For professionals in the sales industry, lead generation is a constant challenge. In most cases, business growth depends on it. By finding new ways to locate and qualify sales leads, you can create a self-sustaining process that ensures future growth.
In the age of social media and slashed budgets, many sales professionals turn to free or low-cost methods of lead generation. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter might seem like an easy way to bring in new sales leads, but according to CIO online, the quality of those leads is not likely to be high.
Instead, take your sales strategy offline and find new sales leads in person. Head out to trade shows, conferences and other industry events that put you face-to-face with potential customers. By putting yourself in front of the customer, you automatically become more than a social media page or a website—you create a personal connection. In doing so, you automatically gain an edge on the competition; after all, professionals often prefer to work with people they know.
Generating high-quality sales leads takes more than just showing up at industry events. Choose strategically, targeting events that are likely to attract your ideal customers. Focus on your business goals. If you want to add more large-scale accounts, attend trade shows with exhibitors that are at least 25 percent larger than your current clients. If you want to be an expert in a certain industry sector, attend a niche conference. Make an effort to speak to as many people as possible, hand out your business card frequently, and hone your elevator pitch.
Or, if you prefer to use the latest advances in sales technology to find sales leads, take the opposite approach: Bid Data. With data analysis services, you can identify the companies and consumers that are most likely to be receptive to your message. The retail giant Target uses this type of approach—in fact, using its database of customer activity, it is able to predict when an individual customer is pregnant, even before she has made the news public.
While you may not have access to a Target-sized database, you can a sales industry service, such as Radius, which focuses on B2B sales and marketing. Radius allows subscribers access to a massive amount of data about small businesses around the country. Using its highly specific filters, you can generate sets of leads based on income, industry, location, Web presence and size. As a result, you can easily hone in on new territories and avoid annoying potential customers with repeat cold calls. Because the program enables you to divide results by time zone, you can improve call timing and schedule your work day efficiently. Major companies recognize the potential of Radius; according to The New York Times, businesses like American Express and BBVA Compass have provided venture backing.
By updating your approach to lead generation, you give your business the boost it needs. Whether you prefer a back-to-basics method or a high-tech method, the increase in sales leads can result in profitable, long-term growth.
(Photo courtesy of chaiwat / freedigitalphotos.net)