Getting Lead Information – The most effective way to capture leads (beyond highlighting your phone number on your site) is by having an effective lead form on your site. An effective lead form, in my opinion, offers free consultations, free white papers, or some type of incentive to offer up a name, phone number, and email (don’t forget the email!). Potential customer don’t hand that information for nothing – give them a great reason for doing so!Managing Leads – This is getting even easier for small businesses. Obviously look to leverage tools like PipeJump to manage info all the way through the close process. You don’t have to live in spreadsheet hell anymore. 7
  9. 9. The most effective lead generation technique is dramatic acts of Dan Waldschmidt kindness. Instead of paying for lead lists, sending more marketing newsletters, or leveraging social media to the max, small businesses can catapult their growth by creating personalized and powerfully empathetic Dan helps super-stars change the conversation by avoiding conventional wisdom, social peer pressure, and selfish behavior… encounters with existing customers. Go the extra marathon at any chance to solve problems customers didn’t even know existed. You won’t just be generating leads, you’ll be manufacturing future customers. 8
  10. 10. Inbound marketing is a great option. Although it is a slow burner, the Duncan Macdonald costs are lower and get it right and you can compete with larger less nimble companies, at a fraction of the cost. A good 6 month plan is required to get things moving.Don’t rule out more traditional outbound Duncan Macdonald is Co-Founder of B12leads – and specializes in B2B Lead generation, nurturing and tracking. methods. If there are good profit margins and you can achieve a viable cost-per-opportunity model, then try renting an email lists or some cold calling. For a small business in the early days, direct communication and feedback from you market can be invaluable.What’s most important is to convert and track your leads, work out what is working and what is not, then refocus on those successful channels and work on the details that make the difference. 9
  11. 11. To increase lead generation, I strongly suggest that small businesses Jill Konrath publish a short, twice monthly newsletter that’s filled with high quality content. This gets them in front of their targeted customers on a regular Jill Konrath is a recognized sales strategist, speaker and author who offers fresh strategies and practical advice for selling to today’s crazy-busy prospects. Both her books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies are Top 20 sales books on Amazon. 10 basis at the same time it demonstrates their expertise. The articles can also be repurposed on the website, ensuring an information-rich portal that builds credibility and demonstrates expertise.
  12. 12. I’d suggest that most companies take a close look at online lead Mitch Tarr generation activities. Many companies hope the ‘Contact Us’ form on their websites will do the job but that’s not lead generation. With the Mitch Tarr is the Founder of ZinMarketing.com, an agency that specializes in helping businesses generate more leads and retain existing customers. Mitch also blogs at www.zinmarketing.com/blog/ speed of which you can test, track, and modify online marketing campaigns you should be able to discover which offer draws the most qualified leads at the lowest cost. Keep testing until you get a winning campaign. 11
  13. 13. Two key tactics I found to be successful are to use PR and to develop Sue Watkins case studies. In fact, using these two tactics together creates a powerful combination. Issue press releases on a regular basis, whether it’s once a Sue Watkins has spent the last 20+ years developing marketing strategies and campaigns. She also founded SMBmarketer.com and authors the blog Smart Marketing Basics (http://blog/smbmarketer.com) and tweets regularly about small business marketing topics at @SMB_marketer month, or once a week, that highlight your business accomplishments, including winning a new customer, hitting a revenue or growth milestone, offering a free webinar or seminar. These are great opportunities to keep your brand top of mind in your market place. They also provide sales tools for your sales teams to use for prospecting, etc. Creating case studies is a great way to highlight your expertise and show how your customers are benefitting from your solution 12
  14. 14. It is important to expand the traditional view of “Referrals”, move beyond Tibor Shanto like-to-like, i.e. CIO-to-CIO, or Production Manager-to-Production Manager, and move to Circle-of-Influence model. In the Circle-ofTibor Shanto is a Principal at Renbor Sales Solutions Inc. and is a recognized speaker, author of award winning book, sought after trainer and blogger at The Pipeline Influence model you focus on key people already in the inner circle of potential buyers and those they would turn to for input. This can include people already selling them other products/services; other consultants, etc. If you are selling applications, you may want to target and foster a relationship with a recruiter placing developers on a contract basis with the CIO in question. Focus on where and with whom your target spends time, not strictly their role. 13
  15. 15. The most effective lead gen techniques for small businesses are Tom Demers educating and creating utility for potential prospects. This can mean a variety of different things but small businesses that can help their Tom Demers is co-founder and managing partner at Measured SEM search engine marketing consulting, a boutique search marketing agency offering pay-per-click advertising services and search engine optimization services including link building and content strategy and marketing. prospects by:Teaching them how to do something related to the small businesses’ productEntertaining them with content related to what the small business sellsActually doing something (with a free tool, by offering a free version of a paid product or service, etc.) will have the easiest time generating leads. Even when you’ve already paid a network or platform (via paid search, display advertising, a sponsorship, etc.) for access to potential customers, you still need to provide the prospect themselves with something valuable in exchange for their contact information and attention. This approach means that the relevant traffic small businesses are buying from various channels will not only convert into leads at a much higher rate, but also have a positive experience of and relationship with the brand: meaning SMBs are not only generating more leads, but also better leads that will be more likely to convert into quality customers. 14