I recently accepted the president position at Procureit5. I am very excited about joining the team because Procureit5 is a technology-focused print management company that promotes innovation. We have a wonderful team of designers, copywriters, video producers and IT folks on staff.
But Procureit5 doesn’t have an automated sales process. That’s about to change.
I was brought on to grow the company. How will I do it? My first move will be to establish a sales process that incorporates automated lead generation methods. Many companies in traditional industries like print don’t have a technology-based process in place to generate leads for their sales team. Many times, someone is hired and is on their own to figure out a way to get new business. It’s, as my sister would say, “Hope for the best.” If this person survives the first 24 months, they can easily fall into an account manager role and focus on servicing clients instead of generating new business. If that happens, all the lead generation momentum is lost and the company is back to square one: “How do we generate new customers?”
I’m focused on developing a process that funnels inbound leads to my inbound marketing specialist team. It’s much more effective to develop a way to get prospects to reach out to me, instead of vice versa. That is the paradigm switch: getting potential customers to reach out to me. The painful alternative? Having to spend a lot of time trying to get a meeting with one decision maker at a time.
By using cost-effective technology solutions, one can develop a system that makes known hundreds of prospects each hour. This prevents having to identify the right contact, getting their contact information and figuring out how to get a meeting — one person at a time. It exhausts me just thinking about it.
How does one improve their lead generation process? My suggestions are listed below:
1. PR: Share your good news with the world.
Make a list of the local and national media outlets in your industry and the industries to which you sell. Create an editor contact list and use PR News and BusinessWire, the two leading wire services. The pricing is very reasonable and well worth the national exposure. Whenever you have a new hire, do a community service project, add a new service to your offering or sign a new client, make it known. Send a press release. Editors are always looking for new stories. Send them things to write about … often. When you get published, you look good. It increases your credibility and exposes your company to more people. I know many companies that are afraid to share the names of their clients because they are worried a competitor will go after them. I don’t agree. Boast about your clients. It’s a great way to get new business. Prospects within the same industry likely have similar problems and will see that a trusted brand in their industry partnered with you to solve the exact same problem.
2. Search engine optimization (SEO): Get your company ranked on the first page of Google.
Think of the last time you searched for something online. Did you scroll to the second or third page on Google? Many of us want quick, reputable information and don’t have a lot of time to spend searching for it. So we find something listed on page one of Google, read it and use the information. When someone is looking for your print service, you should be on page one. Hire someone (there are lots of quality, affordable consultants) to do an analysis of your website and to help you identify the top 10 phrases or words. Update the copy and backend code on your website. Then write blog articles that incorporate these words and phrases.
3. Digital ads: Be visible to your clients.
Once someone has checked out your company online or expressed interest in your offering, it’s important that you are not forgotten. You can do this by running retargeting ads. Once someone goes to your website, ads about your offering will appear as this person uses the internet. Design an ad that has a call to action. Your prospect can download a case study and/or information that will promote your company. Your prospective client can also sign up for a demo. As soon as the call to action is triggered, someone from your sales team should make contact. You should have a phone and email script ready to go. I like AdRoll for this retargeting service. I set a weekly budget for my ads so I can manage my spend, and track my impressions and the effectiveness of my ads.
4. Email automation system: Email is not dead; use it.
I hear people say that email is dead and people don’t read or respond to unknown emails. That’s just not true. I’ve closed several multimillion dollar deals that started with a “cold” email. Pay for a system/service that gets you emails for your targeted prospects. Make sure it has a drip system that automates sending emails. The fi rst and all follow-up emails should be automated. Send three diff erent campaigns so you can gauge the eff ectiveness of each. It helps to hone your message and understand what resonates most with your prospects. Automating the email process frees up your sales team. Instead of spending time on the tedious process of manual outreach and follow-up, your team can focus on talking to prospects and closing deals. Is it time for a paradigm switch? Why waste precious time and resources chasing down people who don’t want, can’t aff ord or aren’t a good fi t for your service? Why pursue one client at a time? Use technology to create a system where your prospects contact you.