9 Ways to Generate Manufacturing & Industrial Sales Leads & Appointments

For a business to grow and minimise risks, it will need a growing list of trustworthy core clients. Here are some top tips for you to engage with prospects and build on that core client base!

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Many manufacturers often find themselves in the position of needing new sales qualified leads. It’s not uncommon for businesses within the manufacturing sector to have a core base of clients and the occasional impromptu projects.

For a business to grow and minimise risks, it will need a growing list of trustworthy core clients. Here are some top tips for you to engage with prospects and build on that core client base!

Sourcing the Relevant Data

Firstly, let’s talk data! Without sourcing or building the correct data for you to prospect and Market, you will fall behind. There are many ways that you can build data lists and here are a few that will help you do so.

You must understand who you’re currently selling to and what a qualified prospect looks like. As a manufacturing business, you will have many ways to reach your target market or sector.

For example, do you utilise distributors or channel partners? Could your product be sold as components that would be used in several other sectors? Do you sell to end users and are they businesses, consumers, or a mix of both?

When building your data, you also want to consider mapping out the Decision-Making Unit. Will it consist of a single person or a group of stakeholders? You will also have to note what job titles or job functions are relevant to you and your proposition.

The larger the manufacturing company, the more individuals that are likely to make up the decision-making unit. Because of the different levels of seniority and the various departments involved in decisions, the average B2B purchasing decision involves over 5 people and your initial point of entry may not be the ultimate decision maker.

When sourcing data, FAINT (Funds, Authority, Interest, Need and Timing) is often a better rule to follow when compared to BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timing) as it addresses the funds of a company. The budget can only be assessed once you have spoken to a member of the decision-making unit.

Once you have a true understanding of your target audience, it is time to work out what type of initial messaging is more likely to resonate and decide on the best message delivery medium.

Utilising Linkedin

LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator can empower any business with the opportunity to prospect the right people.

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to build custom data lists based on a wide range of selections including Industry type, geography, seniority level, job function and job title, company size and company type (privately held, public etc).

It’s worth noting that LinkedIn has now capped the number of connection requests you can send each week to 100. Also, LinkedIn prefers that you send connection requests to those that are likely to know you (2nd Degree Connections).

This tool will allow you to send sequential messages to prospects, group members and email connection requests to 3rd-degree connections. The key to utilising tools like this is to ensure that you’re personable and relevant. To learn more about using LinkedIn as a lead generation tool, read this article.

Email Marketing

When done correctly, effective email Marketing can be a powerful tool for generating new sales leads. Much like prospecting via LinkedIn, the key to your email campaign is to personalise your messages and segment your data. In doing so, your messages are more likely to resonate.

If for example, your business specialises in a few different sectors. By segmenting your data into each vertical, you can talk to your prospects about industry-relevant topics.

Sequential email marketing will also get you much further in generating new sales appointments over the occasional email blast! Not only will you gain more visitors to your website, but as your sequences mature, you’ll begin to see a significant uplift in responses.

A word of warning about purchased data lists and generic emails. Never send emails to generic email addresses such as info@ or departments such as procurement@. Most will be marked as spam by multiple people risking your marketing email domains being blacklisted.

The above graph shows stats from our own email marketing efforts over the course of one month, resulting in 32 responses/conversations.


If you’re looking to generate high-quality sales opportunities, telemarketing should be an option on your radar.

Just like the use of social media, telemarketing allows you to engage your prospects in a peer-to-peer conversation. Understanding pain points will help put you forward as a supplier when you overcome them! This is a great way to build a pipeline of opportunities, both immediate and long-term.

For example, if someone does not accept your LinkedIn invitation or engage with your email marketing, the probability is that you will not know why. On the other hand, a highly skilled telemarketer can ask those relevant data capture questions.

The art of B2B Telemarketing in the UK has changed significantly over the years. Long gone are the days of the boiler room style, hammering the phone with your boss sitting on your shoulder. Effective telemarketing and appointment setting need to be consultative.

Ask questions to ascertain your prospect's requirements and put forward an effective solution as to how you can help overcome them. In doing so, not only will you gain higher quality sales appointments, but you’re also more likely to convert them.

Events Follow-Ups

Keep in touch with people that you meet at events, whether they’re online or physical! Events are a great opportunity for you to network with unique prospects.

It all comes down to managing your data and CRM effectively.

Putting in a periodic call or email to a prospect means that they’re not going to forget you, especially if you’re accurate with your note-taking. Much like all of the tips given so far, personalisation is key. If you can gain some information that is going to help you be relevant on the next call, make a note of it.

Paid Advertising

Depending on your target audience and your website, Paid Ads or Google Ads may be something worth considering. There are many advantages to paid search engine advertisements, the main being getting relevant prospects to your website if your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) isn’t adequate.

When done well, paid ads can rocket your pipeline. However, they can also prove to be a bottomless pit if your negative keywords are not as effective as they could be.


Blogging is a fantastic tool that allows you to convey to the reader your understanding of their sector, challenges and what you can offer to help them overcome those challenges.

It’s also great for your search engine rankings as you will convey a sense of trust, authoritativeness and expertise.

Maintaining a blog does come with its own challenges though. To blog effectively, you need to be consistent with the frequency. If you’re looking to utilise your website’s blog for SEO purposes, you will also need to identify relevant keywords.

Keyword research on its own can be time-consuming. There are a number of tools out there that can assist you with keyword and market research beyond Google Analytics and Google Search Console. The most common and well-known is SEMrush, a fantastic tool for any marketeer that understands keyword research and how to identify which keywords are relevant.

If, however, you do not possess these skills or the time for manual search and comparison, a tool such as SmarttDigital may be what you’re looking for. This powerful AI technology allows the user to understand what your target audience is searching for, providing you with keywords and phrases that are being used regularly. By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can replicate this. If you’re not an avid content writer, the tool also provides recommendations on what content you should be producing!

Regardless of which tools you’re using to aid your blogging ability, the two most important things to remember are relevancy and frequency.

Direct Mail

Direct Mail can sometimes be seen as an old-hat tactic when it comes to prospecting. It’s also not the cheapest form of marketing. However, if you have a solid pipeline of marketing qualified leads, then Direct Mail can really help your prospects move along their sales journey.

If you’re utilising Telemarketing as part of your wider marketing strategy, your bank of marketing qualified leads is going to be your best prospect for sending out pieces of Direct Mail. Having ascertained who the Decision Makers are, a striking piece of Direct Mail is going to make you more memorable.

A client once sent out a Lego kit (very specific to their industry) and removed the instructions, replacing them with a letter stating that if they will have to get in touch to receive it. They sent out 20 of these to strategic marketing qualified leads and 14 of them turned into appointments with many converting to new, high-value customers. Thinking outside of the box, so to speak, will go a long way when it comes to a piece of Direct Mail.

Re-engaging Lapsed Clients

When you are picking up extemporary projects as a manufacturer, reaching out to your lapsed customers is something that you should be doing regularly.

If they needed your products or services once, the chances are they’re going to need them again at some point. Additionally, by reaching out to them, you may well identify further opportunities to become a regular provider.

If you can facilitate more requirements compared to their current supplier, you’ll be best placed to put yourself forwards as a credible, able, and already known supplier at the time of contract review.

If you’re ready to build a pipeline of opportunities The Lead Gen Specialists can help identify immediate sales opportunities along with a bank of marketing qualified leads, nurturing them until they become sales ready. Contact us today to discuss your appointment setting needs - call 03332 400 054 or email enquiries@leadgenspecialists.co.uk

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