Here are some proven strategies to replace those missing sales leads
It’s not breaking news that COVID caused a major disruption in every business in America. During this season, company executives were sent scrambling after learning that the normal tradeshows they had planned on attending had been canceled.
If your company previously relied on tradeshows for sales leads, don’t despair. We’ll show you how to replace that missing lead flow using these modern marketing techniques.
We tapped into the collective knowledge of marketing company, Atlas Rose, to give us the strategies they use with their clients facing the same challenge. Atlas Rose offers Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) level talent to companies that need marketing direction, but can’t afford an expensive full-time employee. Instead, they work with a fractional CMO and enjoy all the benefits.
Company CEO, Branden O’Neil explains the approach that works for nearly all companies. “People follow brands that take an interest in their customers and are willing to lead an entire industry. Every company has an opportunity to step up and lead through education. By demonstrating they are thought leaders, prospects will follow the company because it adds value to what they do for business. Help them start down the path to find a solution to their problem. Engage through education.”
Here are a few suggestions on where to start:
Have a Zoom call
With over 200 million people on Zoom calls per day, it has become one of the go-to business communication tools since the beginning of the year. Atlas Rose CMO, Brett Kozimor suggests keeping it simple by inviting a customer or other industry partners to chat about a specific topic. Considered to be less formal than a webinar and slide deck, the Zoom call can just be a fireside chat with two or more professionals. Focus on delivering value and resist the urge to do direct selling. Demonstrating your expertise helps earn trust with the audience. They will likely engage through questions and feedback, which is the first step in the sales process.
Participate in mastermind groups
Surrounding yourself with peers and referral partners can be very powerful. For senior company executives, consider joining a peer advisory group like Christian based C12. They exist to help you build a more efficient and profitable business by learning the experience of others. While trading sales leads is not the primary purpose of the group, new business nearly always happens as an added benefit.
Other groups are more direct in their approach. Business Network International (BNI) is a business referral organization with 270,000 members in 9500 chapters worldwide. In this group, members are expected to trade leads and track their closed progress. The group claims they generated 16.7 billion dollars last year alone through its membership.
Relevant PowerPoint driven digital presentations deliver great value and can be assets that live on for an extended period. After creating the webinar, it can be offered on your website to lure in customers. Content can be unlocked by users giving their name and email. This opens the door for the company to follow up and continued engagement.
Engage your current team
Sometimes your best salespeople come without the title. Engineers, administrative support, accounting personnel, and others inside your organization understand the value your business brings to its customers. Make sure everyone on your team knows who makes a good client and asks them to share blog posts, videos, and other content with their network. Personal introductions through LinkedIn is another great way to expand your company network. One Atlas Rose client goes a step further by incentivizing team members to write blog posts. They earn cash and it’s overseen by the marketing department.
Be proactive with potential referral sources
Every company shares its industry space with other vendors that serve the same customer, but are not competitors. Look to forge relationships with these untapped referral sources. A great way to do that is to extend some goodwill by giving them a Google review or mentioning them in your blog posts or webinars. They will be eager to reciprocate and will appreciate the effort. Find ways to co-produce educational opportunities to communicate with your audiences. The cross-promotion will introduce new prospects to your brand.
O’Neil concludes, “Someday soon we will get back to traveling to tradeshows, but in the meantime, use this downtime to redirect budgets and human capital to invest in new lead streams. Use this time to adapt, and your organization will be stronger for it. It’s a time to level up and sure up the weaker parts of your marketing strategy.”