There are a number of things that a business needs in order to survive, but it all comes down to money in the end. A business exists to make money. And money comes through sales. The more you sell, the more money you make.
I’m sure that isn’t news to anyone, but it’s worth stating, because sales happen when you find and convert leads. And leads generation, for the majority of businesses, is the problem.
However, it’s not even that simple. Because lead generation is a complicated business. It has a number of problems attached to it.
In recent research by The Rain Group and ITSMA, it was discovered that businesses felt the biggest issue around lead generation was finding that offer, or strategy, or mechanism that would create leads. In fact, 42.1% of respondents to their survey said this was ‘the thing’ that made lead generation challenging.
In other words, they just wanted a gadget or team that would just get on with the business of finding qualified leads. Something that would work.
They just wanted a ‘way’ to get leads.
The strategy, offer or mechanism
Getting the strategy right begins with one simple task. As soon as you know your audience fully, you’ll be able to give them the messages they want, and find them where they are most likely to be.
I know this is basic marketing stuff, but everything flows from this job. Work out who your prospects are, and why they would want to purchase from you. Because:
You cannot identify and qualify leads without doing this
Seriously, get this right and it’ll be like a switch being turned on in your brain.
“Buyer personas are often met with opposition because they’re a lot of work to assemble, and once assembled they are living, evolving things and must be maintained. Like people, buyer personas change over time with the market, the times, the ebbs and flows of products and services. They absolutely require work, but they are entirely worth it.”
One of the very best ways to make the creation of buyer personas less like hard work is to talk to your current clients. Find out why they chose you and you then have the perfect foundation upon which to build a lead generation strategy that works.
Before you go out there and ask 200 questions that annoy your current customers, think about the reason why you’re doing this.
When you interview current customers for the purpose of strengthening lead generation, you are doing this so you can discover what motivates a customer to look for your company, and then buy from your company.
If you’re in need of a lead-generation strategy that works, start with buyer personas.
Below are some of the questions you should be asking your current buyers. Send them by email, or ask a specialist to create a pretty paper one that you can send in the post. It’s entirely up to you.
But create your questionnaire, and then you’ll know who you’re targeting in marketing.
- What are the most common challenges in your industry?
- What are the goals you are trying to achieve?
- Why are those goals so important?
- Who is involved in the buying process for purchasing products like ours?
- What are your biggest complaints about us and what we offer?
- How can we solve them?
- What blogs do you read?
- Which magazines do you read?
- What TV shows do you watch?
- How do you research new products/services for your business?
- Do you attend tradeshows? Which ones?
- How did you find out about us?
There are 12 questions there, each of which will get you closer to understanding your customers.
How do I use that info?
Well, notice how the questions asked stuff like ‘which blogs do you read?’. There was also a question about trade shows. This questioning reveals to you where you should be placing your marketing dollars.
It gets better:
The question ‘how did you find out about us?’ is equally as important. gives you a clear direction as to where you should be placing your advertising.
The question about the biggest complaints customers have teaches you exactly what you have to do to make customers happy. It also shows you how to make sure you offer the perfect solution to a customer’s pain point.
Ask questions of your current customers. Even if you ask just five, they could hold the key to simply having an increase in qualified leads.