Prospecting is an essential part of any sales position, and a good sales person is always on the lookout for new strategies for adding more prospects to their sales pipeline.
Keep reading as we explore several different approaches that your salespeople can start using to find more leads across a variety of platforms, and to keep those sales pipelines full!
Sources of New Leads for Your Salespeople
1. LinkedIn Lead Generation
Linkedin prospecting is probably something you’re already familiar with to some degree. In fact, it is one of the most powerful prospecting tools out there when used to its full potential.
While a thorough breakdown of all the features of LinkedIn is beyond the scope of this particular article, here are some of the main prospecting features that your sales people should be familiar with:
- Industry groups – join Linkedin groups for your industry, or the industries of your target markets
- Customer demographic groups – join Linkedin groups that correspond to demographic info aligned with your target markets
- Search tools to connect with new prospects – Linkedin has a powerful search feature that lets you quickly find countless professionals for all kinds of different criteria
- Using LinkedIn for outreach – similar to how your sales staff likely does outreach via email, you can follow a similar approach with direct outreach on Linkedin itself. You simply start with a connection request, and then send followup messages to those who accept (important note: don’t be directly salesy – instead use a more helpful networking kind of approach). Once you have some proper campaigns going, you might even find that for your particular offer, Linkedin outreach actually works better than email outreach.
- Scraping contact info – Linkedin can also give you a list of prospects with email addresses included, when combined with other tools! Follow the previous steps to create your list of Linkedin profile prospects, and then you can run those profiles through a tool like FindThatLead which scrapes public online info to try to match the profiles to emails and other contact info (usually worked for about 40% of Linkedin profiles – we go into more detail about these types of tools and how they work in prospecting strategy #3)
If you’d like a deep dive into sales tactics for LinkedIn here are some resources that might come in handy:
- Link to internal Slidecast pages for other articles for LinkedIn marketing and sales as they’re created
2. Twitter Lead Generation
While not as powerful as LinkedIn, Twitter can also be a useful resource for finding new prospects that engage with certain keywords, or follow certain Twitter accounts (like your competitors).
- Make a list of the 3-5 keywords that are popular among your target market
- Use Twitter’s search with several variations of each keyword, which will lead you to Twitter users who are tweeting about it
- Keep an eye out for two types of people: 1) those who are likely prospects, and 2) those that probably aren’t prospects themselves, but whose followers would be good prospects
- Create your list of prospects
- Consider add prospect info to a spreadsheet, and then using an app such as FindThatLead to automatically find associated email addresses for 40-50% of them
- Or use a tool like phantombuster to scrape the twitter profiles of the followers of a competitor, and then take that resulting spreadsheet of twitter profiles and using FindThatLead to find the emails for them
- You can use Twitter lists to manually organize prospects as well
Once you’ve started to build your list of prospects from Twitter, you will likely find that engaging with those prospects is better done off Twitter, although it’s worth testing if connecting directly on Twitter works for your particular industry or offering.
Many Twitter users will link to their website in their bio or in a pinned tweet, or otherwise hint out where you might be able to find out more information about them, their organization, and even their contact info.
You can also use the contact scraping tools to gather contact info from Twitter users, as described in strategies #3 and #4.
These articles explore in more detail how to get contact info from Twitter users, and prospect on Twitter in general:
3. Leverage Lead Generation Tools
There are newer and better prospecting tools coming out all the time, including tools which you can use to generate a list of prospects that mean specific search criteria.
For many of these tools, you simply enter in the details about the prospects you want to find (such as job title, industry, location etc.), and then it spits out a spreadsheet with your list of prospects.
Other tools take one bit of information about a prospect (such as twitter profile link, linkedin profile, website URL, etc) and it scrapes public online information to find their email and contact info.
Here are several of these types of tools that would be worth checking out:
- Clearbit Enrichment
4. Contact Scraping Tools
Tap more fully into your existing network by using contact scraping tools which generate a list of prospects with contact info, from people you are already connected with in some way. You can do this for everyone you are connected with on Linkedin, or that you’ve ever sent an email to, or from a list of websites that you need the associated contact info for.
Here are some articles that show you how to do each of these:
5. Job Listing Sites & Contractor Marketplaces
Job listing sites (such as Zip Recruiter or Indeed) and contractor marketplaces (like Upwork or Guru) can also be amazing sources of prospects for you and your sales team. When companies create job listings, they are describing their needs and problems, so you can use these listings as an indication that the company has the neads / problems that your offering addresses.
In some cases you will be able to directly identify people who are looking for a solution like yours. In other cases, you might identify a proxy for a likely good prospect, and find more success using a more indirect approach.
15 Job Listing Sites (to start with)
- Zip Recruiter
- Simply Hired
15 Contractor Marketplaces (to start with)
- Hubstaff Talent
The degree of success you find with this approach will vary somewhat based on your particular industry and value proposition. For some companies, this approach can work so well it provides the majority of their prospects, and for others it’s a helpful supplement to other prospecting strategies. But definitely give it a shot – because when it works, it really works!
Another approach to prospecting is the forum / Q & A approach. A great platform for this prospecting strategy is Quora, which is a place where anyone can ask questions on a wide variety of topics.
The main approach:
- Follow a variety of channels related to your offering and target market
- Browse the types of questions people are asking
- Identify questions that are commonly asked that you could answer helpfully in a way which organically leads people to check out your website (never a direct sales pitch)
- Ideally a template can be created for answering a set of these common questions which will pop up from time to time, that your salespeople can modify and then post
If you’d like to download our Quora marketing example SOP, you can do so here:
Any solid prospecting strategy needs a variety of sources of new prospects. Which of these prospecting strategies will you try out in your business first?