Generating sales leads is a core element of any sales process.
But with so many ways to attract B2C and B2B sales leads, how do you know where to focus your efforts?
In this article, I’ll explain what a sales lead is and walk you through seven no-nonsense tips that can help you generate new sales leads. Additionally, I’ll answer five FAQs related to sales leads to clear up any doubts you may have.
This Article Contains:
(Click on a link to jump to the specific section.)
- What is a Sales Lead?
- 7 No-nonsense Tips to Generate Sales Leads Effectively
- Optimize Your Social Media to Attract Potential Buyers
- Ask Your Current Customers for Referrals
- Revisit a Lost Connection
- Enhance Your Website’s Landing Pages
- Create a Blog to Boost Visibility in Search Engines
- Guest Post on Other Websites and Blogs
- Send Automated Email Newsletters to Build Relationships
- 5 FAQs about Sales Leads
Let’s get started.
What is a Sales Lead?
A sales lead is an individual or business that could eventually become a customer.
Finding sales leads is often the first step in your sales process, and it can be hard work.
Effective lead generation involves having your B2C or B2B marketer try out different strategies and channels, like:
- Content marketing
- Ads on Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn
- Organic social media marketing
- Referral programs
- Product trials, and more
And while these channels and strategies may help you with lead generation, not every new lead will become a sales prospect.
In any case, before your sales rep can start qualifying a new lead, you’ll first need to attract leads. And this step is one of the major challenges for your marketing department.
To help you, I’ll cover some tips you can implement to generate high-quality leads:
7 No-Nonsense Tips to Generate Sales Leads Effectively
Irrespective of whether your marketing team adopts an inbound or outbound lead generation approach, generating a high-quality B2C or B2B sales lead can still be very challenging.
Generating quality leads is an integral part of your marketing strategy. Consider following these seven tips to find the right sales leads for your business and increase sales:
Tip #1. Optimize Your Social Media to Attract Potential Buyers
Social media can be an effective channel for generating leads.
One reason for this is that gathering inbound leads on social media is much simpler than on many other marketing channels. Additionally, social media provides the opportunity for your sales representative to keep in touch with a potential buyer in a less invasive way. This makes it effective for lead nurturing.
But as effective as social media platforms can be at generating leads, there are still some things you’ll need to keep in mind.
Let’s look at how you can use social media to generate more sales leads:
How to leverage social media for sales lead generation
A major part of social media marketing is ensuring that your social profiles are up to date.
To start, have your salesperson focus on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for a salesperson to engage in B2B lead generation. As many as 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn as a source for making informed purchase decisions.
Another point that may be helpful in social media optimization is including email subscription links in your social media profiles. If you include a signup form on your business’ Facebook page, for example, it can result in more potential customers joining your mailing list.
Tip #2. Ask Your Current Customers for Referrals
A referral collection strategy can be very effective at generating sales leads and filling up your sales pipeline.
When a customer makes a purchase based on a referral, they’re more likely to tell others if they’ve had a good experience. In fact, referral marketing is hugely effective at lead generation, offering 3-5x higher referral rates than any other channel.
And while a referral program can help you identify a sales-ready lead, you’ll need to be very strategic about how you ask for referrals from existing customers.
How to ask your customers for referrals
While implementing a referral strategy is great for finding new customers, it’s easier said than done.
There are several reasons for this.
The most common is that your customers simply don’t know about your referral program. Another issue could be that your referral program is hard to use. Remember, people don’t want to jump through hoops to do your business a favor.
With that in mind, here are a few steps to help you create a strong referral collection strategy:
1. Identify which of your existing customers could refer you to another potential customer. You want to reach out to the customers who can provide the best quality referrals. And your sales manager should be able to identify some of your happiest clients. This is always a good place to start.
Beyond asking the sales manager, your CRM should hold valuable data about where to look for potential new leads. Alternatively, consider using a simple Net Promoter Score (NPS) to identify your best advocates.
NPS is a customer loyalty metric measuring how happy a customer is with your product or service. A marketer can use an NPS to help pinpoint your most satisfied customers and turn customer feedback into rich data for sourcing referrals.
2. Now, it’s time to approach your current clients and ask them for an introduction to a potential client. When you reach out to existing clients, let them know you have a favor to ask and set aside some time for a discussion.
3. As you talk to an existing customer, inform them that good referrals usually come from your best customers before asking them if they have any referrals in mind.
4. Preferably ask your customer to make an introduction with the referral. This is especially important in B2B scenarios. An email introduction will dramatically increase your chances of getting a conversion.
