Lead generation… or Opportunity generation?

The start of a new year – time to finish off the office Quality Streets, have a clear out of the stationery cupboard and start planning how you’re going to take over the world in 2018.

You might have ambitious sales targets for the coming year and if you’re focusing on new business wins, no doubt you’ll have considered how you could be generating more leads… right?

Lead generation is an on-going theme amongst the agencies we work with. How and where to find more leads seems to be a perpetual challenge.

In actual fact, leads are the easiest things in the world to come by. It’s opportunities that are a little more elusive. A lead is nothing more than a contact name, a phone number or an email address. The opportunity is where the business is. Are you focusing on leads or opportunities?

A few things you can do:

  • Review your data – Take a look through your CRM (don’t have a CRM? Stay tuned for our upcoming CRM review.) How many leads, prospects and opportunities do you have right now? Can you clean out some old data and add some new leads to work on this year?
  • Think about your marketing activity – How well are you engaging your target audience with content? Could you invest in some videos, industry research or events this year? Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes – what will they find interesting, relevant and helpful? Make yourself a subject-matter expert and make sure your prospective clients know about you.
  • Build a Target list – If your target clients aren’t finding you, you have to find them. Your marketing is your shop window – but it only works if your prospects are walking past. If you’re not yet operating in their sphere of awareness, what more can you do to position yourself where your prospects can see you? Build a list of who you’d like to be working with in the coming year and start getting more familiar with their online and social activity, company news and who their key decision-making contacts are.
  • Create a compelling proposition – With a list of target prospects and armed with some helpful, relevant content, you now need something for your prospects to say ‘yes’ to. Don’t wait for prospects to approach you with a brief – sales activity isn’t passive. Make your own opportunities – find out what your prospects need more of. What are they looking to achieve this year? Is there a ‘productised’ version of your services you can offer with clear features and benefits that will add immediate value for your prospect and help you to build a relationship? Remember to focus on the prospect’s return on investment – the golden rule of any sale.

Leads are the easy bit. Focus on generating more opportunities this year. Be proactive, take control of your sales process and make your own luck. Happy hunting!

Why not take a look at our recent infogrpahic - Secrets of Successful Sales People.