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How to Generate Sales Leads for Your Business?

Create a gated piece of content. Slap a lead gen form on it. And make sure you ask for all the information you need to score the lead properly.

Sounds good?

No, it doesn't!

It's time to step away from old practices that focus on generating more leads and time to learn how to generate sales leads in ways that don't make prospective customers roll their eyes.

In this article, we’re sharing our top insights on ways to generate leads in sales.

1. Call your leads

This tactic to generate sales leads has been around forever because it works! Modern cold calling is very effective, especially if your most valuable leads don’t read your emails.

Cognism is a sales intelligence tool with a compliant B2B contact database. You can use its web app to generate a sales leads list that matches your criteria.

Alternatively, you can use its browser extension to reveal leads’ phone numbers and emails on LinkedIn or corporate websites. You can also enrich Sales Navigator lists.

Try Cognism database

  • 2x more cell phone numbers worldwide than other providers.
  • 47 million cell phone numbers in the US alone.
  • Exclusive phone-verified mobile numbers dataset with 87% accuracy (Diamond Data®).
  • CCPA & GDPR compliant with DNC cleaning in 12 countries.


Diamond Data®

Diamond Data® is Cognism’s premium human-verified cell phone numbers database. Our data research team checks the numbers’ accuracy by calling the prospects. The result?

  • 87% accuracy.
  • 3x increase in connect rate.
  • CCPA and GDPR compliance.

Cognism’s data team can also source and verify cell phone numbers on demand. No other vendors, like ZoomInfo or Apollo, offer similar services.

We couldn’t find mass numbers of contact details alone. Cognism helps us do it in 10-15 minutes
Michael Sibley, Digital Marketing Specialist
unique content registrations and uploads on the website
email deliverability rate (consistently)

2. Identify ready-to-buy leads

Using intent data helps companies redefine sales funnel and generate sales leads quicker. By leveraging intent data providers, you can skip the top and middle of the marketing funnel and find leads that are ready to buy.

Intent data is generated by tracking customers' online behaviour, i.e. the websites they visit and the content they consume. As a result, you can get insights into your target accounts interest in your product or solution. You can then prioritize these leads before your competition even realize.

Cognism partnered with Bombora, the leading intent data provider on the market. The unique combination of accurate contact data and 12,000 intent topics allows our customers to get targeted leads for sales teams.

We considered ZoomInfo and Lusha. After trialling all three platforms, Cognism’s US data outperformed the others. I also found the UX/UI of the platform easier to understand. Thirdly, Cognism’s Intent Data partnership with Bombora was the final piece of the jigsaw. All of these collective features ultimately led to our decision to have Cognism as our B2B data vendor of choice.
Derayo Adetosoye, Marketing Manager

3. Create BOFU content

One way to generate leads is through organic sources. This type of lead generation takes a couple of months to get results, but once you set it up, your website can attract a steady number of hot leads without paying for ads.

Choose high-intent, long-tail keywords rather than high-volume ones and optimize your content to get organic traffic from search engines. Then, personalize CTA buttons to match the page's content and intent.

Use smart CTAs tailored to individual users based on data stored on their CRM contact record. For example, they can display customized messages to a first-time visitor, an existing customer, or a lead. Smart CTAs convert 202% better than generic CTAs! 

💡 Check out the best places where you can get leads for free.

4. Use sales triggers

If you defined your ideal customer profile (ICP), you could get in front of them early. Here's how.

You can find the best leads if you analyze buying signals. They create an opening for contacting a new prospect or reviving an existing one.

For example, when a company that fits your ICP appoints a new executive into a decision-making role, it's your chance to make your move. Other signals can include new funding, sector announcement, or development.

To track sales triggers, you can set up Google alerts, follow your target audience on LinkedIn or sign up for their newsletters. A simpler and more effective way is to use a sales intelligence provider like Cognism to make the most of sales trigger events.

💡 If you'd like to learn more strategies for how to generate leads in sales, download our guide to inbound marketing where we share the secrets to our success!👇

(Don't worry, it's not gated 😉)

No Fluff Guide to Inbound Marketing

5. Use matched audiences on social media

Your prospective customers use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. You can reach out to them by posting content and paying for ads on those sites.

To generate even more leads for sales teams, you can also take advantage of retargeting capabilities on those sites. 

Some companies find LinkedIn’s built-in native targeting too broad, though. They use other data providers to build audiences for LinkedIn ads to get more granular.

💡 Find out how to generate sales leads on LinkedIn from James Sutton. It covers tips on building audiences, choosing your targeting method, and experimenting with the budget.

6. Run email nurturing campaigns

Outbound email marketing is one of the lead gen strategies that work in many industries. Ensure you get email addresses from compliant email list providers and tailor the content to your leads.

Remember that you are turning up unannounced in their inbox, so make sure it delivers true value. 

On the other hand, don't forget about leads who are not ready to convert immediately. Send them informational and educational content regularly. And check in with them from time to time to see if they are ready to go down the sales funnel.

💡 Start using lead scoring to predict the lead's readiness to make purchases.

Generate leads with Cognism's email marketing guide

7. Try email signature marketing

Figuring out how to get a lead can be an arduous task. But sometimes, it is as simple as including a link in your email signature.

American workers spend, on average, five hours a day in the inbox. You can maximize the power of your emails with email signature banners. Think of what content, offers, webinars, or events you can promote there to generate the best leads.

💡Check out our guide on lead generation for technology companies and lead gen strategies for financial advisors to get a competitive edge in the industry.

8. Build internal influencer networks 

Using your business' influencers and thought leaders is probably one of the most overlooked ways of generating sales leads. You can develop content and distribution plans for these key stakeholders and build out a following for them on your key social channels. 

How is this a good way of finding sales leads?

It puts your company in the spotlight and drives leads. And remember, people respond to people so growing a following from your colleagues' pages can be more effective than a company's LinkedIn page.

💡 Learn to identify B2B target market and audiences if you're unsure how to generate sales leads.

9. Make brand alliances and partnerships 

Depending on the size of your business, this will likely be a formal or informal process. You can start getting new sales leads by looking at your customer base to identify companies with similar target audiences. The aim is to amplify each other's voices.

This method of generating leads works well for finance, insurance, and other highly competitive industries.

It can start simply as a joint webinar, a guest post, or a monthly social share. You can start small and build if you begin to see traction.

💡 If you like this article on how to generate leads, sign up for our newsletter below for more content. We always include expert insights for sales, marketing, and revenue teams every week👇


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