The world is full of leads that you may not even know exist. No longer is the sales world about making cold calls to someone who may not be interested or hoping someone sees your print ad. Instead, sales lead generation is about knowing how to find and connect with leads that may be interested in what your company offers.
But where can you find leads? The key is a strategy that identifies the lead’s interest and connects you at the right time. You want to position yourself as the solution, no matter where or how you find your leads.
Here are three different strategies for finding your next sales lead and the differences in each approach.
In many industries, your ability to generate leads will be about who you know. These industries have professionals that regularly share information and rely on trust. You will need to build and maintain a network in order to keep leads coming into your sales pipeline.
Lead referrals are some of the hottest leads you can find. When an existing customer refers you to someone else, you have an automatic advantage over your competitors. A referral is a huge step toward building a relationship with the lead.
By implementing a referral program, you will see higher quality leads. You can also have exponential growth if your satisfied customer continues to sing your praises via word of mouth.
When you attend an industry event, you know that any leads you find have shared interests. Not only that, but you have a connection over the experience of the event itself.
Industry events are also the opportunity to mingle and create a more casual relationship with leads. Make sure that you have a good tracking system for any hands you shake or business cards you collect so that you can make notes about conversations and follow-up.
Online Workshops or Seminars
Establish yourself as a subject-matter expert by hosting a free online workshop or seminars. You will position yourself as always “ready to help” while also collecting valuable lead information. The more interactive you can make the online event, the better.
LinkedIn is the best social media platform for cultivating business relationships.
Before you begin to use this as a lead generation tool, make sure that your profile stands out. Have a professional-looking profile photo, tag your company, and have an “About” section that describes who you are and what you do. Keep your profile current at all times.
You can use InMail to start a conversation with potential leads. It provides you with an opportunity to reach people with a personalized message.
Make sure that you are brief and explain why you are interested in connecting. You want to create a reason for the person to reply. Note that you must be a LinkedIn Premium member to use InMail.
Much like networking, you can use LinkedIn groups to meet other people with common interests. If you contribute to the group, you can establish yourself as an industry expert. You want your engagement to be authentic so that you are more likely to create a meaningful connection with a potential lead.
You can further establish yourself in your industry by sharing relevant content. One way to do this is to share links to articles written by other people, but a better way is to write your own content and share it on LinkedIn.
In the LinkedIn article, you can talk about your knowledge, share tips, or provide other useful information. At the bottom, include a call-to-action that invites readers to connect with you.
3. Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing draws customers to your company rather than you reaching out to them. If done correctly, you have basically unlimited reach potential through web traffic.
Inbound marketing will require working closely with your marketing department or a marketing firm. However, the right strategy can position your company to make people want to reach out to you.
If you understand the problems that your leads currently have, your marketing tactics can include targeting search phrases through paid search. By using pay-per-click, your company will appear higher in search results, and you can get information about leads that click on your ad.
Much like LinkedIn articles, a content strategy revolves around creating content that your potential leads will read. The content can be in the form of blog posts, white papers, or case studies.
An effective content strategy drives leads by doing two things:
- Gives your potential audience content they want to read
- Includes a compelling call-to-action so that the lead reaches out to you
Stay Connected With Your Leads
Once you have gathered contact information from your leads, your next step is to build the relationship. An email campaign strategy should include both automated emails to remind the lead of how you can help and personalized follow-ups.
Even if a lead falls off your pipeline due to lack of interest, budget, or another objection, don’t write off the lead completely. The answer may have been rooted more in “not right now.” By revisiting past connections, you may find your next qualified lead.
The Right Way to Target Your Next Sales Lead
Ultimately, the right strategy will depend on your business model. If your industry relies on a lot of face-to-face contact, you may find more leads by networking. If your industry is driven by consumers that find solutions through online searches, then a strong inbound marketing strategy will boost your ability to find leads.
By using the right channels to target a sales lead, you will be more likely to find qualified leads and have increased conversion rates.