Swept’s Guide to Commercial Lead Generation
July 18, 2019
July 18, 2019
3 Lead Recommendations That’ll Change the Way You Do Business
Did you know that 61% of B2B (Business to Business) marketers say generating high-quality leads is one of their biggest challenges? So hopefully it comforts you to know that you aren’t alone in your pain. The janitorial industry may be large, and everybody may need something cleaned, but for many growing companies, getting leads can still be a daunting task.
So how do you get, not just leads, but quality leads? Well, the truth is, the type of business you own can drastically alter the tactic you should be choosing. Lead generation may not be an exact science, but that doesn’t mean we can’t break down some proven equations for success.
You’ve Got Money, But No Time
Solution: Hire a lead generation company. Great, how do I do that? Well…Let’s discuss in two easy steps:
Step 1: Research Providers
93% of the B2B buying process starts with an online search. With so much information at our fingertips these days, it’s little wonder there are more and more companies out there offering to do the legwork of finding new leads for you. A quick google search will return hundreds of options for lead generation services. Before you hire one, however, it’s important to do your research and find one that is reputable, able to provide quality leads that match your ideal customer type, (more on that in the next section) and deliver the level of service you’re looking for.
As this article by TechnologyAdvice.com points out, not all leads are created equal. The term “lead” is often used loosely to describe people/organizations at all stages of the buying process. Some actually qualify as leads, while others are merely names on a spreadsheet.
In other words, you’ll need to evaluate how capable you are of nurturing leads once they are delivered to you — if you’re willing to nurture cold leads, purchasing a list of names and contact information might be a good option. If you’re expecting the leads you purchase to be ready to hire your company, or buy your services, be prepared to pay for additional lead nurturing services. Most companies, citing a lack of lead nurturing as a primary cause, can have more than 79% of leads fail to turn into sales.
There are many companies who provide broader lead generation services for a variety of industries. For instance, Abstrakt Marketing is a full-service lead-gen provider that sells for 100+ building service contractors in the U.S.
Step 2: Measure the ROI
While it’s important to do your research on reputable lead-gen companies before hiring one, measuring the results they deliver is equally (if not more) important.
Even if the leads a company provides meet the criteria you’ve set out for them, that doesn’t mean they will result in sales. Be sure to calculate the difference between what you spent on the leads, and the revenue they generated before deciding whether or not to go that route again.
According to TechnologyAdvice.com:
“lower cost leads may seem appealing because you can buy a greater volume, but these leads are nowhere near ready to purchase from your company, so your return on investment date will be much farther out… Time is a resource like any other, so remember to factor that in when weighing the cost of purchasing leads.”
For more info on calculating, and maximizing your return on investment, check out this article: How to Buy B2B Leads That Generate the Most ROI
You’ve Got Time, But No Money
Building Your Own List in 4 Steps
Step 1: Pick an Ideal Client Type
The key to building a leads list that will convert to paying customers, is to focus on one or two specific types of leads.
If you’re not already clear on the type of clients you want to work with (ones who are most profitable), your first task is to pick an ideal client type — also known as a “niche”. You may have more than one, but take note — “anyone willing to pay me” is not a niche!
Why is it Important to pick a type of client?
- It allows you to narrow down which businesses in your area could be leads — otherwise, where would you even begin?
- It allows you to target them with specific marketing messages. If you have one generic message for all different types of clients, it won’t seem like you truly understand the challenges they each face on a daily basis. Referencing things that are unique to their business can help set you apart from the competition.
- By working with clients in the same industry, you will begin to specialize in those types of jobs — helping you become an expert in that area.
- Testimonials and references from other clients in the same industry will allow you to build trust more quickly than generic “testimonials”.
How to Pinpoint Your Ideal Client Type
We’ll assume you already have some degree of contracts, so, note the types of clients you currently have. You may start to see a pattern emerge. If not, choose one or two of your best clients — the ones you really enjoy working for, and who your company is best suited to serve — this could very well be your niche. A good method of collecting leads through existing clients is to look at their Linkedin connections. Targeting via LinkedIn can be a very successful tactic. Lead generation from Linkedin has proven successful for 65% of surveyed B2B companies.
It never hurts to speak to professional peers and colleagues. Do they own businesses, or know someone who owns a business that your company could serve? If so, be sure to give some thought as to whether or not you are well suited to clean their spaces before deciding to go after more of that type of client.
Once you’ve brainstormed, begin Googling businesses in your area that match up with this client type. We’ll soon help you turn this into a list of leads in your local area, but first, it’s important to determine how you’ll make your company stand out to these types of organizations.
Step 2: Identify Their Unique Pain Points
Statistics show that targeting leads with content that is relevant to their buying process, yields 72% higher conversion rates! By understanding the challenges specific to your clients, you’ll be able to speak to these pains (and offer solutions) when you’re considering your marketing content — setting your company apart from the competition.
Take note of specific customer pain points, and offer solutions specific to their problems. Not only will this make you look attentive (and on point), but it’s just one of those little steps in the direction of building a trusting relationship with your future clients. And in the janitorial industry or any industry for that matter, trust goes a long way. 93% of B2B companies agree that properly targeted content marketing generates more leads than traditional strategies.
