2015 is time to start a fresh page on the calendar, turn over a new leaf, set new goals and approach business challenges with renewed energy. But if you want your business performance to improve in the new year, you’ll need to rethink your marketing and sales strategy. The new year is a good opportunity to do some things differently, try new tactics or branch out into new markets.
Here are three ways to re-energize your business performance for the new year ahead.
1. Re-evaluate your mix of outbound and inbound lead generation
What are you currently doing to find new business leads, and where are your new prospects coming from? Take some time to analyze your lead-generation results, or even create a simple spreadsheet to keep track of your biggest client accounts. Where did each of your current clients originate? Referral? Online inquiry? Or did you proactively go out and introduce yourself to the client’s company?
Every business needs to strike the right balance between reaching out to customers directly (“outbound lead generation”), and helping customers find you (“inbound lead generation”). Are you getting better results from one tactic or another? In the new year ahead, do more of whatever tactics are working for you, and devote fewer resources to the tactics that haven’t generated results. It sounds simple, but many companies never take the time to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. The new year is a good occasion to take a step back from the daily rush of business, and ask the big questions like “what is really working for us and how can we do more of it?”
2. Consolidate your social media and online marketing
Many businesses find themselves getting spread too thin from trying to do too many social media activities. Do you have a Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, YouTube channel, podcast and Pinterest page? Are they all active? Or are some not getting any engagement? Sometimes social media can become a time suck, without any good results to show for it.
Instead of trying to cover every social media platform, declutter your online presence. Spend time evaluating where your prospects are active on social media. From my experience in B2B marketing, most B2B decision makers are on LinkedIn, which is the best platform for performing company research and networking. Depending on your industry, you might get value out of Twitter as well. But other than LinkedIn and Twitter, and perhaps YouTube if your customers like to see product demos or other useful video content, there are social media platforms and online marketing channels that you are probably better off avoiding altogether. Let the new year be a time to simplify. Quit putting time, energy and resources into underperforming marketing tactics.
3. Re-connect with old customers
Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most effective forms of marketing, and your best customers are often your best marketers. Refocus your new year efforts on being more proactive about drumming up repeat business and referrals. Go back to your inner circle of customers who have bought from you before. Consider introducing a generous referral program, or create a marketing campaign focused on people who have already bought from you in the past. Word of mouth doesn’t always happen on its own—sometimes you have to do something to remind people of why they like to do business with you. The new year is an ideal time to re-connect with customers who you might not have contacted in awhile. Use the new year to get back on their radar and see if they have any new business needs that you could help them address.
Business success in the new year is not always about doing things that are “new” and different—sometimes it’s a simple matter of looking back at the tactics that brought you to this point, and deciding which ones to continue and which ones to cease. Hopefully you already have a good foundation in place for sales success—you don’t have to totally hit the reset button. Instead, you can use the new year as a chance to re-evaluate and make adjustments to your marketing processes, and re-connect with your customers. Happy New Year!
What changes do you plan to make in the new year to boost your sales? Have any questions about how to drum up new leads? Let me know by commenting below.