Lead Generation has changed. Has your business adapted?

By: Justin Vanhartingsveldt

Your approach to Lead Generation may have worked in the past, but life has changed and your approach must change too. As the years of experience pile on, we as human beings tend to remember the “good old days”. We reflect on times when life seemed simpler and straightforward. If we are honest, things were likely just different then and had their own set of challenges and complexities. Perhaps what makes today seemingly harder than in the past is that we haven’t quite adapted or learned how to work efficiently within the new system. What does this have to do with generating leads?

There has been a dramatic and recent shift in terms of how leads are best generated for businesses. At one time, businesses could simply rely on one or two lead generation methods to find sources of potential revenue. For example, your business relied on your website to generate leads and perhaps that was enough to carry you. Maybe you could get away with waiting for the next order to be phoned in or e-mailed to you. Trade shows may have been a good source of leads for you. But have you noticed that your leads are coming in fewer and farther between?

What worked in the past for lead generation cannot be your exclusive path today. The world has moved on and your approach must also in a balanced way.

The world of lead generation tends to be a trendy one. People will loudly proclaim bold statements such as “cold calling is dead” and the world makes a major shift toward another method, such as using social media to generate leads. Then that method becomes popular and eventually saturates. The audience tires, response rates go down and once again, people switch gears and swarm another lead generation methodology that appears to be hot. This approach to lead generation is not very effective, or at best, temporarily effective. What are you supposed to do?

When you seek to generate business, your goal is to be noticed and trusted by those who need you most. How can you be heard or stand out if you are one of thousands fighting for the attention of the same potential customers, over the same channels using similar messages? This is what you need to remember: Your potential clients are tired of hearing the same thing from many people competing for their business over the same channels. It is your strategy and how you deliver value that must change. You must stand out!

2 Better Strategies for Generating Leads:

  1. “Go Where They Ain’t”: Sam Walton developed this strategy when deciding where to place Walmart stores. His focus was to build stores where his competition wasn’t. The idea is to concentrate at least part of your lead generation efforts using channels that everyone else is ignoring. This allows you to be heard in a less competitive environment and to stand out more. Is everyone using email blasts to reach their target clients? Try sending handwritten postcards for example. But make sure you communicate valuable things to your target audience!
  2. Go “Multi-Channel”: Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Spread your lead generation efforts out into coordinated, simultaneous programs spanning different channels. For example, combine phone prospecting with Google Ads and physical mail. Measure the results over time and consider replacing your least-performing channel with another channel. Be sure to give each campaign time to breathe and gain momentum. Switching programs every 2 weeks only hurts you. Just remember to be different in ways that are appealing to your audience.

SalesEvolve’s Observations regarding Lead Generation:

  1. Simultaneous, coordinated inbound & outbound lead development over multiple channels is more successful than relying on one channel. (Often significantly more effective.)
  2. Your target audience probably isn’t as available over the phone as they once were. Your strategy may need to include engagement over social media, email, online searches, ads, and physical mailings. Real lead volume comes through multiple sources paired with consistent, ongoing respectable outreach.
  3. Finding new businesses requires coordinated strategy, planning, and expert execution. Having just a list of phone numbers and a basic calling script isn’t enough.
  4. You must stand out and be extremely focused. This means professional staff, meaningful value-based communications, clear differentiation, and engaging messaging. Your value to potential clients must be very clear.
  5. Patience is required. Whether it’s Google Ads, SEO or Cold Calling, all systems require a period of learning (machine and human) and A-B testing to determine what works.
  6. Selling in North America is different than selling in other areas of the world. Not understanding the cultural and business etiquette differences, or not adapting your messaging and business conduct is a costly error to winning business.

Do you need to find a lead generation strategy that works for your business? SalesEvolve is here to guide you and expertly prepare your company for long-term success.

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