[This article is the updated version of the original 2020 article.]
Outbound lead generation is no longer about cold calling -> meeting -> negotiating and closing. It’s about providing chunks of value, one after the other. One-on-One and not One-to-Many.
In 2020, COVID fundamentally collapsed the way most of us connect and network with new potential buyers. Unfortunately, 2021 was not so much different – increasingly, many are concluding that this ‘temporary’ disruption will have longer term effects on business development and business relationship building.
Now, take a look at The BizXpand Outbound Lead Generation Machine, that brought our customers 622 meetings in this “still turbulent” year 2021.
Remember, it was 361 meetings in 2020. In 2021 we almost doubled the 2020 results!
Our customers are international SaaS, software and IT service companies, that want to systematically gain more customers in the German speaking markets. They all have high-ticket offers. Characteristics of “high ticket” are:
- consultative selling
- several decision makers/influencers
- long sales cycles
- targets are mid size and large enterprises
For them, 622 calls and meetings with interested decision makers/influencers in mid-size and large enterprises is a fantastic achievement. There was uncertainty in the beginning of the COVID crisis in 2020 but as you can see in our 2021 results, discovery calls with sales qualified leads are well distributed all over the year –
A typical BizXpand campaign involves 500 to 2000 people and runs for 2 to 4 months. Average lead time per person is 30 days with up to 7 touch points on LinkedIn and email.
Technical Components of Outbound Lead Generation
There are some technical components you have to master when you want your outbound lead generation to be successful:
- don’t trust your “automated sourcing”. No matter if you buy target lists or use LinkedIn Sales Navigator always do data cleaning and persona verification to improve the quality of your list.
- apply the right sequences to the right channels. Anyone can send automated emails and post articles on LinkedIn. Refine what you want to achieve from each touch point and adjust your CTAs accordingly.
- Chose your ESP (email service provider). Google Workspace has higher email deliverability than MS365. On-premise Exchange and Linux based SMTP solutions have the worst email deliverability.
- Use a phantom domain for your email campaigns if your original domain was already used for newsletters or mass emailings.
- Optimize your email deliverability and readability. No pictures in your email signature, no attachments, short sentences, correct SPF/DKIM/DMARC settings and max 90 words emails for mobile readability.
For details read the 11 Tips To Improve Your Email Prospecting
More Surprising that keep Surprising us
- LinkedIn and Email are both messages, but the same prospect will respond differently over the different channels.
- There is almost no correlation between LinkedIn ‘success’ and getting meetings
- 80% of the time our knowledge and experience exactly predicts outcomes. 20% continues to be a total surprise. “Never rely on experience when you can test quickly and cheaply”
- No tool or technique ever lasts more than 36months before something better comes or the old one stops working.
Only few contacts will reply with “Yes, I’m interested, let’s have a call tomorrow!”. Far more will indicate their interest by providing some real objections such as “I think this would be far too complex for us to implement”. If you don’t handle those kind of objections properly your success rate will not be very high. Again, outbound lead generation is not about automated email sending. It’s about providing chunks of value, one after the other. Sometimes value is also provided in handling their objections.
Apart from the technical aspects and the objection handling the single biggest success factor for your outbound lead generation is the “message-persona-fit” of your sales messages.
Before your send your first sales message (on LinkedIn, Email or any other channel), do the following investigations and adapt your sales messages accordingly:
- Who are the buyer personas? It’s always people that buy from you, not “companies”.
- What pains, needs and desires do they have that I can solve?
- How big is this pain actually? Is it a high priority for them?
- What are the alternative solutions (internal and external) to alleviate this pain? Look at your competitors and self-made solutions?
- How does my solution differ from other? What are my differentiators?
- How can I be perceived as “more credible” than others? Work on your references, social prove, and content, content, content…
In addition, read When You Need To Improve Your Value Proposition
Remember: Outbound lead generation is the only scalable and predictable sales method to grow and export a high ticket business to new market segments and geographies.