Business Opportunity Lead Generation
Business opportunity lead generation just might be the most pressing issue for the small business owner. There are a number of things that provide obstacles for small commerce owners. An up and down economy can generate many concerns on all fronts, but so many of those issues could be vanished if more customers could be found. Where they are located and how they can be identified seems to always be at the top of any small commerce owner's wish list. Business opportunity lead generation methods and tactics change almost yearly, and as technology opens up more and more possibilities for contacting customers all over the world, those methods will also evolve.
Of course the old fashioned ways of getting new leads even fifteen years ago now seem so corny. The one where a business would go and blitz an entire parking lot or lots with windshield ads was a favorite. The dressed up clown out in front of the enterprise waving a big stupid looking white gloved hand at every driver was another. Buzzing the airwaves with radio spots was another and in the early days of Internet marketing using pop up ads like they were toaster breakfast treats at a Boy Scout campout were common. Actual phonebook ads seem to be on the way out and while giving away business cards at every turn might still be somewhat effective, the small business owner is wondering if there isn't something better for business opportunity lead generation strategy.
Today, business opportunity lead generation really begins with having a website and getting it search engine optimized for maximum exposure on the results search pages. There is a bit of science to this optimization and if someone is not familiar with know how to make that happen, a person who is familiar with Internet marketing can probably help. Over 60% of those searching for a subject or product do not go beyond first page search results, so the need for catching the attention of the search engine's spiders is highly important to gain business opportunity lead generation advantage. But there are also some other ways to find those leads to more sales. Jesus told the story of a rich man who wanted more and tore down smaller building and built bigger ones to house his riches. On the night that he was ready to party into the night, God said to him, "'Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee'...so is he that layeth up treasures for himself and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12: 20a, 21)
One of the hottest trends to gain new customers is to create a blog using the knowledge one has for a subject and using it to advance one's commerce vnture. Small business owners usually gain a plethora of knowledge over time in the area of their commerce activities. People are hungry for new facts and information on almost any subject under the sun, so the creation of a lens or blog to share that niche business knowledge on a regular basis and providing links to one's website is a terrific business opportunity lead generation strategy. Actually, the blog wouldn't have to be business related; it may be on a hobby someone enjoys or pursues or another unbusiness-like topic. Making a monthly change to the topic and even picking up affiliates to advertise on one's site is a good way to gain market exposure.
Another way to increase business opportunity lead generation is to use a targeted bulk email approach. Many email marketing service providers can offer vetted email lists that all ready to read what your message has to say. The names on these lists have agreed to look at messages from you and you company, and often represent the very demographic target your business can reach. Sending out large email campaigns without targeting or vetting the recipients is yesterday's news and not very effective. Having a plan to follow up on these leads, which may be sizable, needs to be in place before undertaking such a campaign.
Using viral marketing strategies can also be of real value. The viral marketing paradigm is built around people passing on your ad to others in their sphere of influence. This can come in the form of the aforementioned email campaign where there is opportunity and invitation to send it on to someone else. It may come in the form of the blog where readers are invited to send it on to others. One interested in business opportunity lead generation using viral marketing ought to research more of the strategies and techniques online and in libraries to learn its secrets. But there is another source for finding new potential customers.
The use of give a ways and coupons can often produce leads not found any other way. Consider an educational software company that has a blog going plus it produces a newsletter that speaks to educational topics and needs every month. In addition, they have a new software program geared for the needs of autistic children. A targeted email campaign goes out inviting people to sign up for a free subscription to the monthly newsletter. The news letter is not about selling in any way but rather about educational concerns. But in that newsletter is a coupon for 10 percent off the software package. The blog contains links to the company's website, plus invitations to get a free newsletter subscription.
Business To Business Lead GenerationCompany survival often depends on business to business lead generation. As an organization grows, it needs new customers to thrive - people who have an immediate need or one in the near future that the company can readily fill. Lead generation is about finding those people, developing a relationship, and introducing products and services that will hopefully turn them into reliable, long-term customers. It sounds simple, but it is not. Not every prospect converts into a customer. On average, only 25% of leads respond, 10% set up an appointment and 1% actually signs a contract. This is true when companies sell products and services to other companies (or B2B). Continual business to business lead generation is necessary to maintain a steady flow of prospects to grow and sustain cash flow.
