How To Find Qualified Leads
Qualified leads refers to opportunities where you know the prospective client has a use for your solution, and a budget available. This would include situations like:
- The prospect is already paying for a solution similar to your own
- They publicly share a problem you can solve
- The prospect announces they have future demand for your solution
Everyone knows they need qualified leads to grow. Even though it’s cheaper to hire b2b lead generation services than to do it in house, some people want to do the work themselves. Below are a couple of ideas to get your research team started.
Put interested decision makers on your calendar
Mine For Qualified Leads
It won’t surprise you to learn that the easiest way to generate qualified B2B leads is when they contact you directly and tell you they have a problem. Sadly, this doesn’t happen often enough!
The second easiest way to find qualified leads is when buyers publicly declare they have a problem and need your help.
Does that sound unlikely? It’s not. Think about all the information people share online. You can find implied demand in almost every industry. You just have to be creative about recognizing demand for what it is.
Who is Paying Your Competitors?
Someone who is paying your competitor for the same solution you provide is a wonderful lead. They are paying for a solution similar to your own. So you KNOW they’re qualified.
You know what would make them even better? If they were unhappy with their current provider and open to a change.
Let’s face it, no matter how good your competitors are, some of their customers aren’t 100% satisfied. Maybe they feel like they are being under serviced. Or maybe they feel like they aren’t getting the same value they used to experience. You just need to convince them to consider your offering over their existing provider.
But how do you know who’s paying your competitors? And how can you know if they’re satisfied, or not? Here are a couple of ways:
Social Profiles: In this day and age there’s a good chance your competitors have social profiles. And there’s nothing customers love more than to share their grievances in a public forum. Some companies even have dedicated Twitter or Facebook channels dedicated to client service.
When someone is doing a public rant about the poor service they are getting, do you think they are open to alternative solutions? You bet they are! A gentle approach can be effective if done with tact. Your goal isn’t to get them to switch companies. Your goal is to open a conversation. Commiserate and make them aware that your solution is always an option. Perhaps you could share how your company has resolved the issue that’s the source of their frustration.
Your approach should be empathetic and focused on adding value. If they feel like their current vendor doesn’t care then your attentions will speak volumes.
Review Sites: Lots of companies (especially cloud solutions) seek market share by getting placement on review sites. Generally these reviews are positive and promotional in nature.
Review sites are a gold mine of opportunity. Your best buyers literally tell you what features are important to them as a solution buyer. From a product development point of view this information is priceless.
It’s also a great way to initiate a conversation. Reach out and ask for more detail about one part of their review. You’ll get valuable feedback, and your competitor’s client may decide they’re working with the wrong company.
Over time, people’s opinions about a solution evolve. Consider your own situation – have you ever been a happy user of a product but switched to something else at a later date? You probably have. So even though they’ve shared a positive testimonial many months ago, reviewers may be open to new solution providers now.
Built With: Information is power. Would you like to know exactly who is paying your competitors? Or maybe you’d like to identify people who are using technologies that complement your solutions. Or maybe you’ve found that your best clients also gravitate to certain types of websites or technology.
What ever your use case, there’s a good chance that a site like Built With can help you build a sweet list of sales prospects to contact. You can identify sites that match the technologies most used by your clients. For example, if you sell to ecommerce companies you can built a target list easily. You can even identify some less obvious technologies.
Put interested decision makers on your calendar
Tell Me You’re A Qualified Lead
A great thing about the internet is that people aren’t shy about sharing. Some people share their best news. Others use the internet to seek advice and assistance. Fortunately for you, good news and bad make for amazing qualified B2B leads. Here are some ideas to get started:
Quora: Quora is an question / answer site for people who have questions or need suggestions. When questions that relate to your niche come up, contribute a meaningful answer. Over time people looking for answers on that topic will be exposed to yourself and your company. This tactic has very little up front gain. But over time the payoff can be amazing. If your answers stand out from the pack, future searches on that question will get you noticed. You’ll drive high quality referral traffic to your site.
Google Searches: Everyone knows you can use Google to search for things. But not everyone is aware you can filter the search time frame in Google to just 24 hours. This is incredibly powerful because you can get the absolute most recent information on any topic in the world. There’s no better way to find qualified leads.
Try searching for the term “announced” + “new office in Toronto” and filter the results by 24 hour results. See anything interesting?
In just one 24 hour period we’ve found a couple of companies that have recently opened a new office in Toronto, or are making plans to do so.
Imagine all the businesses that could benefit from that information:
- Commercial office space providers will want to get in touch with the local boss to help them source new office space.
- IT companies will want to connect to see if they require wiring and office set up assistance.
- Office furniture companies should reach out to see how they’re fixed for desks and other furniture.
- Commercial interior providers will want to raise their hands to bid on the office design.
- Compliance and professional service companies will want to offer their services, too.
And the list goes on and on.
Press Releases: In the old days of SEO press releases were a popular way to generate valuable backlinks for your website. This practice is now dead, but press releases can still have value. Check Google for “press release sites” + “your niche” to find opportunities relevant to yourself.
Companies share all kinds of useful information in press releases that would otherwise be difficult to to come by. When combined with a 24 hour Google search (see above), you’ll discover opportunities that are otherwise hard to come by. Here are a couple of examples:
- If your company could be affected by staff changes at other companies then you’ll want to keep an eye on executive changes. It’s not uncommon for companies to make an announcement when they are bringing in new talent for a C-level role.
- If you work in a creative industry like branding or advertising then keep an eye on ‘rebranding’ announcements. Many such announcements happen after the work is completed. But some companies announce their intention to rebrand or launch a new campaign. These opportunities are a gold mine and you want to reach out to bid on the work.
Qualified Leads Are Worth The Effort
Does any of this sound easy? Yeah, it’s actually a TON of work. And some days you’ll wonder why you bother.
But here’s the thing. It’s a ton of work so no one else is putting in the hours. Everyone knows about Google, but are your competitors doing daily searches to uncover recent opportunities? They probably aren’t.
And since your volume of opportunities is relatively few (a couple per day) you can hyper customize your approach to outreach for every opportunity. This will make your efforts stand out even more.