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6 Steps to Generating an Effective Lead Development System

What steps does one have to take to create a business with a healthy and effective lead system? You know, a business that develops a funnel that is agile yet consists of an ongoing flow of inbound and outbound leads….what does it take to develop a funnel like that?

Well, after chatting with a handful of businesses and working with them on developing their own lead systems for social media, we’ve identified consistent trends to what finds greats success. Here are a few steps that you can take to ensure success in lead development.

1) Define Smart & Specific Goals.
While it may sound backwards to some; it’s important for you start with the end goal in mind. You and the team must identify not only marketing goals but also goals as for your business as a whole. Don’t get caught up in generating more pageviews, developing more fans or increasing our number of followers and not focusing on the bigger picture like increasing overall sales, increasing the average transaction or the number of purchases made per customer. All of these things can be accomplished through customer relationship management and a smarter approach to marketing through content and social media.

2) Recognize & Audit Your Existing Channels.
If you’re a new business you can skip this step for now but be sure to consider it in six months time. You need to understand where you are today to develop a plan to get where you want to be tomorrow. Evaluate the channels you currently have in the public domain including but not limited to your Facebook Page, Twitter account, Blog and Forum. Maybe you’ve started a Tumblr account but haven’t given it much attention over the last few months? Once you’ve identified all the channels that you have already existing online, you need to identify whether or not these channels are necessary and whether your team has the ability to use these channels. If you’re going to use Twitter for example, it’s important to make the commitment to building relationships and communicating with people on a regular basis. If you don’t build relationships with customers and influencers; people will simply see you as a brand trying to make a sale. You need to be more than that. You need to be a brand trying to connect in an authentic way by building deep relationships with people.

3) Talk to Customers and Identify their Needs.
As I just highlighted in step #2, customers don’t want to be marketed to today. Yet, the success of your business through social media and other digital channels is directly related to your perception in the market place and how you connect with your audience. Recognizing this, it’s important to have conversations with your EXISTING customers to learn what you did right and POTENTIAL customers to learn what you can do better.

These conversations don’t have to happen by calling them on the phone during Christmas Dinner. All you need to do is embrace technology by implementing social plugins like qualaroo.com and learn from customers what Analytics simply cant tell you. Yet, that’s not where it ends. You can reach out to people through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, email, Pinterest, search engines, blogs, LinkedIn, mobile, and more.

Talk to them and figure out what you can do better. The more information you have, the better chances you can make a sale and tell a consistent story that is worth sharing and telling. And don’t forget, the Marketing team needs to talk to the sales team.

4) Create and Deliver a Lead Management Processs
If you’re a new business, the key for you to establish on social media is authority. In the eyes of many, if you don’t already have a business behind you or a published book; you’re a rookie. You’re new to the game and new to the industry. For that reason, you need to recognize that it’s important for you to establish authority through every tweet, update, email and blog post published. As you continue to share this content you develop your brand and ultimately establish yourself in a way that will drive leads.

The key however, is to figure out how you can manage those leads and nurture them into your business funnel. It’s important to use consistent content marketing to ensure your brand is positioned in a positive light. From there, it will be easier to find someone tweeting about a competitors product and join the conversation to drive additional leads into your funnel. How you manage these leads is just as important as generating them.

5) Develop a Content Strategy for Multiple Channels
Now that you understand the importance of creating content over the long term and have identified the channels that will work best for you – It’s time to create a content strategy for the various channels identified. Think about what kind of content you will be sharing from Twitter on a daily basis and what kind of content you can publish to your blog to spark shares and backlinks. All of this content should be seen as mini-sales pitches as together they combine to tell potential leads your value proposition while increasing your brands reputation.

In a digital world, content is becoming more and more fragmented. Thus, it’s important that we tell a consistent and cohesive story across all of these channels whether it’s through emails, blogs, tweets, video or ebooks. All of these pieces of content need to be linked back to the goals we identified in step one and the strategy you’ve developed in step five. Within this strategy you must also identify and create a content plan so you don’t run out of topics and leave your customers begging for more.

6) Embrace the Inner Mathelete
While it’s not sexy. Measurement and analytics is key to understanding what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong in executing an effective lead generation system. You must be willing to embrace everything from cost metrics to acquisition metrics to truly understand what’s going on for your business. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on vanity metrics and ignoring those that are actually crucial to generating success and revenue. Remember when we identified goals in step 1?

Take those goals and record metrics that would be well aligned with accomplishing them.

Trust us, if you can take these steps and implement them for your business you will see a different in your process and bottom line.