The sale always begins with a sales lead. Looking for more sales leads is a critical component of any sales professional's job. Without sales leads, you have no new potential customers to market your product or service to. Following are 10 ways to source great sales leads, to help you start your sales process off right:
- Purchase sales leads. This is one of the easiest, yet most expensive methods of generating great sales leads. There are numerous companies out there, such as Hoovers.com, that have contact information for tens of millions of businesses. If necessary, you can work with these companies' research teams to order lists specifically tailored to your organization's sales needs.
- Trade association members. If you'd like to target people who work within a certain industry, seek out members of trade associations. Some associations forbid companies from using their member lists for phone or e-mail solicitations, but are not opposed to direct mailers.
- Corporate websites. Many corporate websites include an employee list, sometimes even with direct phone numbers and e-mail addresses, as well as employee titles.
- Let your fingers do the walking. Although your yellow pages may be of the virtual nature now, searching telephone directories for sales leads has been a tried and true lead generation method for decades.
- News articles. Local news articles, especially business journals, will not only have details about the goings on in your area, but also often mention people involved in these newsworthy business pursuits.
- Use pay-per-click advertising. Generate great sales leads by using pay-per-click advertising. Select keywords to connect your ad to, to ensure you have qualified leads that are truly interested in your product or service.
- Get referrals. Motivate your current customers to help you generate sales leads. Incentives, such as a gift or reward for their referrals, can encourage your customers to do some of the work for you.
- Use free samples. Offer free samples for new customers. Then use the contact information for these samples as your new leads.
- Use social media. Social media is a powerful emerging tool. Use social media websites, such as Twitter and Facebook, to gain new followers that you can then use as sales leads.
- Partner with another company. Find a complementary company and share sales leads with your new partner. Provide a special offer from your partner to your own database of leads and ask your partner to do the same for you.
As a co-founder of transcription services company AudioTranscription.Org, Randall Davidson knows the value of a good sales lead. His company offers a range of transcription services. Many salespeople utilize AudioTranscription.Org's business transcription services in order to save time and avoid tedious work.