5. If your customer only gives you the referral’s contact information like their phone number, reach out to them ASAP. It may take a couple of follow-ups before you get a response.
And if there’s still no response, revisit the referral in 6-9 months.
6. Once you’ve connected with a referral, it’s always a good idea to thank the client you consulted. It encourages them to do it again in the future.
Tip #3. Revisit a Lost Connection
A lost or closed connection is someone who you’ve already tried to contact.
They may have seen a product demo, but it just wasn’t the right time for them to buy. While the connection may not have been in a position to buy then, it’s worth touching base again every six months. Making contact with a closed connection can be a valuable sales opportunity.
How to revisit a lost connection
Begin by asking them if their priorities have changed, if their business or team goals have adjusted, and what their current challenges are.
Remember, a sales opportunity may arise at any time. For example, the decision-maker might have switched jobs or now has the budget to implement your solution.
It’s worth investing your marketing efforts into these prospects since they can be considered warm leads, meaning they’re a more qualified lead than most newer consumer leads. These contacts have a greater chance of becoming customers while requiring less time and effort on the part of your sales reps.
Consider adding them to appropriate email marketing drips, sending them relevant content, and keeping your communication with them personalized.
Even if it doesn’t work the first or second time, you may strike it lucky on the fourth or fifth follow-up. While persistence is important, you mustn’t annoy the B2C or B2B lead. If you still haven’t heard anything after four or five follow-ups, come back to them in a few months.
By ensuring you remain at the top of their mind, you’ll increase the chances of them reaching out to your salespeople.
Tip #4. Optimize Your Website’s Landing Pages
A landing page is a page on your website that people land on from an ad, a social media link, or another page or article on your site. The objective of a landing page is to convert a visitor into a lead by asking them to sign up for a trial, a newsletter, an inquiry, or something similar.
To attract inbound leads, ensure that your landing page meets your leads’ expectations. This is crucial to your success.
How to leverage the power of your landing pages
By including a form, offer, or trial coupled with a call to action on your landing page, you can increase the number of sales leads you generate.
Additionally, consider adding customer testimonials to your marketing campaign. Adding some recommendations from existing customers to your landing pages can be extremely beneficial.
Customer testimonials serve as social proof, which is a compelling means of generating more B2C or B2B sales leads. This goes far in helping people make a decision and feel better about that decision.
Tip #5. Create a Blog to Boost Visibility on Search Engines
Creating a blog will not only help in building a solid reputation, but you’ll also benefit from long-term SEO gains, effectively enhancing your lead generation.
How to create a successful blog
- The first step to creating a successful blog is choosing your blogging platform. While there are tons of CMS options available, most companies use WordPress.
- Now it’s time to think about your blog topic. To stand out and generate leads, you want to answer valuable questions that your buyer persona asks so that they find your articles on Google.
- Ensure your blog provides value. It must answer your readers’ questions; otherwise, they won’t have much reason to read your content.
- Track analytics to see how your blogs are doing. By knowing how your readers are finding you, you can tailor your posts to their needs and make the best use of external sources.
While blogs won’t create overnight results, you’ll reap the benefits with time and SEO implementation. This will help build a following of readers who may eventually become leads.
Tip #6. Guest Post on Other Websites and Blogs
Guest posting on other websites and blogs that cater to your target audience is a great way to cultivate brand awareness and spread your message to new business leads.
How to make the best of guest posts
To make the most of your guest posting, position yourself as an expert in your field. It’s essential to present yourself with authority so that readers give weight to your words. Distribute high-quality content through several channels, and you’ll have more opportunities to showcase your expertise.
This can be useful in educating your B2C or B2B lead and building trust with them. Moreover, as business leads become familiar with your content, your brand recognition improves, which can help shorten your sales cycle.
Tip #7. Send Automated Email Newsletters to Build Relationships
Gone are the days of direct mail. Today, email marketing is far more time and cost-effective, and one of the best ways to leverage the power of email is through newsletters.
There are lots of reasons why you should consider sending out email newsletters to your clients. They help your company name stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds, offer the chance to promote a new sales opportunity, and can be powerful conversion tools.
But when sending newsletters, remember to be creative with your email copy.
One characteristic of every successful newsletter is that it aims to educate rather than sell. I also recommend adopting a straightforward design with a more informal tone to help lower the barrier between you and your audience.
For example, I send out a Cold Email Insights newsletter to all my subscribers with pointers on what they need to do to optimize their outreach efforts. It’s useful as many of them send out cold emails, and it’s relevant to the tool they’re using.
