Sales don’t just happen!
It takes a lot of activities for the small business owner to generate sales.
One of such critical activities is lead generation.
A lead is a person or business that is interested in the products or services your company is offering.
A lead could be a person when your business is consumer-facing or a business when your customers are businesses.
Now, lead generation refers to the act of creating and capturing interest in your product or service.
It involves processes, strategies that a business can use to capture or create the interest of an entity; individuals or businesses.
Importance of Lead Generation in a Small Business
If you understand why sales are important, then you would not find it difficult to see how important generating leads is for a small business.
Without leads, the sales team or the business owner cannot prospect or give a pitch to make a sale.
A lead is an important foundation in making sales.
a. Expand Customer Base – A lead plays an important role in growing the existing customer of a small business because without it there would be no people to convert to customers.
b. Grow Your Business – No business can grow without sales, and no sales can happen without leads to convert.
Your growth as a small business depends on how well you’re able to generate leads and convert them to customers.
c. Efficient Use of Marketing Budget – With leads, businesses can understand the demography of their target market that have shown interest in the product or services that they’re offering.
And help channel their time and money to those people or businesses.
Without leads, however, business owners would lack direction in terms of the right people to direct their marketing efforts to.
How To Generate Leads For Your Small Business
1. Identify Your Target Market
The first step to generate leads for your small business is to identify your target market.
Who are the primary people your products or services were created for?
Most businesses already have an idea of their target market, but if you don’t already, you need to take out time to understand your ideal customer, the pains you’re providing solutions for, etc.
Drafting a customer profile is recommended in this regard.
2. Evaluate the Best Way to Reach Them
Now that you have a clear picture of whom you want to reach, the next step is to evaluate the best way to reach them.
The best way would depend on the behaviour of your customers.
If from the information you have about your ideal customers, you found out that they attend seminars and industry events, then your mode of reaching them should capture that.
If they use social media to get information instead, then you should leverage social media to reach them instead.
There are different channels to reach your target market.
c. Paid Advertising
d. Online platforms
e. Influencer marketing
You can use any of these channels that best suit your target market, or you can use a combination of channels to effectively reach them.
3. Capture Their Interest
If people indicate interest in your product or service, and you are unable to capture their information, your effort would have been wasted.
The essence of lead generation is to be able to capture the information of those who indicate interest so that you can reach them after.
The most effective way of capturing that is interest is through a combination of a landing page, a form and the right offer.
Here’s how it works – if it is offline, after driving traffic to your store with a promise of an offer, like a 30% discount, for instance, you should craft a process that collects their information so that you’re able to reach the people who showed interest in your offer or product.
If it is online, however, you drive traffic to your landing page or website and make an irresistible offer in exchange for their information.
4. Nurture Leads
Now that you have been able to capture their contact information and any other information you want, it is time to qualify the leads, nurture their interest and convert them to customers.
A good way to nurture leads is to feed their information into an email marketing platform like Mailchimp and send them information to convince them to buy your products through email campaigns.
The more personalized these campaigns are, the better.
It helps if you can segment your leads by different categories to achieve this.
5. Measure & Iterate
Lead generation is not a one-day event.
As long as your business needs sales, It should be generating leads.
It is also important that your investment is measured so that you can determine how well you’re performing and how you can improve your efforts.
This where your flexibility comes in too.
The strategy that worked well a few weeks ago might not be effective today.
Be always ready to iterate and find new and better ways to generate more sales leads.
The truth many small business owners are yet to discover is that you don’t have to be at your business every day to make it work.
You don’t have to stay worried that your business would not function if you can’t show up.
Discover how to build a profitable small business that runs itself and works without the owner.