Tag Archives: Lead generation

Top Lead and Sales Sources for Small Business

Top Lead and Sales Sources for Small Business First Quarter 2013.

We track where sales come from for various small businesses, and I think we have enough data to say what we see is fairly representative of many small businesses.

We also provide a service we call the “Sales Crystal Ball” that shows where a company’s new customers are, and why they will buy. To accomplish that one of the things we have to look at is where their new sales have come from (for their best customers) and the sales tree from that customer.

 For the first three months of 2013-  and now updated through JUne 2014

  • Number one source : Referrals and Relationships  61%. Relationships can include referrals from other businesses, or non customers.

  • Internet leads from their site. Not Social Media or PPC stuff. So a business who has high rankings and have employed a good SEO service do see new sales from the Internet.

  • Pay per Click advertising.  In some cases this is number one.  In some cases this is not on the list at all. Depends on your industry and service.

  • Print advertising:  Can be effective if placed correctly. Check current references for any Print advertiser.

So what’s interesting in this, as there is no surprise in the list, is…  what many of us do,  and this costs us in the sales area, is forgetting that the sales that were referred to you, have a history, and it’s important to understand where the first sale in that chain came from. Because the reality is, if it hadn’t happened, you would not have received the referral.

Do a sales tree to see what activity was really responsible for a referral, and then add that to your list of lead generation tactics.

Here’s a quick example:Referral sale came from > Another referral  ( very common) That sale came from a telemarketing appointment.

So, without the original sale, you never would have the most recent customer.  Do this for all your good customers, and you may see why your sales are flat.  We stop doing the “seed” activity, or fail to replace it. Relying primarily on referrals is a recipe for flat and inconsistent sales.

There isn’t any reason to go back to a lead generation source that overall was poor quality. So, if in the above example, telemarketing didn’t produce well, then you may need to replace it with a lead source that does.

Have at least 3 non referral based lead generation programs working at all times.  The Internet is a natural place for this.  SEO, Pay per click, and online advertising can generally keep new leads coming in.  You need to plant those seeds to continue to grow your referrals and relationships.

One of my personal examples is in the early days we did cold calls via the phone to very targeted prospects.  Worked fine, I really should do it again, except, I hate cold calling and telemarketing. So, to replace that lead flow we have built in a targeted networking program.  I am not talking about BNI or those type lead groups.  We are involved in pretty expensive private business networks that , when we are active, is great new lead sources. More about those later.

By Mike Bayes

Call me at 303-5003053 ext 1 with questions.

If you want to jump start your sales, look at our sales coaching or crstal ball programs! www.salesjumpstart.net


 

 

Leads for Contractors and Value of Leads

Denver, Colorado, Usa
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One of the reasons that sites like Service Magic, and in Denver, Team Dave Logan have managed to survive, and perhaps prosper, is they provide a significant value in credibility for a contractor who has not established that on their own.

Service Magic brings a huge amount of advertising budget, history, and customer base to the marketing field, and Logan brings name recognition and local trust. A single local contractor has a very long road to doing the same for their company with out help.

There are alternatives to using on line co-op lead generation services, and the more experienced and success home improvement companies will work hard at establishing their own  brand and local presence through investing in a strong web site, and then using Internet Marketing to get the visibility they need. Both cost more than buying six $50.00  (give or take) on line leads per month, generated through co-op providers,  but in the long run can provide a much greater return on investment for their advertising dollars.

For clients I work with , in most cases, I will  recommend they use both co-op  and individually branded leads.  Frankly, if I am a home improvement company with a unique product and excellent service, I want any lead there is (until proved low value for the investment)

On the scale of quality the Best leads are always referrals.  And we can use closing percentage as a basis.

Best Lead sources for a contractor:

1. Referrals  ( Close 50% or higher). Referrals are limited to the size of your customer base, and your ongoing communication with them. Rarely will this one source bring in enough new business to sustain a contractor.

2.) Individual Leads generated through a good web site. ( Close 35% or more). This lead source saw YOUR work, and liked what YOU had to say. They is going to be a better connection.

3.) Co-op marketing on Line with a credible local provider. (Close 20% or higher). Lets face it, they don’t know you, and you will be competing against  some young overly aggressiveness pricing models at times.  Many of these leads are price shoppers, and the worst part of this lead is the soft cost involved in providing proposals and presenting your service and only winning 1 in 4 or 1 in 5. It’s a cost few contractors understand.

