Generating qualified leads is a priority for any business.  For small business owners it can be the difference between thriving and just barely surviving.  If you are looking for more leads, this blog post will help you cultivate the right funnels for success.

Lead generation takes daily focus.  If you are trying to be all things to all people and find yourself overwhelmed with the day to day operations, so much that there isn’t the time to focus on lead generation, then you will inevitably find yourself in the constant ups and downs of sales. The longer you wait to prioritize lead generation, the longer and more critical the downs will be.

Tip: If you are a solo entrepreneur then 50% of your day should be dedicated to lead generation.  If you have a team, there should be at least one person for every 3 people you have on your team specifically dedicated to lead generation 8 hours a day. For larger enterprises the issue isn’t that you don’t have staff dedicated to the process, it’s that the process needs to be adjusted to get results.

Lead generation is not a one person job.  Every person on your team is responsible in some way, for lead generation and they need to know that.  Reinforce the value of what each person does and how it plays into the overall objective of the business — to attract customers and make those customers extremely happy and willing to refer others.

Tip: To help your team connect to the goals of your business, share the why’s behind the how and what of your business.  Sometimes when people are focused on tasks and executables, they may not see the big picture and how it all ties together to create the objectives.

Discover your online and offline lead balance.  Today, many businesses, whether B2B or B2C have to balance between what they do online to generate leads and the offline tactics needed to attract prospects.  Make sure you calculate what percentage of team’s time should be spent on each lead source.  Often, the lack of qualified leads can be directly attributed to fishing in the wrong river.

Tip: Do a complete customer analysis and determine where most of your customers have come. Do you think you are tapping into that funnel the best way possible? Are there any new tactics you and employ to increase your success rate? What about other channels? Are you creating strategies and systems to support them all?

Set up systems to support the acquisition of new leads.  When I’m working with small business owners, I will often encounter a serious issue with the systems that are created ( or lack thereof) to handle the lead after they are in the funnel.  What exactly happens to the lead once you make the connection is critical to converting that prospect to a customer.  Create a solid prospect touch point map that outlines absolutely every way that your business will be interacting and moving the prospect along in the sales cycle.

Tip: Stop hemorrhaging good leads because you haven’t taken the time to create a system of follow up that is consistent and valuable to the prospect. When we analyze a business’s lead generation system, we always implement a 9-11 point contact system once a lead is added to the funnel and each of those points have specific outcomes.  Closing the sale is not the only outcome!  An educated customer is a customer who refers to consider adding these types of things to your campaign — refer them to current customers for feedback, send a detailed spec sheet on your product, provide more benefit lists to the prospect, dive deeper with a questionnaire about their business and what they feel your product or service will do for them and ask them if they have any questions about how it will NOT work for them (this is so you can diminish their fears and strengthen your value proposition).

The bottom line:  it won’t happen by accident. To generate leads, you have to have a plan and systems to support that plan in order to grow you business.  The leads are out there.  There’s plenty of business for everyone. Let us help you evaluate your lead generation system and see where there might be opportunities to improve your process and strengthen your systems.  Email me and I’ll schedule a free consultation with you or your team.