Creating and managing your online business requires you to follow the same basic principals of any business - relying on sound Business Strategies. There are however, a few practices that differ or that just are unique to an online business. Here we share our views and experience with you to help you develop a more effective and profitable online business.

In Order To Create Sales, You Must Have Leads

The lifeblood of any business is its ability to either create sales leads would generate more sales from your existing customers.  It is as simple as that.  If your business does not do well in either or both these two areas, then nothing else you will do will prevent your business from collapsing.
Unfortunately, the simplicity of what you need to do and is just that.  Going forward, it becomes more complex.  You need to strategise, plan, implement, analyse and then replay.  Depending on the type of business you have, the various tactics you follow will differ.  But let us look at this contextually.  Insofar as strategies and even plans go, the approach remains consistent.

Tools are essential - the right tools are critical

No carpenter ever built a house with just a hammer and saw.  Managing your business is no different and believe me, there is no shortage of tools available to business owners to assist them manage every aspect of their operations.  What we are going to focus on here though, are the tools you need to generate sales leads, convert prospects into sales and how to manage the ongoing support and marketing activities in your business.

So what sort of tools should you have?

  • You need to conduct e-mail campaigns to customers and prospects tracking their responses and initiating follow-ups
  • Track visitors to your website
  • Catch a new leads through online forms in your website
  • A programme of e-mail offers valuable content targeting specific objectives
  • Ability to score and grade the quality of your sales leads and opportunities

As we stated in our previous article, there are many tools you can use each of the activities.  However, an integrated CRM solution can bring all of this together, allowing your sales team to work across all of these activities presenting a single source of truth about your business.
There are many CRM tools such as Zoho, Agile, Salesforce, Hotspot or FreshWorks each offering their own point of distinction and benefits to your business.
A CRM tool is indispensable in most businesses today whether you are a sole trader or an organisation with a large number of staff.  A glance you can gauge your sales progress comparing to your goals.  You have a single central repository for all information relating to new leads, marketing campaigns, the status of current opportunities and details at every level of communication you have had with any individual.
The CRM system is invaluable in March business where you have a separate team responsible for the different stages of your sales cycle.  No longer do you have to be concerned with how information is shared between your staff and how complete that information might be.

Steps to generating sales leads.

  1. Defining your sales funnel
    You need to define the stages a lead goes through as you nurture them through the sales process.  You need to identify the different touch points you have with your market and how these can be used to capture sales leads.
  2. Deliver content relevant to buyers
    Not every customer wants the same from your business will engage with you in the same way.  You need to understand the different customer personas, how they think, what problems they have, how they might engage with you and what will motivate them to do business with you.  You need to deliver content to attract their interest in the content must be relevant to each customer type.
    There is a very simple rule to follow (AIDA)

  3. Scoring and raking customers
    As we have said, not all leads are equal.  Scoring and racing your leads will help you identify the more realistic opportunities.  CRM systems such as Zoho provide automated tools that do this for you based on rules you define triggered by events such as visiting pages in your website, subscribing to forms in your site, clicking on links in your e-mail campaigns or even demographic details.
  4. Implement your plans
    After having completed the above steps you need to plan your trip marketing programs.  This could involve e-mail marketing, sponsored ads on social media and search engines or posting to social media, and yes even traditional marketing, however this last group is more difficult to measure, although not impossible.
    Of course, once you have completed your plan you need to implement it.  Using the right tools will make your life a whole lot easier.  For instance, Zoho Campaigns can be used to manage your e-mail marketing.  Capturing new leads and measuring your scoring is also available in Zoho CRM and Zoho Forms.  Most, but not all CRM solutions, will provide this sort functionality in their own way.  Some will rely on integration with third-party solutions such as MailChimp.
  5. Measure your performance results
    Even the best laid plans implemented implicitly are worth little if you don't measure the results.  The sad fact is that despite your own best intentions.  Not all plants go according to expectations.
    You need to measure the results of your marketing efforts to generate news leads and sales.  In so doing it offers you the opportunity to identify what works well (so you can keep doing it).  And what is not working (so you can adjust or drop it).
    One of the great things we found with so and its comprehensive range of modules (over 40 at current account) is that you have the tools to measure just about everything.  The Sales IQ is brilliant at monitoring of measuring who is visiting your website and directly engaging with those visitors.  Zoho Social enables you to not only publish to your social profiles, but to also deliver insight into the level of engagement with your followers.

If you like to know more about how a CRM solution can assist you in your business, then contact us.  We work with several leading CRM solutions which Zoho is but one (read more about how CRM consultancy).

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