Before you can get to the meat of the sales process (the meetings), you need to be able to find people to sell to. Finding sales leads is the first step, followed by turning the leads into prospects. What’s the difference? According to Dan Tyre, writing for HubSpot, “The difference between a lead and a prospect comes down to one thing: qualification… a prospect is simply a lead that is ready to speak with a salesperson.” SalesFuel has covered how to find sales leads online in a few previous blogs. But let’s start at the beginning this time, shall we?
According to Tyre, here's how to find sales leads online:
- Consult Your Current Clients
- Try Old Leads Again
- Optimize Your Social Media Profiles
- Write Blogs
- Make Some Guest Posts
- Lead Webinars
5 Tips for Finding Sales Leads Online
Consult Your Current Clients
There are many benefits to retaining your current customers. Aside from the most obvious (steady income), another perk is that they can aid you in finding sales leads. Identify the clients who you feel are the happiest with your service or that you are personally closest to. Then, reach out and ask them for a quick call when you will thank them for their business and ask if there is anything they need from you.
After you have offered this to them, ask for something in return: leads. “Ask if there are any other contacts or companies she can think of that would be interested in the same level of service,” says Tyre. “Get the name, phone number, and email of the contact, and why your client thinks it is a good fit.” You should also ask if the client would be willing to introduce you to the lead. And don’t forget to thank the client for their help!
Try Old Leads Again
Hopefully you’ve kept a record of your old leads and why they didn’t work out because this is also how to find sales leads online! The leads you’ve reached out to in the past who said that now wasn’t a good time to buy may be back in the market. Reach out and ask about their company’s current priorities and goals. If you can help, you’re in.
Going forward, so that you don’t have to keep consulting a list, “Invest in marketing to these prospects,” says Tyre. “They're already more qualified than new, warm leads. Enroll them in appropriate marketing email drips, send them relevant blog posts, and keep communication personalized. It might not be the right moment the first or third time you follow up, but it could work in your favor the fifth.” Staying top-of-mind with old leads is the perfect way to get them to come to you in the future when they have a need you can fulfill.
Optimize Your Social Media Profiles
Everyone is on social media nowadays. It’s perfect for personal needs like keeping in contact with faraway friends and business tasks such as finding sales leads. Keep your business social profiles up to date with who you are, what you do, and who you serve. And when you make posts, add relevant hashtags so that you’ll be more likely to pop up in the sales leads' searches. You can also offer free demos and consultations to pique a lead’s interest in learning more about your product or service.
It worked for us, didn’t it? Here you are reading our blog posts (thank you so much!) and maybe if you enjoy the content, you’ll take a peek at the rest of our website. By posting blogs on your company website, “you’ll benefit from long-term SEO gains,” says Tyre. “A blog content strategy won’t bring you a ton of leads overnight, but over time, you’ll find a sweet spot of keywords and off-page promotion strategies that will help you build a loyal following of readers who may eventually become leads.” Your content will also help establish you and your company as an authority in your industry while offering tips and tricks to readers for free.
Write Guest Posts
The more places you pop up online, the easier finding sales leads will be. Once you’ve established your own blog, reach out to your business partners and see if they’d like to collaborate with you. You can both make guest posts on each other’s blogs to increase both companies’ visibility online. Additionally, offering to author guest posts on other websites and blogs can be a solid start to new business partnerships.
Maybe one of the potential business partners you reach out to doesn’t have a blog you can guest post on. That’s okay. Maybe they do webinars. The pandemic has cause the popularity of webinars to increase, making them a hotspot for how to find sales leads online. Offer to contribute in their next webinar about subjects that you’re an expert in. Or lead your own company’s webinars! “Hosting a webinar or online workshop sharing your expertise on a relevant topic is a great way to generate leads online,” says Tyre. “By sharing your knowledge on a relevant topic in an intimate format such as video, you are building trust with leads quickly.”
Photo: Humphrey Muleba