How to put your newsletters to good use
To ensure your newsletter is having the desired impact, consider the following pointers:
- Choose your focus. Understanding who your readers are is crucial to understand what matters to them.
- Keep it brief and straightforward. People are busy; they don’t want to spend tons of time reading a lengthy newsletter.
- Consider incorporating third-party content. Including content from thought leaders in your industry is an excellent way to align your brand with industry experts.
- Send your newsletter regularly, but keep it fresh. You don’t want to repeat information from your social media profiles or blog, as your readers will lose interest. Instead, your newsletter should give your audience something they can’t find in your other channels.
However, creating a newsletter is just one step of the process.
You also need an easy way to send it out.
GMass is a robust email outreach and marketing automation tool that’s perfect for managing your email sequences.
It’s a fantastic tool used by employees in tech giants like Google and Uber and social media companies like LinkedIn and Twitter. However, the tool is also ideal for startups, individual sales professionals, small business owners, solopreneurs, and more.
What’s more, GMass works entirely inside Gmail, so there’s no need to worry about getting familiarized with a completely new tool.
With GMass, you can:
- Send automated follow-ups based on specific recipient behavior, such as no reply or didn’t open. Additionally, you can adjust the time delay between follow-up emails.
- Automatically personalize your B2C or B2B sales emails at scale, including attachments, links, and even paragraphs.
- Track your emails’ deliverability and engagement with essential metrics through detailed analytical reports.
- Exceed Gmail’s daily sending limits to ensure each of your potential sales leads receives your emails.
- Schedule your emails ahead of time to ensure that they arrive in your recipient’s inbox at just the right time.
- Send drip campaigns to engage with your recipients regularly.
All you need to do is download the Chrome extension and sign up for free using your Gmail account.
Now that you know how to effectively sales leads, I’ll go over some FAQs related to sales leads to clear up any confusion you may have:
5 FAQs about Sales Leads
Here are answers to the five most commonly asked questions related to sales leads:
1. How Does a Lead Differ from a Prospect?
A lead is any individual or business you’ve found who may or may not be a good fit for your offering.
A prospect, on the other hand, is someone who’s qualified as an ideal customer and would likely consider making a purchase.
Qualification is a process you use to check whether a lead can genuinely benefit from your product or service and if they’d make a good fit for your business.
Once lead qualification is done, you’ll generally have two types of leads:
- Marketing Qualified Lead
- Sales Qualified Lead
2. What is a Marketing Qualified Lead?
Marketing qualified leads (MQL) are marketing leads who have shown some form of interest in your offerings. For example, they might regularly visit your blog, fill out an online form, sign up for your newsletter, or so on.
And for each activity your MQL undertakes, you can assign them a respective lead score.
3. What is a Sales Qualified Lead?
A sales qualified lead (SQL) is someone further down your sales pipeline who has indicated an immediate interest in purchasing. Your sales rep can reach out to this hot lead and try to convince them to buy your solution.
And it’s at this point that a qualified sales lead becomes a sales prospect.
4. What Qualifies a Lead for Sales Outreach?
There are a few ways to determine whether your qualified sales lead is ready to talk to your sales team.
It might have to do with the type of lead generation tactic you use to determine who becomes a qualified prospect — like chatbot conversations or gated content such as white papers.
Alternatively, your sales development rep (SDR) may reach out directly and ask the prospect a few questions before qualifying them — this can be regarding the nature of the lead’s problem, their budget, their timeline, and so on.
5. What Are Inbound and Outbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing aims to generate new sales leads by creating and sharing personalized and helpful content.
- Case studies
- Infographics, and more
This approach tends to be favored by consumers over the more traditional marketing approaches since it focuses on helping prospects overcome their challenges.
On the other hand, outbound marketing is a traditional marketing approach whereby the marketer reaches out to a potential customer to see if they’re interested in a product or service. It looks to gain new sales leads through tactics like attending events, trade shows, billboard ads, cold calling, and door-to-door operations.
It’s important to understand that generating high-quality B2C or B2B sales leads takes time.
But by making improvements to your social media profiles, creating value-adding blog posts, and leveraging the other tips in this guide, you’re well on your way to generating more numbers of B2C or B2B sales leads.
For example, you can easily improve your sales leads generation process with GMass.
GMass’ powerful features can boost your inbound marketing strategy with tailored emails containing helpful information.
So why not try GMass today and take your sales leads generation efforts to the next level?