The most enterprising and assertive entrepreneurs can find themselves focusing on the end results of the sales process more than on the beginning and middle steps of the process.

This is understandable, especially considering the fact that, absent sales, organizations don’t generate revenues. This applies whether organizations are building business to business (B2B) or business to customer (B2C) sales. In fact, organizations that raise funds for charities must also complete the sales process, from start to close.

Yet, the first step to generating sales, regardless of the business type, requires that business leaders establish then develop rewarding relationships with potential clients. Although a lost art, placing direct telephone calls to qualified prospects is still an effective method to generate sales.

In fact, some sales professionals close more sales using outbound methods developed with lead generation software than they do with inbound marketing alone.

It’s this outbound work that can prevent more than 75% of an organization’s sales from getting stuck in the middle of the sales process. As Marketing Land shares, “Did you know that a whopping 79 percent of leads never convert? 79 percent! That is 4/5ths of your potential revenue down the drain.

All that money and effort spent generating those leads? Also down the drain. That should be a wakeup call: the industry at large needs to reexamine how it approaches lead generation to reduce that waste and boost actual conversions.”

Generating sales leads alone isn’t that hard. It can be done by asking visitors at a trade show to provide their contact information on a signup sheet, soliciting newsletter subscriptions or including calls to action in messages that are shared at social media networks. However, organizations that hope to close sales must go further.

To complete the sales process, organizations can use lead generation software to email contacts several days or weeks following an event. For example, organizations could use lead generation software to communicate with prospects at work or at home, asking them what they enjoyed most and least about the event.

Thanks to the rapidly growing popularity of mobile devices, lead generation software can also be used to connect with prospects while they’re commuting or looking for something to do during downtimes like long weekends and vacations.

The important thing is to connect with prospects via multiple channels. Therefore, instead of simply emailing prospects or messaging them at social media networks, organizations could hire experienced B2B lead generation specialists to follow-up on contacts that were generated at special events (i.e. trade shows, large scale lectures, business seminars).

They could send people who sign up for company newsletters surveys, answer questions prospects leave at social media networks and place outbound telephone calls to qualified prospects to further vet out the perceived needs and wants that the clients have.

In addition, software from and other lead generation firms allow organizations to readily perform appointment setting action steps, conduct marketing surveys, query potential attendees of organizational events and harvest inside sales as well as external sales.

Some organizations outsource each of these services, while others partner with lead generation firms to complete the sales process from start to finish.