How You Can Use a Global Business Platform for Simple Lead Generation Post-COVID-19
What is a global business platform?
A global business platform facilitates exchanges between different parties or groups, usually consumers and producers.
In order to make these exchanges happen, these platforms harness and create large, scalable networks of users and resources that can be accessed on demand.
Platforms create communities and markets with network effects that allow users to interact and do business together.
Global business platforms don’t directly create and control inventory via a supply chain the way linear businesses do. Platform businesses don’t own the means of production. They create the means of connection.
The pros and cons of doing business online
Successful platforms facilitate exchanges by reducing transaction costs and/or by enabling externalized innovation. With the advent of connected technology, these ecosystems enable platforms to scale in ways that traditional businesses cannot.
The most important advantage of using a global business platform is the extensive reach it allows entrepreneurs to have. Business people have access to a far wider pool of potential clients, partners, suppliers and distributors.
However, using the more traditional global business platforms such as LinkedIn also incur risks. The most important factor of such platforms in the lack of trust and transparency of the businesses on the platforms.
One can never be sure that a business is reliable, trustworthy, or that it even exists, making engagement in any business discussions or transactions more risky.
What is lead generation?
In marketing, lead generation is the initiation of consumer interest or enquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads. The methods for generating leads typically fall under the umbrella of advertising, but may also include non-paid sources such as organic search engine results or referrals from existing customers.
Two types of lead generation
- INBOUND MARKETING: In this case, the leads actively find you, perhaps because they have a question or a problem. Companies focusing on inbound lead generation make sure that they are easy to find where and when leads need the companies. To do this, they create relevant online content, working on SEO optimisation to ensure they are among the top results. Presence in the relevant social media is also important.
- OUTBOUND MARKETING: Rather than taking a passive approach, companies actively push their message to potential leads, whether or not these potential leads are actually looking for them at that time. Telemarketing is one method whereby companies pro-actively call customers to offer their products or services. Online and offline advertising or direct marketing are other options.
How does lead generation work?
There are four major steps to lead generation:
- PROSPECTING: A prospect is a company which intends to buy a product or service similar to the one you offer. In the B2B sector, these are often companies seeking a solution to a specific problem. They do not necessarily know about you, which is why it can be difficult to find good prospects. Conducting a solid market analysis can be helpful in this context.
- SEGMENTING: After finding prospects, they can be divided into groups or ‘segments’. For example, by sector or position, based on geographical characteristics, based on need, based on business characteristics (size of the company, financial health, date of inception,…)
- APPROACHING: After segmentation, you identify your key segments and approach potential leads within these segments. This can be done using inbound or outbound marketing.
- CONVERTING: The interested company approached you, left contact information and found its way to your sales department. It is now up to sales to convert the lead into a customer
How using a global business platform for online lead generation can help your business
Lead generation has been around for a long time, but methods have changed from simply finding a customer early on in their sales journey and sending the sales team their way. The self-directed buyer is inundated with information, so it’s vital to find new, creative ways to cut through the static and reach potential customers.
Instead of finding customers through mass advertising and email blasts, marketers must rely on being found and building relationships with their buyers. In the age of information abundance, marketing is going through a massive shift.
One of the most important ways in which entrepreneurs can grow their business is by using a global business platform. Doing so allows them to find new partners and customers in regions which might not have been accessible before. It might also help them to find partners and clients which are more relevant or reliable.
Using a global business platform is especially interesting for companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, when businesses have been put under a huge amount of operational and financial pressure.
Lead generation and CONNECTS, a trustworthy global business platform
CONNECTS is a digital Business Matchmaking Platform that allows entrepreneurs to initiate trustworthy business opportunities worldwide. Working with Chambers of Commerce, the platform provides access to leads, suppliers, partnerships, skills, and business communities you can trust. Every opportunity posted on CONNECTS is from an approved and validated Chamber member.
The platform enables members to create, respond and accept all types of business leads and opportunities. This can involve the sale of a product or service that will enable the ‘buyer’ to start a business. It can also include anything of value that will help entrepreneurs to re-energise and push their business forward.
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