Ask a Sales person or a business owner what a Sales Lead is, and they will smile and ask if you have any first.
A Sales Lead is the most profitable aspect of any business. It’s a warm lead, an introduction to someone who has expressed an interest to buy already, saving you a massive outlay and months and months of lead generation activities to find a potential customer for your offering.
Any experienced Sales person given a Sales Lead will have a much greater chance to sell to someone who already wants to buy.
The retail trade, in particular larger supermarkets, have thousands of sales leads walk in each day, for them it’s about how much the large retailers can sell to their potential customers whilst they are in the store. For other kinds of business, it is about finding new clients through marketing activities, like; cold calling, network events, exhibitions and Social Media, if you are a business owner you have just felt a cold chill down your back just thinking about the time and cash input needed for all those activities.
As a UK Government recognised business mentor I ask the people I advise; what does your ideal customer look like? some have made me chuckle when they pulled out a sketch pad and drew a face with hat and beard, what we mentors mean when we say this is; where and how are you going to find you target market? or more succinctly; what activities are you going to have to do to send leads to your website, shop, or office?
Let’s try to demonstrate how much lead generation activities will cost you, for this example let’s assume a business hour is worth $20 in monetary value. Let’s imagine a baker’s shop in a village, and the owner we can call Fred.
Fred has the wherewithal to know he must use the internet to supplement his shop front, he knows high street shop owners can no longer compete with the larger supermarkets on their own with the dominant retailers offering a ‘shopping experience’ of free parking, coffee shops and restaurants, cinemas, piped music, play areas for kids and generally ‘stack them high sell them cheap’ dogma.
One activity he takes on is content marketing; he writes blog posts three times a week and publishes on his website, where he shares his knowledge and his tasty offers, and he also shares his blog post link on social media. 3 Hours work writing and 3 hours work a week promoting on social media and growing his social media reach. 6 hours work x $20= $120 a week cost.
Fred has also joined a network club and goes at the crack of dawn at least once a week and pays $20 to go each time and spends 3 hours there chatting to members. 3 hours x $20=$60+ member fees =$80 every week.
So, poor old Fred spends $800 a month on lead generation activities, his average order value in his Baker’s shop is $20 so he has to sell to 40 more customers to break even on his networking activities. Not to mention losing 36 hours ‘baking time’ a month to finding new customers.
‘You can’t have your cake and eat it’
In reality all Fred wanted to do is bake bread, this is what he has always loved doing, he admits to often procrastinating on his blogs and has often missed an early morning breakfast networking event. We all know that we must love what we do, as passion will see you through the hard times of running your business, those ‘hard times’ are hard wired into almost every day for business owners and entrepreneurs.
Fred imagines getting a marketing manager in and then he can just do what he loves more in the kitchen. When he realises that even an entry level digital marketing manager would cost his business $40,000 a year he quickly finds some creativity to continue writing online posts. Maybe he can ask someone to go networking for him.
Fred often dreams about having a sales person, someone who calls on local businesses whom sells his lunchtime sandwiches, bagels and other baked snacks. He would happily pay them $200 a week, surely that is more cost effective?
‘Wouldn’t it be just amazing’ Fred pondered ‘if I could spent just an hour a week on a website from the comfort of my office upstairs from the shop and subscribe to a lead provider service (like an online sales rep) that simply posted adverts of people who have asked for a baker in my area where I can deliver, for event buffets, lunchtime sandwiches and occasional snacks, where the website gives the name, telephone number and email of the decision maker, and includes descriptions and budgets, where all I would had to do is make a quick call and sell there and then, or go around for one quick meeting and close the deal.’
Fred dreams more about this ‘secret website’ where they publish these sales leads, he pays a subscription of $20 a month for this service and is sent around 6 new leads a month and closes at least three decent orders really quickly from business in his area for buffets and lunchtime deliveries and makes an average $400 back from the leads each month.
In any business that is a great return on investment and Fred is baking more and more and is so much happier in his business, and that happiness has no price tag!
Wake up now! The truth about sales leads is that there is an easier way!
Fred’s business reverie is now a reality for Biz-find members who have subscribed to our Pro membership. We spent 6 years of our precious time altruistically growing the number of user added members on our directory sites to over 5000, we have been actively marketing their businesses on Biz-find sites in 10 countries, including sharing their business regularly to our 500,000-real people on our social media accounts and now they are happy to tell us the B2B (for their business) and B2C (for themselves) products and services they are buying each day and we share this information for all our pro members.
Regardless of whatever business you are in, even manufacturing, someone somewhere is looking for what you sell (isn’t that why you are in business in the first place? you know there is a market for what you sell, you just have to find them) and our members regularly ask us to find the suppliers for them.