Lately I have had the opportunity to interact with a lot of founders and executives of small B2B IT services companies. Almost everybody mentioned about their struggle to generate new B2B leads. I presume this is true for the small B2B companies in the non IT space as well.
Small b2b companies are typically risk averse and unlikely to spend a lot of money for marketing and lead generation with no guaranteed outcome.
So, where should the founders and executives of such companies look to get few quick free leads without spending any money?
In my experience relationships play a very important role in getting leads for small B2B companies. Founders and executives of small B2B companies who are in the business for few years must have connected or interacted with over few hundred people in the context of business.
Therefore, the fastest way to get a few B2B leads will be to reach out to the old contacts and leverage your past relationships. Most small B2B firms do not use any contact or lead management software and it is unlikely to find all the past contact information at any one place. So let’s see how one can identify these contacts.
1. Look inside your Inbox
A lot of business initiations and interactions of b2b companies happen over the email. This means, one can expect majority of the business contacts to be in the inbox. Many contacts just get buried in the pile of subsequent emails. Get those contacts out and reconnect with them, you may hit an opportunity pretty quickly. Know more about how to Export Contacts from Outlook.
2. Ask each of your existing and past customers for a reference
Go to your existing customers and ask them for a reference. Unless you ask most people don’t share any reference. This may also help you get few leads to follow up. Asking for a business reference over email is not a good idea, I would recommend calling them up instead.
3. Ask your employees for business reference
Asking references from employee is a good idea too. In my past company Proteans (acquired by Symphony Teleca), we had several instances where we won some key customers primarily from reference shared by non-sales, non-marketing employees. I have not thanked enough my longtime friend and now customer Venkat Hari for his reference in helping us add one of the top software companies in the world as our client.
4. Contact form on your website
The contact form and contact email address on majority of B2B websites, when filled or sent an email to do not get any response. Those in most cases are not manned by anyone, and one loses on free leads by just being lazy. Take another look at your contact page and fix issues if you find any. Ideally the contact page data should go into a contact or lead management systems to ensure that you don’t lose any leads.
I hope this helps you get a few quick leads and deals! Try these, and let us know if they worked.