How Small Businesses can improve their Lead Generation practices Lead generation is a vital aspect of any company’s marketing; and although there are many different ways to expand your prospect base, finding seriously interested customers can be very time-intensive. And finding high-quality leads that convert into sales, can be even more of a challenge. Many companies rely on marketing automation tools to become more efficient when it comes to lead generation. Small businesses may not have the resources to invest in big, fancy marketing campaigns or automated tools but there many things startups and small businesses can do to bring them much closer to their potential customer base.

Position yourself as an Expert

Whether you are a big or a small player in your industry, chances are you know your stuff. The best way to attract new customers is to come across as trustworthy, knowledgeable and necessary. If you have the time to invest in building up your credibility, it will go a long way. Share your knowledge and give advice in the form of blog posts, interviews, content, white papers, etc. Being perceived as a helpful expert will help you bring in interested consumers.

Think Beyond the Sales Pitch

There are many different channels you can use to attract leads: email marketing, cold calling, trade shows, social media marketing, content marketing, and many more. But whatever channel you use to generate sales leads, it’s important that you think about building relationships with prospects beyond the sales pitch. Instead of bombarding prospects with information and pre-rehearsed speeches, be creative and try to have a conversation about why your product is beneficial to your prospects and how it can solve their problems.

Invest in a Good Lead Generation Form

Whether you choose to have a form to collect lead data on your own website, or syndicate your form through external sources, make sure it is technically sound. A lot of lead generation success depends on technical details: Does your form include features and tools which make it easier for prospects to reach you, such as click-to-call or geo-targeting? Do your forms work across different devices? Are they are user-friendly and simple to fill in? Think carefully about what information you need from prospects. Asking a lot of questions might bring in fewer leads since people may feel less motivated to disclose personal information. However, leads from a long form may be of high quality. On the other hand, shorter forms give you less of an opportunity to qualify leads. It all depends on your own strategy, and your capacity to follow-up on leads.

Categorize Your Leads

Some businesses make the mistake of not having a system in place to track and sort leads. Most companies usually implement a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to sort and rank leads, to assign appropriate action to each prospect, and to keep track of all conversations. Even if you don’t have a big budget for a tool like this, you can implement lead tracking yourself by organizing leads in spreadsheets. As your company grows and you collect more leads, it is advisable though to move towards a tool that can help you keep a good overview and automate certain follow-up actions.

Analyze your Data

Look at the leads you collect and examine when, where and why prospects responded to your campaign, which channel they used to submit an enquiry, and if you can gather any information about their demographics and lifestyles. As a business with all its activities, much data is available. Feeding this data and information back into your marketing strategies will be tremendously helpful to fine-tune your message, and to identify patterns to help you gauge how likely leads convert into sales. Be smart, be creative. There are many ways for small businesses to generate traction among potential customers.