In today’s sales world, successful selling is first and foremost in order to craft strong relationships. In fact, end-to-end sales consists of four pillars: Connect, Engage, Convert and Retain. The first pillar—Connect—involves the generation of new sales leads. It refers to connecting with potential customers both online or off, via social channels, paid ads, events and trade shows, email, and your company's website.
Before you start talking to your prospects, however, it always helps to have a good idea of exactly who they are. One way to accomplish this is through the creation of “personas” representing each customer profile. Then, you're able to devise customized marketing campaigns aimed at targeting each persona allowing you to offer up the right solutions to meet their specific needs.
Creating Customer Profiles and Smarter Leads
To understand your potential customers and get a better feel for their persona you should be asking questions, then asking even more questions. It's no longer enough to have a name and job title for your sales leads.
With so much information now at our fingertips, your prospecting teams have the opportunity to get a real, fully-informed, 360 degree view of every single new prospective customer.
A few samples to get you started:
- Who is the customer? Identify company characteristics, such as size, industry, budget, etc., and individuals within the organization.
- What are they looking for? What problems do they have (whether they know it or not) that you can help solve?
- Where do you find them? What social media sites are they frequenting? What organizations are they are part of?
- Why should they consider you? How will your solutions help improve their bottom line?
- When do they need it? Ideally, you want to catch your potential customer when they’re in the process of seeking solutions.
- How do you reach them? Advertising? Social media engagement? A combination of tactics?
Connecting Through Campaigns
Once you’ve built and analyzed your customer personas, it’s time to start generating leads and that means creating campaigns. A lead-generation campaign is a plan to reach a particular market segment, and it addresses each of the questions you’ve asked above. Campaigns can include marketing initiatives like direct mail, email blasts, webinars, and more. The idea is to attract potential customers with an offer (an ebook, a free demo, etc.) that leads ultimately to a sale.