Sales Development reps (SDRs), also often called Inside Sales or Lead Qualification reps, are focused on one thing: reviewing, contacting, and qualifying marketing-generated leads and delivering them to Sales Account Executives. Simply put, SDR teams pass the baton from Marketing to Sales. Why do it this way? Because you want to make sure every single lead Marketing passes to your Sales team is as qualified as possible. Your SDRs should take the time to help each and every lead, offer them value, make a positive impression, create future demand, and become a trusted advisor. This step is critical in the lead generation process because you don’t want to treat your leads as blank faces to be simply questioned, qualified, and harvested.
In the old world of information scarcity, the concept of “lead generation” meant marketing found the names of potential buyers and passed them to sales. Buyers expected that they would have to talk to sales and sales expected to speak to uneducated early stage buyers that may not yet be qualified. This has all changed. Today, buyers can do their own research online and can find a variety of educational resources through search engines, social media, and other online channels. Through content resources, today’s buyer can learn a great deal about a product or service before ever having to even speak to a sales person.  So businesses must make sure that they build their digital presence.
For every industry there are plenty of websites and other ways to get free sales leads such as awards, events and industry associations. Just by doing a few Google searches you will be surprised at what you come up with in terms of finding lists of companies and even contacts for you to prospect. My own background is in IT and have have been a fan of using Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 list and the Inc. 500 and 5000 list.
Gone are the days that a marketer only relied on outbound techniques like trade shows, cold calling, and advertisements to get leads. Today’s buyer is in control. According to Forrester, buyers seek out three pieces of content about a vendor for every one piece sent by a marketer, and for every one piece sent by sales.  Because of buyer self-education, your job as a marketer is to be heard through the noise and come up with new ways for leads to find you. To be a marketer in today’s world, you need a solid grasp of inbound in order to truly amplify your lead generation impact.
Free sales leads are not that hard to find at all but you do need to do some work in order to be able to turn them into cold call lists. In this article I will show you some of the main resources professional sales people and lead generation organizations use in creating lists of companies to cold call. As you will see, most of the information you need to get started making cold calls is right at your fingertips!
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