How to fill your sales pipeline with hot leads using effective lead generation.

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Do you know what a sales pipeline is and what it takes to build a qualified one?

Is your business struggling to gain clients? Or maybe you want to blow your sales out and go above and beyond your 2017 sales goal?

Do you need a sustainable system to capture leads and clients so that you can make sales and generate consistent revenue?

 

This post will show you the simple steps you can take now to fill your sales pipeline with hot ready to buy leads.

Are you ready?

Let’s go.

Say this after me:

“Successful Lead generation precedes profitable sales generation.”

….now your turn….

This just means before sales can happen you need to generate leads.

Your ability to generate quality leads on a consistent basis will determine how full your sales pipeline will be and whether your bottom line will be in red or black.

In simple math, Better leads = More Sales.

You need to put this at the back of your mind. Memorize it like an anthem if you will.

The better your ability to commit to, invest in and stay focused on getting better leads, the more successful your business will become.

The process of getting better, high-quality leads is what we call “lead generation”

And leads are real people interested in what you have to offer.

So how do you generate leads on a consistent basis so you don’t run dry of clients?

For someone to be a hot lead, they are highly engaged, highly interested, willing and ready to make a purchase.

In today’s modern world, your leads are already seeking for answers themselves. They are already Googling for information, to discover ideas and insights that will educate them and empower them to make an informed purchasing decision.

The question is, are you making yourself found?

Sales pipeline blog quote (1) (1)

And this is not to say, alright go do SEO.
For those who don’t understand, SEO means search engine optimization.

It simply means you make your content and website found on Google when people search for words surrounding your business focus.

Doing SEO when you need leads quickly is a long way to accomplish a goal.

SEO works if done right, but it takes time and is unpredictable. Because the owner of the search engine is Google and they determine who gets found and who doesn’t and looking at the history, some businesses’ livelihood got snatched under their feet because they depended solely on SEO.

I’d rather use a system I can control and implement in the shortest time possible.

And that’s why I advise you take these 3 simple steps to effective lead generation.

Step One:
Earn attention with relevant, buying intent content that compliments a buyer’s journey.

As you may come to know, people seek for information for a lot of reasons. One is to feed their curiosity. Another is because they intend to make a purchase but need relevant education first.

Your goal for lead generation is not to create content for all and sundry. Click To Tweet

No.

Rather create content your target audience will find useful, relevant and highly useful to their purchase.

In other words, you should focus on creating content with a buying intent.

How do you find ideas for content of this nature?

(i) As an existing business, you speak daily to clients and prospects. You’ve heard most if not all of their questions, concerns, objections and desire.

Take a notepad and list down the top 10 questions prospects have voiced to you.

If you can’t come up with 10, come up with 5 and if you can’t do 5, come up with 3.

(ii) If you’re just starting out and don’t have a clue what questions your target market may be searching for, time to hit up online tools for answers.

 

Follow this exercise:

(a) Head over to Google Keyword Planner and type in a search phrase or keyword in the industry you want to focus on.

Google will offer you other keyword ideas, these are phrases and words your target market is already typing into Google seeking answers for.

(b) Insert your competition’s website address and discover keywords they’re using. That much is a signal of what your target market may need to know about.

(c) Time to gain international insight. As you may know, there are businesses in other parts of the world doing exactly what you intend to do and some of these companies already have a robust online presence.

They may regularly write and publish content online. These content may have great social shares already.
Time to discover what they may be writing about and their social content consumption targeting.

Knowing this is a signal of your target audience content appetite.

So to do this, head over to BuzzSumo, type in keywords and phrase, then search. Note the social shares each post has accumulated and most importantly, identify the platform that got most shares.

BuzzSumo provides insight into the social platform you may need to launch your content campaign to attract leads in the next step.

Now you have key pieces of content ideas, it’s time to create. Content can be in different forms, audio, video, articles.

Don’t sweat over which format to use. If the content needs too much demonstration then you need to go with
video.

If a simple blog will convey your message then, by all means, go with an article. However, with all your content, you must make them visually appealing. Your images and graphics must be on point.

Your content should help your leads on the different buying stages.

 Sales pipeline blog quote (2) (1)

There are three buying stages:

Problem-Aware = These users know they have a problem but don’t know the solution yet.

You should create content that will capture their attention to the problem and offer possibility of a solution without trying to sell hard on your business solution.

This is typically your top of the funnel free content targeted to those who’ve never heard of you but are the right target market.

Solution-Aware = These folks know enough about the problem but need to distil the solutions available.

Make them see the benefits and possibilities of diverse solutions and why yours is different.

Product-Aware = They know your brand, but they need reassurance that your solution can get them the result they seek.

