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A party isn’t a party if no one shows up, and your sales funnel isn’t a fun place to be if you don’t have any leads or prospects. 

In the same way you would carefully craft your guest list to throw the perfect party, you can hone your prospecting and lead generation skills to fill your sales team’s plate.

A lot of sales teams need help with lead volume. When you don’t have enough leads, you might see increased division and conflict between lead generation teams, marketing, and the rest of your company. 

Knowledge of lead generation tips or strategies is necessary for effective sales leaders.

From referral strategies to social media and prospecting to direct mail, check out my five top proven tactics to help jumpstart your lead flow.

How To Generate Sales Leads

Whether you use inbound or outbound sales strategies, you need to generate a steady flow of leads to thrive. Think of lead generation as attracting your dream clients to your business, facilitating their buyer journey, and ultimately making a sale.

Salespeople with a modern approach use insights to create value for their dream clients. Have you watched CNBC in the morning? If you pursue large clients or serve a particular industry vertical, you’d do well to do so. You’ll learn a lot and improve your business acumen.

By listening to leaders talk about their plans and their headwinds and tailwinds, you can identify the companies and industries you can help.

For example, since 2020, there’s been a chip shortage. Chips are a crucial element in manufacturing smartphones, cameras, and computers. One of my clients used to pay $4 for a chip. It now costs them $400.

If you had a way to replace that chip with a more cost-effective chip, you’d have all you need to generate leads and call the companies that need your chip.

Problem awareness and solution providing are crucial to getting customers to want to chat with you. Show them that you understand their challenges, and then communicate to them how your product can solve their issues.

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1. Referrals

Many companies focus solely on producing leads through marketing efforts. Yet your customers are your best marketers. Referral or word-of-mouth marketing is like gold dust for lead generation. Instead of needing to qualify leads, you have people referred leads more likely to become a customer.

Let’s use the chip example again. If one of your clients is solving their problem by purchasing your chip, they will likely tell their friends and other aligned businesses about you. If they tell five people about your cost-effective chip, how many will reach out to you or be happy to take your call?

Building a referral strategy and creating an incentive program for existing customers to refer new customers is a great way to develop leads that have a high conversion rate.

Here are some tips on creating a referral program:

  • Identify how many “happy customers” or customer advocates you have to determine your referral program’s potential.
  • Determine an incentive - is it a gift card, a few months for free, or an extension to their subscription? Find ways to make this compelling for customers.
  • How are you going to capture the leads? The easiest way is to send a form for them to fill out.

2. Social Media

Using social media to generate leads is a bonafide strategy if you do it right. People are used to scrolling social media and clicking links to take the next steps. From the swipe-up option on Instagram to Facebook bio links, consumers use social media to start their buyer journey or even make purchases.

From paid ads to organic posts, you can make use of social media in creative ways to attract leads

  • Share testimonials and case studies. Video, in particular, is popular on social media platforms.
  • Distribute content that entices your audience to fill out a form. This could be a research report or a quiz.
  • Leave comments on other users’ posts that relate to your product, company, or industry.

Capitalize on where your audience is. Where do your ideal clients hang out? For B2B customers, LinkedIn is usually the place to be. Use the platform to build trust and give away valuable content. Be mindful; social outreach works best as part of a larger outreach sequence.

You still want to use cold calling. But you can make introductions and connections through LinkedIn and bypass gatekeepers, enabling you to talk to decision-makers at companies you want to work with.

Pro tip: LinkedIn created Lead Gen Forms, which auto-populate with a user’s profile data when they click a CTA, making it easy to capture information.

3. Host a Webinar

Let’s look at some quick statistics

  • The average webinar conversion rate is 55%.
  • For B2B webinars, 73% of the attendees turn into leads.
  • Consumers say the most engaging webinars are presentations that teach them something specific.

There are many more statistics that point towards the same conclusion. Webinars are a great way to generate leads and, more importantly, create massive value for your ideal clients. They help position you as an authority. Even more so if you cohost with another thought leader in your industry.

RELATED READ: 3 Key Shifts Sales Leaders Are Making That Are Driving Massive Revenue Growth

You could demonstrate how your product works or walk participants through a free trial. People who go through the trouble of registering for and watching a webinar seek meaningful connections with a brand or in-depth information on a subject matter.

B2B sales companies underestimate how much they could reduce their cost-per-lead if they start teaching their clients something that would help them improve their results. They also don’t recognize how much you can position your company and the sales force.

Use webinars to attract your dream clients, educate them, and position your company as the solution to their problems.

4. Cold Calling

Many sales reps find cold calling frustrating. How many times do you want to be rejected in a day? Or have difficult conversations? You need to have a thick skin and discipline. But cold calling is also the best way to build relationships with decision-makers and demonstrate your value to prospects.

Using a script is a good idea! You don’t want to sound scripted, but you want to have the right language instead of winging it. Sales scripts give you confidence. But be ready to hear no, a lot.

A human being promising value and asking for time is different from sending an email. Emails often don’t get read or even opened! People are already overwhelmed with emails, and clicking delete is easy. But when you hear a human voice on the phone, it’s a different story.

Within thirty seconds, however, people will hang up if you haven’t created value or shown respect for their time. Here are some questions you can ask before making cold calls.

  • Do I have a professional script?
  • Do I have scripts for the potential objections I might receive?
  • Does my script immediately make me different in the mind of my prospective customer?
  • Who do I have to be to stand out from the crowd?
  • How could I make a cold call a valuable use of my prospect’s time?

Your goal is an appointment. Answer any question with your goal in mind. If you answer questions without leading the conversation toward an appointment, you’re arming dream clients with the ammunition to say no. Be confident enough to push.

How To Generate Sales Leads: The Simple Way 

Combining creative marketing with outbound prospecting strategies is the best way to jumpstart your lead flow and keep your sales team busy.

Relying solely on marketing-generated leads will leave your team waiting around and wondering when their next call will be. It’s essential to find a balance between inbound and outbound lead generation.

Cold-calling is not dead. It’s just more challenging and uncomfortable. Get better at it. You owe it to your clients.

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Post by Anthony Iannarino on March 1, 2023

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.

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