Are you sometimes feeling overwhelmed by all the recommended B2B marketing best practices and advice from experts? Let’s recap. You need a unique value proposition, some case studies, an eNewsletter, a revamped website, a blog, a video on YouTube, a lead nurturing program, etc. Is this starting to make your head spin?
This article provides you with five small actionable steps you can take immediately to improve your lead generation and lead management practices.
Take a client to lunch once a month
This is so easy to do! It does not take much time, nor does it require a huge marketing budget, and yet you can learn so much by talking to your actual customers. Concretely, talking to your clients without a sales agenda can help you in three ways. First, it usually strengthens the relationship, especially, if you show genuine interest in helping them. It shows clients you are not taking them for granted, and that you truly appreciate their business. They may reward you with some referral business. Second, a conversation with a client can help you sharpen your unique value proposition if the questions you ask help you quantify the value of implementing your offering for new prospects. Third, it helps you identify your clients’ willingness to participate in a case study, which is a powerful sales and marketing tool.
Dig up your past sales funnel
Again, a relatively easy exercise, that should help you identify if you have a leaky sales funnel or not. The reality is that if you have an opportunity leakage, any marketing dollar you continue to invest is a pure waste. Experts say that up to 70% of the leads salespeople fail to follow-up on end up buying a solution from a competitor within 12 to 18 months. Regardless of what the experts say, you need to quantify the leak for your organization. So, take the list of sales opportunities from 12 months and 18 months ago and get a status for each and every one of them. How many bought from a competitor? How many are still on status quo? This is how you determine if you have a lead leakage and if your sales and marketing departments can truly benefit from a lead nurturing program.
Keep a marketing journal
Are you spending too much time on urgent marketing tasks, and not enough on important marketing priorities? We tend to miscalculate how much time we really spend on tasks. One easy way to find out is to keep a journal for a couple of weeks. That will give you the true picture. If you find yourself spending too much time on inadequate marketing tasks, you basically have four options. You can (1) eliminate the task, (2) delegate it to someone else, (3) accept the 80% perfect version instead of the 99% perfect version, or (4) reschedule the task to a less busy time. The bottom line is that to be successful, you need to spend the necessary time on important things, on a regular basis.
Set mini goals
You are more likely to succeed if you start small and have a long-term perspective. If you cannot find the time to take your clients out to lunch every month, do it every two months. If you want to start a newsletter, but find it challenging to deliver content every 6 weeks, do it quarterly. Whatever is on your wish list, break it down into smaller goals and celebrate your accomplishments. Slowly but surely, you will find the motivation to improve your lead generation and lead marketing processes.
Hire a marketing coach
A marketing coach can help you achieve results faster than if you try to do everything yourself. Sticking to a marketing routine, eliminating bad habits one at a time is hard. A marketing coach forces you to set challenging yet achievable objectives and holds you accountable for your commitments by having you report weekly or monthly on your accomplishments and initiatives. Not to mention that a marketing coach can be a source of creative ideas, helping you uncover new marketing opportunities or ways to overcome weaknesses.
We usually know what needs to be done. The difficulty resides in action and persistence. Just like the overweight person who managed to shed the pounds off knew all along the solution to long-term weight loss involves healthy eating habits and regular exercise, you know there is no quick fix to finding more sales-ready leads. The five initiatives described in this article are deliberately “small,” but the point is to make you realize that simple changes can make a big difference. The real change however, comes from your willingness to change. You just need to commit to at least one of these five small initiatives to prove it.