Generating sales leads is one of the most critical aspects of every company’s marketing and sales process. This is because finding promising leads and thereafter converting them into loyal customers is an important part of any company’s workflows, ensuring that their business continues successfully.
Therefore if you are interested in knowing the sales lead definition with examples and how they factor into the sales process, primarily you need to know what they are and how businesses find them from the marketplace.
So let us look over here at different types of sales leads and after that discuss some of the effective lead generation methods which can bring more sales revenue to your business and, consequently, profits within a very short time.
What are sales leads?
A sales lead is an individual or company that has the potential to become a paying customer.
Therefore leads are prospects at the earliest stages of becoming a loyal customer.
In fact, leads are people or organizations that have expressed interest in the offerings of a brand by undertaking some sort of action, which can be clicking on a link or filling out a form.
Hence to turn a lead into a customer, businesses must first contact the lead and then provide information and data about their products or services to close the sale.
There are in general three types of leads which most of us have learned in our business growth training that includes:
A cold lead is an organization or an individual who practically knows nothing about your brand or your offerings.
It can always be that a cold lead may not have shown any specific curiosity or interest in your offerings yet- but still, they could be a perfect fit as your consumer.
Hence in order to appeal to the cold leads, the members of your sales team must remain extra careful not to overwhelm them with information, but rather present a concise introduction of your brand and your business and provide them a low-risk opportunity to interact with your offerings.
There are several businesses that purchase cold leads using professional lead generation services from the marketplace that meet geographical and demographical criteria and thereafter exert considerable efforts to persuade the lead to become their customers.
These leads are the entities that have demonstrated some interest in a company’s offerings but have not yet expressed any desire to make a purchase.
Now warm leads that you have in your easy to use CRM software’s database, might respond to a brand’s social media post or have filled out a form to receive more information about a certain offering that your company sells in the marketplace.
Warm leads can also be those who are interested in a company’s brand or mission but have not made any commitment to support the company monetarily or people who have contacted the company in the past or have responded to the company’s general marketing efforts and so have the potential to become customers with a relatively small amount of effort.
Finally, the hot leads (the most sought-after leads for any business) are individuals or companies who have expressed a positive desire to purchase a certain offering that you sell in the marketplace.
Now hot leads, in general, are well-informed on the product and services sold by your company, they are also agreeable to the price.
Hot leads are mostly consumers who have received a recommendation for your brand, conducted in-depth independent research, and have decided to purchase on their own.
There might be also hot leads in your sales CRM software’s database that might have originally been cold or warm leads that were effectively converted by the sales and marketing teams.
For the hot leads mostly the only effort required by the company is closing the sale and completing the transaction.
Where can you find new leads?
Now that you know the sales lead definition with examples here are several effective and time-tested methods that businesses use to find and generate leads.
Therefore as one of the best vendors of CRM for small and medium business and startups, here are some of the best lead generation practices for SMBs.
The most basic tool that any business need for lead generation is a website that effectively features your company’s mission, vision, pricing, and offerings.
Actually, websites are landing pages to which all other lead generation tools and methods are redirected.
Now the website of your company should present your brand’s offerings in a way that must appeal to a wide range of customers.
Most importantly the website should also request the visitors to input their contact information as soon as they arrive at the home page.
There are several methods you can attract visitors to your website which includes email marketing or ensure that your website appears in the search engine results by using effective SEO techniques that can make your brand show up on the first page.
The technique used for website lead generation, in general, takes the form of a pop-up that greets the visitor and asks them to type their email address into a field after which once the company receives the visitor’s email address they send the visitor a series of follow-up emails that contains more detailed information about their offerings and also invite the lead to contact customer support if they have any other questions on their mind.
2. Social Media
Another most effective tool that is used nowadays for the generation of leads is social media platforms.
This is because, creating a company profile for services like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide opportunities to businesses for promoting their brand and offerings to millions of users on the internet.
However, to generate leads using social media platforms, you need to post contents that are relevant to your brand on a regular basis and thereafter invite viewers to interact with your company.
You can share polls, quizzes, contests, and giveaways on your social media platforms that can, not only keep your followers engaged but also set your brand apart from other competitors in the marketplace.
Now the ultimate goal of all social media activities will be to direct your brand’s followers to your business website or any other landing page where they can purchase your offerings.
As a leading vendor of Salesforce Alternative CRM tools, we have found that promotions like online discounts, free trials, or free of cost shipping and installation can help to persuade leads found in social media to be a customer.
3. Customer Referral System
Finally one of the other effective types of lead generation is a customer referral system, whereby companies provide incentives to their existing customers to refer their brand to their family, coworkers, friends, and relatives.
Now, this is a highly effective and beneficial lead generation tactic since over here the potential leads are more likely to trust a recommendation from their known ones and so these leads are mostly “hot leads” which are low hanging fruits that are easy to close and so are cherished by most companies.
Even though there are many other ways to find leads for your businesses, nevertheless these three tried and tested methods have bought revenue for most B2B and B2C companies.
However, it must be remembered that any lead generation strategy needs patience and time and also a whole lot of A/B testing to get to a situation where it puts your brand to find more leads.
So be wise with your marketing efforts and do not be lured by shady lead generation techniques that promise to find your business excellent leads from the marketplace.