How to Generate Leads for Business [with the help of a CRM]

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Wondering what the best way is to generate leads?


It’s a timeless question that marketers and salespeople ask themselves all the time. Generating sales leads is not easy, but the good news is that it’s absolutely possible to be successful, no matter what industry you’re in.

Sound good? Read on!

Introduction to Generating Sales Leads

There are tons of different ways to generate leads on the internet. Content marketing, advertising, social media, coupons, discount codes, email newsletters, and the list goes on and on.

The goal of generating leads is to bring awareness to your target audience about your brand and product or service (by leading them to it) and nurturing those leads so they become paying customers.

There are a few different types of leads, namely marketing leads, service leads, and product leads, but we want to focus on the bread and butter of leads here: a sales lead.

But what is a sales lead anyway? Here’s an example.

A customer fills out the contact us form on your website to ask a question about the service or product your business offers. This type of customer is called a sales lead because they’ve demonstrated interest in buying by filling out a contact form on your website, and opened up the conversation to have one of your salespeople call them.

Or let’s say you’re a real estate agent, and a customer contacts you through Facebook Marketplace to inquire about a property you posted on there. Definitely a sales lead.

Maybe you own a car dealership, and an interested person clicked on your google ad that took them to a landing page where they filled out a form asking them what vehicle they are interested in. Absolutely a sales lead.

Sounds simple, right? Well, the trick is to get potential customers to the point where they are ready to be contacted by your sales team.

You can qualify your list of leads in different ways. For instance, someone who signed up for a marketing email to get a discount code to use on your website but hasn’t used it yet might not be ready for a direct sales call at the moment, but a lead who signed up for your business’s text messaging and responded to one of your texts is probably ready to be nurtured into a sales lead.

Lead Generation Tactics for Different Industries

Lead Generation Tactics

Sure, we can talk about lead generation in a general sense, but the truth is that lead generation can be different for different industries. Sometimes these are called lead generation niche markets or niche industries since they can have specific ways that customers behave that are different from other industries. These differences are important to know if you want to break into those markets and successfully generate leads.

How to Generate Insurance Leads

The insurance industry is vast, including a wide variety of different types to suit both business and consumer needs. Everyone will always need some sort of insurance, whether it be tenant insurance for an apartment or pet insurance for Fluffy. This means that the market is ripe with opportunities to target leads from all corners.

Focus on a specific niche

You’re probably not selling every single type of insurance out there. Therefore, it’s important to focus on your niche so you can provide the most value to the right insurance leads. For instance, if you sell life insurance, you’ll want to target your marketing and sales efforts toward how to generate life insurance leads for people who are interested in life insurance. If you go broader and target anyone looking for any type of insurance, while you’ll probably get more fish in your net, you’ll find that only a few of them are worth keeping.

Find leads on LinkedIn/network with insurance professionals

Insurance companies are using LinkedIn to build leads. Yes, building an engaging LinkedIn page rich with content takes time and effort, especially from your marketing and sales teams, but the long-term effects are more qualified sales leads. In addition, insurance professionals can use the platform to network with each other and share qualified leads. For example, if you sell life insurance only but your client wants life insurance and health insurance, it shows good customer service if you can refer them to someone in your network that sells health insurance, and vice versa. Networking outside of social media is also valuable, which you can do by participating in community events, trade shows, and conferences to get your name out there.

How to Generate Leads for Mortgage and Real Estate

Real estate is a beast of an industry, so it only makes sense that there are tons of opportunities for lead generation. Like insurance, you should focus your efforts on your specific niche within the industry, so don’t target residential real estate when you only sell commercial, etc. Whether you’re a real estate agent or mortgage broker, there’s a lot of opportunities online for you to generate leads.

Network with real estate professionals

In real estate, networking in any way you can is always king. Attending community events, spending time and getting to know people in the different neighborhoods in your community, and even telling your family and friends that they can recommend you to anyone they know that is looking for a property are all good networking techniques to help you build leads.

Use social media to generate leads

Like the insurance industry (and probably many others) you can use social media platforms like LinkedIn to get your name out there, network with other professionals, and generate leads. In fact, social media is such a powerful tool for finding prospective buyers, that it can’t be ignored.

According to the National Association of Realtors Research Group’s Real Estate in a Digital Age 2019 Report

  • 44% of all buyers looked online for properties for sale
  • 11% of all buyers looked online for information about the home buying process

...And this is before talking to a realtor!

In addition to the above, 93% of prospective buyers go to an online website, and 73% use a mobile or tablet website or app. This means that having a strong online presence through a professional website and social media, especially Facebook Marketplace, is essential for lead generation for realtors.

How to Generate Leads for the Legal Industry

Leads for the Legal IndustryYes, the legal industry is huge, and some lawyers and law firms focus on a specific area of law or choose to be more general and offer legal services for basically every aspect of law. In that sense, you have to decide straight out of the gate how you want to reach potential clients.

