For a startup business, generating the qualified leads is not at all easy, yes you read that right. We are not saying that it is impossible or anything, but it is not that easy.
For a startup founder(s), finding the proven ways of starting a lead generation can be a tough task. To create a healthy sales funnel, you have to drive various lead generation strategies for your startups.
You will have to set some precise content marketing and link building strategies or you may need to opt for offline marketing depending on the product & your target audience. You may ask a common question – How can we generate enough leads that will help us grow as a startup and unlock that bright future?
Before searching outside, you have to explore yourself first. There are countless ways of generating leads, but possibilities are so low that each and every strategy will work for you.
So having a concrete method of calculating the ROI for every marketing channel is the most important aspect you should focus on.
Concentrate on who your target market really is, what kind of audience will be needing your product or service and behavior of your potential prospects.
The identity of buyers and stage of your buyers’ journey also plays an important role here. Creating buyer persona is a smart job because you are saving your time by not targeting the irrelevant prospects.
Before you read about how to generate leads for startups, you must have a look at some points where we will glorify:
Why are you not able to get the potential leads?
1. Missing product market fit
It is the single biggest reason why businesses fail at their primary stage. If your product is not aligned with the needs and desires of the target audience, it won’t matter how best your marketing or sales teams are, you just will not be able to attract right customers to build a sustainable business.
2. Poor sales team
It’s the sales team that will be the face of the company, who will be connecting with your target audience on daily bases.
If the salespersons don’t understand the market, or how the product is positioned in the market, it will be incredibly difficult to acquire the new leads.
3. Poorly priced & Uncompetitive Products
Is your product or service available at a reasonable price?
Is you Product better than the competitors?
Did you finalized the price of your Product just by comparing its price with competitors Products price?
Did you even compare both the Products features & specifications?
For instance: even when you are selling a Product at less price you may find yourself in a situation where you are not making many sales, whereas, your competitor is selling much more number of Products.
One possible reason could be, their Product is better than yours. Therefore, along with keeping the competitive price for the products, it is also important to have a competitive product by your side.
4. Lack of market education
Is the target market aware that your business actually exists? If no, you should be looking into building a market education campaign to make people aware that a solution to their problem is available.
There are numerous plausible reasons why your business is unable to attract enough customers. Some of them may be unique to your industry, but these explanations are shared among businesses of all kinds. Don’t worry about those, now we’ll be revealing some awesome ways to overcome these problems.
Top 10 Lead Generation Strategies for Startups
1. Improve opt-in offers on your website
It is a common observation that if you have more opt-in opportunities on your website, and they are actually useful to your audience, then you are going to get more signups & leads.
You can smartly include opt-ins with relevant content at the various sections of your website. The trick is to make the offer so attractive that your visitors won’t do anything but click to download the resources you are making available to them.
eBooks, reports, white papers, webinars, demos and other helpful resources can all be used as a leverage and by increasing the number of offerings, you can also test to see what your visitors like the most.
Check this blog post by Wishpond where they have to share some examples of successful opt-in.
2. Use Quora
Today, Answering Questions on Quora has become one of the best ways to generate leads for the business of any size. It is also a good way to become a recognized industry leader and meanwhile gets more followers and subscribers.
Quora is the best Question and Answer forum website where people discuss any kind of topic. By Answering to your Business & Industry relevant Questions, you will be able to get noticed by your target audience.
See how we are using Quora for creating Brand awareness & lead generation.
Tip: Always help the readers with your answers, add value to your answers, then only more users will be interested in clicking on your profile to find out more about you & your Brand.
We have found this to be a fast & easy, lead generation strategies for startups.
LinkedIn is a popular business-centric social networking platform. It can be a very useful website for bringing new clients to your startup. LinkedIn allows users to publish content in the forms of articles to an already engaged audience.
Check this Linkedin marketing guide on SEMRush blog.
4. Interview influencers
Get in contact with influencers who your customers respect, idolize and then interview them for your blog or social platforms. Keep it as simple as possible by asking short questions and then ask them to share about your product at last.
Your potential clients will see this as a proof of your credibility and increase the chances to attract those new leads you were waiting for eagerly.
5. Offer something free
Who doesn’t like free lunches?
Try giving something for free.
It could be high-value eBook, or give paid service for free to few influential customers & ask them to write about your company & product on their blog or social channel.
