We all hear sales people say: “This call was not a qualified sales lead!”
Ok, let me try to clarify the 3 different types of B2B sales leads and why there is no one-fits-all:
1. Referral Leads
Referral leads come from referrals of your former and existing customers and from your activities in your personal networks.
- It feels most natural and human for the seller.
- They have a high conversion rate. There is already an initial trust bridge.
- They are partly into the decision process.
- They come for low costs and with low effort.
- Very short time-to-first-lead.
- Not predictable and repeatable.
- Impossible to systematically scale.
- Often, they are not your ideal customers (ICP).
2. Inbound Leads
Inbound leads come from website forms and social media – triggered by your SEO, paid traffic, and content marketing efforts.
- They are further down the buyer journey and usually “ready to buy”.
- This is the lead type that most sales processes and techniques are designed for.
- Very repeatable and often scalable.
- There’s a lot of (expensive) noise in your inbound leads.
- They talk to many others as well.
- Very costly (PPC) and very time consuming (content creation).
3. Outbound Leads
Outbound leads come from your “cold outreach” activities such as cold calling, email prospecting, LinkedIn messaging.
- Very predictable, repeatable and scalable.
- They don’t talk to many others and you can create/influence their demand.
- Only the right (ICP) prospects are contacted– no distractions with poor fit clients.
- Often, they are early in their buyer journey and require an account executive to nurture and move them further down the sales pipeline.
- Longer time-to-first-lead due to ramp-up.
So, the question is: What type of leads do you want?
- Squeeze out some more random leads –> work your personal network and ask for referrals.
- Massively scale up a successfully tested market segment –> go for Inbound Lead Generation.
- Test and work a new market segment –> go for Outbound Lead Generation.
- Generate your account executives an uninterrupted flow of qualified sales leads for relatively small money –> go for Outbound Lead Generation.
If you want to test and work the German speaking DACH market (#3) or if you want to generate an uninterrupted flow of qualified B2B sales leads for your account executives in DACH (#4), then you should take a look at our outbound lead generation service.