Boss Lady

Taking the lead: Why staying proactive is vital in lead generation


Proactive lead generation in the competitive digital market has become so critical that it often defines business success or failure. Leads don’t just come along by themselves in sufficient numbers–you have to make things happen. One recent article refuted the idea that companies don’t need salespeople anymore because everything’s automated. [1] The article suggests that personal lead nurturing and development is essential and more important than waiting for leads to appear.

However, there’s truth to both sides of the automation vs. personal argument. Today’s technology is so advanced that it can identify leads and opportunities. Sales staff can further develop these leads to turn them into conversions. Proactively lead management is the process of using every available tool to build and qualify leads.

Proactive lead development strategies

The first step for managing your leads strategically is building a client database where you gather as much information as possible about your customers. This includes demographic information, type of buyer, business intelligence insights, social media behavior and buying history. Automate your website so that analytics information, ordering history, social media data and browsing history are incorporated into buyer profiles.

The more complete a picture you build about each client, the more tools you have for marketing, bounce-back offers and buying incentives. Classifying customers into distinct buyer types, or personas, makes it easy to send personalised messages and product recommendations and to choose the right salesperson.

You can find a lot of client information online with a range of tools, and there are some affordable alternatives to ZoomInfo such as

Selling to existing clients

Existing clients have already passed through the most difficult barrier–they’ve bought something from you and are well disposed toward your company. Now’s the time to practice proactive marketing by identifying each customer’s habits and using that data strategically.

If you’re selling business-to-business, or B2B, it’s important to give buyers a long lead time in order to buy products for spring, summer, winter, fall or holiday sales. If you’re selling B2C, or business-to-consumer, you can send marketing messages based on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, sports seasons and other criteria. Remember the following points when nurturing leads from your existing customers:

  • Use the data that you’ve already collected to schedule the best marketing ideas based on each customer.
  • Don’t bombard the customer with generic offers–personalising your marketing gets a better response if you employ restraint.
  • Smart email campaigns include marketing products that customers may have viewed in previous site visits or products that relate to previous purchases.
  • Assign the most qualified leads for high-ticket items or wholesale buys of multiple items to the most likely salesperson on your staff. Personal sales calls–if not too intrusive–can deliver tremendous results.

Statistics show that outbound leads have poor conversion rates according to 16 percent of marketers. [2] That means 84 percent of marketers feel that inbound leads are more valuable. Leverage that value by concentrating your resources to “preach to the choir.”

Targeting customers who abandon their carts

Customers abandon their sales carts for a multitude of reasons–a phone call, a knock at the door, a crying child, a forgotten appointment, something burning on the stove and many other interruptions. Abandonment doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of interest or a decision to cancel the sale. People tend to forget about an order after an interruption or move on to other things.

That’s why one of the hottest sources of leads is contacting people who abandon their cart with reminders that they didn’t finish their transactions. Once reminded, many people will return to their carts and complete their purchases. In your email, you can ask customers why they abandoned their orders. The information you receive can provide leads for marketing the product or other products at a different quality level, price or time of year.

Using technology to nurture leads

About 85 percent of marketers say that their most important content marketing goal is generating leads. [3] Your website is a lead-generating machine, but most companies just sit back and wait for leads to come. You can foster customer engagement with surveys, contests, communications, company newsletters and curated content based on their profiles.

Lead management is essential

Lead generation is an important step for companies that want to succeed. Encourage new website visitors to download a white paper, sign up for a newsletter or express their opinions about products and issues. Technology can generate leads, but you’ve got to help it along. Use every opportunity of customer engagement to generate leads, and your leads will never run out or become cost-prohibitive to nurture and develop.


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