Author Archives: Yafit Davis

Crisis Lead Generation tips from YBDT

In the past few weeks since the UK has gone into Lock-down, we have been posting tips to help companies consider their marketing during the Coronavirus crisis. Here is a summary of the latest tips in case you missed them:

Tip #1: DON’T STOP YOUR MARKETING ACTIVITIES

As part of ‘doing my bit’ in the current crisis, I have decided to share some daily insights and tips to help your thinking and plans regarding marketing. My first tip is simply to keep your marketing communication channels open.

 I know that everyone is looking at cutting costs and stopping your marketing can be very tempting in this context. However, I think it is useful to remember two things:

  1. If you want to carry on trading, you need to let people know you are working and able to support them still.
  2. This is a time-bound situation, whilst we don’t know how long it will last, we know it will finish. Trust me, once this happens you will want to have a sales pipeline.

Tip #2: FIND YOUR PARTICULAR CRISIS MESSAGE

I see a lot of online conversations about whether you should mention Covid 19 in your marketing content or not. In my opinion, the crisis is so whole-consuming that you have to make reference to it. That said, you will need to find your own voice and decide how you approach it. A few examples I liked today:

  1. Our client, Sentinel Group Security are looking at ways of supporting front line organisations free of charge
  2. My colleague, Adam Young from Fine Young Films, offering a home-made video editing service
  3. Here is our special offer to support companies in the transition to remote working: https://www.yourbizdevteam.co.uk/telephone-services.php

Tip #3: SET SOFTER TARGETS TO YOUR LEAD GENERATION CAMPAIGNS

I often have to manage my clients’ expectations at the best of times let alone in the middle of an unprecedented crisis. Most companies are not in a position to make any purchases right now. This does not mean you should stop all lead gen activities and focus on existing business only. Ask yourself two questions:

  • What can you do which is relevant and helpful right now?
  • Who will benefit most?

There is nothing wrong with offering free of charge or reduced cost services in the spirit of supporting each other. Make sure it is done strategically and within a framework you are happy to support. Then let your prospective clients know what you are doing and target your team to start some useful conversations with new prospects they have not spoken to before.

To let you in on a professional secret, this kind of target is a good one to have anytime. in my experience, all sales start with a useful conversation so make sure you are having lost of them now. This will definitely put you in a better place to develop new business when we are back to normal trading again.

Tip #4CHOOSE THE RIGHT MARKETING TOOLS TO SUPPORT YOUR MESSAGE

If you are looking at running some marketing campaigns at the moment, choosing the right tools to support your message is very important. I have already recommended here that you have a specific approach and message which is relevant to the situation. As part of this process, you will have decided who will be your target markets for this which puts you in the right place to choose your tools.

I am not suggesting that you have to choose one marketing tool only; you can run a number of campaigns using different tools and tactics. In many ways the tools and tactics you use are all relevant as long as they appeal to your target markets and convey your message correctly. Have I managed to confuse you yet?

Here are a few examples to make my point clearer:

  1. If your marketing message is all about reassuring your clients that you are here to support them and still open for business, you may want to choose a personal email with a telephone follow up. This will help you to convey a more personal message aimed at companies with whom you have an established relationship. You will also gain invaluable information through speaking to your clients and understanding their main challenges.
  2. If you are running a webinar to provide business support to companies which is open to all companies in a specific industry, you are better off using Social Media, and LinkedIn in particular, to appeal to decision makers in the relevant industry.

I hope this is helpful to your current thinking. As always, I am happy to have a chat and share the insights we are gathering from the campaigns we are running for clients at the moment.

About Social Distancing and marketing

The current situation we find ourselves in reminds me of a famous quote from Albert Einstein: ‘The measure of intelligence is the ability to change’. One of the proofs to this is the use of the new term, Social Distancing. A few weeks ago, none of us really knew what it meant. Today we are already looking at how we can improve our productivity working from home and considering how we can run effective meetings online. Moreover, if you key ‘Social Distancing’ into Google you get a whole load of great images you can use in your blogs and articles.

