Imagine yourself as an apex predator—but for sales. Like a hawk scouting its prey, you’re finding your next lead.
But, unlike a hawk, you don’t have wings. That’s where lead sourcing comes in. It’s a way to find interested buyers and convert them into paying customers.
You need to hone your lead-sourcing skills to be effective in your hunt for your next leads. We’re here to help you with that! In this article, we’re discussing:
- The basics of lead sourcing.
- The lead sourcing process.
- Popular lead sourcing strategies.
- Lead qualifying.
- Lead sourcing best practices.
What Is Lead Sourcing?
Lead sourcing can either be inbound or outbound marketing. In most cases, we call this lead generation. Lead sourcing is something unique.
We view lead generation as a way of cultivating interest in products or services and a way of closing on potential customers interested enough to buy.
It’s all tied to lead qualifying—there’s still some debate about this. Both are necessary for growth, and both follow a simple process.
The Lead Sourcing Process
Regardless of your strategy, the principles of converting leads into paying customers remain the same. For a successful lead-sourcing campaign, you’d need to:
You can attract leads using various strategies depending on whether you’re going for inbound or outbound marketing. The main avenues for this are blogs, ads, and cold sales campaigns.
Providing value is one of the best ways to attract leads. For example, creating insightful, relevant, and quality content can help you get sales leads for free.
This can be done through social media, email marketing, blogs, and videos. The key here is to provide immediate value. Doing so positions your brand as an authority in your space.
Once a lead is hooked, they’re more likely to follow through on what you want them to do in your calls-to-action (CTA). Once they do, that means you’ve converted a lead.
Creating valuable content is great—but it needs to serve a purpose. That’s where your CTAs come in. It can be a form, a link to your product’s landing page, or a free trial.
Your CTAs need to be clear and relevant to the content. More importantly, it has to support your overarching goals. For better conversions, follow these best practices:
- Create content that provides immediate value.
- Make your CTAs stand out.
- Include one CTA.
- Repeat your CTA in key areas of your content.
- Add social proof like reviews or testimonials.
- Offer something more valuable. (Ex: Email address in exchange for in-depth content).
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to creating CTAs. Different businesses mean different target audiences. CTAs that work for others might not work for you.
Test the waters. Try out different approaches to your CTAs to help you convert. Conduct A/B testing to find out which ones work best. Once you do, you’re one step closer to closing a sale.
When leads follow through on your CTAs, they’re primed to be “qualified leads.” These are the people who are most likely to buy whatever it is you’re selling.
There could be a lot of back and forth before you close a sale, and that’s perfectly fine. Several strategies and procedures should be in place depending on how qualified a lead is.
A great way to close a sale is to identify decision-makers and cater your pitch to them. For example, if you’re selling cold email marketing software, you could easily start a conversation with email marketers. But at the end of the day, it’s the decision-makers that have the final say.
After getting the conversations rolling, here’s where you can give your closing sales pitch. Don’t just talk about your product. Talk about the solutions it can offer to address pain points.
Still, we don’t stop after closing a sale or getting rejected. We nurture our leads to ensure they stay and try to change the minds of those who opted out.
If you’re in sales, you’re probably used to rejection. But that doesn’t mean we stop following up on those leads. The same goes for leads we closed a sale with.
According to studies from Demand Gen Report, nurtured leads have 20% better sales opportunities than non-nurtured leads.
But, if they say no after your nurturing campaign, it’s better to let these leads go.
Conversely, you need to consistently nurture leads converted into customers. The best way to do so is by utilizing email marketing software to help you automate the process.
Remember, customer experience and satisfaction are important to ensuring your business thrives.
For example, if you’re a SaaS company with a CRM product, a great nurture campaign would include educational pieces about how to use your product effectively.
The Best Lead Sourcing Strategies For 2023
Now that we know the process involved in lead sourcing, here’s a look at some strategies you can try out in your campaigns this 2023:
Cold Email Marketing
Lead sourcing works best when it's personalized. However, most lead-sourcing strategies are like casting a large net in the ocean.
That’s why personalized cold emails can get better conversions and higher ROI than strategies like SEO or Social media campaigns.
It’s a strategy you can automate and scale. And you can craft great cold sales emails for any industry.
If you’re entirely new to cold email marketing, you can try using the AIDA framework to get you started. Paired with a solid cold email tool, your brand is set up for success.
Lead sourcing on social media platforms can help you reach larger audiences. You can go for organic content marketing campaigns if you want to be seen.
But, if you want your target demographic to notice you, targeted advertisements are the way to go. Success in social media lead sourcing requires a mix of both.
Meanwhile, if you want a more formal or direct approach but still in the same vein as social media, you could try professional social networking platforms like LinkedIn.
LinkedIn can become an absolute goldmine. The platform connects you to prospects at a professional level. In most cases, you’d get better-qualified leads here than on social media.
You get to see precisely what a lead does and do qualifications on the spot, gather insight on potential pain points, and personalize sales pitches.
According to studies, leads from LinkedIn are 6x more likely to convert. But you really need to build your brand and become an authority in your industry.
Remember, you’re dealing with professionals here. They know what they want, are likely conducting their own research, and can spot a cold sales pitch a mile away.
Arguably the best way to build authority in your industry is to create valuable and high-quality content. Something evergreen your audience can always go back to when they need it.
Creating these high-value pieces of content helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It also supports your social media, pay-per-click (PPC), and email marketing campaigns.
The key to succeeding here is developing a holistic content strategy. This means the content campaigns across all platforms are harmoniously working together to achieve the same goal.
Offering a free trial is a great way to entice leads to try your products. Everybody loves getting things for free. This gives you a great opportunity to showcase what your product can do for a lead from a hands-on approach.
Paired with a solid nurturing campaign, such as helpful articles or educational pieces about your product, you get a higher chance of conversions. But not everyone that tries your free trial is going to convert. You’d still need to evaluate their responses and start qualifying leads.
Learning how to qualify sales leads helps you find the people most likely to go further down the sales funnel. After attracting leads through lead-sourcing campaigns, you need to decide which ones to focus on. It’s an essential part of any sales funnel and allows you to:
- Focus efforts on catering to qualified leads more likely to purchase products.
- Helps you identify high-value prospects that can bring more revenue.
- Provides you with a better understanding of your leads’ pain points and needs.
- Helps create a more tailored or personalized message.
Lead Sourcing Best Practices
Each business is unique. You can’t just pick a lead sourcing strategy and stick with it until the end. Some work for others, and some don’t.
But, whatever strategy you choose, all of them are built on the same basic principles. If you want to make the most out of your lead-sourcing campaigns, follow these best practices:
- Understand your target audience, find their pain points, and find immediate solutions.
- Focus on creating evergreen quality content.
- Collect data and analyze what works, what needs improvements, and what needs to go.
Lead sourcing is essential for growing any business. Before spending time and resources on it, consider the following:
- The most popular lead-sourcing vehicles are cold email marketing, social media, and content marketing.
- Qualified leads have a better chance of converting.
- Nurturing is essential for both converted leads and those still on the fence.
- Always A/B test strategies and identify what works best for your brand and audience.
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