Discover how you can make your lead generation process more efficient and more effective by making the right choices.
Timing: The Secret of Success
They say that the secret of comedy is timing - but the same could be said of sales and marketing. In fact, good marketing can be summed up in a single sentence:
Getting the right message to the right person, at the right time.
Most sales and marketing teams work hard on creating the right message and finding the right person - but pay much less attention to finding the right time to get in touch. Yet pinpointing the exact moment when a company has need of your products or services can make all the difference in the world to your success rate.
Sales people in general don’t always have the best reputation. That’s because we’ve all had the experience of being cold-called by reps trying to set appointments for products we don’t need. And we know how annoying it is to have evening meals interrupted by door-knockers - selling everything from bake-sale cookies and life insurance, to solar panels and the promise of eternal life.
Those are all things that we may have an interest in some day...but probably not right now while your dinner is going cold. The timing is all wrong.
Yet what if a plumber stopped by giving out flyers, and you had just discovered a burst pipe in the kitchen? Would you angrily point out the ‘No Hawkers’ sign on your front door...or would you welcome him and his toolkit into your home with open arms?
No doubt your dinner would be forgotten, and you would hasten the plumber into the kitchen to get the job done. And you probably wouldn’t haggle over the price, because you need that burst pipe fixed right now. The plumber delivered the right message to the right person - at exactly the right time.
Finding Hungry Buyers
Gary Halbert - the late, great marketer - used to pose a questions to his classes of copywriting students:
If you were opening a burger stand, and you could have one advantage over your competitors, what advantage would you choose?
The students would typically ask for advantages such as better burgers, lower prices or a nicer burger stand. Then Halbert would announce: “Those are all good. But I would outsell all of you with my preferred advantage - a hungry market.”
So the right time to sell is when the buyer is hungry for what you have to offer. But how do you find the right time in B2B marketing? Every business is different, of course, and you will need to identify what works for your circumstances. But in general, there are several approaches we can use to contact people when they need help the most.
Paid search ads are great for reaching people who are ready to buy, but competition is likely to be fierce. You need a very good sales funnel to make them profitable. Search engine optimization and content marketing can produce active buyers, but they are long-term strategies.
So for B2B lead sources, what else can you do to find hungry buyers who are ready to snap up your best deal?
1. Look for Companies that are Hiring
Let’s say you are marketing a SaaS product that helps with sales automation. A great target for this product is a company that is currently hiring sales staff.
Set up job alerts on LinkedIn so you know who is hiring. This is a great way of tapping into companies who need all the help they can get with sales. If they have the need to hire sales staff and the budget to pay them, they are a great target for you.
2. Monitor Activity
Another way to mine the web for valuable information is to keep an eye out for activity in your target industry. Look to see who is winning contracts, or starting major new projects. These may provide you an opportunity to get in with a proposal at exactly the right time.
Set up Google alerts for relevant terms, so that you know instantly when relevant news happens in your industry. But don’t rely on those alone - keep a close eye on industry news sources, both online and offline.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator also allows you to see who in your target industry has changed jobs recently. A single job changes provides you with two opportunities:
1. To get in touch with the person in question at their new company
2. To find out who is taking over their old job.
Both executives will be looking to make changes and have an impact in their new role...and maybe you can help.
3. Look for Recently-Funded Companies
We all know that money makes the world go round. When a business receives new funding, we immediately know several things about the company. It has:
A solid business model that investors believe in
An opportunity to grow and expand rapidly
Funds on hand to fuel to invest in products and services
A need to act quickly to deploy the new funding
In other words, we have a market of hungry buyers for whom the right time is right now. Research shows that the first sales person to contact a newly-funded company about their particular product service is likely to get the sale.
This is a fantastic opportunity. All you need is a means of identifying these ‘wallet-out’ prospects reliably and efficiently. That’s where Fundz Pro comes in.
Fundz Pro is an easy-to-use web app that provides real-time alerts on all private companies in the US that have just raised money. The data is optimized for any device and delivered to via chrome extension alerts:
In short, you get all the data you need to target the right people at the right time, including:
Real-time updates on all the latest companies that received funding as filed with the SEC
Contact emails (when able to be verified)
On-demand searching of thousands of funded startups, by city, state, industry, or company-related person
Customization of the new fundings you receive based on location, industry, funding amounts and more
A Chrome extension with real-time push notifications of new fundings matching your filters
The ability to export funding deals to CSV
Statistics on what industries and locations are receiving the most new funding deals over a selected time period
How much would you expect to pay for a service like this...perhaps $100 a month? Maybe more? In fact, you can subscribe to Fundz Pro for just $10 a month, with no long-term commitment. That means you can start or grow any business even with a very modest marketing budget.
Great - so now you have some excellent ways to source prospects who are ready to buy. But you are still only half way to making the sale. The next step is making contact with the prospect, and this is where most sales people trip up badly.
The good news is that if you get this part right, you will be way ahead of most of your competitors. Here are some to keep you ahead of the game:
1. Find the Right Email Address
Don’t make the mistake of using the company’s generic email address or contact form. Find the right person to contact using LinkedIn, and track down their personal email address.
Better lead-generation services such as Fundz Pro will help you find the right contact details. But if you don’t have an individual email address from the get-go, dig deeper.
There are many services available to help you locate email addresses. Snov.io is great because it offers a complete service from finding and validating the email to following up with a ‘drip’ sequence.
2. Start a Conversation
Most cold email campaigns fail badly because they are all about the seller, and not about the prospect. The prospect doesn’t care about you, your company or your product. They only care about what’s in it for them.
Cold emails that request an appointment or discuss ‘finding out if we’re a good fit’ are doomed to failure. Executives get these by the bucket load. With busy schedules and full in-boxes, they are looking for any excuse to hit the delete button.
So don’t try to sell in your email. Focus on giving them a reason to open the email and start a conversation. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what will be of interest to them.What would get them to click ‘open’ instead of ‘delete?’
3. Give Before You Take
A good sales relationship is not about selling - it’s about helping. Get your relationship off to a good start by doing a small favor for the prospect.
Don’t try to schedule a call right out the gate. Create value by:
Sharing an article that will be of genuine interest
Politely pointing out a typo on the company’s website
Making a helpful suggestion
Making More Sales, Faster
When you put all of the above together, you will create a lead-generation machine that creates sales more efficiently and effectively than ever before.
You will be talking to the right people at the right time - delivering the right message to a non-stop stream of hungry buyers.
This is a classic case of working smarter, not harder. So start filling your pipeline with ready-to-by prospects and multiply your success in sales.
This article is a guest post by Rob Palmer of GoFreelance.
Topic: B2B Sales Leads