Content is king

Did you know that 98% of people looking for legal advice used an online search engine? That’s a huge number, and just highlights the opportunity for law firms and other legal services to utilize SEO (Search Engine Optimization) content to reach potential leads.

One of the best ways to attract leads organically through content is to make sure your website is user-friendly and each page is rich with relevant content, and to dedicate some time to writing a professional blog. Just keep in mind that not everybody speaks lawyer, so you might want to hire a copywriter to help you translate complex legal topics into plain language. This will help search engines notice your content and will make reading your content easier for your leads.

Build a strong online review presence

If you’re searching online for a good lawyer, chances are one of the first places you’re heading is to review websites like Google or Yelp. It’s in your best interest, then, to claim your business on platforms such as Google My Business (which is free) and pay attention to online review sites and social media reviews. In a lot of cases, you can respond to reviews, so if you get negative ones, you have a chance to make things right.

How to Generate Leads for the Healthcare or Medical Industries

Like the other industries highlighted here, the healthcare industry is huge and there are many opportunities for lead generation, so focused strategies are paramount to attract qualified leads. If you’re a small dental office, for instance, the strategies you may have for attracting leads probably won’t be all that different from any other small business (using social media, google ads, creating SEO content), but if you’re a company selling medical equipment to hospitals or a pharmaceutical company trying to reach doctors and healthcare professionals, your strategies are going to be much different.

Determine where you fit in the healthcare niche

The first step to getting qualified leads in the healthcare industry is to figure out where you fit within the industry’s niche and stick to that in your marketing efforts. For example, if you’re trying to reach healthcare and medical professionals, determine which ones you want to target. If you’re a dental equipment company, you’ll want to target dentists. If you’re a company that sells PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for doctors and nurses, you’ll want to target the buyers for hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Show your expertise through content

Content can really highlight your expertise in the healthcare industry. From SEO-focused blog content on your website to whitepapers, ebooks, webinars, and links to your published studies, your potential leads will want to be sure that you know what you are talking about. Taking the time to generate and/or compile this content will help you rank organically on search engines as well.

How to Generate Leads for Small Business

How to Generate Leads for Small Business

Small businesses can encompass any industry, so it’s important to focus on the specifics of generating leads in the small business space as a whole. A lot of the basics remain similar, like having a user-friendly website with good content, focusing on a niche-specific to your business, and using advertising when you can, but there are some differences.

Do basic local SEO

It’s all about engaging your local community, figuring out how to generate leads for local businesses, right? Absolutely! If you have an Italian restaurant, you want it to show up in search results when someone googles “Italian restaurants near me” while they’re in your city. If you have any brick-and-mortar location, you want it to show up in local search results. Even if your small business is online-only, your local community still wants to support you. In a recent survey of 1,500 done by Intuit Mint, they found that 70% of consumers support local businesses through a mix of online and offline shopping. In addition, they found that 57% of Americans want to keep their money in the local economy, so they shop small and local. So make sure you claim local business listings on sites like Google and Yelp, and optimize your title tags and meta descriptions on your website for local SEO.

Leverage social media

Creating social media accounts and consistently creating content for them is a great way for small businesses to generate leads and connect with their audience. You can even link your social media accounts to business listing sites like Google which increases visibility.

Lead Generation Strategies for Your Business

At its core, lead generation is finding your target audience, showing them your awesome product or service that will solve their problem, and getting them to buy. These basic strategies can be applied to any industry or business type, but it could take some trial and error to determine which strategies work best for your business. Let’s take a look at some examples of how to generate leads for your business.

How to generate email leads

There are a few basic steps to generating email leads, regardless of the size of your business:

Build your email lead list.

This is typically done primarily through sales and marketing lead generation efforts, such as newsletter sign-ups, discount offers, etc.

Segment your email list.

Once you’ve gathered a number of email addresses from leads, you’ll want to segment them. You can segment leads in endless ways, such as by location, industry, purchase history, email open rate, etc. A good tip is to integrate your email with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Check out our post on the best CRM systems if you want some suggestions on ones that will work for your business.

Use a simple email design with a clear call to action.

It might be tempting to make your email all pretty and fancy, but consider that your leads are going to be using all sorts of different ways to view your email, like a smartphone, laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. Not to mention that there are a ton of email clients out there (Gmail, outlook, yahoo, etc.) that could affect how your email is viewed. If you keep the email design simple, chances are it will appear how you intended it to regardless of what your lead uses to view it.

If you send an email out with the intention of your lead converting on a product or service but don’t include a link to where they can purchase that product or service, then chances are they won’t buy! A clear call to action, like “buy now” or “learn more” gives clear instructions to your lead on what they should do next.

How to generate leads via cold calling

Cold calling

Cold calling can be difficult, but here are a few simple steps to do in advance to help make calls easier:

Perfect your introduction and how you deliver it

If you’ve ever received a call where the person on the other end introduced themselves and went straight into a big long spiel before you could even comprehend what they were talking about, then you already know what not to do. It doesn’t hurt to prepare a script for reps performing cold calls so they have some guidance on when to pause or move on to the next talking point.

