Valuable information from industry professionals
Did you know that less than 50% of businesses make it to their fifth year? Or less than 40% of startups actually turn a profit.
And more often than not, technology companies fail because of a poor go-to-market strategy.
For most B2B technology companies, lead generation is an essential part of the go-to-market strategy. Without lead generation, there is no lift-off from the stage of early days to that of running full blast.
But despite its importance, most sales teams within technology companies of all types and sizes seem to be struggling.
In a 2021 State of Sales report by Pipedrive, more than 45% of respondents reported that they regularly struggle to find enough sales leads for their pipeline.
Another 2021 survey by Ruler Analytics found that 37% of respondents reported that generating high-quality leads was their biggest challenge.
I can go on and on and they all point to the same thing - lead generation is challenging.
Yet many decision makers and sales leadership tend to ignore the threat that a broken lead generation funnel poses to their business.
In this article, I discuss a few strategies that can improve lead generation for technology companies. But first let's discuss a few challenges.
The challenges in lead generation vary for technology companies depending on their size, their target market, the region and a number of other factors.
Some companies don't have enough buyers in their market while others have too many leads but not many active buyers.
Let's look at a few common causes.
Some technology companies sell niche products or services for which there is little brand awareness. Usually in such cases, your prospects aren't aware of their problem let alone that your solutions exist.
You can use a trick to gauge if this is true for your case. You can look at your website traffic or even the search volume for some keywords related to your product to find out if this is true for your business.
Another problem arises when buyers are aware of the problems and also know of the possible solutions but aren't ready to buy yet.
Such a situation normally occurs when decision makers deprioritise solving a problem. Now if you are trying to hit someone with a cold email when they have other problems at their hand your message is going to fail to resonate with the recipient.
Not all leads are the same and you probably know that already. But if your pipeline has too many leads and you don't have the adequate salesforce to manage them that can be a challenge too.
What happens is that you end up prioritizing the wrong lead instead of the right one. Maybe account A was a high-value account and you needed to connect with a few more stakeholders but you spent more time on account B which was low priority.
With these varied challenges, it becomes imperative that you find out what challenges your team is facing before it is too late.
Now let’s get through some strategies you can use to overcome the above mentioned challenges.
Outbound email marketing is one of the major sources of lead generation for B2B technology companies. It also is one of the toughest to crack successfully.
Many companies receive a less than 1% reply rate on their cold emails while others do better. So what separates the high-performers from the low-performing ones?
Well, technology usage is the biggest differentiator. Companies that use the latest tech are 2x more likely to be high-performing than the ones that don't.
And that's obvious right? Think of the US railroad. When the railroad came in people ditched the horse-drawn buggies. And when the cars rolled in the passenger trains were in much less demand.
Technology irrevocably changes how you do things. The same goes for outbound. And the latest in outbound lead generation is automation with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Here are some ways in which you can use AI in the lead generation process of your technology company.
The real estate model holds true for lead generation as well. What I mean is that the quality and quantity of your outbound lead pipeline depends on how closely it looks like your ideal customer profile (ICP).
And what better way to find buyers than to look at those who have already bought from you? That's why targeting ICP accounts is important in outbound lead generation for technology companies.
But searching for lead lists that match the ICP is tiresome. It requires a lot of lead cleaning, lead enrichment, and lead verification through user research.
AI can help you find leads by looking at your own user data as well as social media profiles to see if they actually fit the bill.
By finding patterns in text data, and web activity AI can match and find accounts that look similar to your best-fit or desired customers. With account targeting done accurately, half of the battle is already won for your sales reps.
All they need to do is hit send or dial and voila leads start pouring into your funnel.
The major problem with search based lead generation software is that learnings are limited to the individual sales rep. One of your rockstar reps might have cracked the code to land great accounts but those learnings might not be available to others.
Even if the rockstar shared his strategies it would be difficult to implement it across the team since each rep has his own style there will be some changes.
What you want is to retain each rep's unique style while applying the crux of your learnings from each prospecting cycle.
The manual search based software doesn't let you do that. On the other hand AI-based software like Truebase can learn from your reps as they prospect. Such a software can train from your latest email, ads, and video campaigns to suggest you even better leads.
Effectively this means that you don't have to wait till the end of a quarter or a month to learn what's working or not. You can just plug in last week's converted leads into Truebase and find more lookalikes. Thus you improve week-on-week instead of month-on-month.
One of the lead generation strategies that high-performing B2B technology companies use is connecting with buying group members.
Your outbound lead gen efforts can get better lead quality and lead quantity if you manage to connect with even 1 or 2 key figures in your target company's buying group. High-performing reps rely on their email outreach to do just that.
But there are times when it seems impossible to escalate a contact into a buyer no matter how many times you try. Here's where AI comes in handy since it can crunch data and find you the exact buyer roles that you are looking for in an account.
For example, if an accountant is an end user for your product and a CFO is a decision maker. With a product like Truebase you can find target the end user and the decision maker within the target account with relevant message to increase your likelihood of conversion.
With more relevant messages, your outbound campaign conversion rates improves which further builds your sales pipeline.
One lead generation strategy that is often neglected but can help you win better prospects and increase lead quality is warm intros.
A warm intro is basically an introduction to a prospect from someone they trust or respect. You can get this lead source for free by leveraging your previous relationships with others in the target account's organization. It could be employees, former contractors, partners, vendors.
A little social engineering and LinkedIn sleuthing will let you find out which employee/partner/vendor of the target company knows whom at their firm.
You can then approach that person and ask for a referral into the firm – it's as simple as that!
But why spend any time on it at all when an AI-based software like Truebase can do it for you at scale. You can find 2nd degree connections or people in your many social networks who might be able to get you a referral to your prospect.
One cost-efficient and high-return strategy for advertisements is running custom audience ads or matched audience ads.
Custom audience ads on Google, LinkedInf, Twitter & Facebook allows you to target specific prospects using their email addresses and show targeted ads to them.
It isn't like your usual ads where you don't know who actually saw your ads. Instead you select your list of targets, curate your message, and run ads on that list.
With an AI-based software like Truebase you can create multiple lists using verified personal and work email addresses and use them across ad platforms. For example, on Google you might want to use the personal email list while on LinkedIn you might want the work email list.
The advantage of custom ads is that you have more control over who sees your ads and you can also personalize their journey with custom landing pages and further cold outreach to continue the story.
If you think that you are ready to use one of the strategies discussed in this blog at scale, you can start by signing up for a free trial of Truebase. Want to talk to us, hit us at email@example.com.
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