Top sales pros offer expert tips for using online marketing tools to attract, nurture and convert leads into paying customers for your small business.

Many small business owners do some or all of their business in person, whether in a brick-and-mortar storefront or out in the field. Yet as more customers turn to the internet to find answers to their problems, you simply can’t afford to neglect digital marketing.

Good news: You can support the real-world sale of tangible goods and in-person services with internet and social media tactics. In fact, social media and search engines are great ways to generate leads.

In fact, social media and search engines are great ways to generate leads.

If generating online leads are a challenge for your small business, follow these expert tips and from top sales-focused pros.

Optimize Your Online Presence

Every small business should have a strong online presence, even if you don’t sell products online. Your potential customers use the internet every day to find local businesses, research products and reviews, and make purchase decisions.

Great places to start include:

  1. A user-friendly, mobile-friendly website
  2. Active social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or LinkedIn
  3. A blog
  4. An email newsletter
  5. Up-to-date Google My Business and business directory listings

“These online touchpoints enable customers and prospects to engage with content, and sales teams to follow-up accordingly,”

Explore Targeted Digital Tools

Once you establish your basic online presence, get creative and strategic. Less traditional content like podcasts, niche sites like Pinterest or interactive events like webinars are all good ways to engage customers and share expertise with potential customers.

“Once an initial connection has been made, people on the sales team can easily follow up with them to understand their needs and how the company may be able to help,” Rodoni said. “Understanding a customer’s pain point and identifying the solution in an easy, quick and affordable way will help to transition a lead to a paying customer.”

Connect Before Closing

Content and context are key when marketing to sales leads. Tailor the message so it’s more engaging to the recipient, organize communication based on common needs and priorities. All sales and marketing should be educating and nurturing the customer along their journey.

The ways a business engages online will often look different at various points in the sales funnel. For instance, search engine optimization and social media marketing are effective for attracting new leads, while your website, marketing emails and CRM are typically more effective closing tools.

The engagement shouldn’t end once a lead becomes a customer however, surveys, social media monitoring and analytics as post-sales tools to learn more about how to keep customers delighted.

Summary