Many businesses right now are experiencing a slow down or a sales leads dipping, funk or drought. It’s the unfortunate reality in every industry during these COVID times. Some businesses are diversifying and/or reinventing themselves to survive. Some are shifting their business models and their sales lead generation strategies. The business world, and in turn the sales world is different from what we have known. While some uncertainty continues to prevail, what’s clear is that you should not give up on your sales and marketing and PR efforts.
The longer you are in business, the more unavoidable these forces are, so you plan for the possible outcomes that may come your way. You’ve experienced, in the past, some of your plans and targets getting crushed by the unforeseen. Familiar with these possible setbacks, you’ve always planned for disruptions by having a back-up plan B, even a plan C to get you through things. The sudden “coup de force” brought on by the pandemic was unexpected by most of us, making the world a different place from what we have known and uncertainty of what the future holds will continue to linger. This is a big change that came about without any warning at all, leaving you with some big decisions to make and a sales funnel that has temporarily dried up.
The focus at this point is about keeping the business running by bringing in more sales leads, and it’s about avoiding droughts in the future by having strategies in place and by dealing with the unforeseen right away. Here are some things you should avoid, so that you can survive and even unlock new levels of prosperity.
Blaming your sales team for a lack of sales leads
Now is not the time for the blame game. You should not pull your team in a meeting to tell them that they are letting you down. You see, the problem just may be that you are letting them down. Did you ever think of that? This is when you really need to rely on and trust your sales department.
This could be a good time for you to invest in your sales team more, instead of pointing the finger. Consider bringing on a firm that offers remote sales effectiveness training or even sales lead generation services. Hiring a company that offers these services can help you get the most from your existing staff, without having to let people go or bringing in a new team lead. A sales lead generation company can also help by replenishing your sales funnel with new sales leads, while your sales people stay focused on closing.
Buying a garbage or spammy email list
There are lots of ways to unlock new sales leads and find new customers; none of which require buying a cheap and spammy email list that might not even target the right people.
It’s true, email marketing campaigns can hold a solid return-on-investment and lead to a number of new sales opportunities or potential leads for you to work on, and even repeat business.
All of which is fantastic. Right? However, a successful lead generation email marketing campaign typically involves targeting the right people who have already voluntarily given you their email address. They could be existing customers or people who have signed up for your newsletter. One thing for sure, they should also be executives who have buying power and influence within a company.
Your brand name and reputation are far too valuable to start shotgun blasting to an email list of random people that have not given you permission or that are not the ideal target.
If someone puts you in their spam folder, they will automatically file your company and services in their junk folder in their brain. In this case consider your efforts fruitless.
Selling to anyone
During these uncertain times, is a good time to rethink your target market, your ideal customer, target audience, or your buyer personas. This is certainly not the time to throw them out and start selling to anyone or everyone you’ve crossed paths with. Yes, you may get a quick sale out of one of these contacts, but they aren’t really in your lead generation target market. This could mean that sales will cost you more over the long run in cancellations or high churn rate.
Cancelling or slashing your marketing and your PR budget
During these times of struggle or restriction, most businesses will say they can’t afford to spend any money on marketing and public relations right now. The truth is that they can’t afford not to spend money on marketing and public relations right now.
As you transform your business model or reconfigure your product and service offerings, you don’t have to spend on high-cost, prime time TV ads. You can invest in low-cost, impactful and high-reach marketing and PR strategies. This could include tactics such as:
- Targeting your email list, or your existing social media network with a new sale or promotion
- Doing some online re-targeting ads
- Partnering with an association or industry publication and communicating to their readers via their channels
- Garnering some thought leadership based, proactive PR/media coverage or earned article opportunities, blog mentions or podcasts in industry publications that target your buyers
- Pushing out a direct mail campaign
These are just a few sales lead generation opportunities that you and your sales team can explore. The idea is to be strategic, not desperate for anything and everything, or anyone and everyone. React, but don’t panic.
If you overreact and do something too off course, your sales could dip even more and for a longer period. Or, you might even have to close your business forever. And, we don’t want that to happen.
Be proactive and plan for tough times. Equip your sales team, consider your target audience and don’t give up on your sales lead generation marketing and PR efforts. And, if you need to, hire some outside help. Remember, failing to anticipate and prepare is preparing to fail!