As you hunt for the secret to lead generation, make sure you are doing the fundamentals to win.
Every business development pro and marketing genius wants to know the secret to getting more leads.
The answer is very simple: Fundamentals.
There is no single thing you can do to generate leads on a shoestring budget. I say shoestring because if you had unlimited funds and could pay the TODAY Show, Howard Stern, Jimmy Fallon or even Beyoncé to promote your brand, then maybe that would help drive crazy sales.
But most people don’t have that kind of money. Even brands with thousands of units still don’t have the funds to blast all of the national outlets with their message.
Thus, if you are going to win the crazy game of lead generation, you have to start with the fundamentals. As you finalize your budgets for the next year, I would advise that you break up your marketing and sales efforts into two buckets. Bucket one will be getting the leads into the funnel. Bucket two will be nurturing them once they get there.
To get leads into the funnel, perform a SWOT analysis on these three important things.
Good Positioning: What is your brand story? How do you stand out in a crowded marketplace? Who are your brand ambassadors? Why would someone want to buy your brand now (as a prospective business partner or customer)? Would you buy the brand? What gaps do you see?
Great Website: Leads today will go to your Website. Many will be passive when they get there—meaning that they will be ghost leads (visitors that don’t give you their contact information). What message does your Website deliver? Does the narrative get them to come back? Do you give them content and stories that will help facilitate their decision to join your brand?
Great Results: How are you driving your positioning story to increase quality traffic to your Website? Are you effectively using PPC? Are you using Social Advertising? Are you leveraging the PR you generate? What about those ads you run in industry publications—are you connecting the communications silos and having the same message when they land on your site?
Once you take a hard look at all of these elements, you need to then focus on nurturing the findings. Consider how you’re working your leads through the funnel.
Good Sales Process, Materials: Do you sell a million dollar experience—in that the prospect is fighting to get in once they see your secret sauce (positioning)? How are you working the leads? Have you secret-shopped your own sales process with the help of someone else in your organization? What is your lead flow timeline? What do you do when a lead comes through?
Good Validation: Validation can kill deals. I was recently talking with a CEO of a company who was ready to hire a candidate for a job until their last employer completely ripped their abilities apart in a reference check. That turned him into a dead lead. What do others say about your brand, your leadership and their experience when you are not around? Do you know?
Great Service: How do you service the leads? Do you have retargeting? Are you giving your candidates enough research material to guide the timing of their decision? Are you handling them like they are a first-class passenger on your brand’s flight?
Great Results: Again with the results. Are you making sure the candidates see all of your great results? Do you have a timeline of your brand? Are you leveraging your PR, social, marketing and advertising success stories? Do you deliver a consistent experience?
For creating awareness, generating leads and nurturing leads, I work through these categories on a quarterly basis to judge our business. This gives me the ability to have a pulse on what’s working and what’s not.
As you hunt for the secret to lead generation, make sure you are doing the fundamentals to win. It will buy you more time in your hunt for the unicorn.