Whatever your criteria are for determining a lead is irrelevant. The activity which we are doing to generate these leads is targeted at unknown individuals with some sort of value proposition.
We all spend time and money on lead generation activities. For some it might be, Pay Per Click or Webinars. For others it could be Social Media or Blogs. It might even be traditional sales techniques like cold calling. Regardless of the activity, the goal is the same. We need an unknown prospect to declare themselves, whereby providing us with the permission to communicate with them on a one to one platform, in hopes that we can ultimately turn that lead into revenue.
Every day we look for new ways to tell strangers that we are the best solution they are looking for. We wait for them to declare themselves, and then we qualify the lead.
All of those activities cost money, and more importantly cost time.
Generating leads from within existing customers does have a cost attributed to it, and most certainly there is a level of time that is required. The upside to the investment in existing customers is that sales cycles are far shorter, and deal sizes tend to be much larger. Shorter sales cycles and greater deal sizes equals a far greater profit for your organization.
Although these customers are not unknown to your organization, they are still, in essence, a new prospect, when it comes to an offering that you provide which they have not already purchased. However, there is one small difference; you already know that they are qualified to spend money with you.
Not only do you know these prospects within existing customers are qualified, but you know who the “buyers” are and who the “users” are within each of your current customers.
Hopefully you have been doing some relationship marketing along the way and communicating with, what will eventually be your new leads, on a regular cadence.
So how do you generate leads within existing customers?
By identifying your buyer’s journey.
The journey your customer took, that resulted in the choice to do business with you, when they first became a customer, should be your starting point. What was it about the process that worked so well for you, and how do you duplicate it?
You can identify where those customers might be on that same journey as it pertains to offerings which you provide that they have not yet purchased from you. Or even worse, might not be aware that you offer.
Your buyer’s journey should illustrate how the 3 types of customer needs (expressed, unexpressed, and unknown) are met. The needs of your customers can get “stuck” as they try to move along the Awareness, Consideration, and Preference continuum without you even knowing it.
If a need gets “stuck” in Awareness, your customer continues with their inefficient processes. You have failed your customer because you have a solution to their problem but have not made them aware of it.
If a need gets “stuck” in Consideration, your customer knows of the problem and looks for a solution. However, you are not the service provider that comes to their mind; you have failed your customer again.
If a need gets “stuck” in Preference, your customer knows of a problem, you are evaluated, but your customer selects an alternative. You have failed yourselves. Somebody else cashed your check.
At this point, a customer account view is needed to accomplish two things:
1- Understand the maximum revenue potential for the customer account.
2- Understand areas of opportunity within your customer accounts that are candidates for investment.
Once you have understood your customer account view, and you have identified the type of need that your customer has, and mapped that to the buyer’s journey (Awareness, Consideration, Preference continuum); you can deploy a far more effective lead generation initiative that will generate faster, more profitable results, and ensure that your sales goals are achieved.