In one of our previous posts, we discussed the lead generation challenges faced by small businesses. We have already discussed lead generation strategies, and how effectively attracting the target market can help you increase the number of leads translating into sales. One of the major challenges that were highlighted in that post was the ineffective follow up framework. Before we talk about effective follow up strategies for small businesses, let’s take a look at the importance of a follow up framework for these businesses.
Follow Up Framework: Small Business Weak Point in Lead Generation
For larger corporations, it is fairly easier to incorporate a proper follow up system. When you engage in business with such organizations, you immediately receive a follow up call or email, mostly automated and pre-recorded. Most small businesses often overlook the impact of such follow up endeavors. Many, on the other hand, deem them completely useless for small business.
In actual, follow up framework is as important for small businesses as they are for larger organization, even if the business concerns making money online only. Swift and timely phone call returns and automated email responses can make your prospects see more value in your services. And this is the reason the lead to sales conversion rate is also increased. Even in case, it doesn’t convert into sales, you will be able to track down the source and cause of such bum leads.
However, small businesses may also avoid setting up a proper follow up framework due to their limited budget and resources. This is where it becomes a major lead generation challenge for small business. That is why we call it the weakest link in small business lead generation. So, today, I will shed some light over strategies that can help small businesses overcome this challenge.
Think, In Terms of Investment
So, budget is a major obstacle for small businesses, but that is as long as you consider the follow up framework an expense. The right way to take it is as an investment. As we mentioned above, a strong follow up framework has the power to convert leads into sales. Naturally, this will also increase your profits and revenues. So, thinking in terms of ROI, an effective follow up framework really is an investment. Once you start to look at things from this perspective, you will be able to manage your business budget accordingly.
Incorporate With Marketing
Follow up framework is a part of lead generation strategy. Lead generation itself is a part of the marketing campaign. Another reason why small businesses find it difficult to implement a follow up framework is because they try to treat it as a spate entity. One easiest solution for overcoming this challenge is to plan and implement your follow up framework as a part of the overall marketing strategy. It is the same as social media marketing or email marketing, etc. Despite the huge list of differences and implementation on a completely different platform, social media marketing and email marketing is always considered as a part of the complete marketing campaign.
Choose a Strategy
As for any kind of marketing endeavor, it is important to learn about all possible strategies and then implement the one that seems to fit your needs and requirements properly. You can lead a follow up through email, voice/phone or the traditional mail/postcard. Larger corporation with hefty budgets make use of all of these strategies, but then they also have multiple lead generation sources. For smaller businesses that make money online, the strategy must be chosen and streamlines right according to the specific requirements.
Identify the Sources
In order to manage the lead generation and follow up budget, it is extremely important the lead generation sources. You must ensure effective measures to learn more about the origin of the lead. Even a small business might have multiple sources such as multiple landing pages, PPC ads, social media ads, etc. this will help you assess your stronger sources so that you can focus your attention on the sources that are able to deliver better return on investment. Also, it will help you streamline your follow up framework and the cost of setting up a follow up system.
Use the Information
This may sound like a simple and silly advice but really what’s the point of tracking all the information, if you don’t know how to use it. The information you gather about the source of a particular lead must be used to optimize sales process. Tracking the sources is easier for online sources. You can get all the information regarding the product that a prospect is interested in. This will also save the cost of setting an automated follow up or respondent system. For smaller business, traditional phones or emails are much more feasible. It connects the prospects on a personal level and provides instant sales opportunities.
Avoid Going Overboard
Saving finances and resources, wherever possible, is one of the major objectives of small businesses. However, when we saw follow up framework is important, we don’t mean going overboard with it. One good thing about small businesses is that they have smaller needs and that is what enables them to save more money by streamlining the system. This holds true for the lead generation and follow-up framework as well. It is always smarter to identifying and assessing your sources and strategies instead of following what your bigger competitors are doing. Eventually, the number of sales and lead will increase overtime and you can start building a follow up system bit by bit.
So, we never say that it is easy or affordable for small businesses. It is true that a follow up framework is one of the major lead generation challenges you will be facing. Yet, what is needed is the understanding of a follow up framework and the proper strategies to fit it in your budget. Although it is only of the challenges, overcoming this single issue will create a major impact on your overall sales and revenue. This will automatically resolve a number of other lead generation challenges we discussed previously.
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