No matter what type of business your company has its feet in, lead generation is where the story begins to unravel. As a company you have your products and services that are offered to other businesses. You have an excellent support staff, sales staff and so on. Everything is in place. All this comes to nothing if you do not have an excellent lead generation system that your personnel from sales department can rely on.
There are only so many sales folk every company can have. Sometimes the businesses are small or medium-sized and they have to make do with very limited or no sales people at all. For all these sales scenarios, if they had some kind of lead generation utility, that can scour online to find new leads that would be just perfect. As it turns out, there are in fact a lot of such utilities that are available online. Understanding the pros and cons of each of these lead generation facilities and zero in on the one that fits your company business plans.
A long time ago, to some extent even today, a city's yellow pages were the best way to generate new leads. Today, with internet technology, you can still use the yellow pages except that there are no real books that you have to heave through. One only needs to get a subscription to the online yellow pages directory which is available from several vendors. Once a subscription has been obtained, depending on the package that you have purchased, you can run through thousands of business establishments that have been listed in the book.
Thanks to the online nature of the new generation of yellow pages, you will see that your sales force can now access this from where they are. Sales folks are uniquely identified by their mobile nature and it is not too hard to imagine that all of your sales personnel are mobile enabled with smart phones. That is obviously the case and you simply need to provide them access to this incredible business database and they can go through it and start generating leads.
Many yellow pages vendors make it easy to sort through businesses by allowing you to search and narrow down your results based on parameters like employee count, postal code, and industry type and so on. Most of them also provide the latest in contact information which includes but is not limited to the phone numbers of the main office. This used to be a problem with the book and paper based yellow pages where out of date numbers may never be updated.
Professional Social Networks
Social networks such as LinkedIn are popular for their business nature of networking. Since that is where many business professionals enrol themselves, it is only common sense that you will find most of your potential business having a presence too. In many ways, one may think of LinkedIn type networks as the next stage of evolution from yellow pages.
What makes professional online networks appealing is that every entity on these networks has been created voluntarily by the participating company or person. These networks are part of the public face of the company, so it will also have better contact information that is useful for lead generation. As a businessman you will probably have your own professional network. When you enter these online social networks, it becomes easier for you to find out who is a member of a particular company, making lead generation even easier.
Lead Generation Utilities
Moving on from social networks and yellow pages, there are also dedicated online service providers that promise to give a boost to your existing lead generation activities.
These service providers use rather innovative approaches to help you with lead generation. Some lead generators take over the entire job of finding leads from your sales department. You simply need to tell them what you need. For instance you could ask a lead generation company to give you about a hundred business contact information which includes the name, contact information and so on. These companies would do all the lead generation activities calling, visiting office premises, using their own professional network and get you the leads.
The validity of these leads and how useful they will be to your business is debatable. Then again, this is the world of business and there is such a thing called as risk. Like so many other calculated risks that you take while running a business, add this one too.