Sources for sales leads vary in as many ways as there are methods to obtain them. Some businesses choose to chase leads in-house, while others retain lead generation businesses to do the heavy lifting. Many sales teams find success securing their leads online. However, in B2B sales a lot of business leads stem from previous connections.
No matter the source or method, lead generation kickstarts the sales prospecting process. Sales teams must define their target leads and then sort through them to find qualified leads. These steps aim to convert leads into customers.
A successful lead generation process tends to correlate with a higher number of sales made. The more leads, the more potential customers.
What is a Sales Lead?
“Sales leads” are individuals or organizations who may purchase your product or service. A lead’s interest may range from not interested at all to already desiring your product. Before sales teams can focus on pursuing any specific lead, they must qualify them as prospects. Anyone who views your marketing materials might be a lead, but only those most likely to buy are prospects.
How do you Qualify a Sales Lead?
Lead qualification is the process of determining whether a lead fits the target market as a potential customer. Lead qualifiers must look at the characteristics of a specific lead as well as their broader attributes. Once a sales lead matches with your target customers, sales teams enter them into the sales funnel.
Lead qualification is an essential step in strategic selling. It helps ensure that the best leads get your attention first. Some of the attributes looking into when qualifying a sales lead include:
- Company’s annual sales.
- Number of employees.
- Job title.
- Website technology.
Sales teams should prioritize leads based on a process called lead scoring. This process identifies the leads who are most likely to become customers based on their particular attributes.
How to Describe the Warmth of a Sales Lead
Sales leads fit into three warmth categories to determine their prioritization:
- Hot – Hot leads know of your business and wish to do business. They may already have a budget in line with your target. Their desire to buy makes them the candidates most likely to become customers. Hot leads should always receive the most attention from sales teams.
- Warm – Where hot leads have the desire, warm leads have an interest. Exposure to marketing materials or contact with representatives makes them curious. However, they need more persuasion before continuing with the sales process.
- Cold – Cold leads may not have even heard about your business. They have the lowest levels of interest and do not wish to make any purchases in the near future. They may request some information from your business but make no plans to buy anything.
The 12 ways to Generate your Sales Leads Effectively
Lead generation takes many different forms. To hit your sales targets you need an effective lead generation strategy. Here are 12 ways to bump up your lead generation numbers and hopefully close more deals:
Optimize your Social Media Profile for Maximum Appeal
Social media attracts the largest audiences of any form of media. In many cases, leads visit your social media pages before your actual website. This means that you must give as much attention to your social media presence as possible.
Use high-quality images for your profile pictures. You do not want anything associated with your brand to appear “cheap.” Keep your profile professional while also aligning it with your marketing strategy. If your website uses bright colors and fun animations your social media profile should use them too.
Make frequent posts regarding special offers, blog posts and updates to keep your audience informed.
Find Prospects you can Help
May leads may attempt to reach out to your business through social media. These leads may ask specific questions or request further information. Some of your hottest leads might come from the comment section of your latest post.
Do your best to reach out to those asking for more information on your social media platforms. Not only do customers enjoy rapid response, but their open requests for information indicate curiosity. You can connect with these warm and hot leads by requesting private contact information such as email addresses.
From there, let your sales teams or customer service representatives sort through their comments to find their interests.
Post a Blog Article on LinkedIn and Link it to a Consultation Page
LinkedIn greatly assists B2B organizations to build connections and relationships. Take advantage of this professionally geared social media site to stand out as an authoritative voice. When you post a well-written and informative blog article on LinkedIn, you allow your connections to easily read and share it.
It helps you share pertinent information and identifies you as an expert in your field. When a reader likes your content they begin to trust you. Link your blogs back to a page to schedule consultation to get the most out of your blog content.
Reach out to Customers for Referrals
People tend to trust their friends and acquaintances over marketing materials. Reach out to your best recurring customers and ask them for referrals. Many businesses use the popular strategy of offering discounts in exchange for a referral. This method helps keep marketing costs low and has a high rate of return.
Not every customer will share a referral, especially when unimpressed with their experiences. Take the extra effort to really awe all of your customers. That way, they not only grant your referral test but also give you an excellent review.
Remember customers share their good sales experiences as often as their bad ones. Do your best to a positive buzz around your business by providing excellent service.
