3 Automated Lead Generation Strategies To Implement In Your Sales Process Outbound sales is crucial for all growing companies. Here are three proven strategies to ensure our calendars are always full.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As one of my first mentors said: "In business, sales solves all." This reigns true in the majority of cases. When you make a sale, you can re-invest that into a new employee, advertising campaign, software, marketing, etc. You get the point. The problem with lead generation and sales for most SMEs, however, is that they depend solely on one channel — which, more often than not, is inbound leads or referrals.
While these are arguably the best forms of lead generation, as the prospect is "warm" & they already know, like and trust you, these methods are the least scalable. Why? Because you're putting your fate in other people's hands and not taking a proactive approach to growth.
Now more than ever, it is essential to diversify your approach to lead generation, leveraging different strategies that work best for your business and target market. In this article, I'll break down three automated outbound lead generation strategies we use with great success and how you can use them to drum up more business and, more importantly, epic client case studies.
1. Cold email
With advertising costs on the rise, companies are looking for more cost-effective ways to generate attention and leads. Now, before you think, "Cold emails are for spammers and scammers," — please read this with an open mind. A cold email has become one of the hottest topics in the B2B marketing space, with many new tech and SaaS startups emerging in the cold email automation space to fill these needs.
All seasoned cold emailers understand that it provides unparalleled scalability for the cost. That said, don't expect to start emailing today and drumming up new business immediately. It takes time to tweak, refine and improve upon your process. It took us four months of trial and error before we found an email that really hit the mark.
And just a word of warning — no matter what, you will get people that dislike your email and will respond with criticism. Understanding that this is part of the game will help you persevere and succeed. The best resources I've come across and used to learn the A-Z of cold email are Alex Berman's YouTube channel. Some baseline metrics to aim for in your B2B cold email campaigns are a 75% open rate, 10% reply rate and 2.5% meeting book rate. Review your cold emails every week to ensure you're constantly improving and hitting these baseline numbers.
2. LinkedIn outbound
To be completely honest, I slept on LinkedIn for a long time. While it isn't my preferred place to consume content, it has been tremendous for us in terms of lead generation. It also has some incredible automation abilities and will produce epic results when done right.
Where I see most people go wrong on LinkedIn is primarily a basic lack of understanding of people. Who in their right mind will respond to a 7-paragraph, 800-word introductory message? Don't worry, at some stage, pretty much everyone has been there (myself included).
Why I believe LinkedIn is far superior to other social networks for B2B lead generation is 3-fold.
Firstly, it's a business platform. People expect to be doing business there. Secondly, it has a sales navigator tool. A way to get directly into people's inboxes without even connecting. Thirdly, it has a lot of automation capability — we use a Walaaxy for this.
This allows you to import a list of your ideal customers automatically and then automatically connect with them, sending them an invitation message and even a follow-up message sequence, which you can use to explore potential meetings or synergies. Again, the messaging sequence here needs to be short and sweet — as I mentioned, there's nothing worse than an unsolicited four paragraphs from a stranger trying to get you onto their "free webinar."
3. Twitter outbound
Twitter has quickly become my favorite social media platform — it is a no-BS place, and people don't have time for fluff. With that in mind, that's why it's such a fun platform to try and crack the challenge of outbound. It's not uncommon for people to screenshot a bad DM they receive and shamelessly post it to their thousands of followers, causing public embarrassment to the person who sent the DM.
That's why it's so challenging. You need a unique approach. The approach that we have used, which works incredibly well, is a purely value-based message. We essentially offer our services for free — no strings attached. Doing so builds a relationship, an audience and a network of influential people. Believe me, when I say you will be shocked at the kind of connections and relationships you can build. I was even shocked at how I immediately received referrals and people wanting to do more business with us.
If I haven't convinced you yet to implement these strategies, the fact that it costs me five times less to acquire a customer with these strategies compared to paid advertising says everything you need to know.
Forget manually sending 100 emails, DM's, and messages per day. Leverage automation to do the heavy lifting for you, then take over to complete the process. Remember always to constantly tweak and optimize your processes to make micro-improvements throughout all stages of your sales process.
If you implement all these strategies effectively, watch your pipeline and sales skyrocket this year.