Over the past few years, while running training workshops with small and medium-sized enterprises or multinational corporations, I have noticed a recurring issue that is discussed by the sales team and it is always a similar conversation: “Our marketing people are not generating enough new leads for us to follow up!”

Despite the frustration experienced by these sales people, there is good news. There are several new and cost-effective ways for companies to generate leads.

Before we discuss these, there are two elements marketers should review before deciding which lead generation tactics to employ for their campaign.

Let’s first look at the target audience. 

 It is important to have a clear understanding of who the target market is for your product or service. A business simply cannot market to everyone.

The more you can fine-tune who you sell to, what problem you solve for them and which of their wants and needs you meet, the easier it is going to be to reach out and capture the hearts and minds of your prospects.

Not only do marketers need to know who the target audience is, they must also know where they hang out both offline and online.

If your prospect is hanging out on different social platforms, ask yourself, are you hanging out there to engage them?

Now, let us look at a few ideas for lead generation:

 

1.Start a discussion in LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s largest social networking site for professionals.

A large portion of the members are in positions of power within their business. Look for LinkedIn Groups related to your field or those prospects you would like to reach.

Listen to the conversations taking place and then weigh in.

After some time, start your own discussions. Lead with a comment, question or the first paragraph of your blog post, then leave a URL where your readers can read more.

Those who like your posts or see you as an authority in your field will begin to seek you out.


2. Submit an article to your local newspaper

Writing articles for local newspapers, magazines or online directories is referred to as article marketing.

Article marketing is not only good for lead generation, it also serves to create brand awareness and keeps you on top of mind to prospects.

Lastly, it builds your credibility as an expert in your industry.


3. Give away a free e-book, report or white paper

Unless you are selling the latest must-have cool gadget, chances are prospects will not buy from you right away.

In fact, the higher the price tag, the longer the selling cycle.

Therefore it is important that you have a means to capture a prospect’s details (at least a name and an e-mail address) when they come to your website.

Offer to give them a free e-book, report or white paper in exchange for their e-mail address.

The content must be something of interest or benefit to them. Remember, you must give something to receive something.

In this case, it is receiving an e-mail address so you can continue to build a relationship with the individual.

Make sure you have an opt-in box above the fold on your website or consider using an opt-in pop-up plug-in.

Lead generation need not be a daunting task. It is just a matter of knowing who and where your target market is, positioning your products and remaining on top of mind.

Your goal is to bring prospects into the sales funnel, keep the sales team happy and occupied and, ultimately, increase your company’s bottom line.

Article by Pamela Wigglesworth, a Singapore-based American corporate trainer, speaker and managing director of Experiential Hands-on Learning, a training and development company. She works with companies across multiple industries. E-mail her at courses@experiential.sg or visit www.experiential.sg