Creating a lead generation program is like paving an asphalt parking lot—if you fail to prepare your surface, forget a key step, or rush the process, you’ll end up with cracks. Many business owners discover this after months of trying to force a sales process that was flawed from the beginning.
Luckily, there are ways to repair the cracks in your lead generation program. By tweaking a few steps of your process and strengthening the weak spots in your sales pipeline, you can turn an unproductive sales program into an effective lead generator.
Whether you’re about to embark on a new B2B lead generation program or need to make a few repairs to your existing approach, these four steps can help you build a solid and successful sales pipeline for your paving business.
Before you start trying to generate new paving leads for your business, stop for a second and think: What are my goals? If you rush into your lead generation program with no plan, no target customer, and no idea how to measure your success, you won’t get very far. Every paving company has its own vision of success, and that vision should guide every step you take during the sales process.
Here are some questions to keep in mind when coming up with goals for your lead generation program:
Some business owners are data-driven; others care more about the quality of their deals. Your idea of success may be adding $500,000 of additional revenue each year, signing 10 service contracts, or changing your ratio of maintenance and new business jobs. By setting a success goal at the outset of your lead generation program, you can gauge if your efforts are working each month and adjust your process accordingly.
Once you determine what success means to your paving business, you need to decide how to measure your progress. Will you take notes after every sales meeting describing the type of opportunity and proposed contract amount? Will you record the revenue from each closed deal and review the total amount each month? Will you gather data about your website traffic and keyword rankings? Regardless of how you choose to measure progress, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform can streamline the process.
Your sales reps have a limited number of hours each day to communicate with potential customers. To make the most of your time, you should determine your target audience and only let those leads into your pipeline. For example, you may specialize in pouring concrete roads, sidewalks, and parking lots for new construction projects. Your sales team should seek out leads that fit your specialty and focus on turning them into customers.
Depending on your lead generation goals, you may choose to target a broad audience. If you’re happy booking any project, no matter the size, you can be less selective about your leads. In any case, be sure to communicate your target customer profile to your sales reps.
When you think of lead generation, you probably picture B2B appointment setting—sales reps cold calling and cold emailing prospects in hopes of selling a product or service. While appointment setting is an incredibly effective lead generation strategy, it’s not the only one.
Instead of reaching out to potential customers, you can bring them to your business using your website and social media platforms. Additionally, you can launch a marketing campaign complete with direct mailers and TV commercials. Each option has its pros and cons, so it’s important to consider your budget and long-term goals when determining which methods to use. Lead generation is an investment, but it pays off if you choose the right approach for your business.
Research is an essential component of any lead generation program. A few weeks of initial preparation can set your entire sales process up for success, and ongoing research helps you adjust your lead generation efforts as your client base and business change.
Though research comes into play throughout the lead generation process, these steps best demonstrate the importance of thorough preparation:
In successful B2B appointment setting programs, data cleansing teams collect and confirm information about potential customers before the sales process begins. This preparation is known as lead cleansing, and it allows sales reps to make the most of their time. Instead of wasting hours on the phone with leads who don’t fit your target audience, your sales team can pursue the best opportunities for your paving business.
During the lead cleansing process, you should compile a list of potential businesses that might fit your criteria and gather contact information. From there, you can test your phone numbers and email addresses to see if they’re accurate. If you reach an employee from one of the companies on your list, you can ask qualifying questions to determine if they’re worth pursuing. Once the initial process is complete, you should have a long list of potential customers and multiple pieces of information associated with each.
If you plan to use your website as an inbound lead generator, you need to incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) into every web page and blog post on your site. One of the most important SEO elements is keywords. By incorporating terms and phrases that your target audience will likely Google into your content, you can increase your chances of showing up in their search results. To find the keywords that will drive the most traffic to your site, you need to perform research.
First, you need to decide who you want to visit each page of your site. If you already determined your target audience when setting goals for your lead generation program, the answer to this question should be relatively straightforward. Then, you can use your industry knowledge to brainstorm a list of potential search topics your target audience would use. From there, a keyword tool can help you uncover the terms that will help you rank in search results for those topics.
By incorporating carefully researched keywords into your content, you can generate organic traffic, prompt more potential customers to visit your website, and increase your conversion rate.
Want to lay the groundwork for a successful lead generation program? Let Abstrakt handle sales and marketing while you focus on your next paving project.
You never know how long it’s going to take to close a deal with a lead. One potential customer may express interest in a sidewalk repair and sign a contract in the span of a few weeks. Another may spend six months finalizing a plan for their upcoming construction project before setting a sales meeting. Both leads are valuable to your company, but the second requires far more time and effort from your sales team in the form of lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with qualified leads as they make their way through your pipeline. By following up frequently and showing leads that you understand their pain points, you can position your company as the top choice for their future project. The nurturing process looks different for every lead, but it typically involves the following sales tools:
- Warm calls: There’s a reason phone calls are still an essential component of outbound lead generation—they work. Warm calls allow you to build trust with your leads, learn about their needs, and gauge the likelihood of a future partnership.
- Personalized emails: Your prospects are more likely to open an email if it includes their name, company information, and details relevant to their needs. Sending personalized emails helps you establish a rapport and share essential information about your paving company.
- Blog and website content: Your blogs and web pages can play both a central and supporting lead generation role. When nurturing an outbound lead, you can send links to website content they may find helpful.
- Marketing collateral: You might view collateral as a relic from a bygone sales era, but it’s still a valuable marketing tool. As leads move through your pipeline, you can send them company brochures, sell sheets, case studies, white papers, and other materials that convey your value as a paving partner.
- Social media: Your social media profile, posts, and direct messages can all be effective lead nurturing tools. A professional profile gives leads a positive impression of your business. Sharing frequent posts with your connections helps you maintain top-of-mind awareness. Plus, if a potential customer isn’t responding to your calls or emails, social media messages can be an excellent alternative communication method.
With the above tools at your disposal, you can keep the best opportunities in your pipeline and increase your chances of securing a deal in the future.
Running your own DIY lead generation program isn’t easy. You can’t just ask your existing employees to double as sales reps when they have a few extra minutes during the workday. If you want to grow your business, you need a dedicated sales and marketing team and a suite of sales tools, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Instead of draining your bank account and spending months getting your in-house sales program off the ground, consider looking outside of your company. An outsourced B2B sales provider is able to generate qualified leads for your business for a fraction of the cost of a DIY program. While you focus on delivering top-tier service to your paving customers, your outsourced sales team tackles the complicated logistics of finding, contacting, and setting appointments with your ideal potential customers.
At Abstrakt, we’ve spent more than 10 years mastering the art of lead generation for paving businesses. As a full-service outsourced sales and marketing provider, we can implement a B2B appointment setting program, design your company website, run your social media marketing strategy, and develop custom content marketing materials. Whether you’re a new asphalt company or an established paving provider, our team is here to help you grow your business.
Get in touch today to learn more about our B2B lead generation services for paving companies.