How to generate productive sales leads
.. a unique solution to a universal problem for startups
When we set out to build Salesgenie CRM++, we were actually onto our second inspiration.
We had set out to build a different product/ service and as we were creating the specs, we started thinking of marketing it. The challenges and the process of overcoming those.
Lead generation was key. We were confident of closing business if we knew who to talk to, but, not on a large scale, we did not.
So, we abandoned the idea, well, not quite. It is still there and probably some day we will give it a go. But, we got together to crack what we consider fundamental to any startup success.
1. What are sales leads?
2. How do you generate them?
3. How do you prioritize on the ones to follow up so that you maximize the returns on your efforts and time spent?
It was clear to us that visiting cards were poor leads. Most people we called hung up on us. If the folks who had willingly passed on their calling cards on us could be so unreceptive, what would be fate of phone numbers obtained from purchased mailing/ phone lists? We knew the answer, and did not even bother.
Think of your own situation as a buyer. Other than daily essentials, how many times and how many minutes (not even hours) do you spend in a year in actively purchasing something (figuring out that you need something, figuring out what you need, researching the market, talking to others, comparing alternatives, technologies and prices and so on)?
Very few times, in a full year or even years, on any single class of product. And, when you are not buying, you could not be bothered.
When we think as marketers though, we think we and our product is all our customers think about. All the time. Let’s get real. They don’t. Unless you are in the business of selling pipeline valves. And, then, it may not be good news, if your product is always in his mind!
In a B2B product category, you want the customer to keep you in mind when they are actively considering a purchase.
The challenge is to stay engaged in the long interim period between two purchases.
Another challenge, is to court a first time purchaser through the entire pre-sales consideration period.
And, consider that the customers have little time to spare when they are not ready to buy.
With our CRM product, we take a crack at the first problem: how to stay engaged with your installed base, nurture them, read their signals before your competition does. Which is why, we have a automatic lead scoring algorithm, that identifies a lead based on what you, an experienced sales manager would have called a lead, when the evidence piles up, in terms of customer actions, that the customer is actively seeking a solution.
Often, these are subterranean, seemingly disconnected events that point to an inquiry on its way. Salesgenie logs these signals, connects them up using our unique and smart algorithm, and alerts you to the possibility of a lead and the contacts to follow up to bring that lead to fruition. This leaves your salesmen free to sell, not worry about which are the contacts he must chase to create or nurture an opportunity. We think, this is the single biggest contribution that Salesgenie CRM++ makes today among all the other competing products in its class. And, for a small business, unable to invest in large-scale “lead qualification” processes to separate the wheat from the chaff, this is a boon.
As for the second problem? How to engage with a first time buyer?
Watch this space!
If you have a startup, you will run into brand-building soooner or later. Here’s a nice post, to get you started.