Step 3: Compile the List
The first step is to research businesses in your area that match your ideal client type. Just like almost all of your clients find you using search engines, this is how you can find them. Remember: Google is your friend.
Use the Lead Tracking Spreadsheet we created (link below) to record the contact information of as many businesses as possible. You’ll see at the bottom of the spreadsheet that we’ve divided it up by type of business. Because these leads are cold, you’ll want to compile a long list before reaching out to anyone.
Aim for at least 100 contacts. This may seem like more than you’ll need, but unfortunately you won’t get a hold of everyone on that list, and of those you do, not everyone will result in a walk-through. You may only book a walk-through with 10% of these contacts, and even that is a good percentage! Even with clients that come to you, 63% of consumers requesting info on your company will not purchase for at least 3 months. So shooting high is always a good tactic.
We’ve created a Customer Pain Point Worksheet to help you brainstorm their pain points, and record solutions you might be able to offer.
>> To get the Customer Pain Point Worksheet (and other great templates and scripts) sign up for our free 21 Day Sales Challenge. <<
Step 4: Maintain the List
Truthfully, it’s not creating the list that’s the hard part — it’s maintaining that list. After a year, 25-30% of lead data becomes inaccurate. So, it’s in your best interest to keep your list, and client info as up to date as possible. When we were a cleaning company building a list like yours, the leads that converted into customers most were the ones that we carefully tracked.
Here are some recommendations for keeping your list organized:
- List your next action item for each contact.
- Put those action items in your calendar with set reminders!
- If you have a lot of people asking you to follow up in a few days, re-organize your list, and move those contacts to the bottom.
- Include any notes from your calls in their own column to jog your memory about that lead for future conversations.
Our handy Lead Tracking Spreadsheet has examples to get you on the right track.
Click here to get the Lead Tracking Spreadsheet (and other great templates and scripts). Sign up by joining our free 21 Day Sales Challenge. <<
You’ve Got a Bit of Time… and a Bit of Money
Step 1: Choose a Channel (or 2, but No More Than 2)
You know what can be very overwhelming? The seemingly endless possibilities of where, when, and how to advertise! There are just too many options out there. With that in mind, our best advice is to focus on just one or two advertising channels at a time. You may want to try one digital advertising channel (ie, Facebook ads, paid Google search ads, etc.), and one traditional/local channel (ie. newspaper ads, flyers, bus ads, etc.) to start. If it seems like a channel isn’t working, try tweaking the message or visuals before abandoning that channel. It could just be that you haven’t quite found a message that resonates with your audience.
Top 3 lead generation marketing tactics (in order of effectiveness) are:
- Email marketing – 78%
- Event marketing – 73%
- Content marketing – 67% – (direct marketing news)
If you’re completely new to digital advertising there are tons of great resources online that can help you understand the different types of digital ads, how they’re bought, how much they cost, how they’re targeting, and how to go about creating your own digital advertising campaign.
This course on Udemy is a great example: https://www.udemy.com/digital-advertising-marketing-101/
Step 2: Monitor & Measure Your Ad Performance
Many business owners would expect buying ads to be under the “you’ve got money, but no time” category, but that’s only if your plan is to use the “set it and forget it” method of creating ads: create them, and then assume they are doing their job while you move on to the rest of yours.
In case you haven’t gathered, we don’t recommend this approach. 25% of marketers are unaware of their conversion rates….trust us, you don’t want to be in that 25%.
Monitoring the performance of your ads is less time-consuming than building a leads list from scratch, but it certainly does take time.
Perhaps you find yourself asking, is it really necessary?
The answer, in short… is yes.
Tracking, analyzing, and tweaking your ads is crucial to seeing a positive ROI (Return On Investment), and if you’re not seeing a positive ROI, you’re wasting money on ads!
No matter what channel you choose to advertise on, be sure to have a plan for measuring performance. This can easily be done using the analytics tools built into most online advertising platforms (Facebook and Adwords, for instance), but it’s also possible to know where traffic from your offline advertising efforts is coming from.
Click here to read how we used a combination of 2 online tools to learn what was making our phone ring when we were a janitorial company.
Not Enough? Here are 5 more useful stats about lead generation:
- Strategic landing pages amount to 68% of B2B leads acquisition.
- Companies see a 55% increase in leads when upping their landing pages from 10-15.
- 96% of people visiting your website are not ready to purchase.
- Outbound leads cost 39% more than inbound leads.
- 54% of email marketers say increasing engagement is their number one priority.
At the end of the day, none of these methods of generating leads is foolproof. The key to turning them into paying customers is two-fold:
- Measure the ROI (Return On Investment) of your lead-gen techniques to ensure you’re always making more than you’re spending.
- Measure how effective you are at nurturing and converting the leads you generate — Are you losing potential customers because your website fails to answer their questions? Or because you take too long to return their call?
Sections of this ebook originally appeared in this article, contributed by Sarah Bustin
Download PDF of Swept’s Guide to Commercial Lead Generation