For most businesses, profitability and success are dependent on the ability to consistently generate leads. With that being such an important area of the sales execution, there are some very basic things that can be done to improve the lead generation results.
1. Create Focus When Cold Calling
If cold calling or outbound prospecting plays a role in the sales process and sales strategy, it can help to create more focus in terms of time and sales resources that are specifically dedicated to creating leads. One of the reasons that creating focus on lead generation is important is that in some ways cold calling can be one of the tasks that sales resources enjoy doing the least. And with that being the case, we can often either procrastinate or find something else to work on when it comes time to get on the phone to generate leads.
For some organizations, creating focus can be accomplished by creating a group of resources that have the sole job of cold calling prospects to try to generate leads. There are many benefits to having this organizational structure as there are many tactics and skills that can be employed in this area and by having a group solely dedicated to lead generation, they can become specialized and experts in that particular area.
If there are not sales resources or funding available to create a lead generation team or group, a business has two other options to create focus and improve results. First, they can create an environment where sales resources block out part of their calendar during the week to put everything else on hold and focus solely on cold calling to create leads. The other option is that it can be very easy and cost effective to simply outsource cold calling to an external company and this can ensure that resources will be clearly focused on the lead generation process.
2. Build the Right Incentives
Another way to improve lead gen results is to build the right incentives to motivate the behavior needed to increase the level of leads being produced. As sales people, we are often coin operated and we typically invest time and energy in the areas that will provide the best return. If a business wants to increase the level of leads being produced, a first place to start is ensuring that the right incentives are in place to reward the desired behavior and results.
3. Increase the Level of Professional Networking
If the leads being produced are not at a satisfactory level, we should look at the level of networking that we are doing. The power of networking can be amazing in terms of finding leads and increasing sales.
Networking can mean different things to different people, but in this context we are talking about professional business networking that is done at events and in person. Although, now with all of the new forms of social media, there is tremendous amount of work that we can do and virtually through social networks that are on line.
4. Improve Search Engine Optimization
If a business is not aware of or actively incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) concepts into its sales strategy, it is missing out on one of the most powerful lead generation channels available. This should be a key component of any lead generation strategy.