I am not making light of the situation; it is a worrying time to many of us whilst we struggle to make sense of it all. When we hit stressful and unknown times in business, decision makers tend to respond in two different ways:

  1. Looking at the situation in the short-term context and evaluating what is best for their company in this light.
  2. Looking at the situation in the long-term context and evaluating what is best for their company in this light. 

The first group will generally put a stop to any expense which they view the business can survive without at the present time whereas the second group will want to stick to business as usual as much as possible. I believe that at the moment the answer is somewhere in the middle, which might sound confusing but is probably the best way to look at things. 

We are already seeing many examples of cancelations and delays in expected contracts and orders. The easiest thing would be to make panic decisions. I try to look at the detail and context to help me make sense of it all. Consider the following:

  1. Is your industry or any of your clients’ industries directly affected by current or future limitations imposed?
  2. Can you approach your clients in a pro-active way to see how you can work through the situation in a way that is beneficial to all?
  3. Are there any new/ updated services you can offer which might be more helpful at the current state of affairs?

Once you are clear if you can carry on working, with whom and what is your ‘best Covid 19 slant’ you can then decide what taps you must shut and what taps you should keep going. 

Before I end this blog, I wanted to remind you that lead generation is a tap you should consider keeping open. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. When there are less available opportunities to do business, you need to cast your net wider and tap into additional opportunities.
  2. This situation is not going to last forever and stopping your lead generation would mean you will have a much bigger hole to climb out of then.

I hope this is helpful even if only as a moment of distraction from the doom and gloom.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch and discuss your options.

New leads versus new sales what is the difference?

To some of you it may seem a rather obvious thing to say but a lead and a sale are two different things and accordingly need different treatment. I often come across businesses confusing the two and ending up losing a good lead that could have turned into a sale or spending too much time working on an unqualified lead because they thought they had a sale they didn’t!

A lead may eventually turn in to a sale but there is a process it needs to go through to get there.

Typically, you communicate to leads en masse, a lead could be a contact on a bought list, a card you picked up from a networking event, referrals, respondents to advertising/social media campaigns or someone who has filled out a contact from on your website.

Trying to sell to a lead too early can lose you a potential sale. For example, collecting business cards at a networking event then going back to your office and contacting them as if you have spoken to them and know them and their needs and trying to sell to them is a big no no! 

The simple but necessary process to turn a lead in to a sale means your leads become prospects, which can be turned into an opportunity and then finally closed in to a sale. Below is a brief outline of what needs to be done at each stage:

  1. Leads need to be treated with a care and respect, they need to be nurtured. You need to communicate with the lead on a one to one basis and encourage them to engage with you so you can learn more about them. You can do this with e-mails or telemarketing for example. If a lead engages in two-way communication this suggests they have real potential to buy from you. The lead then becomes a prospect. 
  2. A prospect has the potential to become an opportunity, to make a sale. So next you need to determine if they have a challenge you can help with and whether your product can bring them any value. Therefore, when handling a prospect you need to determine 
  • How much do they know about your product/service?
  • What do you know about their specific challenges?
  • What do they understand about how your product/service could help them?
  • Do they have a budget?
  • Would they appreciate a proposal?

If a prospect decides to consider your proposal or solution to their challenge they become an opportunity and are one step closer to becoming a new sale and a new client. An opportunity is a qualified prospect you have made a detailed proposal to with a specific cost. If the opportunity you present is accepted and agreed you now have a SALE and a new client. Now is the time to start providing them with your product/service!

So, in summary leads, prospects, opportunities and sales are all different but all part of the same process. It is important to differentiate between the stages so you can make sure your marketing and sales strategy is doing the right thing at the right time! If you would like help understanding the stages and developing your sales process please get in touch with Your Business Development Team. We are here to help and be a part of your team. It’s what we do! E-mail me at yafit@yourbizdevteam.co.uk 

Lead generation and selling: what’s more important?

