This is a guest blog by Tracey Liot, of Acceler8. She specialises in helping owners of marketing services to acceler8 sales, get more clients and secure new business. You can contact Tracey on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07545 842923, or visit her website at www.acceler8businessdevelopment.co.uk
Do you want more leads and to acquire new clients? Do you find yourself juggling lots of priorities, and find little time to market your business? Or do you put off making ‘those’ calls as you don’t enjoy selling? Maybe you’re worrying at night about how to pay your team with poor cash flow?
The first thing you need to decide is, “What insight do I need to acceler8 sales in my business”. Our checklist will help you create an identity for your ideal prospects, and give you the foundations to engage with the right customers, and build intelligent interactions to get results.
Create target list of companies
Firstly, have you matched your ideal client or Avatar to your brand positioning? Do you clearly communicate how you solve your ideal clients’ pain? And, are you confident that you’ve clarity on the value you offer? Sometimes a back-to-basics approach can offer a refreshing chance to review and clarify how you stand out in the crowded agency space. So, make sure you have a clearly defined value proposition and well-matched targets, so you don’t go in cold! This will enable you to hold high-level conversations with the right decisions makers, easily and clearly demonstrating how you can deliver value to their business to solve their problem.
Data build and create a list of target companies
It goes without saying that the data needs to be up to date; I’d recommend that you build a trial list with 50 prospects in your ideal sector, local to your postcode or target area – especially if you want to meet your clients face-to-face. Having data that’s segmented and targeted to your most profitable business prospects means you can lower your marketing costs, and conduct your sales campaigns with confidence. Choose exactly the kind of businesses you’re looking for; by geography, business type, turnover, and the number of employees. And instead of spending money on buying data – based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes – I’d recommend building your wish list from scratch.
Where to find your free leads:
• LinkedIn and social media channels
• Google search
• Connections of your connections
The above approach requires an investment in time but requires a relatively low financial investment.
The people you need to influence
Now you’ve captured your ideal future clients, it’s time to build their profiles so you can increase your sales conversions. The job title piece from your Avatar means you will have a clear view of the specific person you’re going to target, whether a business owner or Head of Marketing. At this stage it’s important to understand the individual, to deliver a value message that’s tailored to this person and their current challenges. It’s important to consider the demographics of your key prospects, just like you would do when creating campaigns for your clients. The communication preferences of your Avatar would influence what information you log under your key contacts. Basic details are: job title, full name, address, best contact number, email, social media accounts. But, when it comes to prospecting, you really need to go above and beyond to stand out from your competitors.
Have you found out some of the below information to build your ideal client’s profile, and Acceler8 your sales success?
What do you know about your prospects job history and skills?
Are they the decision maker? And who are they trying to influence?
What’s listed on their news or about us pages?
What are their hobbies outside of work?
And what social media accounts do they use and when?
Finding out the above information is a great way to ensure you’re well researched prior to speaking to your ideal client. Capturing and recording this important information will aid conversations, and means you’re more likely to be listened to. I’d recommended spending no longer than five to ten minutes, per lead, gathering all the relevant information before you begin any marketing or sales activity. By showing an interest, it adds credibility and trust to your pitch, showing you’ve taken the time to understand the person and their need rather than just seeing a ‘prospect’ – this approach will get you an ‘in’.
Monitor your hit list
Now you have your company and prospects clearly segmented and documented, you need to regularly monitor your pipeline. Remember there are so many good, free, cloud based CRM systems that make tracking and following up easier, and this approach will increase your conversion rates – so there’s no need to use your trusted spreadsheet anymore.
What if my prospect is not moving forward to lead stage? I’d recommend extending your research, and find an opportunity to send helpful and free information to build credibility and trust.
What’s the best way to keep up-to-date? I’d recommend setting up Google alerts to provide notifications on any changes / updates on your ideal clients, this will keep you one step ahead competition. Google alerts take the pain out of constant prospect monitoring, but don’t forget to follow your targets on their social channels too.
Are you having conversations in a different channel? This will complement your email marketing or telesales activity. The more interactions you have with your prospect, the closer you move to a stage of trust. Your social media presence will keep you on your prospects radar.
It’s a numbers game. If you’ve invested in getting to know your ideal client, inside and out, you’re one step closer to converting your leads, and by following the steps in this document, you’ve increased your odds of success.