Today we are writing on the very crucial topic, Business Leads Generation. We are considering IT services scenario and shall try explain the process as learnt with our own experience in the industry.
Business Leads Generation is the very first step of the sales process and it gives the sales team a direction and aim to close the business.
The process has certain steps:
1. Target Segmentation
2. Database Generation
4. Lead Qualification
5. Lead Mapping
1. Target Segmentation:
Target Segment means the selection of companies/ businesses wherein we would like to position our company’s services. This can be decided on the basis of our strengths and experience. We need to know our business’s capability and experience, be it a function/service or industry vertical.
By function/ service, it means if our company has experience and solution capability for a particular function say, HR, Payroll or service like infrastructure management services. By industry vertical, it means that If we are having a solution applicable to manufacturing industry (discrete or process) or BFSI or Education industry, etc. We can decide our target segment accordingly.
The other factor that can help in deciding our target segment is the budget. For instance, if we are into selling Licenses and implementation services of a premium ERP. we will not target mom and pop shops for the same. We will see the minimum turnover requirements and then decide on our target segment.
2. Database Generation:
Once the target segment is decided, the next step is database generation. By database generation we mean to state is that we will gather target company’s name, address, contact person (CIO, CFO, MD, etc.) at primary level. The database could be gathered on certain criteria like, region wise, industry wise, turnover wise, etc.
There are lot of database companies/ websites available, some are sharing data free of cost and some are charging small amounts for limited information and some companies are selling the fully mapped databases at substantial costs.
We can use the filtered database for prospecting.
3. Prospecting :
Prospecting can be done either by cold calling or by visiting the targeted companies. In prospecting we probe to reach the right contact person, decision making authorities, understand prospects requirements, share our capabilities. Once we get all the information and requirements of the prospect and if it matches to our service portfolio, we consider the same as our prospect.
Cold calling and visiting directly to the prospective companies have their own challenges like bypassing the gatekeeper and reaching the first level contacts. Further, engaging them to understand their primary pain areas and showcasing your offerings.
Prospecting is a continuous process and any company which is not interested in your offerings today may be your most valuable lead, the next time you call.
4. Lead Qualification:
Once we have prospects, we need to qualify them as a lead. For lead qualification, we need to get clarity on
Budget of the prospect
Decision Making Authority/ Process
Requirements and Needs of the prospect
Time to start the project
On the basis of above information, we decide on the product or service that needs to be positioned.
5. Lead Mapping Sheet:
Lead Mapping means gathering all the required information about the lead. This information may be the company HO address, other locations, Management team with their contacts, other required contacts, their existing setup with respect to our services, solution requirements in detail, our matching solution, lead budget and timelines, etc. This sheet is very important for technical teams who get involved subsequently for product/ service demos. This sheet gives them the primary understanding and information can be saved in CRM for further reference for sales team as well.
Hope this article gives and insight on lead generation process.