Many business owners and sales managers start a new year with big goals and high hopes. Maybe you’d like to boost sales 10 percent or break into a new market. Or maybe you’d like to launch a new product line. But if you want your visions of sales success to become reality, you need to have careful planning, a clear-eyed perspective on the current state of your business and a willingness to change.
If you’re trying to get bigger sales and better lead generation results, below are a few key ideas and insights to consider:
Review Your Entire Lead Generation Portfolio
Investors have an “investment portfolio” of different asset classes — such as stocks, bonds, money market accounts and real estate holdings. The idea of having a diversified investment portfolio is that it reduces your risk and maximizes your chance of success — in case one type of investment is doing poorly, your other investments can pick up the slack.
In the same way, every company has a “lead generation portfolio” of all the different types of lead generation and different sources of business leads. Ideally, even if you’re not getting as many leads from one source (say, from direct mail marketing), if you have a diverse portfolio, you have multiple chances to get new business leads from other areas (such as online marketing or cold calling).
Take a fresh look at your entire lead generation portfolio:
- Where did you get most of your new business leads last year?
- Where did you get your biggest or highest-yield business leads?
- Which marketing tactics worked well, and which ones under performed?
- How can you adapt your strategy and adjust your tactics to do more of the “good” lead generation tactics, and less of the activities that did not deliver results?
Keep evaluating your lead generation performance along the way, and don’t be afraid to make changes.
Get Back in Touch With Old Customers
A fresh start is a great opportunity to touch base with old customers. People who bought from you before but who you have not contacted in awhile, even if it’s been a year or two or more, are often more likely to buy from you again.
Spend some time getting in contact with former customers. Check in with them and see what’s happening with their businesses. Ask questions, listen to them, and try to rekindle the relationship that led them to buy from your company in the first place.
It’s often easier to keep an existing customer (or sell to a former customer) than it is to find, qualify and convince a new customer to buy from you for the first time.
Re-Evaluate How You Handle Incoming Sales Leads
The economy seems to be picking up steam. Job growth is up and unemployment is down. This means that companies might be getting more calls and inquiries from prospective customers. Incoming sales leads like these can be a great source of new sales. But you have to handle them carefully.
Make sure your company has a process in place for inbound lead qualification:
- Talk to new prospective customers.
- Ask questions.
- Identify their needs.
- Try to figure out whether or not they’re a good fit.
If you spend some time upfront qualifying these inbound sales leads, you’ll save a lot of time later during your sales process. Because you can hopefully sort out the best, most promising, highest priority sales leads and ignore the ones that aren’t really ready to buy.
The beginning of a new year is a time of great promise, optimism and big goals. If you try a few of these easy tips to reevaluate and refocus your lead generation processes, you’ll have a much happier and more successful year.
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