How to generate sales leads

Here we’ll elaborate on ways to generate sales leads – specifically, how business owners can find and generate leads for themselves.
Note that this advice is dedicated to Business leads and all of the following recommendations are based on our B2B marketing experience.

How to generate sales leads

So, what is lead generation and how does it affect your sales?

Lead generation involves scanning through sources that contain useful business data (names, titles, business phone numbers and Skype addresses) and then using this information to contact and engage potential customers. The more data you have, the more customers you can reach. The subject of Sales Leads is huge and we will go into that in more detail. Right now, here are three things you should know:

1) Lead data is not private data

You don’t ever need your prospects’ home addresses, their family photos on Facebook, or a list of their favorite movies. No.

Lead data is based on everything to do with your prospect’s business. The tools and services they use, their accomplishments, the companies they usually partner with, and other business-related information. All of this is in the public domain, information that commercial concerns put online for everyone to find and see. Your job is to sort through that data, finding whatever is relevant to your business.

2) Sales leads talk business

While being friendly and not boringly-formal is quite important for making a good first impression, professional conduct is essential for engaging B2B sales leads. When you reach out to your prospects you should use their corporate addresses and maintain contact via business networks (LinkedIn) rather than social media (Facebook). You’re going to communicate with your leads during their work time, so don’t be distracting them with small talk.

3) With B2B Sales leads, quality is what counts

Productive relationships are highly-prized in business-to-business development. You’re looking for those fruitful, mutually beneficial, win-win situations. Loyalty and long-term cooperation bring value. Therefore, when looking through your lists of leads, you must be confident that you’re targeting the prospects most likely to invest in your services and choose you as their ideal service provider. Keep these very simple facts about sales leads in mind as you find new prospects. The right approach to targeting and identifying your prospects is vital for your future outreach campaigns and engagement. Only truly relevant leads will turn into appointments with the potential for a fruitful business relationship. Managing leads in a smart and knowledgeable way will save you time and a lot of stress. With that said, let’s walk through some of the ways to generate these sales leads.

How do new businesses get leads?

Many business owners struggle to find new leads. Even with the endless possibilities offered by the internet, you can easily get lost in a sea of information, accounts and users. Some tools are not good enough. Some tools don’t suit your business model. It seems that there’s no end to the ‘hit and miss’ in searching for solutions.

How do you find quality leads in conditions like these?

One of the best ways to generate leads is to employ the assistance of a lead generation company that will do all the research and sourcing for you. Naturally, this method requires some initial thought and set-up on your part since not every company can provide you with suitable results and you have to be sure that you’re handing your targeting and lead management to the right professional team. Your best option is to find a company that can go beyond simply compiling prospect leads, by providing you with lead validation, outreach, and prospect nurturing. As well as providing a list of leads, such a company can also reach out to your prospects and begin to establish relationships with them before you approach them about using your services. A lead generation company will make sure that your prospect lists are authentic and actionable. Another option is to do everything yourself. It’s certainly more time consuming for you, to perform your searches manually, check and verify each lead and determine their relevance. But, should you take that route then do follow these useful tips when asking yourself: “How do I bring in new leads?”

Generate sales at trade shows

How do I generate more leads? Well, one answer is: you go out and socialize in business settings. Lots of your prospects attend events, conferences and exhibits that are relevant to their vertical. Therefore, they are relevant to you as well. Attending these events is as simple as stocking up with business cards, buying tickets and networking, right? Isn’t that how people get sales leads?  Nope.  Nowadays, this kind of networking has been done to death, so unfortunately your targeted leads are more likely to ignore your calls and emails after the event — unless you offer something really exclusive and your sales reps managed to deliver a mind-blowing presentation at the event. Why not make things much easier? Instead of mingling with the people who came to listen to speakers, be the speaker. In the end, what’s the point of lead generation for sales if you cannot do it with style? Sign up for a speaking engagement so you or your colleague can introduce some interesting data and infographics that will make people seek you out for a chat, after the presentation. This is a positive way to ensure that your email will be a welcome sight to your prospects, the day after the event. It also makes engagement with event participants easier. By introducing yourself as a speaker – and not just a random person they met – you’re projecting confidence that generates a higher level of trust and interest in your company’s services. Of course, getting a speaking engagement sounds like extra work. However, look closely and it’s not so difficult. The experts who take the opportunity to speak at events are only human, like you:

  • they dedicate some of their time to attending courses and workshops that are relevant to their vertical and they become recognized as being knowledgeable in their market;
  • they focus on a particular market niche, which they’ve examined from the inside out, so their insights are authentic and up-to-date;
  • they maintain their profile by blogging and participating in webinars, lectures and workshops.

