10 Places Salespeople Can Find New Hot Leads
More than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. They have to constantly be on the lookout for more potential buyers/leads for the growth of the company and its revenue.
However complex it might be, prospecting can neither be ignored nor taken lightly. But that doesn’t mean you cannot find an easy way through it.
Compiling a list of the places from where you can always source prospects, can benefit you a lot in the long run because you aren’t left wondering about where to start from.
Let’s look at 10 prospect-rich places to add to your list.
LinkedIn is a treasure house for B2B prospecting – 80 percent of B2B leads generated through social media are through LinkedIn. Establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry groups. Join networks and circles to add value to their conversations.
Never, I repeat, NEVER directly sell to the people on LinkedIn. Get to know the companies and decision-makers in these groups and keep them on your radar. Try to fit them into your ideal buyer persona to segregate leads. When you have a handful of leads, follow the organizations so that it can keep you updated about their recent activity. Once you find the right opportunity, customize the message, and hit send.
39% of marketers have generated leads through Facebook and 30% through Twitter. Using Twitter for prospecting is like spying on the villains – track every move and see what they’re up to. List out the important industry-related keywords and look them up.
Find out who is talking about those things; it may be a piece of advice, a rant, or anything related to it. Join the conversation, voice your opinions clearly, and add value to the topic. This way you will be able to generate prospects and once you have a few, make a list and try to know them inside out. Follow other people who can give you an insight into these leads or new firms in your industry.
Quora is the OG of business prospecting. Follow channels and streams that are relevant to your company and industry, follow other salespeople and your clients to know what they’re doing on the platform. Search for your industry-related questions, and make sure you reflect the expertise in your answer.
On Quora, credibility matters a lot. Make sure you connect your Facebook or Twitter accounts along with your organization’s website on your profile. Don’t spam or repeat your points everywhere; it can make you appear desperate. If you have something to share, do it sparingly, but in a professional manner. Gradually, you will be able to build a network and churn out hot prospects from your networking skills.
4. Job Boards
Job listings are the answers to ‘What does my prospect need?’. When you notice that a company has listed a vacancy for a job, it means that they need an expert for the desired department. If your offerings are from the same department, it can be the greatest opportunity for you to seal the deal.
It often happens that when a new job role is created, products and services relating to it are also required. So when a firm is hiring a senior-level official or an executive who is relevant to your product, it would be wise to know when the vacancy is filled and then pitch to the new position holder. Keep an eye on major job boards like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, and have a KDM in your favor.
5. Local Chamber of Commerce Website
Yes, you heard that right – the Local Chamber of Commerce Website. The name might not be fancy, neither is the website, but it is one of the most effective places to find your prospects. The website will have a whole directory of local businesses in your area.
Different local chamber websites organize their directories according to various categories, so if you know your ideal buyer persona inside out, navigation through this website and picking up prospects will not be a difficult job. You can then filter companies that you think will benefit from your services better, and let your lead nurturing team take up from there.
6. HubSpot CRM
Sourcing prospects directly from your CRM is one of the most effective places for prospecting. HubSpot CRM tool offers you just that.
All you have to do is go on to their CRM and filter the database according to the country, industry, and employee count. This means you will already have an idea of the size of the company. You can then follow up with research on other platforms like their websites and LinkedIn to determine whether the company is an ideal match or not.
7. Business Journals
Business journals are a great way of keeping up with local business events in your area. They are also a source of news for recent happenings in companies and all the work that they are doing. It brings to your attention any new enterprises that may have stepped into your targeted industries and conferences that might be an opportunity for you to grow.
Also, keep an eye on the relevant trigger events that can be used as a reference in your first email to make a good impression. Business journals might not be as good as LinkedIn or other alternatives enlisted in this think-piece, but they are sure to keep you up to date with the community and can be beneficial in prospecting if used properly.
8. Industry Blogs and Forums
There is an overwhelming flow of business content on the internet and it’s only increasing by the day. If you’re prospecting, subscribing, or following leading industry blogs, it gives you a good chance at putting more high-quality leads on your list.
The blogs and forums regularly post about new developments in the industry, case studies of companies that are doing well, and also lessons to learn from their success. Keeping pace with them won’t serve your prospects on a platter, but will definitely point you in a particular direction. You can do the Math, do your research, interact with people and you are sure to come back with a handful of hot leads.
CrunchBase is a platform similar to LinkedIn but focuses more on the financial aspect of the companies. It keeps you up to date with information on funding and technological events. The site usually deals with public companies, so if you’re a private player, you can skip to the next option.
When on CrunchBase, you can easily find out the recent developments on companies’ funding – money approved means money (needing to be) spent. Check which of these fit your criteria and would be ideal buyers. Narrow down the list based on other criteria, start a conversation and you’ve got your prospects.
10. Referral Sources
Referrals work better than most of your other marketing hacks when it comes to lead generation, in fact, 84% of B2B buyers are now starting the purchasing process with a referral. All you have to do is develop a referral source. You can create a program, where you provide incentives for every lead brought in. People joining the program will automatically become agents for your organization.
Create an easy to use the platform, where agents can send in leads and prepare your sales team to follow up on them quickly. Send your agents sharable content every month to maintain the flow. Another alternative is to collaborate with another brand and put up a promotional offer. It can be a company that targets the same audience as you but is not your competitor.
Prospecting is not something that can be done overnight, especially with B2B companies. You want to be a problem solver for an enterprise, not just a salesperson. To establish that kind of authority and trust will take time.
Constant engaging and interacting with people will build a rapport and pitching will be more effective. What makes it easier is these networking sites give you access to lots of prospects who are waiting to be approached. 65% of salespeople who use social selling fill their pipeline, compared to 47% of reps who do not. If you can get your communication skills on point, nothing is stopping you from converting them into valuable consumers.
However, if you still feel you are unable to ace the game of prospecting, there’s no harm in seeking professional advice from expert B2B sales and marketing consulting firms. They can help you customize your prospecting efforts depending on your targeted industry.
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