How to Generate Sales Leads: A Complete Guide

Happy young candidate shaking hands with her employer after a job interview, employment and business meetings concept

Any business that trades with other businesses is compelled to generate sales leads in order to grow their client base. That means working hard to find the right matches for your business, before using your sales nous to draw them in. There are several ways to generate sales leads – from using your professional network through to getting a team to research ideal clients and companies. This article will walk you through those options so that you’re in the know next time you set your sights on generating more sales leads.

Cold Approach

When you’re ready to start approaching the individuals who might be able to work on a contract with you, these will often be business leaders whose numbers and email addresses your research has revealed. Cold calls can be a brilliant way to introduce your company, if those calls are run by experienced sales professionals. Cold emails can also work – though some do end up in the spam folder.

Elsewhere, it’s worth using websites such as LinkedIn to see if you can contact businesses and their managers directly. Instant chat is a simple way to get in touch with a short message. A reply may well mean that the individual in question is interested in having a more detailed conversation on the phone.


Researching is a fundamental part of sales lead generation. That’s because you need to have a complete overview of your target and addressable markets in order to know which companies you should be approaching and which you should prioritize above others. It can take time to do this research effectively, so it’s best to set up a team to tackle this task over the course of a month.

Updating the database that you create is also vital, because some companies will flat-out refuse your offers and should thus be struck from your lists. Database cleaning is a constant job of updating, removing and adding information. GSA Business Development experts are at hand to compile and clean your databases for you if you don’t have the manpower to do it yourself.


The best way to generate professional relationships that could one day become profitable is to build a network. Networking is a highly valuable skill, and something that you should always make time for in your professional life. There are also some events that make for incredible networking opportunities, such as conferences on the topics that your company is involved in, or trade shows for your sector.

As you network, make sure you have a card to give out to those who are interested in what your business does, and do have an “elevator pitch” to give to people when you meet them, showing off what makes you firm unique and why it’s such a good partner to its clients. Network wisely and you’ll never know when someone might get in touch with a proposition.

There you have it: three key stages to generating sales leads. Use these tips to build up your sales skills and to secure more business for your firm in the future.