Yesterday I received an email from a potential new client. He asked “what are your differentiators?”. A very valid question!
We are an outbound lead generation agency and book meetings on behalf of international SaaS, software and IT services companies with potential new B2B enterprise customers from the German-speaking markets (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).
At any given point in time we have at least 50 campaigns running. A campaign is a hand crafted sequence of LinkedIn messages and emails to a well defined audience (buyer personas from an ideal customer profile). Sweet spot for most of our clients are enterprises between 200 and 5000 employees.
Outbound lead generation is all about generating an uninterrupted and repeatable flow of qualified sales leads and meetings, independent of all the other mostly time-limited marketing campaigns and sales experiments. Done right, outbound leads feed your account executives (AEs) with a constant flow of calls with new potential customers.
Outbound leadgen is also used to objectively test new market segments (geographically, different industries, different company sizes). Unlike other tactics (inbound, and paid ads) you also get unbiased and direct replies from which you can inform your market segment specifics, such as: no such pain/need in the market segment; the market segment is not ready; the total addressable market segment is too small; one or two dominant competitors; no relevant differentiators in a very crowded market segment, etc.
Don’t use Outbound Lead Generation to urgently find one next customer! The ramp-up time for outbound lead generation (sourcing target companies and their buyers, preparing and testing various sales messages) is relatively high when you do high integrity, low aggression campaigns . Outbound lead generation is optimized for leads/month but at the cost of time-to-first-lead.
What is a successful outbound campaign?
We reach out to 100 new contacts every week for each client. A good campaign gives a reply rate (unbiased feedback from the target audience) of 10+ percent and 4-8 meetings every month.
Obvious ingredients of a successful outbound campaign
- Well researched target group (500-2000 decision makers and decision influences from the right type of companies)
- Clean and enriched data (gender information when you write in German, business email addresses, clean first names and last names)
- High email deliverability (low bounce rate, warmed up email account, no blacklisted domain)
- High readability (most emails get read and deleted on mobile phones first but replied from desktops)
- A natural, human sequence (how many reminders, days in between reminders)
- Appropriate call-to-action (an email sells the meeting, not the product)
Less obvious ingredients
- Adjustments to the local business culture (German business culture is based on high-trust, high-integrity, facts + proven statements, and no marketing fluff)
- Credibility (how can you prove your value statement, can you name some references?)
- Curiosity (Can you make someone curious to talk to you?)
- Message-Persona-Fit (Are your differentiators today relevant to the buyers in this specific market segment?)
Examples of message-persona-fit
🚫 German speaking developers in Poland for Berlin based startups.
🚫 SFDC maintenance staff from Slovakia for German based enterprises.
🚫 GDPR compliant solution for the anonymization of test data for financial institutions in Germany.
✅ Pillar Two tax reporting system to large international cooperations with headquarters in Switzerland.
✅ AI solution for die casting fabs in Europe to save energy costs.
✅ ISO 13485 certified engineers for European MedTech companies.
What if a campaign fails?
As mentioned above, 20% of the campaigns we run, are not successful. We call it a failed campaign if it does not generate enough meetings for the client. We simply were not able to come up with a message that is relevant to the reader (no message-persona-fit).
Often, we get enough brutal and unbiased replies to identify a pattern and learn what to change in the campaign:
- email copy (adjusting the core message)
- audience (switch to another market segment)
But sometimes, we don’t even learn anything from the replies we collect. Then we revert the remaining contacts in the campaign to reach out to them in “discovery mode” and no longer in “sales mode”:
As an added bonus a ‘non-sales’ discovery mode call can often turn into a sales call. 😜
So, back to your question, Robert! What makes us different?
- All our campaigns follow the same strict rules for target sourcing, data cleaning and data enrichment. All campaigns use the same proven 7-step-sequence. That makes it easy for us to benchmark campaign KPIs against each other, to predict their future performance and to set corrective actions before burning through 1000 valuable contacts.
- We constantly A/B test alternatives (different subject lines, adding images, adding Calendly links, switching to native languages, etc.) to always improve our “secret sauce”.
- And most importantly: we, the two co-founders are seasoned and grey haired quota-carrying B2B sales executives. No bullshit, no marketing fluff. We use all our personal experience and energy on the less obvious ingredients to work out with our clients the most accurate message-persona-fit (credibility, differentiators, relevance, curiosity).