As a business strategist, urging owner managers to keep their sales pipeline flowing to fuel success and growth, I wanted to share some powerful tips from Sean McColgan’s excellent blog on new ideas to generate leads which can be tailored so both your internal and external sales people can engage with prospects.
Embrace Content Marketing
Sean reinforces how Content Marketing is all therage right now – fuelled by business to business companies shifting from outbound to inbound lead generation. Key to success is ensuring that remarkable content – optimised for social, search and discovery – is at the heart of their inbound strategy – leads for which cost 61% less than outbound leads.
The blog advises crafting high quality content based on prospects needs and day-to-day challenges and offering it for free on your company blog with calls to action. This ensures your business/brand becomes the definitive ‘go-to resource’ in the market place and your blog becomes the first port of call for prospects seeking a solution that you can provide.
Sean recommends tapping into rich content marketing resources – whether they are the UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing or the Content Marketing Institute in the US – or their equivalent wherever you live. His ‘must read’ book to gain a competitive advantage is Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition.
Deliver a Weekly Value Packed Newsletter
As outbound sales calls and unsolicited emails (interruption marketing) lose their edge, Sean reinforces how delivering remarkable educational content that helps your prospects (those who opted-in for your ebooks, webinars etc) – is key to transforming your email channel into a revenue engine. A powerful headline is also vital and great resources to plug into include Tinyletter (sets up a Company Newsletter in minutes) and 6 Tactics to Create More ‘Must-Read’ B2B Newsletters.
I recently launched a ‘What If? Strategic Growth Update’ e-newsletter after listening to, and being inspired by, a Jontus Media podcast interview with Julie Hall who runs Women Unlimited on Actionable Email Marketing. My Update aims to engage with past and prospective What If? Forum members – business owners and leaders by equipping them with a short cut to topical tips, information and ideas which encourages them to contact me for further information. Adapting Julie’s formula for a successful e-newsletter, I crafted key topics including my top blog, best video of the month and upcoming events. Although early days, feedback received so far is looking good.
Invest in Edutainment
Write and Share Killer “How To” Guides
These are fantastic tools which solve pressing problems that prospects and customers are experiencing. Sean urges us to share this content on our blogs, with our industry and roll it out across our social channels – watching inbound traffic and leads grow steadily as a result.His recommended resources are How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing – a killer “How To” Book on removing all barriers to writing consistently and 750words.com – a web app to stay motivated to write and keep track of your output.
Staying with the premise that people are only interested in us if we can solve their problems, entertain them, or provide useful information, Sean highlights how the 7,450,000 search results for “I love Google” centre on Google solving people’s problems and how the search engine giant – whose business model is based on connecting users with useful information – generated $10.65 billion revenues in the first quarter of 2012. Based on this premise, he asks how we can emulate Google and make our market, customers, prospects really care about us?
What successful tools do you use to increase your lead generation and conversation? Let me know below, e-mail me via email@example.com, go to @richardwhatif on Twitter, Richard Bosworth on LinkedIn or post on www.whatifforums.com.