As we approach the new year, one thing we can probably all agree on is that we’re ready to say goodbye and good riddance to 2020. When COVID-19 first hit, we all had to adapt to a new way of life. The pandemic is unlike anything else we’ve ever experienced as a society, and while everyone has suffered to some degree, no one was hit quite as hard as small- to medium-sized businesses.
From layoffs to huge dips in revenue, most businesses took a hit this year (some worse than others). If there was ever a time for your business to have a New Year’s resolution, now is it. You can’t change what happened this year, but you can plan for a better 2021.
Achieving business success is a puzzle that many businesses don’t know how to solve. You probably feel overwhelmed at the thought of planning for 2021. Seeing how bad 2020 was, it may seem like you can only go up from here, but the pandemic is still here and no one knows when it’s going away. All we can do is hope and plan for a better year as we learn how to navigate this new business climate.
As a business owner, a million questions are probably running through your mind as you plan:
- How can I get in front of more potential customers this year?
- How can I beat out my competitors and dominate my market?
- How can I make sure I’m always interacting with my target audience?
- How can I make sure my business is insulated from future unforeseen circumstances?
If you don’t know where to start, just remember this—while every business’s situation is different, the one thing that can help all of them is business growth. Do you want to hire more employees in 2021? Grow your business. Do you have lofty revenue goals for 2021? Grow your business. If you’re a B2B business, the way to achieve business growth in 2021 is through the use of B2B lead generation tactics.
If 2020 is the problem, business growth is the answer. Here are a four ways to grow your business in 2021 and post-pandemic.
The first thing you should look at to determine if you’re set up for success is your team and your technology. If you don’t have the people and the tools needed to be successful, start looking at ways to boost productivity. This can mean purchasing a new software tool, finding new ways to use one of your existing tools, hiring new employees, or outsourcing parts of your business to outside sources. You must make decisions about what is best for your business.
Ask yourself: “Do I currently have enough resources, and do those resources have the tools they need to be successful?”
- Team Members—Do you have the team in place to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself this year? For example, if your goal in 2021 is to build a new website, do you have website developers and designers? Or are you going to outsource to a website design and development service company? How does each option fit into your budget? Similarly, if you want to increase your sales numbers this year, are you going to hire a sales development representative? Or have you looked at outsourcing B2B appointment setting so that your sales reps can focus on closing?
- Tools—Once you have your team in place, make sure you have the necessary tools to be as productive as possible. Keep your team’s tasks organized in a project management software. Also, you should have a customer relationship management (CRM) software to store customer information. Everything in it should be in sync with your business processes. A Salesforce consulting partner can offer custom development to make Salesforce, the world’s leading CRM, work for your business.
If you have the team and technology in place to be successful, it will make executing a business growth strategy that much easier in 2021.
Don’t become so preoccupied with ideas for how to acquire new customers that you neglect your digital marketing strategy. A website and a social media page may just seem like “nice to haves,” but these are actually powerful lead generation tools. Having a digital marketing strategy for lead generation is one more piece of the puzzle that will help you grow your business.
Ask yourself: “Are my website and social media pages helping me generate leads?”
If they aren’t, here are some tips:
- Website Development—If your website is just something pretty to look at, you may want to consider a redesign. A company that offers website development services, website design, and SEO content writing can help you develop a website that drives traffic and converts those visitors into leads for your business. At the very least, make sure you have the correct contact information on your site, that you include contact forms on every page, and that you have an ongoing content strategy. (More content means more traffic, which means more leads!)
- Social Media Marketing—Don’t underestimate the power of social media marketing as a part of your B2B lead generation strategy. All social media platforms can help you drive leads and connect with customers. You should definitely create a LinkedIn business page if you don’t have one already. As the world’s largest professional networking platform, LinkedIn is one of the best places your business can have a presence. Sending InMail messages, publishing LinkedIn articles, regularly connecting with prospects, and using countless other features could help you generate even more leads for your business.
If you’re looking for that one thing that is worth working into your budget, consider revisiting your digital marketing strategy in 2021. If done right, it could be the one thing that helps you exceed the sales goals you originally set for your sales team.
For any business to be successful, they have to know their audience. On top of that, they can’t be afraid to expand into new markets and diversify their client base. In a year when you’re trying to recover from a global pandemic, there has never been a better time to expand and diversify.
Ask yourself: “Are there other zip codes that my company is capable of serving AND/OR are there other customer segments that I’d like to go after?”
Let’s take an HVAC company for example. Let’s say you’re a small HVAC company in Missouri that’s trying to generate more HVAC leads in 2021. In the past, you’ve only served clients in Missouri and you specialize in HVAC repair services. In 2021, you may want to consider expanding your service area to surrounding states (Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, etc.) and expanding your service offering. Maybe you start offering preventative maintenance and plumbing in addition to repairs. This can help you generate more revenue than in years past.
Even if you feel confident in your sales team’s capabilities, you need to have an exceptional year in 2021. How are you going to go above and beyond and give your sales efforts a boost? How are you really going to wow prospects and sell even more? There are a million answers to these questions, but one good place to start is with marketing collateral.
Ask yourself: “Do I have valuable resources to send to prospects, or am I just sending plain text emails?”
If you’re just sending plain text emails, it may be time to consider using marketing collateral. Marketing collateral is a type of media used to support the sales of your products or services. When used correctly, it can be extremely powerful. Marketing collateral can seriously enhance your sales emails. Attach a PDF of a brochure, a case study, or include a link to a video about a product or service that highlights your differentiators. It will build credibility and help you capture people’s attention.
Here’s how different types of marketing collateral can be used in common sales scenarios:
- A prospect asks for success stories or asks if you have experience working with companies similar to theirs → send a case study
- A prospect says they don’t have time to talk, but agrees to let you send them some information about your company via email → send a brochure
- A prospect expresses interest in a particular product or service you offer → send a sell sheet
Videos and infographics are also great tools for those prospects who you’re having a tough time getting a hold of. Since videos don’t require any reading and infographics don’t have too much text, they could be the thing that ultimately captures the prospect’s attention. Many companies that offer marketing collateral design services also offer professional video production services.
As a business owner, you can’t just hope for a better year—you need to be absolutely certain it will be better. This won’t be the last hardship your business faces, and you need to be prepared for whatever comes next. Plus, you need to dig yourself out of the hole that COVID-19 created this year. These B2B lead generation tips and strategies will help you do just that.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we specialize in business growth. We offer all the tools you need to grow your business and we’re ready to help you have the best year ever. Ready to start the conversation? Schedule a meeting with us today.