Finding viable prospects take time, work and a lot of patience. People and companies who are interested in the type of product or service and involved in the same market are most likely to visit a website for more information. To reach them, business to business lead generation must be specifically targeted toward the intended audience. Marketers know the value of research. They know everything possible about the person or organization that defines their audience group. Research doesn't have to be costly. Methods can be completed that fall within any B2B budget, but it does have to be comprehensive to reach those with who will guarantee the best success. This can be accomplished through vertical marketing - targeting a specific industry by addressing specific industry concerns and incorporating insider jargon into marketing materials to capture that specific group. Another tactic would be to focus on horizontal marketing that cross industry lines - focusing on types and sizes of companies instead of their products or services. Narrowing in on a certain location: city, state or nation, can be beneficial. No company can afford to target everyone. Business to business lead generation is very specific. Prospects will respond to efforts in several ways. If they have an immediate need for the product or service and the budget is in place, the prospect is already primed to make the purchase and is most likely to buy. Others that have a need but no defined budget may only need information to consider so that they will be able to purchase soon. Prospects already using other vendors but are open to switching vendors when the time is right are kept active while those with no current or foreseeable future needs can be deleted from a prospect list. There's no need to waste time and energy on companies with little or no potential.
Leads can be generated in many ways. Although once popular, sweepstakes are not one of the least effective ways to attract new customers. Online methods such as webcasts, blogs and podcasts are now among the most popular methods. Executives often read blogs to help them make appropriate decisions for their companies. Free demos or product discounts are also successful. Conventional methods like direct mail, brochures, and print advertising are still used, but usually in cooperation with online media - websites, banner ads, email blasts, and even social networking sites. But online business to business lead generation must lead the consumer somewhere. Landing pages, special web pages where consumers land after they click through a link on an ad campaign, are a great way to capture new prospects. These targeted pages provide a specific action that leads the prospect to the next step. Whether the action invites them to subscribe to a newsletter, watch a webinar or request more information, contact information is collected for follow-through and the consumer becomes a lead.
Companies using business to business lead generation shouldn't overlook the power of one-on-one networking. More traditional methods like cold calling, setting up a booth at conferences or trade shows, and making appointments with area representatives put a face on the product or service offered. This relationship marketing is a crucial part of nurturing prospects into long-term clients that goes way beyond B2B generation. Each contact should move the individual or company further towards making the purchase. All conversations and communications should be kept relevant, with the audience's needs first in mind. Marketers position their companies as thought leaders in the industry, organizations that provide solutions to whatever their audience needs. But to do so, they must prove that the company understands the need and the prospect well enough to provide them with the answer they are searching for. Even as a young child, Jesus always kept his audience in mind when speaking and told stories that related directly to them. "And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers." (Luke 2:47)
Business to business lead generation is not useful unless the company can keep the prospects it generates. Keeping leads is all about connecting with them, building a relationship that includes a human aspect. Personal interaction is more likely to result in a sale than electronic, online interface only. Follow through once a week or once a month to keep their loyalty. Offer incentives and special discounts. Contracts expire and need to be renewed. Customers will only come back if they feel respected. Listen to their needs and keep a good rapport with each one. Continue to invest one-on-one especially after the contract is signed. Craft each email carefully to optimize all areas: from line, subject line, preview pane and entire message so it isn't reported as spam. Keep it consistent with the brand so that clients will immediately recognize the message.
Methods for generating leads and maintain relationships is not complicated but some companies do not have the resources or expertise available to carry out an effective program. There are many lead generation companies that can help companies assess needs, understand the audience and determine the most effective way to attract those leads. Many will even include services such as appointment setting, lead management, and sales force optimization. Whether handled internally or externally, business to business lead generation is crucial to keep companies afloat, growing, active, and successful.