4.)  Other.  Print,  TV, Radio.  In most cases (and there are exceptions) these media types are poor return on investment.

There are plenty of other factors that effect all of this. If you are the low price leader you can live on co-op leads because your closing percentage will be higher.  If you specialize in providing high end services, you will not do well with co-op leads! And in either case, and all in between, if you are not a good sales person, it won’t matter.

Contractors with less than 2 years in business are still in the process of what we call, buying customers. It’s a natural and important process for most start ups. You have to earn your reputation. You have to earn your market share, and the most important thing a new company can do is get as many happy customers as possible.

That’s one of the reasons a company with 5 or more years experience is a good choice for many home remodeling projects. Nothing replaces experience, and they a much lower risk in having issues with your project.

As you can see, there is far more to lead generation than just buying a lead, or building a web site. Successful contractors spend a lot of energy on branding and advertising, and must become excellent sales and marketing companies to prosper in 2011 and beyond.

Feel free to contact My One Call LLC. We have been building and partnering with contractors for 8 years, and understand what works, and what doesn’t work. 303 500 3053 ext 1 (Sales) Web Site

 

 

 

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Find more prospects, close more sales

The conversion percentage of a prospect to a customer is a cornerstone of a successful company. It influences everything in the company including gross revenue, gross margin, net profit, expenses, budget’s, hiring plans, expansion, and virtually every function of a business. Every sales organization should be constantly looking for ways to improve their closing percentage.

But first, a company must get their product or service in front of new potential customers at a cost that is sustainable and still allows profit.  Generating leads is easy; generating profitable leads cab be very challenging.

The cost of generating new prospects is higher in the early stages of a businesses existence.  Without a solid customer base to lean on, the vast majority of new sales will be “purchased” through advertising or promotions. If you are an established company with a solid customer base it’s important to leverage your hard earned reputation in the sales process.

As a sales consultant I have developed a list of areas that will improve both lead generation and closing percentage for virtually any business. These areas work on line or off, and are time tested and proven.

Closing more: Eliminate fear

  • Have a Guarantee
  • Have a  unique offer
  • Have a sales questionnaire
  • Develop Trust through associations and testimonials
  • Have a defined buying Process

Lead generation:

  • Establish your budget with a percentage of gross for advertising
  • Develop a on the spot referral program
  • Use professionals for advertising information. It will save you a ton
  • Use our Crystal Ball to speed up sales for the year. knowing who and where your future customers are will grow your sales quickly

I want to focus on one small change that can improve your closing percentage significantly, and is very simple.

Use your contract or agreement as the sales piece. The most difficult moment in a sales presentation for many sales professionals is the transition from the “presentation” to the close.  Moving the contract or agreement into the physical space between the two parties is always awkward, and you can feel the tension escalate.

Why not just develop a sales piece that is the agreement or contract?  Using a little marketing savvy, and some imagination, you can turn your current paperwork into a decent sales presentation.  By doing so your prospects will be far more relaxed, and it leads to a natural conclusion of signing the paperwork.

In my experience you will see an easy 10% increase in your sales peoples closing percentage. Going from 27% to 37% will have a substantial impact on your revenues and success as a business.

You can read more about our sales consulting on our site

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Generate More Leads

Typical advertising mail.
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Generate More Leads

The fastest way to generate leads is to improve your closing percentage (conversion rate) on the leads you get now.

The reason?  The amount of marketing dollars you have depends on the number of leads you close. If you close 50% more (moving your closing percentage from 25% to 50% as an example) you will be able to afford twice as many leads.

See the steps on our Lead generation page

Best leads sources?  Depends on what you sell, who you sell to, and your margins on your product.  The larger the market the more options you have to reach it.  The larger the margin, the more money you have to reach it.  The better your conversion rate, the more leads you can generate.  That’s why we start with conversion rates when working with a sales client on lead generation.

The number one return on investment in advertising for lead generation is SEO services. Thats why we provide them to clients.

The number one return on investment tactic in sales is relationship building.  But, as with all tactics and lead generation it is limited.

You need at least 10 different lead generation tactics going at all times to insure you have lot’s of new customers, or returning customers.  I will go into more detail on what those could be (specific to the Denver market, but gennerally effective nationwide)  in my next few blogs.

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