Marketing, advertising, product development, and customer service are just a few elements of running a business. Each of them is crucial in its functions, but there are other responsibilities that need to be prioritized, and one of them is sales.
Sales are arguably the most significant factor in driving and sustaining a business, but generating consistent numbers isn’t easy or simple as most people think. It consists of many steps called a sales pipeline.
A sales pipeline refers to the set of stages a person must go through to convert from being a prospect into a customer of a particular business. While the structure may differ from company to company, most of them will include the following parts:
Qualification: The company will evaluate individuals on whether they have the capacity and the interest to purchase from the business.
Interaction: The business will attempt to connect with the qualified individual, usually through advertisements and other marketing tools.
Negotiation: Once the connection is made, the company will try to convince the individual through promotional materials, discounts, incentives, etc.
Closing: After successfully convincing the prospect, the individual will purchase the products and services of the business, generating sales.
The earlier parts of the sales pipeline are what people call lead generation—the process of identifying and cultivating potential customers for your business. It involves the qualification and interaction stages, and one can say lead generation is what mostly fills the pipeline.
If you're struggling in this particular stage of your sales strategies, here are some tips to get you going:
One of the mistakes businesses do when it comes to lead generation is they qualify too many individuals to become prospects. By doing so, their attention gets divided, and people who have a greater purchasing power to possibly generate huge amounts of sales often get neglected, which can be a massive loss. One way to prevent this issue is by building a team specializing in lead generation.
Recommended Reading: Lead Generation Funnel: Simple Guide to Building Your Own Lead Funnel
This team will have better knowledge on how to look for individuals, so those who are most likely to purchase from the business will be identified and will receive greater attention. While acquiring leads is an integral part of your sales pipeline, cultivating and converting them into customers is also essential.
In case you don't have enough staffing to build a team or enough budget to hire more individuals, you might want to consider outsourcing your lead generation team instead. By doing this, it’d save you money and you don't have to worry about the operations. You can visit sortlist.co.uk to know more information about the process.
In this increasingly digital world, a website is arguably the most critical asset of a company's marketing team. It allows you to market your business and generate leads on the internet, where the majority of the population can be found. Furthermore, people have developed the habit of assuming successful and reliable companies have a website, so it'd be a great help if you intend to boost your company's credibility.
Recommended Reading: How to Pick the Right Domain For Your Website
But the question is how you can develop your website professionally. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Blog Consistently: Web traffic refers to the number of visitors your site receives. When managing a website, your first mission is to increase traffic, and this can be achieved by posting valuable content regularly. The usual method of doing this is through blogging.
Implement AI Chatbots: Upon visiting your website, your visitors are bound to have some questions. Originally, website owners create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page to address this issue, but it's not your only option. You can also install an Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot to your website answering questions. Since AI chatbots learn from previous interactions, visitors with unique questions can be accommodated.
Improve Your About Page: The about page consists of information about the organization or individual running the website. Since one of your marketing goals is to let
customers know about your company, it's one of the most important parts of a company's website. Try to be as detailed as you can, but keep it short and simple. There are many other things you can do to improve your online presence such as trying to make it look more professional by adopting a sleek theme or by enhancing its functionality through other useful features.
Regardless, your efforts wouldn't be in vain since websites significantly impact a business's reputation and image.
One of the other ways to build your online platform is to use social media accounts. Social media platforms are used for different agendas by different kinds of individuals and organizations. For instance, students use it to connect with their instructors and classmates while consumers use it to look for promising products and services.
But more importantly, companies use it to interact with their customers and reach a wider audience, both of which are crucial when it comes to lead generation.
Furthermore, almost everyone who uses the internet has at least one social media profile, so there's no reason for you to neglect your social media presence. If you want to utilize your social
media presence, there are a few things you can do, such as:
Share Testimonials: If you want to generate leads, you need to ensure your prospects about your business's credibility and legitimacy, and one way to do it is by sharing testimonials on your company's social media profile. Numerous surveys have proven people are more likely to buy from a business after seeing testimonies from others.
Use Lead Generation Ads: Lead generation ads are advertisements requiring individuals who click on the post to fill up a form with their personal information, speeding up the lead generation process.
Set Up Retargeting Ads: When running an ad campaign on social media, there are no guarantees people who click on it will buy from your business. However, these individuals are recorded in the platform's database. If you want to reach out to these people once again, consider setting up retargeting ads only showing up in the timeline of those who clicked on your ad in the past.
If you want to market your business, there are several options to choose from. One, you can send emails to prospects. Two, you can use social media, as mentioned in the previous section. And then there's content marketing, which involves using different kinds of content to reach out to your prospects. So far, content marketing has been the most effective marketing strategy, so you might want to consider engaging in this technique.
However, almost all businesses already use content marketing, so you'd have to be unique if you want to be noticed and to stand out, and one way to do this is by using different kinds of content. Remember, long blocks of texts no longer attract prospects if it's what you're planning.
Here are some examples of other types of content:
Videos: Although articles consisting of long texts are still reliable, they're slowly getting obsolete. It's time to use another type of content through video since it’s much easier and faster to digest than texts, and most of the time, they're also more entertaining. Perhaps, the only problem with video content is it requires stable mobile data or the internet just to load completely.
Infographics: Infographics live in the space between texts and videos. These are high-resolution pictures consisting of various information, and much like videos, the information is easier to comprehend, yet they don't require as much internet usage as videos.
Interactive Content: People love to be involved, but content marketing has always been a one-sided interaction. You create the content, and visitors digest them without any input. However, the good news is there's now interactive content—a type of content requiring input from the audience. Some examples of interactive content include quizzes, polls, assessments, etc. Not only would you be able to advertise, but you’d also provide a sense of inclusion for your market.
Premium Content: Other kinds of content like webinars or e-books can be considered premium content. They're the type of content normally accessible after paying a fee, but companies distribute them for free as an incentive to their visitors. This is one way to generate leads and to trust your brand.
Despite tremendous efforts into converting a prospect into a lead, many business owners forget doing follow-ups is also a necessary stage in lead generation. If you don't want to put everything you've done to waste, remember to always follow up with your prospects and keep reminding them your business is there, ready to serve them.
The power of content is not to be underestimated because if utilized properly, your sales will always consist of fresh leads.
A good article can be a deciding factor in whether a visitor will turn into a sell or not. Providing quality content can also make the difference between a regular customer or a one-time consumer. Consider the tips mentioned here to gain more leads and to fill your sales pipeline consistently.