Continually growing a small business can be quite a challenge. Think about this: Even a business with a proven system had to invest time and money into proving that system. This is usually a matter of trial and error. People seem to dwell on the error part, but the path to a successful marketing strategy is exactly that, a process.
Lead Generation Tactics for Small Businesses
Here are some considerations that may help minimize the pain of getting leads and maximize your results for sales.
Understand the Process of Leads
We gain new customers through sales. In order to make sales, we need customer prospects. We get prospects, also known as sales leads, through numerous different sources, only a portion of which are truly worth our time and money. Because we do not convert every lead into a sale, we need to generate enough viable leads to yield the desired number of sales.
Within the process we have just described are two milestones that the small business owner must reach. The first is finding out which leads are worth pursuing. The second is determining how much to invest in each source in order to generate the desired number of leads.
Some ways for a small business to generate leads include:
Marketing Collateral and Advertising: what marketing tactics does your business offer to entice prospects? Direct mail campaigns, pay per click ads and social media marketing are just a few ways. Choose your marketing methods wisely that will give you the most bang for your buck.
Building Content: through blogs and email newsletters, you can inform the audience about a topic that connects to your products and services.
Social Media Channels: connect and engage with prospective customers to create conversations around your business, and have your current customers leave online reviews on platforms like Google, Facebook, or Yelp.
Cost Per Lead vs Cost Per Sale
Lead generation is an integral part of any valid sales plan. Quality sales leads infrequently fall from the sky at a sufficient and predictable rate. Like many worthwhile things, they are bought and the price you pay per lead matters a great deal. Why? Because the cost per lead affects the cost per sale and the cost per sale must not consistently be greater than the value of the sale itself.
To use the simplest example, if we pay $1,000 to generate ten leads from a given source, we have in effect paid $100 for each lead. If we close 10% on average from this source, we will get one sale from those ten leads, at a cost of $1,000 — not including any payroll, telephone, or other direct or indirect expenses. Is this good or bad?
If the sale generates $150,000 worth of average lifetime customer value, it’s pretty good. On the other hand, if your average lifetime customer value is $900 before expenses, it’s not so good. Ten-cent leads are worthless if the resulting cost per sale is less than the long-term value of that sale. This is why you must do the math.
Pick the Low Hanging Fruit First
Lead generation can sometimes be counter intuitive. Can a past rejection be a good lead? Sometimes. How about a former customer? It depends on the business, the customer, and the nature of the separation. What about free or nearly free leads, such as personal referrals? Oftentimes yes but again, it depends. Consider for a minute how your business finds potential customers?
As much as we would like to tell you otherwise, the proof is in the data that comes from your own results. But once you have that valuable information, logic says take the easiest pickings first. Then move up a tier. Then again and again until, in theory, you have reached your goals without having paid more for a new customer than that customer is worth.
A Good Test Is Better Than a Good Story
A wise business analyst by the name of W. Edwards Deming once said, “Without data you’re just a person with an opinion.” What does this mean to the small business owner? Take all matters into consideration. Test things, usually more than once, do the math, and trust the data.
It’s usually an apples-to-oranges comparison, but it’s a compelling story so why not run with it? Why not indeed. The sheer number of variables involved in any marketing endeavor are why what works wonders for a small business owner in one industry may be a total dud for another player in a different game.
Spring-Green’s Marketing Support
It’s a good bet that as a green industry business owner, you’ve thought many times about how to attract new customers and expand your business to increase income. Our Marketing and Technology support have become experts with our proven systems to drive a constant flow of new customers. From our Digital Marketing team to engage customers and best prospects and a National Call Center to handle inbound and outbound calls to close the sale.
Spring-Green has been involved in the science of lead generation for over 40 years. We have quite a story to tell, for those who want to learn more. Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com. We will be glad to hear from you.