In my last post I talked about different lead generation models, and how to determine which approach is right for your company.

In this post, I’m sharing some tips on how to drive more of the right kind of leads. You know, the high quality ones that convert at the highest rates. Following these simple steps should help you fill your lead pipeline with real prospects, and improve your conversion rates.

The process below is something we refer to as an “outside-in” approach. That means it is driven by the customer. It’s all about understanding the target, and communicating to them on their terms, in a way that resonates and speaks to their needs and expectations. It is based on research and insight, rather than whim. But it is not an over-complicated, intimidating approach.

1.Define a GREAT lead. To find high quality leads, you need to first make sure you have a clear definition of that perfect prospect. What do you know about them? How do they make decisions?

Look at your current customers and profile them. Gather insight from those people in your organization who deal with potential new customers every day. And look at your leads database to find trends. You may find that what you thought was the ideal target isn’t what is reflected in the research.

2. Find them. Now that you know who you are seeking, the next step is to find more of them. Where do they gather? Do they consume particular media (trade publications, web sites, etc.)? Do they participate in social media (LinkedIn, Facebook)? Are they highly tuned to mobile? Where do they get their information to make decisions?

Talk to current customers who represent your ideal target. Ask questions and listen closely. You’ll most likely uncover something that you didn’t already know.

3. Push the right buttons. Once you’ve found your ideal prospects, it’s time to communicate with them. But how? What should you say? The messaging shouldn’t be based on what your company “wants” to say. It should be based on what resonates with your target.

Again, primary research with your existing customers can help you define which messages will be most effective. Ask them why they chose your organization. Ask about the challenges and opportunities they face in their business each day. And ask what else they wish they knew during their decision making process.

Following these steps will eliminate much of the guesswork, and will allow you to drive more of those highly desirable leads.

How are you finding the right leads?