Shawn Casemore is an expert on sales, business strategy and growth, who works directly with companies and their leaders for breakthrough strategies in performance. Shawn has worked with Fortune 500 companies such as CN Rail, Tim Horton’s, and Pepsi Co, however he invests the majority of his time working with some of the fastest growing and dynamic mid-market companies, including Bellwyck Packaging, Gerson and Gerson Incorporated and Saje Natural Wellness. Shawn is well-versed to offer insights on how to build winning strategies through the intelligence of well-managed teams. Drawing on many of his upcoming findings from his upcoming book ‘The Unstoppable Sales Machine‘ he highlighted how teams can implement an always-winning lead generation strategy.
When I was in my early teens, I launched my first business.
Desperate to earn some money (to save for my first car), and too young to get a part time job, I took it upon myself to start cleaning cars (amongst other odd jobs).
I had a couple of regular customers that would have me clean their car every month or so, but most of my customers would bring me their car once each year, in the spring.
Unfortunately for me, a once-a-year cleaning was difficult with all the salt and sand buildup.
My goal became gaining more repeat customers, which meant regular income for me and less work cleaning neglected cars.
I did everything I could think of to attract more repeat customers.
Offering small discounts to entice customers them to bring their car back more often.
Leaving small flyers in my customers’ cars asking them to share with their friends.
Even offering a multi-car discount if they wanted me to clean more than one vehicle.
Looking back, there was one thing that made my little business successful. I was always prospecting for new customers.
Today, when I coach and train sales teams on how to generate more sales, I refer to this as the ABPs of selling … Always Be Prospecting.
Unfortunately, this mindset seems to be lost within the sales profession, with much of the responsibility for generating leads and prospects being seen as the job of marketing, not sales.
Some will go so far as to suggest that only “Business Development” is responsible for generating new prospects.
Here’s the thing.
Lead generation is a team sport … and it’s not limited to just sales, marketing, or business development.
While recently interviewing the CEO of a large professional services firm for my forthcoming book The Unstoppable Sales Machine, I asked him what he felt was their greatest method to generate new business.
He paused and said, “Well, we have a team meeting every month. Sales shares the companies we are pursuing, looking for support from others amongst the team. Then the group brainstorms other potential targets we could pursue and how to best approach them.”
Notice how the onus for generating new leads doesn’t fall on the shoulders of sales, or marketing, or business development? Leads are the responsibility of everyone in the organization.
So then how can you generate more leads?
To start with, I wouldn’t suggest you invest in paid ads or build a new website. Instead try these five simple steps:
- Bring your marketing, sales, and customer service teams together every month to review potential target companies and develop a collective plan to engage with these companies.
- Hold meeting every other month with your top managers and leaders to share updates on potential new customers and to request their input on potential new leads your company might pursue.
- Offer a small commission to any employee who can introduce you to a potential customer (for which you haven’t done work previously).
- Engage outside representatives, agents, or ambassadors for short-term engagements to generate new leads and opportunities for your business.
- Introduce a referral program to continuously solicit referrals from existing customers, past customers, and even those companies who choose not to buy your products or services.
Stop looking at lead generation as the responsibility of a single department or person.
Instead, engage everyone in your organization in your mission to find new customers.
After all, leads convert to customers, without which you wouldn’t have a business … so it’s in everyone’s best interest to help you find some.
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