The sales process starts with the ability to generate leads, aka people who have an interest in learning more about your business. It’s the inability to create sufficient lead flow that prevents most companies from substantial growth.
If you can get lead flow right, hang on and enjoy the ride! Or, let this continue to be your sales constraint and get left behind – or “dropped,” as we call it in the mountain bike racing world. Getting dropped sucks!
One you have identified your Core Customer and have clarity on the Buyer Persona, create a multi-channel plan to connect and generate leads. Buyers are not one-dimensional – they take in information from multiple sources, so you need to think about where they regularly find information, then hit them with information there.
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Here is a list of lead-generation channels to explore. Pick what is right for you based on your Core Customer’s Buyer Persona.
- Content marketing
- SEO and AdWords
- Create events – you are the subject-matter expert
- Outside sales teams
- Inside sales teams
- Outsourced door openers
- Group affiliations or sponsorships
- Partnerships – Channel Sales
- Trade shows or industry events
- Social media
- Traditional PR
- Write a book or do speaking engagements
- What else makes sense for your industry or your Core Customer?
Look for the 3-5 channels you can focus on. You might ask, “Why not just focus on one channel and go deep?” The answer is that things can change that are out of your control. I see many companies going all-in with an inbound marketing strategy tied to the Web hoping to make the phone ring. Great idea, but what happens when Google changes the content-ranking algorithm? Your 1st page rank is now number 4, and it will take money and time to get it back on top.
Instead, start by working with your team to create a list of 3-5 channels to focus on, and create 3-year, 1-year and 90-day targets and goals. Then create a 90-day action plan to put your multi-channel strategy into motion.