How to increase B-to-B sales without spending more on marketing

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Boost sales and save money by keeping in touch with warm leads that you already have.

It seems that most business-to-business companies who sell products or services spend 90% to 95% of their marketing and communications budgets on enhancing their “image” or generating more sales leads and only 5% to 10% of their budgets on turning known prospects into customers. This is the wrong approach.

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You can boost sales without spending more money, by working with the leads you already have. Instead of spending more money on another lead-generation campaign, go through your current database. Like most companies, you probably have a number of “warm” leads from previous campaigns. These people expressed interest in your product or service, but for whatever reason, they weren’t ready to buy. Hence, they are most likely lying fallow in your database. (When they are ready to buy, your competition will have a good chance of swooping and closing the sale.)

Recently, we worked with a company that increased its annual sales by 43% without spending one dime more than it did before implementing our recommendations. How did they do this?

First, we recommended specific advertising, PR, direct mail, trade shows, database and Internet marketing techniques, which helped the company generate more high-quality sales leads per dollar invested. Then we shifted the money saved into programs designed to cost-effectively build sales-winning relationships with known prospects.

In other words, we nurtured the sales leads they already had. Lead nurturing is simply the practice of keeping in touch with “warm” prospects via events such as webinars or seminars, direct mail and e-mail offers including reports or white papers, e-newsletters and other marketing activities, until the prospect is ready to buy. For complex B-to-B products with multiple influencers, this process can take months-but is well worth the end result, which is more sales.

Due to the implementation of a lead-nurturing process, the company’s salespeople and reps now spend more time following up sales leads from high-quality, ready-to-buy prospects who are partially presold on the company’s products. And they turn more of these prospects into customers!

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