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What is Lead Generation and how do ERP systems help?

In sales, there are what we call ‘leads’ – prospective customers that show interest in your business’ services or products.  

For this article, we’re going through this first step in the sales process – Lead Generation – and how ERP systems impact this process.  

What is lead generation? 

Simply put, lead generation is the process of creating awareness and sparking interest around your business’ product or service with the intention of closing it into a sale.  

Marketing and sales come hand in hand when it comes to generating leads for a business. It starts with a marketing campaign that provides information on the product or service, shares its value to the customers through tactics like email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), online ads, and more.  

At times, salespeople can also start the lead generation process through networking and directly reaching out to prospects.  

Marketing drives consideration but sales are all about closing the deal. Once a company has the contact details of an interested lead, it’s up to the sales team to make an even stronger case to the prospect and make that sale. 

Lead generating practices  

MYOB experts also weighed in on the discussion and shared some of the practices that help reach out to potential customers and nurture prospects to generate more sales:  

1. Cold-calling or Emailing 

Directly contacting parties that may benefit from your service may be one of the oldest strategies in the book, but it still works. It’s simple, straightforward, and puts customers on the spot to consider the product. It also allows the sales team to immediately answer follow-up questions. 

2. EDM or Newsletter 

Stay at the top of your prospects’ minds by sending out a newsletter or an EDM (Electronic Direct Mail) regularly. Through this tactic, you can push out promotions and deals on your products and services or you can send out news and updates to a bigger audience.    

3. Networking 

There’s nothing quite like personal, face-to-face interactions and networking allows a sales team to do this. By building personal connections with leads, sales teams will be able to communicate the benefits of the product or service more clearly and persuasively.  

4. Content and SEO Strategy 

Many say that “Content is king” and in the information age, businesses need to offer quality content or fade into the vast, overloaded digital sphere. Good content can come in the form of helpful articles or guides, how-to videos, and other useful resources that will engage your leads and customers.    

5. Customer referrals 

Customers trust fellow customers best. Word-of-mouth and personal recommendations are factors that strongly affect a lead’s purchasing decision. You can encourage your customers to refer your services with special promos and discounts.

How does an ERP system help generate leads? 

So, where does an ERP system fit into these lead generation tactics? Well, everything begins with an ERP system because it can act as the central database for all your leads.  

We’ve gone through some of the benefits of using ERP systems for sales and marketing in our previous blog post but in this article, we’re focusing on how it impacts lead generation.  

1. ERP systems centralise lead generation from different channels 

Leads can come from multiple platforms, whether that’s through social media, email, or direct calls. If an ERP system is linked to various channels, it can automatically capture all lead information. And if manual import and exports are required, ERP systems also offer efficiency features that simplify the process.  

2. ERP systems can become a comprehensive database 

Aside from the usual information like name, company, and contact details, an ERP system can record much more comprehensive data. On an ERP solution, contact attributes can be customised to include additional information such as the products that might be recommended to a certain lead.  

3. ERP systems can filter out good leads from bad ones  

When working on generating leads, it’s not just about the quantity but the quality. An ERP system can help you filter out leads that have a high chance of being converted to a sale, as opposed to one that might just be a lost chase.  

Through the ERP system, you can segregate leads according to their budget, the lead’s position in the company, their specific requirements, etc.  

4. ERP systems can track leads and analyse unconverted leads 

After lead generation, ERP systems can provide insights on where the leads are on the customer journey as well as the reasons behind an unconverted lead. This provides marketing and sales staff with the information they need to recalibrate their strategies for more effective lead generation campaigns.   

Excited to try out new ways of utilising your ERP systems for lead generation? Check out these videos on the sales processes of MYOB Advanced and Sybiz Vision. 

MYOB Advanced Business: Sales Processes 

Sybiz Vision: Sales Management 

 

 

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