Defined as prospective customers who’ve expressed an interest in a product or service, leads play a key role in the success of countless businesses. Without them, businesses are forced to market their products and services to a general audience, most of whom probably aren’t interested in making a purchase. But how can businesses gather high-quality leads for their sales efforts?
#1) Cold Calling
Businesses can cold call prospective customers to gather high-quality leads. Statistics show that 69 percent of buyers have communicated with a sales rep by phone within the past 12 months. During a cold call, businesses can inquire about the prospective customer’s needs to create a more personalized and effective conversion strategy.
A form of inbound marketing, blogging offers a near-limitless source of high-quality leads. One report found that business-to-business (B2B) marketers who blog generate 67 percent more leads than their counterparts who don’t blog. A blog allows businesses to attract leads indirectly by sharing relevant content. As prospective customers come across a business’s blog posts, they may feel compelled to contact the business and inquire about its products or services.
#3) Email Marketing
Email is the most popular method of communication for businesses, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that it’s also effective for gathering leads. Businesses can set up a newsletter on their website, or they can harvest email addresses manually. After collecting a prospective customer’s email address, the business can reach out to him or her using this digital communication channel.
#4) Social Media
Even social media can yield new leads for businesses. Regardless of what a business produces and sells, its buyers probably use social media. By connecting with prospective customers on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, businesses can acquire more leads. For B2B companies, LinkedIn excels in its ability to reach prospective customers. According to Sprout Social, four in five of all B2B leads generated through social media marketing come from LinkedIn.
Failure to maintain a steady supply of leads is a recipe for disaster. Businesses may still generate a few sales when pitching their products or services to a broad audience, but leads can simplify and streamline a business’s sales efforts to give them an advantage over their competitors.