One thing that has stood out for me in the recent Corona Virus scare, is an interview with the Chinese ambassador to the UK in which he said that the Chinese word for crisis is made of two symbols, one meaning ‘danger’ and the other ‘opportunity’. Famously used by JFK in a speech in 1959, this idea is often used in motivational speeches. However, having done some research, I learnt that, strictly speaking, the above is not actually true but like many other marketing slogans, it still works as an inspirational idea.

Sales are often connected with opportunities and risks which, whilst exciting for some, can be confusing at best and a headache at worst to others. This is why many companies stay away from new business sales and focus solely on developing existing business. As a whole, this is not a bad strategy but it can be limiting in terms of potential growth. If you have decided to dip your toe in new business sales however, there are two different elements you need to consider in order to make it happen;

  1. Lead generation
  2. Sales

In our previous Blog this month, we explained why the two are closely connected, yet very different processes. In this Blog, I wanted to look at the process and how you should approach it for best results;

Three things are very important to consider when it comes to setting your sights on new business sales:

  1. Target markets’ strategy: Understanding who you are targeting and why is key for a successful campaign.  Just making a start and going to market is easier but almost certainly not better. I would definitely recommend that you spend time considering and planning before you start. 
  2. Budget, expectations and time scale: New business development, particularly in B2B environments, takes time. You need to be realistic about how long it will take to get meaningful leads and convert them. This needs to be reflected in the budget you set for the project. 
  3. The quality of your sales operation: If your lead generation strategy is working, your conversion rate will almost certainly drop. This is absolutely not because your leads are no good, though you should always test and measure them. This is because when you have more leads, your sales process and techniques come under strain and reveals problems and bottlenecks. Make sure you review these and make changes when required.

As a lead generation agency, we are often at the sharp end of new business sales and we have seen many campaigns succeed and almost as many fail in our time. This is why we understand how important are the above factors to the success of your growth. 

So next time you get worried about your new business sales make sure you look for failures across the entire process, then implement new tactics, check again, change and so on.  Remember what Leo Tolstoy wrote in Anna Karenina; ’If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content’. Celebrate your success and learn from your failures and most importantly, apply patience.

Click here to see how we helped one of our clients, Driving Vision, to achieve the right blend of lead generation and sales which contributed to their growth in their first year of operation. 

Lead generation V selling what is the difference?

“Don’t count the things you do, do the things that count.”

I love this quote…too many people are rushing round being busy but achieving little. You have to work smart not just hard! This applies to your lead generation and sales processes too.

Lead generation and selling work hand in hand not against each other.  Lead generation tends to be sending out a message to many and selling is likely to be one on one. Your marketing & lead generation activity provides the leads, so your sales people can then take them through the sales process and make the deal!

The lead generation process:

  • Obtain Leads – Begin by attracting prospects to your website by generating engaging content that can be shared through various marketing channels, where ever your potential customers are active
  • Nurture Leads – Once you have captured the prospects contact information, you have a lead. it is now important to nurture them and build up a relationship with them.
  • Evaluate Each Lead – It is important to know which leads are more valuable, so you can focus more of your attention on the ones that are more likely to become customers.
  • Pass Leads to Sales – When the leads have been, captured, nurtured and desire created by the marketing team it is time to pass the lead on to the sales team to convert in to a sale.     
  • Review Lead Generation Process – Constantly review your lead generation process to ensure it is as effective as it can be.

When the prospect has been turned in to a lead, nurtured and qualified, it is ready for…

The sales process: 

  • Make contact – Get in touch and start building rapport.
  • Find the need/pain – Talk to the prospective client about his business, his issues, find out what problems he has that your product/service can help with.
  • Offer Solution – Show them how your product/service offers them a solution to the problem they have or how your product/service will benefit their business.
  • Overcome Objections & Close the Sale – Objections aren’t always a no, see them as a request for more information. 
  • Maintain your relationship – Keep in contact with the client, make sure they are happy. Happy clients will bring repeat business and referrals.

