Lead generation is
probably the most dreaded (and avoided) part of any B2B sales professional’s
role, regardless of experience and seniority. However, lead generation has come
a long way from the days of cold calling - the digital world provides a whole
host of alternative methods to reach out to potential customers, all of which are
much more targeted and simpler than cold calling, and increase the likelihood of getting that first stage meeting.
have therefore had to adapt their techniques to get results. Follow these 10
simple golden nuggets to maximise the number and quality of meetings you
1. Create a priority list of target companies
It may seem obvious, but
the first step to success is creating a list of potential clients. The ideal
starting point is developing a ‘universe of companies’ within the particular
sector(s) you want to target. This can be time-consuming - an alternative is outsourcing
to market research firms or marketing consultants. Once you have your list, prioritise it to help focus your time -
ultimately it comes down to factors such as company size and opportunity;
likelihood of winning; brand; and synergies with your experience and services.
2. Find the decisionmaker
So now you know which
companies are a priority, the next step is finding the decision maker. Head to LinkedIn
– the platform’s 467 Million+ users and advanced search features are a godsend.
It’s now easier than ever just to click on a company’s LinkedIn page and find
the best contacts.
3. Build or buy data
If you’re not lucky
enough to have your own expansive and up-to-date database, a fast and effective
approach is to buy relevant contact data, then enrich this with your own
information. Where off-the-shelf lists are not available, another option is to
build a database - either on your own or by outsourcing to a lead
4. Go digital
A rule of thumb with
successful lead generation is ‘put yourself in the client’s shoes’. As all
potential clients are human, they will most likely want to be contacted in the
least intrusive but most informative way possible. Sending an email or (LinkedIn)
InMail has now become best practice, however these alone aren’t enough. Enter
golden rule number 5 - personalisation.
Showing a potential
client that you’ve invested time researching their company, and clearly
outlining what you do and the specific benefits to the client, goes a million
miles! Further, because sales and marketing via email has soared, it now means
inboxes get inundated with emails, most of which are sent en masse. Therefore
the trick to making yours get the reply is personalisation and ultimately
showing you’re a real person interested in doing business with them.
6. Do something different!
You don’t get many
goes at contacting someone, therefore first impressions count. Doing something
creative in your introduction email/InMail is another way to stand out. It can
be something as simple as attaching a relevant white paper, or as fancy as
sending a dynamic personalised video message from your CEO. Showing
7. Engage first, sell second
The ultimate aim of
lead generation is to get a meeting, however pitching in your best personalised
email and simply asking for a meeting in the first breath doesn’t always work
best. Avoid pressuring people, and engage first, sell second.
8. Follow up
If you don’t get a
reply, follow up. Try forwarding the original email with a short one-liner.
This can increase responses by up to 50%. It’s also not a bad time to try
phoning, which when following up a warm email doesn’t have the same cold feel.
If everything you’ve
tried doesn’t get a result, it’s likely that the company isn’t at the right
stage of the sales cycle. Nurturing these contacts is the next best step.
Ensure they receive your newsletter and relevant thought leadership material, and
invite them to events where they will have the opportunity to interact with
your happy clients. This is where a good email marketing engine is useful.
These engines can provide you with valuable insight into where a contact is in
the sales cycle at any given time.
10. The perfect match suppliers
There are a number of
excellent B2B lead generation suppliers in the market that will take the right
approach for your business. AboutMatch has a database of pre-screened suppliers
ready to go for any companies looking for support in any of the 10 steps
outlined above. Happy hunting!
us for a free consultation about your lead generation needs.