Connect with the lead before delivering your pitch

Use the information you have about your lead to find creative ways to connect with them. Asking relevant questions or making small talk about the weather is just a couple of ideas.

Focus on your USP (Unique Selling Point)

While the conversation is great, at some point your lead will want you to get to the reason why you’re calling. This is where you can highlight your USP, as that will be the most effective way to show your lead that you understand their industry, the problems that they are facing, and/or how your product or service will help them.

How to generate leads without cold calling

Cold calling is one way to generate leads, but there are a plethora of options other than cold calling you can use instead:

Network online

Social media, email, Facebook groups, and forums like Reddit are great ways to network online.

Guest blogging

If you can write an article for a website, blog, or publication that your customers are known to read, it’s a great way to link back to your own website and establish authority in your space.

Offer incentives for customer referrals

If a customer clearly likes your service or product, there’s an opportunity for you to give them an incentive to introduce others to your product or service for you. Oftentimes a good discount, monetary offer, or free gift is enough to get a steady flow of referrals.

How to generate leads online

Online Leads

There are a few easy ways to generate leads online:

Use paid advertising

Platforms like Google and Facebook are powerhouses when it comes to online advertising. Though you might have to pay to play, paid advertising is a quick and relatively easy way to gather leads.

Use a CRM

Investing in a CRM like Ringy can help you generate leads through sales pipelines, location-based campaigns, and more.

Online PR (Public Relations)

While it is an investment, submitting press releases to online PR sites exposes your business to a wide audience, driving brand awareness and possibly getting you leads.

How to generate leads online for free

Social media

Social media is a great way to connect with leads on a more personal level through community engagement or content creation, which helps nurture leads into buyers.

Email marketing

Email has always been an effective way to connect with leads, regardless of industry. Aside from the cost of an email marketing program (which is recommended if you’re sending a ton of emails) you can manage and connect with leads whenever you want through email.

Content marketing

Content marketing is mentioned a lot in this article, but it really is a great way to generate leads online (for free). If you optimize your content for both search engines and users, you’re sure to generate leads over time.

Benefits of a CRM for Lead Generation

A CRM is an extremely powerful and useful tool for your business to gather, manage, and connect with leads and customers.

One of the biggest benefits of a CRM is the sheer amount of data it gives you. Analyzing this data allows you to more effectively prioritize your marketing efforts and laser-focus on what will give you the best return on investment.

For lead generation specifically, a CRM is an invaluable tool. You’ll probably have multiple sources that leads are being filtered from, with your CRM taking on the role of organizing and categorizing these leads based on the criteria you input. Imagine how painstaking and tedious it would be if you had to organize and manage all your leads manually!

Capterra reports that 57% of businesses adopted a CRM when keeping track of customers, sales revenue, and key metrics became too much for a spreadsheet to handle.

In addition, Capterra found that the most used features of a CRM are calendar management, email marketing, quote/proposal management, marketing automation, and lead scoring. All these are features that are essential in lead generation.



If you’re ready to take the plunge and set up your CRM system quickly and easily, schedule a demo with Ringy’s sales team and we’ll show you everything you need to know.

3 Tips on How to Generate Leads with the help of a CRM

Sure, a CRM manages and keeps track of leads, but you’re probably wondering how you can generate leads with a CRM. Here are three key tips:

Marketing automation

Anyone using a CRM will tell you that CRM automation is the best thing since sliced bread. A customer left your website with a product in their cart? Your CRM can send them an automated reminder email to check out. A customer subscribed to text message alerts? Schedule them to be sent out automatically, and even set responses to keywords or phrases if your customer responds.

Social media integration

Managing all your social media accounts on each native platform is a painstaking process. Thankfully with a CRM all that is completely unnecessary. A CRM with social media integration not only allows you to easily manage your different accounts, it usually has features like an inbox where all private messages get fed to, making it much easier to quickly respond to customers. In addition, most social media CRM integrations have posting capabilities, tracking, analytics, and more.

Lead Data Management

Once you have tons of leads sitting in your CRM, you’ll have to manage them somehow. Lead prioritization is so important in every type of business. What happens when a lead changes their contact information, has incomplete or duplicate information, or simply no longer wants to do business with you? A lead data cleansing protocol through your CRM is a lifesaver for keeping your lead lists clean and tidy over time.

Final Thoughts on Generating Leads

Generating Leads

Regardless of whether you’re a real estate agent, mortgage broker, insurance salesperson, or another profession, the basic process for generating leads is similar: bring awareness to your target audience and nurture those leads into paying customers.

Content marketing, email marketing, advertising, social media, and CRM systems are just examples of tools that help marketers and salespeople turn a prospect into a lead, and then into a paying customer.

Depending on your industry, the way that you target and capture leads is going to be slightly different, as target audiences interact and engage with online content in different ways.

The earlier you adopt a CRM to help you manage, track, and contact leads, the better off your business will be. If you’re still wondering what CRM system would work best for your business, check out our best CRM for streamlining your sales process article, alongside our best CRM for small business guide.

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