Let’s first start with an honest opening here. Even as a sales and marketing company, we were a bit hit by the lockdown part of the COVID19 crisis. In March and April, we faced decisions on offering being postponed, and new leads did not come in. It was truly a lockdown. A state of shock even in the market.
However, since May, it is all hands on deck. We are experiencing that IT companies do see the budget restraints with their (potential) customers. Companies have spent an amazing amount of their 2020 IT budget already. On user/remote based computing resources, which was not planned, however. So, IT budgets are getting into lockdown too.
Being a Sales Manager at an IT company, you may face the same. The funnel is getting emptier, and new leads are hard to find. Leaving a discussion if lead generation is one of your tasks or just a marketing responsibility. Well, it’s your funnel too isn’t it?
So yes, lead generation is also a sales task. The most obvious thing to do then is to get your sales team start chasing the leads in the funnel. Or older ones from one or even two years ago. We see some sales managers even tell their team to start cold calling. I am not saying this doesn’t bring leads, but have you ever calculated the ratios of that approach?
Why not empower your teams with three rather simple and easy to implement tool-supported methods? For most sales, it is acting outside of their contract closing approach, I would say, finally!
As the closing focused sales, we know ABC differently (watch the sales movie Glengarry Glen Ross and you know). Your sales team has to start sharing content. Relevant content! Relevant for your target group contacts.
Again, a marketing task? Well, creating content normally is true. But why wait? The best way for your sales to create interest and leads is to share personal content and ideas. They are in your line of business, so they have a personal opinion too don’t they?
Another option for your sales team is to find relevant content online. You can automate this via Google Alerts, or even easier, via Feedly.
Sharing the content is the next step. The best way is to do this via Marketing Automation or CRM tooling, at social media and email. With this, you can track what the activity is, and what resonates and what not.
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful B2B social media tools. So, your sales teams should use it too. It is a relationship/content tool. So best to use it for that. First of course for the ABC approach, second, to expand their network.
The network of your sales teams is immense. When you look at the cascading character of their relation. If their 1st line contacts like or share content from them, the expansion of their audience is huge. 2nd and even 3rd line contacts are being triggered or even activated.
So, expanding their network and approaching new contacts at LinkedIn does help generate awareness and leads. LinkedIn Premium and Sales Navigator do help but at a cost. There are many other tools to support this too, like Guru, Crystal, Dux-Soup, Scrab.in, Lusha and many others. Dive into this, having relations that empower your ABC does generate leads!
Lead generation is all about influencing your target audience. To contact you to help them with their business problems. You can do this by creating awareness. And trigger their latent need via content sharing. But, wouldn’t it be great to just spot opportunities when they are explicit? Funnel the needs of prospects to your sales when they want a solution?
You can do this by empowering your organisation and relations. Getting more eyes and ears in the market. The easiest gain here is to empower your colleagues. Specifically, if you are an IT Consultancy firm, why not activate your consultants?
But also, the contacts of your contacts can be powerful in spotting opportunities. Either in professional networks, or even in social, sports-related networks. Empower your football club and have all members generate leads, and have the club being rewarded for that?