What can B2B entrepreneurs learn about generating quality sales leads from UPS?
It turns out plenty.
4.9 billion. That’s how many packages UPS drivers deliver each year to their customers.
What’s their “secret sauce”?
In the 1970s, UPS began mandating that their trucks avoid taking left-hand turns as much as possible. Taking left-hand turns causes trucks to sit idle waiting to turn. That means they’re wasting time and fuel. It also means that those trucks are susceptible to collisions.
Another ingredient in their secret sauce is the onboard navigational system. This system directs its drivers to use mostly right-turn-only routes, eliminating any guesswork from its drivers.
UPS’s efficiency system saves the company an estimated 10 million gallons of fuel a year, plus tons of driving hours, by shortening their routes by six to eight miles.
In short, UPS discovered how to reduce randomness and increase efficiency in its day-to-day operations.
You can’t afford to take random routes when it comes to generating sales leads
Instead, you need to do what UPS did: create a system that is expedient, cost-effective and time-saving.
Let’s face it.
You’ve built a great product.
Your customers use it and love it.
And when you get a chance to be with the right prospect, you know you’ll have great success in closing the sale.
But it’s a real struggle getting those quality leads and sales appointments beyond your existing network in the first place.
You may have tried social media, content marketing, etc., to get a predictable stream of quality leads.
But your time, energy and money aren’t paying off
It’s time to stop making the one (obvious) mistake robbing you of high-quality sales leads.
But how do you do that? That’s what I’ll show you in this article.
But first . . . what do I mean by “robbing B2B entrepreneurs of sales leads”?
If you’re in B2B, the only result that counts is getting your product out there and into the hands of new customers.
And that’s how you (should) measure every marketing investment: by how much new business it generates.
Yes, many online marketing programs will generate clicks, page views, likes and shares—but those results could be robbing you of sales leads.
That’s because even when prospects subscribe to your updates, you may find 80% of the signups are NOT the decision-makers you want appointments with.
What’s the one mistake that’s causing this problem?
You’re marketing your services where your decision-makers are NOT not to be found. It’s like talking to a roomful of people who don’t care about what you have to say.
What are the ramifications of making this mistake?
You’re spending time and money and not getting the results you want.
- There is a big opportunity cost: you wasted time on activities that didn’t work.
- As a result, you lie awake at night worrying if you’re going to reach your growth objectives.
How will you know if you’re making this mistake?
You’ll know you’re making this mistake if:
- After investing your time and money in marketing, your calendar is still not filled with sales appointments.
- You may be getting increased traffic, likes and even some signups, but it seems that most leads you generate are just not the decision-makers you are after.
- You tried different approaches but they didn’t work out, and now you’re wondering what to do next.
You simply aren’t sure where to start.
3 steps to avoid making this mistake (and to generate high-quality sales leads)
Step 1: Do your homework (you’ve probably done this)
Today, with a bit of research, you can find the online channels where your prospects hang out. Start with these two small steps:
1. Ask yourself: what is my audience searching for, what websites are they reading and who are they are following?
2. Then, evaluate the channels. Most channels offer PPC ads (like Google, Facebook or LinkedIn). Use these to find out how many people you could reach via those channels (and what it would cost you).
Step 2 Think “minimal viable experiment” (an important mindset hack)
Often, online efforts start with a big up-front strategy, with months of work leading to a launch and perhaps a shiny new website, but this strategy attracts few or no new prospects. That’s because the strategy is built on assumptions.
Instead of building on top of unproven assumptions, you need to TEST the assumptions before investing in the next step. Based on research and rapid-fire “minimal viable experiments”—requiring minimal investment—you’ll know whether a channel will yield the desired ROI before you invest more time and money into it.
Step 3: Do actions that guarantee the right types of leads get generated (this is my favorite step)
Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping the right leads find their way to you, focus ALL of your actions on companies and people that you want to reach. That means you can reach out to decision-makers to hit their deepest needs, avoiding gatekeepers and cold-call rejections. If anyone responds to your outreach, you will be 100% sure this will be a real sales opportunity with the right person.
Real-world examples (that converted 5%-28% of prospects into opportunities)
Here are the results from a few of our clients.
A client was promoting their application that saves tons of time to graphic designers and web agencies via Facebook ads. They were getting lots of signups, but they were struggling to convert them into customers. We found that we could easily list many of their potential customers on LinkedIn, and we launched a campaign that resulted in 22% agreeing to an online demo. Afterward, many converted to a sale.
Another client was struggling to find the right keywords to promote their solution for drone companies. In addition, we found that these companies were simply not on LinkedIn. But via associations and specialized tradeshows, we generated a list of hundreds of companies and decision-makers. After we reached out to them, 28% agreed to have a call.
Online lead generation worked even in a more traditional manufacturing market where the decision-makers rarely use LinkedIn. The additional challenge was that everybody we targeted already had a solution in place, and we had to convince them to consider a switch.
The approach we took here was first to build referrals. When we got to the right person, we proposed a networking call. Here we had a more modest conversion rate of around 5%, but the firm had a large enough pool of contacts to prospect, so they still generated a month-to-month flow of qualified leads.
When thinking of marketing strategies, B2B entrepreneurs shouldn’t care about clicks, page views, likes and shares.
Instead, they should ask themselves: which strategy will reach the decision-makers I’m after?
Not focusing on this objective can rob you of real sales opportunities while wasting a lot of time and money.
To review, here’s a plan that works and won’t cost you a lot of money or time:
- Step 1: Do your homework.
- Step 2: Think “minimal viable experiment.”
- Step 3: Do actions that guarantee generating the right types of leads (my favorite step).
Blasting an email to your list is easy
But having a repeatable process that brings in new leads month after month is a different matter.
The question remains:
How do you reach your target decision-makers and engage them in a deeper conversation (without spending endless hours or feeling anxious about cold-calling)?
I help B2B entrepreneurs develop systems that generate a fresh set of qualified leads each month—leads that are unlimited by their network and geography.
What drives me day to day? It’s creating the impact for the entrepreneurs so they can add real value to the world.
Does it make sense for us to have a short email conversation?
We’ll talk about how you can get:
- Sales opportunities from a hand-curated list of decision-makers from your target accounts.
- A fresh set of qualified leads each month—unlimited by your network and geography.
- Warm leads that expressed interest in your solution.
Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.