How to develop great sales leads

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The internet is chock full of tips and tricks to generate large quantities of B2B leads, but when it comes identifying which of the thousands are right for your product or service, actionable advice is harder to come by.

As you build your prospecting list, it’s natural to think you have to fill the top of your sales funnel with as many leads as possible in the hopes of closing a small number of sales at the bottom. But that’s not always the case. It’s more important to be strategic with how you generate sales leads instead of casting a wide net that does not go after the right prospects.

Save time, money and effort by identifying the right sales prospects, not chasing unsuitable leads who may not find your business relevant or affordable. Below are several solutions to building a quality list of leads through strategic planning and sales prospecting technology.

  • Nail down your ideal buyer persona
  • Draw in IBP leads with valuable content and offers
  • Use technology to generate leads and find accurate emails

Nail down your ideal buyer persona

Before you start looking for quality sales leads, you have to first understand your ideal buyer persona (IBP). A well-defined IBP is the foundation of every effective sales lead generation strategy. Identifying your IBP will help guide you to quality leads who need what you’re selling, have the budget to buy it, and are authorized to make purchasing decisions.

If you’re unsure of your IBP, use a data-driven approach to make it more precise:

  1. Start with your existing client network. Identify customers who closed on deals quickly, spent the most, made repeat purchases, or referred others to you.
  2. Once you have this list of top customers, identify what they have in common. Sort these customers by industry, revenue, location, business name, number of employees, and job title of the person who signed off on the deal.
  3. Use this information to develop a clearer understanding of your IBP. Then filter any incoming B2B leads that fit the profile of the buyer persona you need to target.

Draw in IBP leads with valuable content and offers

It’s not surprising that well-written content, such as social media posts, blogs, and whitepapers, can position your business higher in search results. If you know your IBP, you can leverage this content to offer a powerful lead magnet (something free that has value for potential customers) and generate new sales. For example, someone might find your blog post through a web search—at the end of the post, ask for their email in exchange for a promotional offer. It could be an e-book, an informational video, or anything that provides value and positions your product as the answer to their problem. Once they’re on your email list, you can proceed with a welcome email sequence and other offers. Email is still one of the most effective ways to reach people, as long as the emails you are using have been validated.

Use technology to generate leads and find accurate emails

Defining an IBP and producing good quality content takes time, so automating your lead generation strategy is paramount. There are different kinds of sales prospecting tools on the market that allow you to search for leads that specifically match your IBP’s demographics. It’s important to find a prospecting tool that not only identifies the right leads in your demographic, but also provides verified business contact information.

BizLeads, a cloud-based lead prospecting tool recently launched by American City Business Journals, stands out for two important reasons:

  1. It’s powered by ACBJ. American City Business Journals receive more self-reported data on U.S. businesses than any other prospecting tool on the market.
  2. It’s affordable. BizLeads subscription access can help you target leads on 30 million companies and 80 million business professionals all over the country to fit your IBP.
  3. It’s easy to use. With over 14 unique search filters, you can target a specific IBP using filters like job title search and seniority level to reach key-decision makers faster. Narrow down the right business contacts with pre-validated email addresses.