Your small business exists because it has a product or service to sell. However, you can’t have a sale if you don’t have a buyer. And you can’t have a buyer if you don’t successfully generate and track sales leads.
What Exactly is a Sales Lead?
In general, a sales lead is a potential customer who previously indicated an interest in your product or service. They are not a customer…yet. Your job (or that of your sales reps) is to sway that individual or business so that they become your customer.
A small business starting up faces a lot of challenges, and many of those challenges are due to limited resources. Small businesses have to find creative ways to establish themselves as legitimate competition for their often much larger competitors, and somehow reach enough customers to not only maintain itself, but to grow as well. It’s a daunting situation, and according to a recent working paper from Harvard summarizes that it is harder for those just starting to succeed. But those that do succeed show an interesting trend in ideas: a lot of the success comes from some form of collaboration, either in the form of funding or in the form of ideas passed on to beginning entrepreneurs from their former employers. But collaboration can go much deeper and be much more fulfilling than that.
In a recent press release, Hallmark, the world’s leading greeting card brand, announced a strategic alliance with Shutterfly Inc., a leading Internet-based digital photo site. The goal is to have “exclusive Hallmark-designed customizable cards featured on Shutterfly’s new personalized greeting card site, Treat.com.”
Successful businesses around the world understand the power of creating joint ventures to grow their business. Developing relationships with other companies gives you the ability to grow your revenues and has been used by corporate giants and small business owners. The principle works as it is based on strategic alliances.
What Is A Joint Venture?
A joint venture is essentially partnering with other businesses to create a partnership. Continue reading →
When you first opened your doors for business, you were probably excited about the opportunity ahead. You had researched the market, talked to advisors, investigated financing, and made your dream come true.
As many people know, it can be very difficult to grow revenue for their company. Do you have the right sales strategy in place? Maybe you don’t even have a written strategy. Are sales growing as expected? Maybe you should double check your sales strategy or put one in place to guarantee your company continues to have some growth.
The first reason you should check your strategy is to ensure your entire sales team and the whole company Continue reading →
For the under-30 crowd, a career isn’t about graduating college and working for a Fortune 500 company anymore. It’s about finding a passion, usually involving social, economic, or environmental issues.
In the May 2012 The Tennesseanarticle, “Young entrepreneurs blaze their own trail,” writer Duane Marstellar suggests that more and more young adults are becoming entrepreneurs for economic and personal reasons. Marstellar cites:
Power Partners is a compelling concept. Simply put, it is a group of businesses that band together to use and promote the products of the other businesses in the group. There is an old song; “No Man is an Island.” No one can do it alone in the business world.
As much as we might want to think that we can win the battle alone; it just does not work that way. No matter what your line of work, you cannot afford to stand alone. You need people promoting your business and helping to build your clientele. Yes, we have many online marketing tools to help us out, but what is better than “word of mouth,” especially when it comes from people you trust.
Find the people your customers trust, and build a relationship with them. Continue reading →
According to the Inc. article, “How to Network to Increase Sales,”
If you routinely return from a networking event with a pocketful of business cards that aren’t useful to you, you need to rethink your strategy. While it’s good to make friends, it’s better to make money.
The difficulty is that while networking is a useful sales tool and many business professionals Continue reading →
Today in a world where there are literally millions of products being sold, it’s importnat to have a strategic plan to increase your sales. There are many things competing for consumer’s attention. Implementing a plan to get the consumer to buy your product and increase your sales growth is very important. You can use many avenues to do this. Some are to develop a marketing strategy, provide excellent customer service, and also to have an good social networking presence. Continue reading →
Regardless of what you sell – product or service – or how you sell – brick and mortar, online, or both – the first step in the sales process is to identify the right customers for your business. Understanding who your customer is will help you know where to find them.
Everyone has a dream to make it big with one invention or idea that could change the world. Before embarking on that dream, however, it is important to lay the foundation for your success. Remember, you are leaving the security of a steady paycheck to pursue your dream as an entrepreneur. Therefore, one cannot simply make this huge leap without careful planning and even some soul searching. Continue reading →
The shortest distance between two points is always a straight line. However, selling directly to your customer instead of developing an indirect sales channel isn’t just about cutting out the middleman and keeping all the profit for yourself. It’s about considering the pluses and minuses of going it alone.
Selling direct may sound like the most profitable way for a company to do business, until you consider the costs that go into selling this way. Let’s compare Microsoft and Apple.
If you’re standing on the precipice of making the decision to become an entrepreneur, it’s time to jump in. There are too many opportunities to wait any longer. And the longer you wait, the harder it is to make that leap of faith.
Building alliances can be tricky. Buildingstrategic alliances is time consuming in that to do it well, you need to be able to see the big picture. In a recent article written by Ken Lyons; 63 Free (or Almost Free) Ways to Market Your Business, each and every suggestion has its roots in building relationshipsKen’s advice isn’t repetitive. It’s just that the art of building strategic alliances is in and of itself the most effective, direct, and fool proof way of marketing your business.