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Lead Generation

Top tips for SMEs to increase leads…

Here Tim Peniston-Bird, an expert in lead generations shares tips and advice for SMEs on how to make lead generation work for them including costs and comparisons. For the last 30 years, Tim has been driving sales for some of the world’s leading brands including BMW, Gucci, Honda, Hugo Boss, Microsoft, Orange, Procter & Gamble and Wella.

“Type in B2B lead generation and you will find around 22 million results offering a plethora of lead funnels, service providers and methodologies that all promise you a consistent and revolutionary direction to that pot of gold – so how do you work out what’s right for you?

The first question you should be asking, is why?

Why would an organisation buy from you? Do you solve a problem or pain?

You need to identify this and then you can understand your why. Once you know why an organisation would buy from you, then you can ensure your messaging reflects this.

The next question might seem like a no-brainer but it’s amazing how many people jump in feet first when they don’t actually need to.

So, do you need new leads?

Referrals from current and past clients are by far your most profitable and easiest to convert leads. On average, 70% of customers if asked will recommend you so why start a lead generation programme when you could probably generate the business you need by focusing on the customers who already enjoy working with you?

Who are you targeting?

Once you’ve decided to take the leap into lead gen, the first thing you need to do is identify who your most profitable clients are and focus on them.

The size and type of the organisation you want to target should be taken into account on your lead generation decision; small clients usually take up much more time per pound than a large client, however, if a client is too big, they may not consider using you. Pay per click and broadcast email will be better at getting lower value, customers whereas more tailored approaches are much more effective at enterprise complex sales.

Are you approachable?

Customers have become much more savvy at buying – most will have conducted plenty of research before they even consider approaching you, and will on average have watched, read and listened to 11 pieces of information about you before they will agree to a call or meeting. The more you can make this quick and easy, the more likely they are to progress – work out the most common questions they are likely to ask, then make them accessible through video, downloads or on your website. 7/10 customers will view a video during the buying cycle. The key questions tend to be – how you can solve their problem, how much you charge, how easy it is to use you, who your competitors and how you compare.

Sales teams are no longer a competitive solution!

Lead generation and qualification is a very different skill set to a Field Sales or Account Manager – you will need copywriters, data scientists and multi lingual telemarketers – it is often much more cost effective to outsource these skills than to try and get these skills in-house. If you have an existing sales team, you’ll know that it takes an average of 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer (if they’re lucky!), and they’re not only spending a lot of time on the phone, there’s also time spent in meetings, creating proposals, or chasing prospects. Research shows that a shocking 50% of B2B leads tend to be poorly matched to a company’s service offering.

What is their time worth to you? It’s important to break this down. You could be investing a fortune on making them an expert on your business, on salaries, cars, expenses and management – if you take all these costs and divide by a typical 1100 productive hour year on an £90,000 salary – then a salesperson is costing you over £200 per hour!

Intent Based System

If your decision maker is easy to identify by industry and job title then Social Selling, Email and Telemarketing could work for you. If the job title and industries vary, then there could be multiple people within an organisation that could be interested in your solution – in that scenario, you may be better off using an intent based system to discover customers. Intent based systems will start to engage customers far earlier in the buying cycle whilst they are researching solutions – helping to nurture the buying process to make your solution more attractive. Prospects are identified by their online research of a topic highlighting who specifically is in the market for your solution. Intent based lead generation helps you identify and focus on larger and more profitable projects meaning you will typically increase revenue per sale by at least 40%.

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