Businesses need a consistent flow of good quality leads in their sales funnel, so your sales team have plenty of opportunity to make deals, and increase sales revenue.

 A lead generation strategy is essential for a successful business. There are a number of ways to generate leads, some of which have been discussed in previous blogs. Take a look at 4 SME Marketing Tools  or 5 top SME’s off-line marketing strategies . What is most important is working out what works best for your business and having a plan in place to create consistent leads. 

However, don’t just think of leads in terms of quantity, quality is essential also! This is why it is vital to think long and hard about who your prospective clients are and the best way to reach them and what the right message is to send them. See my recent blog on being clear on who your target market is.

Once a prospect has been turned in to a lead, you can use them for various purposes such as data list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads. A good lead generation plan and quality leads will not only increase sales, it will help generate awareness of your product/service, target desired clients and collect important information about prospects.Why not take a moment and consider whether you have a good lead generation plan (or any) for your business? If not, don’t panic, we can help you put one in place or maybe make improvements to a current one that isn’t achieving what you hoped it would. Contact us at Your Business Development Team and we’ll help you work out what is best for your business.

How to create a successful campaign plan?

Trial and error is a great tool for learning anything and that goes for your marketing too. We all spend a lot of time looking for lead generation tools that work for our business and when we find one, we hold on to it. At the same time, if we try something and it does not work, we strike it off our list forever. I think that it’s a good way to ensure you are spending your budget wisely and getting results.

So far so good but let me ask you two further questions:

  1. How much of your knowledge of success is based on your preference and comfort zone rather than on testing and measuring?
  2. When was the last time you reviewed your tried and tested lead generation methods?

These are really important questions to consider because,

  1. You should base your lead generation campaigns on your target market’s preference and comfort zone rather than your own
  2. New lead generation tools are developed all the time and trends and approaches are developed so reviewing your approach regularly is important

The beginning of the year is often when companies plan their marketing, so this month I thought I would share my approach to campaign planning whilst taking into account the above considerations:

Break your marketing into individual campaigns first and plan each one separately

Don’t go in all directions in one go; it’s much better to have two successful campaigns than five messy ones.

Set your new business targets by working out the following parameters of the sale:

  • Your average sale 
  • Your conversion rate 
  • Number of leads required 
  • Make sure your goals are SMART

Get a better understanding of who you are targeting. Consider things like:

  • Who is your ideal company and why?
  • What is the specific problem that you can solve?
  • Who do you want to speak to?
  • Where are they likely to go for information?
  • What questions are they going to ask?
  • What are your challenges in winning companies in this market?

Learn from your competition.  Do some research to find out:

  • Who are your main competitors in this market?
  • What are they doing to attract new business?
  • Can you offer something different?

Once you are clear on the above, look at tools and tactics:

  • What worked for you in the past?
  •  What can you do successfully using your own resources?
  • Are there any new tools you could use?
  • What is worth outsourcing?

There are many more things you can do but the above considerations are key to setting you off in the right direction. Many companies are set up to do their own planning successfully but if you lack resources or would like another pair of eyes and ears on the case, give us a call to discuss further. Find out more about our lead generation plans here.

Why you should be clear on your target markets for 2020

Before you do any marketing, it is vital you know your target markets, and when I say know them, I mean really know them, in detail.

Their age, gender, education, where they live, where they work, what they do, what they like and dislike, household size, income, what media they read, listen to etc

Why is this so vital? Well when you put a marketing plan together, you need to know who you are speaking to, how to get their interest and engage them and of course how to reach them. No matter how creative your campaigns, or how much money you spend, if you are speaking to the wrong people there is no point and a waste of your time and money. 

