Salespeople often lack the support of a dedicated marketing team that do lead generation programs for them. So they do their own sales prospecting.
This is especially true for salespeople working in small businesses.
Here’s what I mean:
Sales must succeed in spite of it all.
They must, in one way or another, generate their own sales leads and meet their revenue and targets with little marketing support.
In fact, they often need to develop their own lead generation as part of their sales process.
You may call it prospecting, business development, cold calling.
All of which means the investment of time to get their foot in the door. Then, they must be a shift from prospecting back to selling.
In lead generation, the job of the marketing department is to develop leads to match the buyer’s readiness to buy and the seller’s expectations of selling.
Ideally, marketing should say to sales: “We get the leads, you get the sales.”
That said, there are some organizations that for various reasons still place the responsibility of lead creation with the sales.
10 tips for salespeople who do lead generation
1. Build an ideal customer profile and use it
Focus your energy on leads that best fit your ideal customer profile. Both the companies and the individuals you covet as customers. What separates your best and worst customers? What are their attributes and demographics? What organizations/associations do they belong to?
2. Talk to your best customers
How much do you really know about your clients? A simple phone call can generate plenty of useful information.
Ask your customers why they chose to work with you? Is that the same reason they keep doing business with you?
How has working with you helped their business?
Would they refer you to other people? Are they willing customer advocates?
Use this information to refine your message to identify more leads just like your best customers. Once you understand why clients chose your products or service, you can tailor your message to the needs you solve.
3. Build your personal prospecting engine
Connect with your prospects, customers, networks and alliance partners in a consistent manner.
How? By using traditional direct marketing methods such as direct mail, phone calls, personal publicity, and email campaigns.
4. Develop a lead generation calendar
Map out your activities for each month and then actually follow it! And don’t just make irrelevant pitches more often!
Create a plan to add value every time you touch your future customers with relevant ideas, content, and resources.
5. Act as a sound financial manager with your portfolio tactics
Your lead generation and prospecting efforts should include a portfolio of tactics that you apply consistently over time.
You’re not in it for the big hit. You’re investing in planting seeds that will eventually grow into relationships.
6. Define your goals for lead generation
Be clear about what you want. Do you want 200 more leads in your database?
Do you want to generate $600K in new business in revenue this year?
Do you want to add 26 new customers this quarter?
Get clear on your objective.
7. Rigorously qualify leads
Every sale opportunity to make sure they fit your ideal client/customer profile before you start to develop a proposal or agree to do work. Learn more about lead qualification.
8. Be consistent with your outreach
Remember the fable about the tortoise and the hare? Or have you heard dig your well before you’re thirsty?
No matter how busy you are, be sure to make time to do personal lead generation activities especially, if you don’t have a marketing team supporting you.
9. Develop a lead nurturing plan
While you may generate leads from your initial campaign, you will generate more by following up with additional touches just be sure that is meaningful and relevant to your audience.
Lead nurturing should be focused on building a long-term conversation that builds trust.
10. Develop and maintain your own database
Even the best lists of target accounts are not 100% accurate. During the planning phase, you should make sure your list fits your ideal customer profile.
Also, don’t create the biggest database possible. Instead, seek to create the most relevant database possible which contains the right accounts and contacts that influence the buying decision.
In the beginning, you won’t have all the data you need. Be patient and you’ll build the opportunity profile over time.
I hope you found this post helpful with fresh ideas you can use now.