The New Age of Lead Generation
Over the recent year, the approaches and strategies of lead generation have seen a dramatic shift. With the influx of powerful tools and platforms, businesses have more opportunities to tap into uncharted markets and produce output with an unseen level of quality.
However, this also brings the challenge of navigating an overcrowded digital space:
- Personalization is becoming paramount for building trust with prospects
- Although almost everyone has used ChatGPT for work, very few teams use it consistently to make their own work a lot more productive
- As good marketing content and sales copy becomes the norm, marketers and sellers must aim higher to stay relevant
In working with our clients and developing our own pipeline, we found that AI-first sales works especially well in sales prospecting and lead nurturing.
Besides some basic concepts to level up your sales and marketing game, we will also dive deeper into making AI tools, lead databases, and communication software an integral part of your acquisition and nurturing strategy.
Outbound Works for B2B
In the B2B realm, where decision-making processes can be intricate and longer, the power of a direct, personalized message cannot be underestimated. While inbound strategies play an important role in B2B Sales, they often involve a waiting game. Outbound strategies, however, place you in the driver's seat, allowing for proactive outreach to potential leads.
This proactive nature of outbound means two things: You can target specific companies, roles, or industries, ensuring that your message reaches those who will find it most relevant. When done correctly, with research, personalization, and clear value propositions, cold emailing can open doors that might otherwise remain shut.
Furthermore, outbound tactics offer scalability. Once you identify a strategy that works, it can be replicated and adjusted for various targets. Combined with the right tools, you can continuously refine your approach and learn from every interaction.
If you ask ChatGPT how you can do outreach, it will give you 20+ channels. We save you the scrolling because realistically, the most relevant ones are LinkedIn DM, phone calls, and Email. They all have their drawbacks but at scale, nothing beats email to date.
LinkedIn DM is a possibility to start with but there are limits to scalability you will quickly run into. There are a few other reasons that speak against betting on LinkedIn as an outbound channel:
- While you can set up ghost accounts, there is only one real account for each person and this is what ultimately matters.
- You can integrate DMs with your CRM but only few support it.
- You’ll be in a crowded space with other sellers.
- LinkedIn will eventually block or otherwise punish your accounts. Even if they don’t do it right away, they will ultimately realize that your hundreds of messages are not from a human.
With all that being said, we still connect with people whose emails we didn’t find and we got several customers this way. Hence, we don’t advise against it but we are using it carefully.
Phone calls can’t be scaled except through hiring more people. There are some AI tools trying to accomplish that but speech models have a long way to go before truly beating the uncanny valley effect. Until then there is no way to scale it efficiently.
Besides, most people don’t want to be bothered via phone randomly. You will always find exceptions but the vast majority of mankind seems to have arrived at the same conclusion: Receiving an unsolicited phone call is not what we want.
Email has its own drawbacks but it’s still unbeaten in terms of scalability, effectiveness, and level of integration with the existing toolset. Plus, it will be the primary communication channel outside of your app (if you have one) and calls or (video) meetings once you are in business.
Leads are Not Just Leads: A Tale of Quality over Quantity
Taking the time to genuinely understand and evaluate each person behind a lead makes a world of difference in conversion rates and overall relationship-building. However, in today's fast-paced business environment, diving deep into every potential lead can be time-consuming and challenging.
As new AI tools like ChatGPT make it easier than ever to achieve a high level of personalization, it is tempting to target anyone that broadly fits within certain parameters. What most sellers end up realizing, however, is that their ultimate goal won’t be reached any faster: Just because you could connect with thousands of potential customers doesn’t mean you should.
To achieve the optimal outcome, both targeting and messaging have to be on point. Given the importance of the matter we have dedicated a full section on targeting before we discuss how insights about leads can be used for crafting the perfect message.
Scale and Effectiveness: The Role of AI in Modern Outreach
Artificial Intelligence has transitioned from being a mere buzzword to being a pivotal component of contemporary business strategies, especially in the realms of sales and marketing. Today, it's rare to find B2B companies that don’t have teams advocating the benefits and potentials of their products or services.
The true allure of AI lies in its ability to bridge a long-standing gap: The dichotomy between mass communication (aka scalability) and genuine personalization. To demystify the suspense: Not only is it possible to achieve both, but with the right strategies, you can do so effectively.