How much more can you win with practical lead generation tips
What we think | Sales Insights

How much more can you win with practical lead generation tips?

The main aim of any organisation is to generate revenue, make profits and build a sustainable business. For all of these elements to connect and move forward “Pipeline Management” plays a very crucial role. 

Pipeline Management is all about qualifying the right customer.

Now where do we pocket these potential customers from? Where are they present? How do we identify them? How do we increase leads? To make it simple, I would like to categorise these potential customers into two segments:

1. Existing Customers, and
2. New Customers  

How Do We Classify Opportunities With Existing Customers?

In this segment multiple leads can be generated by obtaining more sales from existing customers based on what they are buying. Cross sell at least another offering, add the next level offering, or show them the total portfolio with the highest productivity benefit.

I would like to put them in the below three categories:

Category 1 – Incremental Selling:  Customers buy the same product again and again every year with a higher wallet share. We can call them ‘active customers’. If you are not connecting with these customers at regular intervals, they will soon switch to the competition and become inactive for the existing brand.

Category 2 – Engagement Selling: Here customers like our product offering. They would like to take another product line offering that can benefit their organisation, provided we create value for them.  

Category 3 – High Engagement Selling:  The customer is confident about the brand and is satisfied with the support and service. They are receiving value from the product offerings and have high acceptance for cross selling. The customer wants to use the entire portfolio of solutions which the brand has to offer. The customer is unwilling to shift to the competition as they have built a strong relationship.

The split of business from the existing customer =  20% (Highly Engagement Customer) + 60% (Engagement Customer) + 20% (Active Customers) 

Sixty percent of revenue is generated from 20% of Highly Engaged Customers whose volumes are high. The remaining 40% of revenue is distributed between the engaged and active customers. 

You will always have to remember that there will be customers who will move out and do business with another brand, or they have challenges and may choose to close down their business, or the companies are cutting their costs.  It is expected that 20% will be the churn rate and could also include inactive customers.

To fill this gap of lost customers there must always be a continuously running New Customers Lead Generation Plan. In a year, business from Total Customers = 70% (Existing Customers) + 30% (New Customers) 

When Would Customers Look For A New Brand?

1. The customer is unhappy with the specific current brand due to a lack of proper service and response time, or due to an outdated product offering.

2. The customer does not have the right solution from the market that fits their organisation’s needs. The existing products are not able to solve their challenges and they are looking for innovative and upgraded solutions.

3. The customer is looking for a 360 degree offering, a portfolio of solutions, or multi-dimensional expertise. This way, the customer need not go to different vendors to seek solutions for their problems at different stages in that specific segment. 

If any of the above 3 criteria are identified and mapped for a new partnership – we will be able to solve the customer’s challenges, give the right solutions as per the organisation’s needs, and ensure that 360 degree valuation and support is created. In this situation, onboarding a new customer is high. 

Various Types Of Lead Generation To Be Initiated For Acquiring New Customers 

1. Right campaigning on social media 
2. Existing customer referral 
3. Active participation in industry events 
4. Understanding active influencers in the domain and aligning podcast and live interviews

My Views

With more than a decade of experience in sales, I have worked for many brands in different channels. These include – 1. Dealer Distribution Model 2. Dual Brand Model 3. Key Accounts / Strategic Account Model 4. Direct Customer Model.  

One common thread among all of them was strategizing a lead generation plan.

Strategizing your lead generation depends on a few factors: 

1. Have you established your brand over a period of time or are you new to the market?

2. How many new products do you innovate in a year?  How relevant are your products when it comes to your customer’s needs?

3. Are you a leader in your product offering with very less competition or with no competition? 

For New Brands – Lead generation from new customers is a mandate. The time taken from acquisition, right through the sales cycle, leading to qualification and revenue generation is quite high. 

For Established Brands – You have the liberty and the extra mile to generate leads from existing customers and bring in new customers. Strong planning and innovative strategies for these two areas is very important. Eighty percent of business should be from existing customers and 20% from new customers. 

If there are no new offerings or innovative solutions in your product basket, then existing customers will be inactive, and you must rely on new customers only. You cannot expect repeat business until and unless you have a strong relationship and price edge with the customer.

Examples Based On My Experience With Lead Generation Initiatives

Brand 1:
Highly established in the Indian market

Innovation in products: Only few (Out of 20 product lines, only 1 to 3 product lines see innovative products once every two years)

Innovation in services: Poor

Lead generation: From existing accounts

Aim of the initiative:
1. Map all the key stakeholders, influencers and decision-makers
2. Increase wallet share by 120% year on year.
3. Generate more leads from different business units
4. Identify ongoing projects and new projects

1. Acquiring repeat business was very tough as products lacked innovation and the customer handling process was not digitised. The current process was old and was not customer friendly.
2. Customers were giving repeat business based purely on relationship and competitive low price.
3. This was not a sustainable model. 

Brand 2 :
Highly established in the Indian market  

Innovation in products: Very high (Out of 15 product lines nearly 10 saw innovation every year)

Innovation in services: Very high 

Lead generation: From existing accounts

Aim of the initiative:
1. Map all the key stakeholders, influencers and decision-makers
2. An increase of 120% year on year
3. 360 degree customer support
4. Creating highly satisfied customers 
5. Map the organisation (in and out)
6. Establishing a relationship with the stakeholder’s chain   

1. Customers were open to new innovative products.
2. New business acquisition was easy as a majority of the offerings provided solutions to issues that customers were currently facing.
3. Acceptance of the premium price, which meant less time spent on negotiation.
4. More wallet share, due to right processes and a high serviceability approach.
5.This model was highly sustainable.
6. Customers who were willing to evolve and grow and wanted to be ahead of change partnered with the brand.

The entire experience of working with two extreme sides of different brands helped me understand the value of lead generation for existing customers. It also taught me the importance of developing existing customers by understanding their wallet share, business opportunity, their growth opportunities and their vision to evolve as a brand.  

C H Srinivas Rao is a Business Development Manager who is passionate about adding value to the business and to customers by providing well researched business insights. When not being wide eyed and curious about everything, Srinivas likes to unwind with a game of chess.
Swetha Sitaraman is a Business Content and Communications Manager who spent 15 years working with British Diplomats. She creates and edits content assets that include articles, case studies, company profiles and thought leadership interviews along with handling internal communication. When she is not immersed in a sea of words, Swetha enjoys diving into the world of watercolours.

Share this post!


You might also be interested in the below topics

Be the first to get your hands on our insights to achieve more.​