It used to be the norm—and in some quarters it still happens—that the sales force generated its own leads. But today it is far more common to leave sales reps doing what they do best: closing sales. The job of lead generation is left to Marketing.
As anyone informed will tell you, leads is a quantity game. The more prospective targets you can reach out to, the more leads you will get back. The higher the quantity of leads you can get in the door, the higher the number of closes.
It often happens, then, that marketing will purchase lists of potential prospects instead of manually trying to seek them out, then isolate and promote to them; this is often the way to reach larger numbers of potential buyers faster. There is a definite science, however, to choosing the right list and promoting to it in such a way that a decent response will be obtained.
Specifying a List
There are a number of specifications you will need to provide in order to purchase a list. These minimally include job title, type of company, size of a company, and geographical location. The better list providers offer further options, such as direct phone numbers and email addresses.
But how do you know what to ask for?
To answer that question, you must compile a detailed customer profile. This is best done through your CRM solution (if you have the right one). Look at your customers—who have purchased, how much, what kinds of companies are they? This is key for your lead generation. List out the job title of every decision maker in such companies, as you’ll want to target those.
Do not skimp on this step—it will mean the difference between success and failure of any marketing campaign you conduct with the list you purchase. The more accurately you can describe your ideal customer, the better your list will be.
Where to Purchase?
Anyone who has spent a few years in direct marketing will warn you about the volume of bad lists for rewarding lead generation available out there, so take care in choosing the company from which you purchase lists. Consult with friends and colleagues you trust, and experts you listen to. When possible, ask for references. Make sure their lists are kept current. Make sure you’re dealing with a reputable company that is going to provide you with what you really need.
Based on the job titles you’re getting on your list, along with the knowledge you have accumulated about the types of prospects and the industry or industries involved, craft a targeted campaign for your list. Look over your own company’s sales pipeline and figure out how best to approach potential prospects from the first point of contact in order to garner their interest in your product or service and your company as a source. Realize that you may have to create different messages for different job titles—for example your wording to a senior executive would probably be different than for the IT director.
There are a number of companies that specialize in email marketing campaigns for effective lead generation. If it is in your budget, consult with one of them as you create your campaign. Some of them even offer free materials on creating campaigns with some expert advice. This is ground that has been successfully trodden before and you need not go it alone.
It is a good idea to create campaign-specific landing pages that contain the same messaging as your emails so that there is not only consistency of message but a “push” for the same result.
Once you have obtained your list and created your campaign, test it and carefully monitor the results. Some companies will split a new list up into multiple parts and test different versions of a campaign on different parts of the list (with landing pages to match).
Make sure you attach codes to all response vehicles (specific URLs, codes in emails, extension numbers for phone calls, etc.) so that responses from your tests can be clearly and easily monitored.
Through testing, you can fine-tune your campaign so it’s successful.
Utilize Your CRM Solution Throughout your Lead Generation
A leading-edge CRM solution will not only provide you plentiful data with which to create your ideal customer profile for specifying your list and creating your campaign, it will also allow you to carefully track any leads that come from the campaign. It is very important to watch them as they move through the sales process: did they fully qualify? Did they fall off anyplace? What are the sales reps saying about them? Being able to track leads is part and parcel of any lead generation campaign.
Purchasing of lists for lead generation can be profitable and rewarding—if the right homework is done as part of the process. Put in the effort and reap the benefits of high-quantity and high-quality leads.
Your CRM solution is the backbone of any marketing campaign. Find out how and why by taking advantage of a free webinar.