How do you become a speaker?

Start with small steps. Join webinars, speak in schools for free; every little thing counts and shows that you are a pro. Motivate people to recommend you for speaking opportunities – let it be known you have something interesting to say. Once you are sure that you're experienced enough to try your hand at the trade shows, it’s time for research! Your first trade show must fit you and your topic flawlessly. If you want to make a presentation that hits the spot, ask around and see which current issues are considered to be the most challenging. Another good way to secure your speaking engagement is to engage with show organizers in your network. If you happen to have an event organizer in your LinkedIn friend list, that’s an excellent start! However, it only works if your LinkedIn page is interesting enough for them to make a decision in your favor. Therefore, make sure you always post engaging content related to a topic you can speak about.

Use review platforms to get sales leads

Don’t underestimate the power of testimonials and reviews. But, they must be used wisely. For instance, if you want your reviews to increase sales leads, you should switch your focus from your main website to external review platforms. Why? On-site reviews are OK for nurturing leads. However, people who are unfamiliar with your company typically prefer to check with review sites, since they consider these to be less biased. After all, positive feedback for corporate sites can be hand picked, while review platforms show 1-star reviews, 5-star reviews, and anything in between. So if you want to have more control over your lead flow, take steps to manage your off-site reputation.

Rule # 1

Be specific

Don’t bother targeting massive review platforms like Trustpilot or PowerReviews. This is not where your leads go to learn more about providers. Choose the right platform for your industry. There are product review sources for pretty much any market sector, so find the right one for you.

Rule # 2

Be detailed

Once you find such a source, create a detailed profile that covers all your assets and features.

Rule # 3

Be cooperative

Specify that you require lengthy and descriptive reviews about your company. Better to play it safe than find yourself staring in horror at generic one-phrase 5-star comments on your page. Ask your subscribers to leave their reviews.

To generate more leads on review platforms, invite every new customer to visit your platform of choice and leave a review. You can compile a set of questions that would guide your subscribers and customers through writing their reviews:

  • How did you find this company?
  • What motivated you to choose this company?
  • What kind of assistance did you need?
  • How long did you cooperate with the company?
  • How much time did the company require to complete the task?
  • Were you satisfied with the solution provided by the company?
  • Which tools and resources did the company use to complete the task?
  • Which features of the company did you like the most?

But what if there are negative reviews? Accept them. You’re not immune to negative reviews. As the saying goes, “Stop trying to make everybody the same as you. You’re not tequila.”

Not everyone even likes tequila

Also, 100 percent of positive reviews without a single negative one is, believe it or not, a trust killer. It’s very easy to delete or hide negative reviews. So if your profile has zero negative reviews, users are more likely to think you’re not being entirely honest than see you as a credible brand. Your ability to work around negative responses matters as much as the number of positive reviews on your page. Do you reach out to dissatisfied reviewers and offer to sort things out? Do you address the issue on the spot, showing that you don’t run away from problems? Do you stay silent and ignore the problem? When it comes to finding leads, your approach matters. Your leads want to work with someone who is good at their job even when things get difficult. If you handle negative feedback with grace, it shows potential leads that you have enough strength and flexibility to turnaround any setback.

Generate sales leads through CTA

optimization

The basic principle of making an effective call-to-action through your website is fundamental for anyone wishing to get traffic. Bright colors, powerful verbs and right positioning — we all know this (hopefully). But how do you position your call-to-action (CTA) so it will generate even more leads?

It should be static

Currently, it’s not enough just to place a CTA on your website landing page. It is very easy for it to be too high for your visitors to see or too low to notice — nor should you replicate it all over the place and so often that it annoys visitors and drives them away. Logically, the best way to ensure your CTA is always visible and within clicking range is to not tie it to fixed spots within your page content, but to give it an independent pride-of-place up front.

