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10 Types of Lead Generation

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Lead generation is the process of identifying potential customers. It is the first step in a sales process that may also include lead qualification, prospecting, needs analysis, proposals, closing and customer relationship processes such as cross selling. The following are common lead generation techniques.

Digital Advertising

Using behavioral and contextual ads to drive traffic to a page that pitches your product and asks for contact information.

Inbound Marketing

Creating content such as brand storytelling and interacting with potential customers in social media.

Industry Events

Attending industry events such as trade fairs.

Sponsoring Events

Sponsoring events such as training or a product demonstration in order to connect with potential customers. For example, webinars are commonly used to generate leads.


Physical locations that show off products.


Getting to know the people in your industry. For example, a salesperson for market data might know thousands of people in the banking industry in their territory.


Networking by going to the same events and places that customers frequent. For example, bankers in Tokyo might mostly go to the same bar in the evenings.

Cold Calling

Researching people and calling them to try to gain their interest.

Third Party

In many industries, there is a market for leads. For example, a list of people who are currently shopping for a car. These may be worth less than leads who have actively expressed interested in your particular product.


Lost customers and rejected proposals.
Overview: Lead Generation
Finding customers who express interest in your product.
In order to be considered a lead, a customer must indicate interest. In other words, contacts for cold calling aren't typically considered leads.
Related Concepts

Lead Generation

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