People working in sales jobs have reached a crossroads in their career. When it comes to lead generation and finding new prospective customers on a cold basis, there is simply no way to neglect the power of social media.

Unfortunately, these platforms are not always the best at generating high-quality sales leads that convert well. There are of course ways to enhance their effectiveness, but they should only form one of the multiple key parts of an overall diversified approach to lead generation.

Direct referrals.

One of the best ways to seek warmer leads is through happy customers themselves. Existing customers will already know exactly what the given product or service has to offer, so they will be in the best possible position to tell their friends and family members about any exciting products or services that salespeople have to offer that meet their immediate needs. Leads who come to salespeople in this way will already be qualified prospects and most of the legwork will already be done since credibility will have been established.

This is often where the power of social media can be brought into play. When salespeople have a platform where customers can reach out to them in an easy to use and familiar environment, these warm leads will be easier to convert. However, it does require a degree of commitment on behalf of salespeople. Those working in sales simply cannot afford to let these leads lapse through extended time between messages, so it is usually a good idea to install social media applications on mobile devices so that salespeople can interact with their leads wherever they happen to be.

SEO.

Search Engine Optimisation is a new web phenomenon that encourages Google and other leading search engines to rank websites closer to the first page of the results by increasing the number of effective keywords on a salesperson's website. Once salespeople have identified these keywords, they are able to start creating content around them in order to help boost their search engine rankings. It is usually best to incorporate these keywords into useful, readable content on a website. In addition to doing pitches, salespeople could perhaps write helpful articles on how to best use their product.

Speaking at trade shows.

Salespeople should not feel limited by their own surroundings. They should instead attempt to generate leads by reaching out to the general public at wider trade shows, conferences and events of that nature. Attendees of these events tend to be already qualified since they are usually involved in the market where salespeople have established themselves and are available to make quicker closes than those who are otherwise in the wild.

LinkedIn.

Recent customer research suggests traffic coming from LinkedIn sources converts at a fairly high rate: three times higher than both Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn provides professionals with a platform to market and establishes themselves amongst like-minded people, so leads will come qualified and are therefore more likely to close.

If you've already got your leads, you'll benefit from taking in our top tips for closing sales.