For example – would you place an advert for a mobility scooter in a magazine for Teenage girls! No, of course not, but you would promote the latest lip plumping lip gloss in one!

Once you have identified your market you are also able to craft messages that appeal specifically to different audiences within them. Even when you are selling fundamentally the same service or product you will still need to word things differently depending on your target audience.  For example, a Financial Advisor would need to tailor his message to an older person looking for financial advice for retirement differently than to a young couple looking to buy their first home.  

That’s the basics of it, and with digital technology in 2020 offering more sophisticated options to promote your business than ever before, you really do need to be crystal clear on your target markets to get the best and most cost effective results.

These days technology has made it much easier, not only to find out about your audience in the first place put also to reach them. Campaigns can now be aimed at very specific and niche audiences. To take advantage of this though you have to start with knowing as much as possible about the people you want to reach.

So, if you want to get the best results as cost effectively as possible you need to get total clarity on who your potential clients are. A great place to start would be at our target market planning workshop taking place on January 31st. Not only will this help identify your audience but show you the best way to approach them. Click here for full details

Join me on this workshop to learn about my unique and proven approach, to target market definition, and using it to identify and create your target market(s) in detail. 

We will also look at developing new markets to come up with a campaign plan and approach for your company so you can apply it straight away. 

If you would like to discuss target markets or planning a marketing campaign for 2020 please don’t hesitate to get in touch. yafit@yourbizdevteam.co.uk   

What would make your missed opportunities list in 2019?

Writing Blogs this time of the year has the added responsibility of saying something clever providing a useful slant on the year which is nearly finished. One of my favourite authors for key moments is Paulo Coelho as he really knows how to capture them. Here is one which is very apt for this Blog:

‘Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering…’

Being long in the tooth as I am, I have learnt not to beat myself up over missed opportunities. However, I think that learning from every situation is key. So, every December I make some time to consider and write down a list of my 12 biggest missed opportunities of the year, one for every month, along with the learning and changes I have implementing as a result. I find it very useful because there is always a few I forgot about or not done anything with. 

If you find time to do your list this December, I am sure that at least one of those opportunities will be about missing a sale because you did not follow up or kept in touch.  We all do it, it’s easy to do as we are all so busy most of the time. Another problem with following up relates to the above quote; With many leads it’s hard to know whether you should wait, chase or forget so we end up not knowing what to do. 

Another problem many of us are facing at the moment is the serious lack of decision-making taking place. The combination of election, Christmas and Brexit seem to have stopped many companies from going ahead with proposed plans which can be very frustrating if you are the supplier.  If you find yourself with an extensive pipeline but no decisions, here are a few things you could do other than tear your hair out:

  • Analyse your opportunities based on buying personas: I have written before about the importance of taking into accounts buying personas. According to DISC research only 35% of people make decisions fast which means that the rest don’t. This is key statistics to remember when considering how to best follow up with an opportunity. I find that colour coding your top opportunities is useful to managing your expectations and planning your next best step. Try it it’s worth the effort!
  • Start even more new conversations: This might sound like the definition of madness, but it actually stops you from obsessing too much with sluggish opportunities. Consider which target markets you might like to develop in 2020 and make a start as it can take a while. Here are some tips you might want to consider from a previous Blog. 
  • Follow up and nurture your leads: Many buyers I speak to often complain about the fact that salespeople move on and stop talking to them too quickly. Don’t be one of them, people are always happy to feel that they are wanted. Just make sure that you use the appropriate behaviour based on their buying persona as above. Watch this video for more information.

I hope this is useful and that you might find some time to write a list of your 12 key missed opportunities and learning in 2019. I will be very interested in any learning you have gained from this. 

In the meantime, If you are considering your business development plans for 2020, give me a call to discuss further. Have a lovely festive break and a prosperous 2020!

