Sales Prospecting: 14 Effective Techniques to Generate Sales Leads

Prospecting is the term used to describe the continuous efforts exerted to generate new sales leads. Prospecting is, simply, the heart of any sales organization, also it’s considered as the engine which drives the organization towards its desired goals. prospecting is not only important; it’s crucial, sales organization cannot live without it.

In this article, I will go through -briefly- the different ways of prospecting, when should we do it, and who is responsible for prospecting inside the organization.

1. When do you do prospecting?

Answer is simple: ALL THE TIME. Unfortunately, some organizations exert more efforts in prospecting only when sales revenues are down, or market bad conditions are expected in the near future. My advice here is never to stop the engine, if you stop it, it will be harder to restart it once again.

2. Different ways of prospecting:

Within the scope of this article, I will mention the main prospecting techniques that are used by successful organizations, just headlines; I will go through each one of them in details in other articles. No one does it all; you can choose the suitable ones for your product, organization, and market.

  1. Cold calling
  2. Direct mails, emails, and faxes.
  3. Getting referrals (form existing customers and even prospects.
  4. Seminars
  5. Trade shows
  6. Networking events
  7. Company website
  8. Periodic news letters
  9. Advertisement
  10. Recruit sales channels, partners, and distributors
  11. Door knocking
  12. Product free trial
  13. Exchanging leads with other sales people in complementing industries
  14. Internal sales lead referral system.

3. Who should be responsible for prospecting?

Although a specific department(s) should be responsible for prospecting, but, generally speaking, prospecting should be a culture planted inside each employee in the organization. A nice and valuable technique is the “Elevator Pitch” or “Elevator Speech” which is defined as the few words about your products or services that you will tell anyone you meet by accident and you have only a chance of 30 seconds to one minute when you meet him/her (in an elevator or anywhere else).

Now, you have to be sure that you memorize this pitch, not only you, but literally each and everyone in the organization. 

An inspiring idea that I read about lately is that successful sales people should talk about their products and services to anyone who is close enough to hear their voice! Don’t forget, keep the engine running all the time!

It’s your responsibility as a sales staff, manager, or even the CEO to make sure that all the employees are generating leads for the organization all the time.