4 Pillars of a Great Outbound Lead Generation Program
“Sales is the life line of any business. If you’re not selling, you won’t be in business for long.”
This is a phrase I commonly say to any company interested in our outsourced lead generation services. It may sound a little biased, as my business provides sales and marketing services to organizations, but I truly believe it. The fact is, you can’t sell anything until you have a qualified lead. Having been in the lead generation business for over 15 years, I have identified four key pillars of any great outbound lead generation program.
Lead generation is part art, part science. Having the right process—the science—is critical to having a successful, predictable and sustainable lead generation program. The base of the process typically revolves around a CRM. We have been a Salesforce.com shop for over a decade. Although the CRM is the base or foundation, it’s not the process. The real process builds and runs out of one of the many sales acceleration or sales cadence technologies in the market. The two sales cadence technologies LeadJen uses are FrontSpin and Salesvue. By leveraging a cadence tool, you take the guest work and rep discretion out of the equation. These tools increase efficiency and allow sales reps to get through more tasks in less time. A great visual of the power of cadence technology can be found in the video “Logging Tasks with Salesvue”
Once your foundation and process are built, the next step is to have the right messaging crafted. The messaging should be built for calling, emails and social touches. Much to LinkedIn’s dismay, social selling is not the only way to sell. Moreover, cold calling is not dead. I can’t tell you how many sales development representatives (SDRs) InMail me through LinkedIn and never follow up with an email or (god forbid) a call. Outbound lead generation needs to take an omni-channel approach.
In addition, many SDRs continue to send overly-long cold messaging. If a prospect doesn’t know you or your company, do you think they’re going to read a cold message that is a mile long? The key to messaging, especially early on, is being conscious and bringing the prospect from being unaware to aware to interested. Your reps’ messaging needs to follow this path.
An organization can have a great process and killer messaging, but the program can still stall without highly targeted and extremely accurate data. Picture a Ferrari with no gas.
Over the last 15 years, we have tried everything when it comes to data. We have gone from building lists by hand (good but not scalable) to using every known data provider. The best we have worked with to date is DiscoverOrg. By leveraging data that is machine and human verified, it allows our reps to do what they do best: sell.
The final (and most important) element is having the right people. With 18 million sales people in the US, you might think this would be the easy part. But, as I tell our recruiting team, just because someone has sold for X number of years it doesn’t mean they’re any good. Unfortunately, there are more bad sales people then good ones (think Bell Curve). It takes a special kind of person to be good at the thankless job of lead generation. The characteristics that the best SDRs typically have in common include a huge drive, intelligence and emotional intelligence, an ability to be conversational, and often a good sense of humor. Many companies believe anyone can be an SD”. The reality is, anyone can be an SDR, but very few can be a great SDR.
Happy Selling…. Or Lead Gening!