The average American spends roughly $61,000 every year on goods and services. How they select which goods and services to purchase comes down to product awareness.
It’s no secret that the two forces that drive product awareness are marketing and sales, the latter of which we’re going to be talking about in this post.
If you run any business or a dedicated sales team, your ability to find customers, make them aware of your product, and get them to commit to buying is driven by the number of leads you have. But what are leads in sales?
That question might seem rudimentary to some. Believe us when we say, though, that plenty of salespeople have mixed definitions of what constitutes a lead, their importance, and how to get them.
Keep reading as we clear up that confusion in the simple guide below!
Before we get into how important a lead is or how you can start raking them in, let’s start by answering our big question, “What are leads in sales and business?”
A lead is a potential customer you’ve identified that you can target with your products and services. This customer is a prospect that may be warm (someone you already know has some interest in what you’re selling) or cold (someone that has low product awareness).
Why Are Leads Important?
After reading the definition of a lead, it may be obvious to you why they’re integral to your sales process. Put simply, you can’t sell if you have nobody to sell to.
Therein lies the importance of keeping a steady flow of leads handy so every day your sales team comes into the office, they have a full day of prospects they can engage and potentially convert into customers.
How Can You Start Collecting Leads?
Putting a definition to what leads are and stating their importance is easy. Getting leads is much harder.
Whole books have been written on the topic of lead generation. While we won’t go as in-depth on aggregation tactics as some of those novels do, we will share with you what we feel are the most effective ways to start finding and engaging customers.
Buy Your Leads
Any time you opt into a service online, a credit card, or do just about anything else, the owner of the service you joined might sell your information to lead brokers. These brokers then put similar individuals together in packages and sell them to companies to engage for sales purposes.
As sleazy as that may sound, it certainly makes finding hundreds or even thousands of leads in particular groups simple for your team. All you have to do is buy the leads and hope what you paid for them pales in comparison to what you make off of them.
Invest in Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an organic way to pull in leads online. What SEO does is that it optimizes the content you have on your website, so it gets more attention from popular engines like Google.
With that increased attention, Google will send more online users to your site, and from there, you can capture those leads with mailing list popups.
If you’d like to learn more about SEO, check out a great beginner’s guide here.
Scour the Yellow Pages
The Yellow Pages presents an opportunity to engage a virtually unlimited amount of leads. The issue with just hopping into a phone book and random dialing people to pitch is that these business leads are cold.
As we’ve mentioned, cold leads aren’t aware of your product and may have zero need for it. That makes conversion rates much lower when engaging these people and the chances of you bumping into combative conversations much higher.
Hit Trade Shows
If your company operates in the business to business space, you’d be amiss not to be investing in trade show appearances. Our team was recently reading this article at https://rockwayexhibits.com/blog/why-are-virtual-displays-the-best-way-to-generate-leads/, which discusses how you can use virtual displays at trade show booths to pull customers in for conversations.
From there, pitching them live or collecting their information for a more formal pitch later is a breeze!
A solid referral system generates leads on autopilot. How most referral systems work is that your team can reward current customers for recommending your products to their family and friends.
If your customers bring you leads and those leads convert to sales, you reward your customers with perks like gift cards, cash, or discounts on future products.
The trick here is to make sure your referral incentives don’t exceed the cost of your average customer acquisition rate. If you’re having trouble striking that balance, at least ensure that the leads you’re getting through referrals represent a higher “life-time value” than what you’re giving away as incentives.
Your What Are Leads in Sales Questions Answered
Every sales office/business in America has somebody sitting in it complaining that leads in the marketplace are “dried up.” While it’s true that economies expand and contract, effectively increasing or limiting lead opportunities, make no mistake that there are always opportunities.
The more you’re willing to work and the more comfortable you can get with rejection, the better you’ll be at claiming those opportunities and becoming successful.
We hope we’ve answered your what are leads in sales questions. If you have more, our team has you covered! Check out more content on our blog to continue fulfilling your need to know.