In various ways, COVID 19 has led to a new kind of unity among businesses. We have really come together to share ideas covering everything from strategy to management tools to collaboration techniques. So it’s even more vital to keep track of how others are coping with this unprecedented situation than before the pandemic hit.
With this incredible cooperation, we have come up with a lot of new lead generation ideas. Following are just some of the ways in which we, our partners, and our industry have adapted our efforts since last February/March, often with surprising success.
Networking, Now More Than Ever
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and the pandemic has made this even more essential. Everybody is in the same boat, and this means an opening for creative marketers. Many potential leads are now glued to their computers and email all day, and so they are basically always available as sources of both sales and information about technology, innovation, the state of the market, and so on. One way that we have leveraged this opportunity is by outsourcing surveys to third parties as a way to gather data and create lead generation opportunities.
This is also true of your partners. During normal times, you often need to wait for the next meeting between your associates and their contacts if you want an introduction. But nowadays, getting a partner to schedule a quick Zoom call with a company that can help you is far more acceptable and less invasive. In this way, you can use the connections that your partners have been nurturing, day in and day out. You can simply put together a “shopping list” of contacts and ask the entities in your network to help out, and promise that you will happily return the favor.
Game-Changing Cooperation is Critical
You are not alone – COVID 19 means that, not only do we share the pain, but we should also share the knowledge. Actually, one of the benefits of our universal situation is that we are being pretty much forced to improve how we communicate and cooperate. For instance, you can organize a focus group of (non-competing) managers and share your wisdom. Considering tools like LinkedIn, and in view of ‘six degrees of separation’, it’s likely that you can put together a group which has developed an amazing number of new lead generation approaches in the past year.
But sharing can go beyond just knowledge. With so many firms trying similar ways of generating leads, it is possible to collaborate on organizing and funding various efforts. For instance, you can put together a virtual conference with several entities that are part of your value chain and allocate organizational tasks to each, as well as the financial responsibilities for it.
In addition, you can get together with your partners to arrange common international business needs. With travel being restricted, for example, it often takes a while to generate leads in new territories. Until a new deal gains momentum, it might be a good idea to jointly hire an international representative, let’s say for three companies. Lead gen for this amount of business can justify a full-time salary that can be covered by the partners.
Enhance Your Digital Budget
How much time have you spent trying to increase your digital campaigns? Well, it only took a pandemic to fulfill your dreams. Let me guess – you haven’t been using your travel budget or major parts of your marketing budget recently. So take those savings and apply them to building digital activities.
Your online presence has never been more essential. With no way for face to face meetings to occur, you better look your best online, as we have already discussed. Similarly, without the ability to present live, it’s vital to have a wide selection of flyers, white papers, blogs, briefs, video content, and especially amazing thought leadership articles like this one, both to produce leads and to follow up on them. Invest lots of effort into making your content as interesting and informative as possible, because it is replacing, to a large extent, the door-opening skills of your sales team.
In a similar spirit, it is essential to “get out there” by attending and hosting virtual events like road shows, reverse pitching meetups, and webinars. To do this, you will need to adjust your whole approach to sales, from your “Zoom Face” to your stack of online collaboration tools. Also, after nearly a year of COVID 19 sales efforts, your online marketplace should be the best it can be. If not, you might be tempting sales leads to head over to a competitor.
Get Everyone On The Same Page
Transparency and structure inside the organization is the key to bringing all of the previous steps together. Don’t forget to back up all of your lead generation activities by making relevant changes in your office. Make sure to keep all stakeholders informed of the nature and status of every lead by, for example, using a tool like Leadberry, which is powered by Google and integrated with Slack. Discuss best practices or post mortems on successful and failed lead generation activities within the organization. Invite different department heads to give you new and fresh perspectives on the adaptations they have made to ensure success. And finally, if you make big changes, you need to see how they affect other parts of the company. For instance, here at Air Doctor, we have expanded our focus beyond health care for tourists to include telemedicine as well. This has influenced every aspect of our operations.
Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention
I have a professional background and deep interest in psychology. There was once an experiment where kids were given a problem that they could solve, and then either told “you solved this because you are smart” or “you solved this because you worked hard.” Then, they were given a more difficult problem. Guess what? Those who had been praised on their talent gave up faster than those praised for effort. In other words, challenges bring out the best in people, as opposed to when we can manage with the status quo (which is no longer an option).
That is exactly what is happening with businesses in the COVID era. It’s truly inspiring to see how we have adapted to a potentially new world, in everything from lead generation to birthday parties. This means that we will have a whole new set of tools to leverage once the pandemic ends, and perhaps in the face of a changed global business climate. Maybe this sounds crazy, but in a few years, we might look back at our new approaches to lead generation and think about how COVID forced us to improve.