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Marketing Software Featured Article


May 30, 2008

Study Finds Small Business Owners Struggling to Manage Leads

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Small business owners are certainly feeling the economy crunch that is spreading throughout the global economy. These small businesses are also under increasing pressure to drive sales, while also reducing expenses, but this can be a tricky balance for any company.

While following strategies aimed at achieving these goals, small business owners say that the number one frustration they face daily when it comes to sales and marketing is the inability to consistently follow up with prospects.

Infusionsoft, a small business marketing automation software provider, recently conducted a survey of entrepreneurs across the U.S. and found that 65 percent of small business owners cite an inability to consistently and efficiently follow up with leads as the top concern.

The results of the survey indicate a growing frustration among small business owners and marketers when closing an immediate sale. These individuals report that they forget the nurturing process and instead let leads simmer.

As a result of this phenomenon, small businesses are increasingly seeking ways to automatically capture and court leads until they are ready to buy. This process allows the business owner to work on strategically growing the business.

In its research, Infusionsoft discovered that small businesses want to be able to send more e-mail to customers and prospects, capture information from Web visitors, prospects and then automatically follow up with those people.

The 2008 U.S. Small Business Marketing Frustration Survey cites the following as the top 10 marketing related frustrations by small business owners:

  1. Too difficult to follow up with cold, warm and lukewarm leads consistently and efficiently
  2. Unable to properly track and manage prospects and customers
  3. Need to integrate online and offline marketing efforts
  4. Poor e-mail deliverability
  5. Too much manual work in the sales and marketing process, no automation
  6. Cannot track sales activity
  7. Lack of centralization, too many different programs and systems
  8. Too costly to maintain servers and IT staff
  9. Too difficult to manually manage multi-channel campaigns
  10. One-dimensional marketing

In the survey, small business owners across the country were asked to choose their top marketing related issues from a list and then rank them in order of importance.

"These findings are telling for understanding the challenges a small business owner faces," said Clate Mask (News - Alert), President and CEO, Infusionsoft, in a statement.

"Small business owners are trying to figure out how to make their marketing more effective amid the reality of smaller marketing budgets, limited time to manage campaigns, smaller organizational infrastructure, and longer to-do lists.”

So these results are eye-opening to understand just how simple, yet real their daily frustrations are with converting more leads into sales," Mask added.
 
By focusing on the importance of effectively managing leads within the business, owners can ensure that leads are automatically handled in the proper process and focus instead on running the business. By turning to an automated system, small businesses can keep more of their costs under control, while growing market share.
 
For more, check out the Marketing Software channel on TMCnet.
 
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
 
 
 
 



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