You may have sent emails, handed out flyers everywhere or you may have even invested a lot in advertising to draw more prospective customers. And even after all that, you still fail to get more leads to grow your business. You may think that you have done everything, but wait, perhaps you just haven’t figured out the right way to generate sales leads.
“Sales leads ?”
Yes, you would never dismiss the value that sales leads can bring to your business. Business growth can be a long and tough process, if you are lucky enough you may be on your way to generating a growing number of qualified prospects.
What’s a sales lead?
Sales lead – a term running through the total business operating process eternally. It can be either a prospective person or a company that has indicated an interest in your service or products.
By analyzing these sales leads, you may:
Explore the underlying factors to motivate customers’ purchasing inclination
Optimize products to highly meet the needs of the most likely buyers
Geo-target the potential consumers
Compete with peers with mined analysis
How to generate sales leads?
After learning about the importance of getting sales leads, it is really important that you get started right away. Let’s start with mining the prospective customer background and product information. There are different ways you can have it done.
1. Get the data from E-Commerce/Social Media
Apparently, there is a wealth of data on the web, and websites like commercial websites, and social media platforms prove very useful in drawing steady lead streams to grow businesses. By analyzing the user info data from similar websites, you can make either a market targeting strategy or a growth strategy supported by data analysis.
Once we do the research and find a website that has the customer/product information we would like to gather, the next step is to figure out a good way to scrape the data, apparently, we don’t want to copy and paste for a million years. Something to consider will be like a web crawler. The one I used is a desktop web crawler called Octoparse. The good part with Octoparse is that it doesn’t require any coding so any average non-technical person like myself can quickly pick up any data fields from the webpage and turn it into the structural dataset. The data points I generally scrape include business names, phone numbers, prices, reviews, etc which are goldmines to my lead-generating efforts.
Take Ebay for instance, if I want to know about what products are popular in the market, I can easily crawl information like feedbacks and score ratings for more analysis.
Here I will show you how to quickly get these information using Octoparse.
Input the website URL to scrape.
Once the data gets extracted, we can export the data to any format easy to work with since the whole point of crawling data from any website is to turn unstructured data into structured data with which we can perform further analysis.
For comments/feedbacks, in particular, there are many ways to analyze such data and one would be TF-IDF vector-based classification. You will have a vector of weights for positive words and another one for negative words. When a new comment shows up, the comment is processed and assigned to a vector. So you will have 3 vectors, positive, negative, and new comment in the beginning. If the new comment is closer to the positive you will consider it a positive comment and so on.
Then, you could visualize your analysis using a pie chart. Here we can observe that this product is appreciated by a relatively large portion of customers. Hence we can conclude that it’s worth advertising this product going forward.
Interestingly, you can further dig into the relationship between the demand and region by crawling data points such as joined time and location. You may find the factors that are impacting the pattern of how users choose one particular product over another.
For example, the bar graph below revealed the disparity of purchasing inclination among different regions in China for a particular product with SKU number 1. This finding can be surprisingly meaningful to any target advertising efforts.
The web is unlimited in terms of the number of things we can use to generate sales leads. Using an automatic web crawler like Octoparse can greatly reduce the amount of work needed to collect the data we need.
2. CRM & Database
If you don’t have enough sales leads in your CRM or database, you may consider budgeting to buy more sales leads. Besides the cost incurred, there are also other factors needed to be watch out for,
The data could be out-of-date
The leads could have already existed in your CRM
The leads could be against your AUP (Acceptable Use Policy)
There are, however, some reputable companies providing leads generation services such as:
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is another way for generating sales leads. By optimizing both site structure and content, Google can crawl more relevant data from your site thus increasing PR and other key indicators that drive up your site’s ranking compared with other competitors. This is important since more traffic means more sales leads essentially. There are some good SEO tools available on the web:
There are many ways to generate leads in sales, the best way will definitely be one that fits into your budget and create value for your business.