With decreasing marketing resources and lengthening sales cycles, there is no doubt that customer acquisition is an arena in desperate need of hacks. (A hack is a tip or trick that helps increase efficiency in a project.)

Here is a list of our top 5 customer acquisition hacks to help marketers and sales teams run more effective campaigns and focus on more impactful activities.

Hack #1: Schedule meetings at conferences

The hack: After you’ve identified and made initial contact with the best prospects and you know that they will be attending a major conference, invite them to an informal meeting for vital face time with stakeholders or decision makers. Set up an open calendar to make it easy for them to schedule time with you.

Why this hack works: This hack helps you maximize your travel investments by allowing you to meet with a number of your target accounts at the same event. This also helps you catch prospects when they are likely looking at a number of vendors so that you can insert your company and products into their consideration set. Finally, an invitation for a casual meeting at a local coffee shop can feel less like a sales pitch, especially for a company that is just starting to consider product options, allowing you to make a low-pressure introduction.

Hack #2: Utilize advocates to land new accounts

The hack: When a contact moves on from a role, build on the strength of that relationship, using this customer as your advocate and internal champion at their new company.

Why this hack works: If your company has done its job and kept a customer happy and satisfied at a previous employer, then he or she would want the same success as he or she moves into a new role. Stay in contact with happy customers so that you can help them be equally successful as they make professional transitions.

Hack #3: Target growth-oriented businesses

The hack: IBM introduced a concept known as BANT to qualify leads and target prospects. While some question the relevance of this strategy in today’s market, it is still important to have structure and strategy in how you decide which prospects to pursue so that you spend your time and resources wisely.

Why this hack works: Prospects that show a desire to grow the business, such as investments in technology or other business upgrades, are more likely to actively consider buying new products to continue the business momentum. By keeping in mind these types of business signals, you can focus on the right prospects instead of wasting time on tire-kickers or laggards who have no intention of investing to grow the business.

Hack #4: Launch look-alike campaigns

The hack: Market to new prospects based on similarity to your existing customers. Keep in mind that today, look-alike campaigns go beyond just similarities in basic segments such as industry or geography. You can secure insights that help you micro-target prospects who are similar to your existing customers and, therefore, are more likely to have a need for your products. There is now a wealth of digital channels that allow you to effectively drive interest in your product, and at relatively low cost.

Why this hack works: When you have targeted beyond basic firmographics, you can more closely match your messaging to specific needs and motivations that are true within that prospect segment, based on what has resonated with your current customer base. Using the information you have on your existing customers, you can reach a targeted, interested audience through page fans, customer lists, and website visitors.

Hack #5: Pre-arm sales with relevant prospect information

The hack: In a traditional lead generation process, sales spends 10-12 minutes per lead on pre-call research. As marketing takes on more sales enablement, they should provide sales with updated and relevant information on the prospects. Doing so can save each sales person approximately 300 hours per year researching contact data, talking points, and competitive insight.

Why this hack works: By giving sales the information upfront, you allow sales to focus on building relationships and circling back with prospects. And since they don’t have to spend time doing research, this gives them more time to tailor their conversations to the specific needs of and feedback from the prospects.

These five hacks are taken from our newest eBook, “ Customer Acquisition Hacks For the Multi-Channel B2B Marketer.” Our 22 helpful customer acquisition hacks offer ideas to improve efficiency and performance for each stage of the buyer’s journey — from awareness through to the decision-making stage.

Download the full eBook to see all 22 hacks