Sales is essential to any business. But building a great product doesn’t mean sales will just come. Marketing and sales have an important job in filling the pipeline with high quality leads through a mix of inbound and outbound lead generation. In our latest guest blog, Rishi Chowdhury considers just some of the alternative methods to keep the sales pipeline topped up. Rishi Chowdhury is Co-Founder of IncuBus Ventures, which develops programmes that help enable B2B startups to acquire large enterprise clients. You may have also seen their red double-decker bus touring events around the country!
Life in a startup can be difficult managing multiple activities when there is a lack of resource. Often teams can get distracted chasing a few hot leads and forgetting about refilling the pipeline. Once a deal is in, pipeline becomes a priority again but momentum has been lost.
The time it takes to find new leads and go through the sales cycle again wastes time and can potentially be fatal on cashflow. The lack of consistent revenues can often be linked back to a lack of consistent prospecting. Trust me I see this every day! And it’s a very simple fix. Apportion a part of every day to prospecting, you will reap the rewards.
You can master the sales process but if you don’t have any quality prospects it doesn’t help. Prospecting is an essential part of the process that is often not worked on as much as the rest of the sales process. Think about all those sessions on questioning, closing, objection handling techniques etc
There are many ways to consistently keep the pipeline topped up. There are also many articles out there with the same methods; so here are a few others to consider:
Now I’m not talking about the usual content marketing pumped out from marketing which hit targeted keywords or check all the boxes for a viral video. I’m talking about your own content marketing. Become a thought leader in the space in your own right. These can be posted from your Linkedin account which then also gets shared to your network, which may include many prospects or customers already.
This content is a strong way to build trust. Especially as many prospects will no doubt do some due diligence on the sales person they’re speaking with. If they go to your Linkedin page and see an expert in their field, that instantly builds a lot of trust and starts making the rest of your job easier.
Now writing articles doesn’t have to be hard. Pick a niche subject and write what you know about it. It can be about the experiences you go through every day, the industry shifts, challenges you see companies having and how the product/service your selling is solving them (just don’t make it salesy and focussed on your solution). Remember, the post must be useful regardless of if they go to buy your product/service or not.
Make sure your posts end with strong calls to action. Whether that is to connect with you, leave an email or sign up to a newsletter. Ensure there is a way to let users leave their contact details for added value.
2. Linkedin Outbound
Sticking on the Linkedin theme. The professional social network is a great place to reach out to potential prospects. And what better way to create that first engagement than offer a piece of your wonderful, thought-provoking, insightful and valuable article you’ve just written! Adding a message with your Linkedin contact request doesn’t allow links but if you have your posts on your Linkedin page you can guide them there. A strong value proposition and call to action lead to good conversion on Linkedin outreach. Make sure you tweak messages every so often and see if it improves the number of replies or not. Linkedin is a quick and easy way of generating many leads in a short amount of time. It’s a bit of a numbers game.
So you’re writing great content and some interesting insights which used to only get shared at the water cooler. Now you can turn those written words into spoken words. Repurpose your posts and turn them into talks.
Speaking at events is a great way to reach many people at once and get people to come to you. Doing this every so often can again build trust and get in front of a wider audience. Make sure you Google yourself and are happy with what comes up!
If you’re not liking what comes up, there are plenty of articles about showing up in search (just make sure you pick the top results when looking for articles advising how to rank at the top!).
Many forget that there are many stories to be told across the company and usually it’s just the CEO or founders that end up speaking at events.
Naturally you’ll start with smaller gigs and hopefully improve your talks and end up getting bigger and bigger opportunities.
KashFlow is small business bookkeeping software that can help streamline your work processes freeing up more time for you to bring in new clients and keep your business competitive. For a free, no-obligation 1-2-1 demo of the software just call the KashFlow onboarding team on 0844 815 5779.