You can get more creative as well, randomly courier a T-Shirt or a Coffee Cup to selective users.
Do what you like, but do something different, to get different results.
6. Customer referral
Customer referral is a good way to start b2b lead generation for startups. Creating an engaging and powerful B2B referral program will regularly captivate your customers.
Trust building is an essential thing before customers share anyone’s contact information with you. This means you need to be very clear with all the aspects of your referral campaigns.
You should be able to clearly explain to customers that how the information they share will be used, make it clear no hidden acts here.
And also explain to them how the referral program will be functioning. Once a customer is ready to give you a referral, ensure the sale people involved in a person with them in the process. On your primary email outreach, refer the referrer’s name.
This will increase the possibility of a cold prospect getting interested in what you have to offer.
Always highlight some of the success your customer has had with the product. Here Testimonial of your existing customer will serve well than any other marketing strategy.
Don’t forget to reward the customer who is participating in the referral program.
If you are able to master this technique you’ll be able to get tons of customers without investing too much marketing dollars.
Learn more about B2B Referral Sales System.
7. Cross promotion techniques
This is a secret thing many of the marketing people don’t know about, or they talk about it very less. A Software As A Service, also known as SaaS business can cross-promote their services with another similar kind of business that offers complementary products to their business.
For an instance, a company that offers a customer management tool can be partnered up with a SaaS business that provides online surveys. The two partners can give their users we mean each others’ users discounts and promotions if they subscribe to both their tools.
One of the famous cross-platform campaign examples is the collaboration between Google and KitKat. For SaaS business, marketers can either do research for collaborations or find partners or they can use tools for this like Cross Promo which delivers atomization in a cross promotion for SaaS.
Read here how you can cross-promote without actually promoting your competitors.
8. Free trials and then promotion
Nobody hates free trials. See if it is possible for you to offer an easy to use software tool or free product trials, then it will be useful in building trust with your audience.
We all know the importance of free trials that come along with the products or services that are being sold. Free trials help the user in getting familiar with what you are selling. It helps in building trust with the product & the company, which in return gets your more leads & sales.
Ensuring that the recipients of the free trials log in and then use your product during the specified period is important. Your drip email should only focus on the features of the software and their relevance for the user instead of just providing promotional content in the first place.
Many experiences have shown that users who are active during the first 3 to 4 days of the period have a very high conversion rate because they are seriously using your product.
Your emails should guide the users about the usage of each and every feature, which will create more interest in their journey towards finally buying your product.
Only send usable and relevant content to users, make users realize the value of your product and your free trial will definitely yield success.
9. Networking with your inner circle
One of the lead generation strategies for startups could be that you can find sales leads by networking only in your inner circle of contacts, colleagues, family, and friends.
Make a fair list minimum 20 contacts you know and they should know you well.
Now you can send them semi-promotional emails telling about your Business and Product & Service you offer.
Because they are your good contacts, you can directly ask them to provide you with the referrals who can be interested in what you are offering.
Such referrals from your inner circle have high conversion possibility because you have acquired these leads from a person who is mutually known to you & the prospect to whom you will be pitching your product.
10. Promote your business through events
One of the main reasons why startup owners opt for events and seminars is to make good connection & in the process generate leads. Business events and seminars are powerful ways to reach out to your prospective customers.
They open fabulous opportunities for every growing business in the relevant industry to build brand awareness.
There are few do’s & don’ts when trying to generate leads while attending events. Check them out here.
15 B2B Low-Cost Lead Generation Strategies
Wrapping up – Startup Lead Generation Strategies
Irrespective of which every lead generation strategy you adopt for your Startup, either one of the above or all of the above mentioned, but make sure to build a TRUST with your potential prospects first.
Most Startups fail because they are not able to reach out to their target audience at the right time.
Some of the Startups who are able to reach to their target audience, thanks to their smart marketing strategies, still fail, because of their poor selling approach or you can say they lack in relationship building.
Trust and Product Quality are the two Principles a Brand needs to follow in order to last longer.
Always remember to work hard to maintain trust and build greater products for future.
If you like this article, you can submit your startup for free at The Startup INC, and we will help you in generating leads for your Startup.
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Great strategies, Steve! Giving a paid service for free to influencers is a great advice if you want to see your product/service presented on their website.