As a business developer, one of your biggest challenges is to keep finding fresh leads that you can plug into your sales funnel. Depending on your particular drop-out ratios from one sales stage to the next, the magnitude of your hunger for fresh leads could be massive and continuously finding fresh leads will eventually become a challenge.
There are lots of sources you can capitalize on to keep identifying fresh leads and prospects. Below are some tips about where you can find solid leads that are relevant so your sales funnel remains well-filled and saturated with business opportunities that are promising and will help you in reaching your sales targets.
Services that advertise Tenders
There are several subscription-based online services that scan the papers daily and publish tenders or RFPs online in an easy-to-search format. This is so much more efficient than buying all the papers each day, and wasting the time of a lot of people to read through them in the hopes of finding a fresh opportunity.
The service we subscribe to is called Tenders Gate (www.tendersgate.com). Not only do you get a complete listing of all tenders that have been published each day, but you can search the database by using a number of filters, and most importantly – create your own custom reports that are then sent to you and your team members each morning via email.
There are lots of great online directories you can use to filter out potential leads for your cold calls or direct marketing campaigns. While the number of sources may be large though, it becomes more difficult to find those that present their data in a meaningful and user-friendly format.
Our favorite of all is Kinz.jo (www.kinz.jo). This is probably the only database that classifies all organizations in Jordan in accordance to ISIC 4, the prevailing classification system around the globe. You can further zoom in by using other filters such as size of capital, number of employees, regions, and so forth to generate a listing of a handful of companies that match your targeted lead profile 100%.
And this is where the real fun begins. You can now click into each listing and get the contact details of various positions, so you don’t end up sending an email about marketing consulting services to the HR manager for example. (This particular service comes also with a built-in email generator for mass-emails that are sent to specific search queries you have built.)
There must be at least one business association for each economic sectors in Jordan. But you should not only join the association that serves your particular industry, but also others that serve sectors you’re trying to penetrate.
Why? Let’s assume for example that a marketing consulting firm has developed vertical expertise in marketing high-tech companies, or is targeting those for any other reason. The most logical course of action would be for that firm now to join the Information Technology Association – Jordan (www.intaj.net) which has about 200 high-tech companies as members.
This will not only secure valuable contact details, but more importantly expose the consulting firm’s business developers to important decision makers in that industry via events and other networking opportunities. You can also take it a notch further and offer members a discounted package that is promoted through the association’s own email system.
This one is really a no-brainer; what other venue is more suitable and convenient to meet new leads and prospects than events and networking opportunities? Even if the particular topic doesn’t really interest you, if you suspect that a good number of attendees are important for business development purposes, you need to be there!
In the good old days, people used to call this tactic working the room. You attend an event, and systematically work your way through to meet and greet people, exchange business cards, ask to get introduced, and leave at the end of the event with a bunch of business cards (and notes) that you will plug into your CRM system so you can follow-up on each single one of those.
Ask for Referrals
This is one of the most forgotten-about tactic. How many times have you had a discussion with a customer after a project (or product) was successfully delivered, and she/he expressed their appreciation of your good services?
This is the best time to ask for referrals. You thank them politely for their kind words, and ask them whether they’d be willing to share with you the contact details of 3-5 of their business acquaintances whom they think might benefit from your services. Being in a jolly and appreciative mood and all, chances are they’ll be able to think of a few names. Jot them down so you can contact them in the morning, but don’t forget to ask the referrer for permission to state that you got the contact details from them.
Your very own Customers
Again, a tactic often forgotten by business developers, especially hunters, which is precisely why it’s so important to have farmers in your organization as well. (Click here to read more about the differences between hunters and farmers.)
By applying cross/ up selling techniques – in addition to pursuing repeat business – your sale is much easier because you are now preaching to the converted. These people have already done business with you, felt comfortable and satisfied with your performance, and are more prone to buying again than anyone else.
There are of course lots and lots of additional sources for fresh leads, which is great for business developers. And combining all of the above with optimized sales processes, a fine-tuned sales funnel, and a CRM solution that helps in getting it all done, your sales should be all the way up there where they’re supposed to be year-round 🙂
Happy Business Development!
About the Author
Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges.
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