How do Startups Generate Leads and Sales?

As a startup, how do you sift through the masses to find your target audience? More than that, how do you get them to BUY into your products or services?
While most businesses have some sort of sales process, many often struggle with their lead generation strategies.

Leads: What is a lead generation strategy?

A lead generation strategy, according to Marketo is the process of “sparking interest in a product or service with the goal of developing sales pipeline”.

A lead generation strategy is a plan or approach that a business uses to attract and convert potential customers into leads. It involves identifying and reaching out to individuals or organizations that are likely to be interested in the products or services offered by the business. Lead generation strategies can include various tactics such as content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization, paid advertising, events and networking, referrals, and more. The ultimate goal of a lead generation strategy is to generate high-quality leads that can be nurtured into becoming paying customers and drive revenue growth for the business.

Here are some mistakes we have picked up at New Ventures Studio, Salesian Life Choices’ early stage startup accelerator.

Mistake 1: Not knowing your target market or targeting the wrong market
There is an old saying that “when you talk to everyone you talk to no one.”

How you can fix it: Target a specific audience; know who your customers are through purposeful research interviews with potential customers. Always test and re-evaluate these facts, refining them and trying to gather as much intelligence on your sales as possible.

Being pro-active is key here.

Mistake 2. Promoting the wrong message or a mixed message

Are you doing a promotion? Is it a discount? Is it a new offering? Are you looking for clicks? Sales?

How you can fix it: Have a deliverable promise and keep the message specific, e.g. “December Summer Special” – that is the message that you push, aimed at getting leads for sales for that period.

You always want to deliver more than you promise.

Mistake 3. Not being ready for leads

You can have this great marketing campaign but if your phone is switched off, or you haven’t rehearsed your sales pitch or aren’t sure what your marketing team has put out on social media, it can be a big problem.

How you can fix it: Everyone in your team needs you know “we’ve got a campaign going out here, expect the phones to ring. Whatever you’re offering needs to be already packaged so that you can forward it to the prospective lead that you get and you’ve got the plan and capacity to work with them.

Mistake 4. Not following up on leads
You may have received the leads and delivered the product but you can still lose the customer if you do not follow up with your customer properly.

How you can fix it: Dedicate time to retaining your new customer. Customer retention is what actually grows the business because once you retain one customer and you make them happy by over delivering on your promise they are now likely to go off and tell other people.

TIP: It’s easier to retain a customer than it is to acquire one!

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