Identify Potential Leads through Personal and Professional Networks
True entrepreneurs bring their lives into complete union with their businesses. Every interaction both professionally and personally may lead to attaining more customers. So, whenever you feel like someone may need your products or services, let them know.
Many in your private circle may do business with you just because they know you. Treat them like any other customer by giving them supreme service. Make sure that everyone in your circles knows what you do professionally. So, the next time they need your services they think of you first.
Ask those in your networks to pass along your business card or website links to whomever they feel needs them.
Engage with New Leads while Networking
Take full advantage of networking events to connect with as many new leads as possible. Regular attendance of these events helps broaden your network. Face-to-face interactions can go a long way toward gaining trust.
While networking, try to keep it light. Let new leads learn about you as much as your business. People tend to do business with people they like, so let your leads know and like you. Bring plenty of business cards and connect through LinkedIn with as many leads as you can.
Revisit Closed/Lost Opportunities
Just because a lead does not buy on one occasion does not mean the same person will never buy. Sometimes closing a deal comes down to timing. When the timing does not work out, it does not necessarily indicate a lack of interest.
Whenever in a lead slump, have your sales teams reach out to old and lost opportunities. They might have changed their mind or circumstances since your last interaction. Sometimes it takes five or six interactions before a lead finally expresses interest. So, take your time and remain patient.
Reach out to old leads every six months or so to keep up with their status. This helps you stay prevalent and capitalize when their interest rises.
Implement an Email Sequence
An email sequence works through a series of emails to grab customers’ attention. They work with one another to foster interest and explain your business. Each email adds a little piece of the puzzle. Use creative copy to really get your leads’ attention.
Email sequences work because they do not overwhelm your leads and keep things simple. The first email might explain your benefits. The next hits on pain points. As you deliver more information in bite-sized chunks, leads better understand your business.
Use a sequence of six to a dozen emails to work several angles. The more you keep up with a lead, the more likely they will buy from you.
Contribute Informative Article to Several Sources
The wider your net the more leads you will catch. While blog posts may help drive traffic to your site, contributing to other sources helps capitalize on existing audiences. Reach out to other businesses and sites within your industry. If you provide content on their platforms you tap into an already existing audience.
These formative articles help establish your voice as an industry leader. You can make deals with other professionals to contribute to one another’s platforms. Whether you guest star in a video or podcast, you can spread your word using the best platform for you.
Make sure you check the source for reliability before creating content. This helps keep your message and reputation intact as you branch off.
Use a Meeting Scheduler on your Website
You need to be available when leads and potential clients want to get in touch with you. An exchange of emails might work but it usually takes a lot of time. With a meeting scheduler, you can show you precise availability. It also allows leads to pick the time that works best for them.
Meeting schedulers give both you and the leads maximum flexibility. They guarantee that both parties can choose a convenient time. Update your scheduler frequently and as soon as possible should meetings arise from outside the scheduler.
Due to the strict time constraints, they also ensure that you do not spend too much time pursuing a lead. Instead, they give you the opportunity to keep the meeting simple and on track.
Engage via Live Chat
Hot leads sometimes might try to interact with your business through email or comments. To get them while most interested and focused, use a chat system. Chatbots work best, as they free up sales representatives and gather useful information with ease.
You can build a chatbot from a variety of sources to select the tools and options best for you. Chatbots capture contact information and find a lead’s needs 24/7. So, whenever your leads want to reach out you can foster their interest.
Chatbots and live chats should always strive towards obtaining information so that a representative can contact them when convenient. Instead of wasting time on cold leads, they also help prioritize your sales team’s efforts.
Lead an Online Workshop
Informative blog posts and articles help share information, but hands-on teaching really allows you to demonstrate expertise. You can host an online workshop or seminar relevant to your field to effectively generate leads. Not only will customers know more about your products, but industry connections will seek you out for guidance. This helps establish credibility as an industry leader.
With a workshop, you can choose the focus, which ensures your ability to demonstrate your expertise in a particular area. It also helps you control the content.
Webinar attendees will share their experience with colleagues, furthering your reach. So take the opportunity to really “wow” them and watch the leads roll in.
Take the Next Steps in Lead Generation
Sales lead generation drives business forward. No business can grow without lead generation. No matter your industry or experience, Selling Revolution offers the right consultation for your business needs. From increasing leads to improving sales training, we give you the tools to succeed.
Schedule a 20-minute introductory call with Selling Revolution today, and say goodbye to stale leads.