Social media can be a powerhouse tool for making valuable business connections, if it’s leveraged correctly. But it can be difficult to know how and where to make these connections.
Carrie Dunham, owner of the Carrie Dunham handbag and accessories line, asked the businesscompany.us community how to generate leads through LinkedIn Groups: “I am curious how others use social media and social networks to generate leads. I used to like LinkedIn Answers and Groups, but they got rid of Answers … they just released their new navigation, and groups are being buried. Seems like they are moving to being just your online resume and helping people find jobs. Social media is important, but I am just getting my feet wet.”
We spoke with social media and marketing experts and outlined the steps to generating leads on LinkedIn Groups. [Interested in social media management? Check out our best picks.]
The first step to creating leads from LinkedIn Groups is finding and joining a group full of potential customers. To do that, decide who your ideal client or audience is. Once you know who you want to market and sell your product to, find a group the caters to that community. [See related article: How to Reach Your Target Audience.]
“Using that profile, go to the groups that have a large number of individuals as members,” said Bill Corbett Jr., president of Corbett Public Relations. “For example, if you want to market to accountant groups, you go to accountant groups. To effectively convert sales, you have to be in a target-rich environment.”Read More
Many small businesses understand the importance of converting sales leads, but far too often, businesses don’t engage in an effective sales process. A shocking number of businesses fail to even follow up with potential customers who show an interest in their products. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, 23% of businesses never followed up with web-generated sales leads. Another 24% took more than 24 hours to follow up with those leads. Nearly 50% of businesses in the study either didn’t follow up with web-generated sales leads or their sales reps took far too long to reach out.
A business offering quality products or services shouldn’t fail because of a flawed sales process. When it comes to following up with sales leads and potential customers, there are a few best practices to follow. We spoke to experienced marketers and salespeople to learn how to follow up on sales leads, and why you should follow up on sales leads to maximize conversions.
According to the HBR study, firms that followed up on sales leads within an hour of getting them were seven times as likely to qualify the lead than companies that waited more than an hour. Following up within an hour also made those businesses 60 times more likely to qualify the lead than companies that waited more than 24 hours. Clearly, it pays to respond quickly.
If a customer fills out an online form, there’s a benefit to following up within the first hour. Following up within the first five minutes can be even more valuable. This can be difficult as a small business juggling other responsibilities, but utilizing a live chat solution, in addition to any sales reps you employ, can be a cost-effective way to quickly respond to …Read More