Every sales organization requires three things: sales managers, salespeople, and sales leads. In principal, the formula is simple: the sales team will meet their quota if the sales manager focuses the salespeople on the right sales leads.
Most sales organizations know how to find salespeople and sales managers, leaving sales leads. There are 4 sources of sales leads: 1.) referrals, 2.) conferences and trade shows, 3.) inbound marketing and 4.) proactive sales. Each sources has its pros and cons: the key is selecting the right sources for what you sell.
For example, there are businesses where referrals are often the best or the only way to grow. These “word-of-mouth” businesses tend to offer services that are intimate, offer solutions to frequent problems, and have limited marketing resources.
However, most businesses need more than one sources of leads to maximize revenue. Not having the right combination of sources stagnates growth and increases your cost of client acquisition. Different lead sources vary in the amount of upfront investment, sophistication required, and payback period.