Show them that. The content you create here may be how you’ve accomplished successful results for others. Sort of like a case study.

Do note that you’re not just creating a single piece of content. You’re creating a content funnel. Which is a series of content that builds on top of each other to move your leads closer to the sale.

So you would have free and open content to earn attention of the right target audience, locked content that requires sign up or registration to access free and additional value content you offer at the back end via email automation
to further build and strengthen the relationship.

So what you do is to split the content you’ve created into three. Content to:

  • Earn attention and build an audience.
  • Capture leads.
  • Offer up continued education and value.

You want to offer free blog post so that people can read for free. No strings attached. No forms to submit. So that they get a whiff of who you are, what you’re about and understand your message.

This way you build an audience of readers who find what you create helpful, useful and valuable. Create your content and let’s head over to attracting qualified leads with them.

Step Two:
Set up a landing page and capture qualified leads using social media ads.

To attract qualified leads, you need to have a way to collect prospects’ data.

Remember we split your content. This is where you use the other kind of content you packaged as a PDF,
or video to capture leads.

This content will be locked up behind a landing page so that people can focus on the benefits of downloading the PDF or watching the video with a form to sign up.

For the user to access your free PDF, they need to give up their contact details. A name and email in some cases are just enough.

This is the first exchange or transaction the user has done with your business. Cherish it because it brings us to the next and final step.

Do you know that if you follow this process, you’ll organically start building an email list of people who are willing and eager to hear from you.

When you have your landing page set up, it’s time to send traffic using social media ads.

Sales pipeline blog quote (3) (1)

Don’t just launch any ads and target just anybody. If your targeting is done wrong, your leads will be wrong or non-existent.

Get your targeting right. Understand what makes your target market unique and how they identify themselves in different social media networks.

For example, you sell a product worth over N150k and you say your target market is business owners.

When you’re quick to jump on Facebook and target all business owners in Nigeria you’ll be missing the mark.

Your ads will target a large chunk of people without the laser focused filtering process.

Ask further questions so that you can have a highly qualified target audience fit and able to buy from you. Remember, sales is the end goal.

What kind of business do they run? Are they in service or retail?
What kind of relevant pages do they follow?
Which celebrity do they listen to?
What tools are they already likely using and spending money to buy so my product doesn’t feel out of the water and unnecessary?

These are just a few.

Step Three:

Continue the conversation and close sales with a follow-up sequence using email automation.

As soon as the user signed up for the free content you offered. This is called a lead magnet in marketing. You now have permission to follow up with them.

And you do this successfully with email automation.

Your email automation is a series of emails sequenced out and delivered to your leads in time intervals. Maybe daily, twice a week, once a week or monthly (I don’t advise this though).

Create a 5-12 part email series that is set up to deliver on intervals, provided the customer hasn’t bought your product yet.
As soon as they buy, you take them off the product follow-up sequence and place them on customer onboarding sequence – another set of email series that would help them know and understand your product so that they can get maximum customer experience and the benefit of using your product or service.

Follow up with relevant information connected to the one they signed up for.

For example when someone signs up for how to start a snail farm PDF, don’t start talking about the importance of agriculture, raising pigs and chickens in the email.

Make sure you provide ongoing support and nurture for buyers and non-buyers alike.

All these must be in place before you start sending traffic to your blog post.

If not you would have customers coming through your online content and failing to enter your lead generation system.

Or entering the system but not knowing where to go from there.

Quick Summary:

It all starts with the right content. You don’t want to attract someone who isn’t ready to buy or entertaining that thought in the very least.

Give them an opportunity to become a ‘lead’. Offer packaged valuable content on a landing page.

It’s a sure thing that not everyone who offered you their email address will buy right away and that’s why you need to continue the conversation, build relationships, offer great value and keep the lead generation machine going.

This way you’ll keep nurturing ready to buy hot leads that will gradually build consistent revenue and sales for your business.

This is the way to go if you want to succeed with your marketing in today’s modern business world.

What do you say, have you started this process already? Is it working for your business?

Or do you need to chat about how to launch a lead generation system for your business?
Schedule a free online business growth session with me:
Let’s discuss how this can work for your business.

 

 

Ifeoma Illoh is a data driven growth marketer. As a senior digital marketing and PR consultant she works with businesses to activate and grow consistent revenue using digital channels and online media platforms so they can attract leads, maximize sales and grow exponentially. This is ultimately so that business owners can make impact, have influence and build the legacy they desire. She wears many hats as a serial entrepreneur. She's the Founder of WiredInn Digital agency and Chief Content Officer here at OnlineMarketingIntelligence.com. You can connect with her via Twitter.

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