Over the past decade, sales strategies have changed drastically. Long gone are the days when you had to meet a prospect in person and pitch a business idea because that was the only way that you could communicate.
Today in the digital era, business owners can create campaigns via email and social media to quickly attract potential customers. We have new ways to connect and engage stakeholders. And as a result, we’ve developed new strategies and techniques for sales.
But along with exciting new ways to reach prospects and generate sales, we’ve seen a number of harmful sales myths arise. Concepts that can lead you astray and hold your small business back.
It’s time to break the false beliefs!
Here are 3 lead-generation myths that we should debunk today!
A majority of people believe that there are set sales strategies that all successful startups should employ to get the results that they want. Wrong! One size does not fit all.
Just because email marketing works as an effective strategy for one CRM company to generate leads doesn’t mean that same approach will work for you and your market needs. With so many customer choices for how they access information, lead-gen has to find ways to attract leads via prospects preferred channels -- with a message that appeals to them.
You have to customize your lead strategy to suit your customer persona. Do not adopt lead generation strategies just because they work for other product managers. Take time to understand your customers and their needs, then devise a product-market-fit strategy that would suit them best.
For instance, if most of your customers come from social media channels such as LinkedIn then it is best to develop a lucrative social media marketing strategy and hone in on it.
You can revisit email marketing as your business metrics grow. Or use various approaches based on the segments you are targeting. This way, you will do your product management in the right way, while spending the least amount of time doing it.
The digital era has given rise to inbound marketing -- providing rich information for prospects and allowing them to find it on their own time. For many businesses, this is the roadmap to success.
Research shows that most customers are 70% along in making a purchasing decision before even contacting a business. They are hearing about solutions via social media, positive reviews, press coverage, landing pages, blogs, and then doing their own research on the business’s website. The stronger the content, the more persuasive the self-service pre-sale, if you will. As a result, many companies have made inbound marketing a top priority. That’s smart.
But perhaps we’ve gone too far. This myth that companies should no longer cold call or cold email is cutting off valuable revenue opportunities for businesses foolish enough to believe it. The emergence of inbound marketing to generate qualified leads is an important development that complements -- not replaces -- outbound cold calling.
In fact, cold calling today is more effective than ever. Rather than passively waiting for prospects to ‘discover’ your company on social media, why not have your sales team reach out to target prospects who will most likely be interested in your product?
Cold calling and cold emailing actually push prospects to take a look at your company through the inbound content you’ve developed. It helps drive more leads into your sales funnel and who knows? It may attract venture capital and other types of funding that will help propel your business.
Of course, you’ll still need to find interesting and engaging ways to reach cold prospects, whether by phone or email. Both online and offline. But don’t cut this approach off altogether.
Someone once said that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Therefore, you should never disregard what you have just because you are chasing new opportunities. In this case, what you already have may slip away.
It goes without saying that getting leads is important. After all, we strive to grow our businesses in every possible way. As such, we tend to focus more on getting leads and in the process, we forget that we also have to maintain a good relationship with current leads and customers. Don’t overlook the opportunity to cross- and up-sell.
While selling is to some extent a numbers game, it also requires quality and focus. Simply churning new leads doesn’t guarantee success. If you are good, a fair number of new leads will eventually become customers. You’ll want to grow and nurture them. As such, maintaining your leads should be as important as gaining more leads.
The digital era has brought many changes to marketing and sales, but also created some harmful myths, as we’ve discussed. Needless to say, generating leads is an important part of the process. If you are looking to run a successful first time business while churning out great products and services, then you should be vigilant.
Take time to understand your target audience and develop a plan that is tailored to them. rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Cold calling is a crucial way to generate new leads -- perhaps more than ever. And don’t focus solely on new leads. Take time to nurture the leads you have to convert more business -- and cultivate long-term, loyal relationships that fuel repeated business.
Avoid these myths and you’ll have a better chance of meeting and exceeding your sales targets. Happy hunting!