One of the job functions of the marketing team is to supply the sales force with leads and prospects. Marketing is able to accomplish this using a variety of techniques, but the most popular method of the past decade has been through inbound efforts. Creating a sales and marketing funnel have become the preferred method of marketing efforts because the funnel offers an automated method to generate quality leads.
However, many salespeople are on their own when it comes to lead generation. There are a lot of companies out there who operate without a marketing department. In these scenarios, it’s entirely up to the sales representatives to prospect and generate their own leads.
If you are in this situation, here are the best ways you can generate your own leads.
Use social media
In the past 15 years, social media has undergone a transformation from a novelty that only teenagers used to a worldwide cultural phenomenon. Between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Instagram, social media is how people get most of their information. If you want to reach a large number of people with little-to-no cost, use a social media platform to advertise. Depending on your niche, $10 spent on Facebook advertising could result in 1,000+ individuals who see your message. That’s a great return and can be extremely useful when developing your sales funnel.
Ask for referrals from current customers
Referrals are one of the best ways to generate new leads. If a current customer is satisfied with your work, there is a high chance they will tell others about it. It never hurts to ask for referrals as well to get the process going. Many companies out there have referral programs that incentivize people to refer others. If you can get a program like this in place, you will be generating high-quality leads with a high propensity to buy.
Ask your personal network
In a similar manner as asking for referrals, you can also ping your personal network for help generating interested prospects. If asked respectfully, friends and family can be a fantastic source for high-quality leads.
Revisit those who said “no”
Sales is all about timing. If you have already tried to pitch to someone but they said “no”, don’t write them off as a lost cause and forget about them. These individuals know about you and your company already, but it may have just not been the right time to buy. Revisit those who turned you down at least twice per year. It might not work on the second or third attempt, but the fourth attempt could be the perfect timing for the prospect.
Attend an event
Attending a networking event, such as a conference or an expo, is an exceptional way to talk with individuals who are genuinely interested in your industry or your product/services. This allows you the rare opportunity to talk with folks in a face-to-face setting, which is a huge bonus when prospecting for new leads. Attend as many events as possible to broaden your scope of influence over the industry.
Email is a tried-and-true method of lead generation that’s as old as email itself. When emailing potential leads or prospects, you have to create an email that’s exciting and eye-catching. Generic emails will usually be deleted before they are even read, so make sure your title and content are worth opening. A good rule of thumb – if you were to receive the email you are about to send, would you honestly open and read it? If the answer is no, keep editing until you would honestly open it.
While cold calling is one of the most labor-intensive methods to generate leads, it does give you the opportunity to actually talk to people. Remember, if your purpose here is to generate leads, you don’t have to actually try to close the prospect on the phone. Simply generating interest and attempting to set up an appointment for a later discussion is sufficient enough here.
Write blog posts
If you look closely, there are a lot of companies with blog sections to their website. Blogs are a great way to drive organic search traffic on the internet. People who read your content will ideally be looking around your website at the same time. Strategically placing links and other information about your product/service/brand can influence the prospect to call or email for more information. Guest blogs, LinkedIn blogs, or even creating your own blog are the best ways to accomplish this.
If you are a salesperson who is responsible for generating your own leads, using the above methods will greatly help you identify those opportunities. Lead generation can be difficult at times, but using a strategic plan will make the process much easier.
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Author: Jason Karaman
Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com