It shouldn’t be obnoxious

The best way to generate leads with your CTA is to put it on a floating bar. The floating bar is the favored placeholder for site menus for good reason: it is always within sight, without becoming an eyesore. Can this work for a CTA? Of course! Your visitors will never lose sight of it when scrolling but won’t grow frustrated by it being in their way. A win-win solution.

Find sales leads with site traffic

Never let your high visitor stats fool you. The “How do I find Google leads?” issue takes a lot of research analysis. If 500 people visit your website daily, we know that doesn’t mean all of them will convert to customers. The same goes for Facebook ads or Google AdWords. Remember that not all users who click your ads are your targeted leads .

How to identify sales leads

You should be fully aware of the type of users that visit your website and know where they come from. Fortunately, there are many website tracking tools to help you with this. Some of them are free and some of them require subscriptions. Whatever you choose, a good tool must show you who is visiting your site and provide links to the sites your visitors came from. Pay extra attention to users coming from social media profiles, LinkedIn accounts and review platforms (if you followed tip #2 above).

Social media mentions

If your company has social media profiles, it has an extra lead generation channel that you can put to good use. While growing and maintaining Facebook and Instagram accounts has become a must for a wide range of enterprises, social media mentions keep slipping away from many brand names. So many companies don’t pay attention to their mentions in social media and respond to direct tags only. Those companies end up missing great opportunities.

Why is it bad?

First of all, internet recognition is not that easy to obtain, so it would be silly to ignore any opportunity to develop your brand awareness. Second, if users mention you on social media without tagging your brand name, there is a high chance they are contemplating a buying decision:

Has anyone used {Product X}. Your thoughts?

{Service A} or {Service B}: which is better?

Do you guys know if {Service B} works for my region?

While you take time and effort to warm up your leads and drive them through your pipeline, hundreds of potential customers are out there, wandering through Facebook and Twitter posts, waiting to be engaged.

So how do you find them?

  1. By hand. Enter your brand name in the search box on your social media network of choice and browse through the results. Thousands of posts and mentions appear regularly, so don’t forget to add monitoring to your schedule.
  2. With tools. You can use automatic tools to find, select, and compile mention-lists, saving you time. To double or even triple your lead flow from social media, you can go further and check your competitors’ mentions. If they’re not using this technique, they’re missing out on a golden opportunity — and giving you all the power. For instance, if there are negative reviews or complaints about your competitors’ product or service, why not step up and give a helping hand by offering an alternative? The users in need will appreciate it as much as you will appreciate your conversion growth.

Use presentations

Content marketing is a critical element of promotion and blogging is a major part of lead generation. However, modern content is about frequency and simplicity. Users don’t like long reads that are dull and overly detailed. At the same time they crave information and if it takes you too long to provide new content, they switch to other blogs. Of course, if they’re subscribed they may return, but are you willing to risk it?

So what choice do you have? Carve extra hours from your schedule to create several long posts every month? Post short and irrelevant posts to show that your blog is still alive? Post content rarely and risk losing readers. Luckily, there is another way.

Present your content well

Since users prefer to consume information in small bites rather than lengthy reads, you can create a bright new experience for them with an artful slide presentation.

How do presentations help to generate leads ?

  1. Lots of visuals
    You can add images, clips, animations and pretty much anything else to make your words dance attractively. If possible, develop a personal set of unique images and animations that will become your trademark and increase your visibility. A special touch like this is always a plus.
  2. Better shareability
    People share creative visual content more eagerly. An inspiring presentation will reach a wider range of readers in a short time.
  3. Higher readability
    It’s easier for your readers to go through your content slide-by-slide, rather than by scrolling down (or up and down, if they have to go back to re-read sections). It’s like looking at a comic book: everything is presented in a simple, straightforward way and it’s easy to memorize.
  4. Organic posting cycle
    Making a presentation can be quicker and simply more fun than just writing a blog post. Expect a significant boost to your productivity and creative ideas — you can’t have too many of those.

Are there any other ways to generate leads?

There are many ways to find and identify leads. In this guide we’ve shown you some of the most basic ways to generate sales interest for your business — ideas you can start trying right now. Selecting the best combination of techniques for generating sales leads will depend on your market, vertical and target audience, along with the detailed specifics of your business. Every solution involves crucial details. With our extensive B2B experience, we have seen this principle proven time and time again. Therefore, if you want to learn more, let us know! Your interest and initiative is what makes our knowledge valuable!

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