Our favourite 2019 B2B Marketing Campaigns

Well here we are nearly at the end of another year. As is traditional at this time of year I thought I’d take a look back on the year just gone and give you examples of some great B2B marketing campaigns. Here are my top three:

  1. My First choice is HubSpot. Providers of resources for social media and digital marketing on the Internet, plus a range of products for inbound sales. Considering what they do it shouldn’t be a great surprise they are one of the best success stories for the power of B2B social media marketing.

One of the reasons HubSpot stands out to me is they are one of the few companies whose e-mails I actually want to read, because I feel they will benefit me! So much so, HubSpot have a folder in my inbox so I can refer back to the e-mails when I have time. Most other promotional e-mails go straight to the deleted folder! For more details and facts and figures on HubSpot and other B2B social media marketing click here  

  1. Next up is a B2B video marketing campaign from ADOBE. With millennials increasingly in charge of business decisions, a video marketing campaign done right can change the way your brand accesses market space. My choice of a great example is the Adobe – click baby click campaign, see it here. It’s humorous, engages you straight away and I love the unexpected ending!

For more on this video and other great examples of video campaigns done over the years and what makes them work well visit this website

  1. Having just mentioned that millennials are now many of the decision makers in the business world, my final choice for a campaign turns the negative image portrayed of millennials on its head. Although not strictly B2B, I loved the way this campaign took the stereotypes associated with millennials and Gen Z and turned them round. This campaign crossed different media and included TV ads and posters. This was a highly effective and successful campaign with  applications to join the army doubling in the first month.    Click here to see a video of one of their TV campaigns 

I hope you liked my choices above. It will be great to hear about your top marketing campaign choices for 2019. Even better, get in touch and let us know what marketing campaigns were successful for your company this year.

In the meantime, If you are considering your business development plans for 2020, give me a call to discuss further. 

4 top SME marketing tools

There are several Marketing strategies available to SME’s, both online and offline, but it is important to decide which ones are best for your business. To do this you need to think carefully about who you are targeting. This in turn will determine what tools and tactics you should use.

In this article we looked at some digital marketing options. Of course, you don’t need to consider them all at once, but it is a good idea to have several marketing activities on the go to ensure a steady stream of leads.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to make it easier for search engines to crawl or “read.” By making small changes to your site and developing content that focuses on relevant keywords, you can work to rank higher on the search engine results page and therefore increase opportunities to drive new traffic to your site.

Improving your SEO will help improve your visibility online by ensuring that new buyers can find you on search engines like Google.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the process of creating and publishing quality content that is relevant to your target audience and provides value to them. It is important to know your audiences, challenges, needs and desires to develop good content marketing.

Content marketing focuses on the long-term, it helps build trust with your audience, promote a positive and foster powerful relationships with your leads and customers.

PPC Advertising/Facebook Advertising

PPC, or pay-per-click works just like it sounds, it is an online advertising model where you pay each time a consumer clicks on your ad content. Google AdWords is the main search engine for this as that is where most of your potential clients will be searching. PPC advertising works as a great supplement to your organic search efforts, allowing you to drive relevant traffic to your site immediately.

Facebook ads are a very effective and inexpensive way to advertise your products to nearly any niche audience, no matter what business you are in. Facebook allows you to target your audience very specifically.

E-mail marketing

Email marketing is a great way to stay top of mind within your customer base and send triggered communications to relevant customer segments.

Most consumers are not going to buy from you on their first visit to your website. So, it’s important to find ways to keep in touch with these potential clients. Once you have captured your visitors’ contact information, you can nurture these leads with e-mail marketing. E-mail marketing is also essential for keeping in touch with existing clients.

webinar invitation, or a special promotion.

I hope you found this useful though one of the main problems we come across when it comes to SME’s is the fact that they don’t do enough testing and measuring and spend their marketing budget looking for a magic bullet. If this resonates with you, we would like to invite you to attend our taster session for our new marketing workshops designed for SMEs. You can find more details and register here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/understand-improve-your-marketing-tickets-77266354747