Sales Targeting For High Performance Lead Generation
Generate more qualified sales leads at less cost
What happens if you create a powerful lead generation campaign, but put your message in front of the wrong people? Yeah, nothing good!
A successful lead generation campaign is 80% sales targeting, and 20% everything else. If you want remarkable lead generation results, you’d better nail your sales targeting.
In this article we’ll outline some ways to optimize your sales targeting for better lead generation. If you follow the simple advice below the improvements to your sales lead quality might shock you. You’ll have a better understanding of your prospects. You’ll be more deliberate about who you contact. And if everything goes right, you’ll be swimming in opportunities.
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Know Thy Client
In lead generation, sales targeting is EVERYTHING.
It doesn’t matter how good the rest of your campaign is if you contact the wrong person or company. So first and foremost, decide the use cases for your solution; and who will derive the most value.
Let’s start with 3 sales targeting tips that are applicable to every business.
Sales Targeting Tip #1: You Don’t Know Everything (and that’s ok)
Established businesses know exactly who they want to target, and why that market segment needs their solution.
But not all companies have such clarity. Especially if you are more recently established. And that’s ok! If you aren’t 100% sure about whether a market segment will work, embrace your lack of certainty. You can test different industries to see what works best. And part of your campaign goals can be tied to identifying new areas of opportunity.
Sales Targeting Tip #2: Focus, Grasshopper
The biggest mistake marketers make is focusing on a sales niche that’s too broad. Keeping your targeting focused makes your copy super relevant. Which makes it stand out among all the noise.
Explore “out of the box” ways to do list building. There are ways to find prospects that can make your list very small and eerily accurate. For example, you can combine demographic data with technographic information. The demographic information provides details about industry, company size and decision makers. And the technographic info tells you what technology the prospect is already using. When you meld both information sources you get a list of ideal decision makers you want to work with.
Sales Targeting Tip #3: And That’s Not All…
Infomercials are a great example of value stacking. They use phrases like:
“And that’s not all. Act now and you’ll also receive…”
A similar principle applies in B2B. Keep adding value in your messaging. Eventually your prospects will find your messaging so compelling that they HAVE to take action. Focus on serving your audience and the rest will follow.
A 1000 Ways To Say Hello
More often than not, the goal for a lead generation campaign is to set up meetings.
But it’s important to remember the goal doesn’t necessarily have to be a meeting. The primary objective is to start a relationship. And there are nearly unlimited ways to introduce yourself.
Prospects are less excited to hop on an hour call and get pitched your service than you might think. But they are still human beings, and as such, happy to connect with you in other ways.
So instead of just asking for a meeting, consider other approaches that might work even better.
- Do you have a valuable piece of content that will educate them?
- Could you invite them to a seminar?
- Maybe you could ask for their advice?
- Can you give them something that will make their life easier?
The possibilities for starting new relationships are nearly endless. So gather your team and brainstorm ways to approach prospects. Experiment until you come up with an approach that progresses your business goals, and resonates with your target decision makers.
Sales Targets Are Finite
One of the biggest misconceptions that we see as a b2b lead generation company relates to abundance of data.
Some companies are blessed to offer solutions that cater to a broad audience. But most firms have more niche sales targeting. And as you might expect, the more you narrow your client focus, the smaller your data set becomes. It’s tempting to believe there are always unlimited buyers. But that usually isn’t the case. So every contact needs to be treated like a golden opportunity.
The way you define your audience will have an outsized impact on the duration and sustainability of your campaign.
Consider these two requirements:
“We’d like to meet CEO’s at companies with fewer than 10 people in Australia.”
“We’d like to meet CEO’s in accounting firms with more than 10 employees that use MYOB, in Perth.”
Obviously the second demographic is going to have FAR fewer people than the first.
As best you can, identify focused targets of at least several hundred people (ideally more). Finding the right balance between a targeted list, and one that suitably large isn’t always easy. So think carefully about who to include in your sales targeting, and who you want to exclude.
Accelerate What Works
You started your lead generation campaign for a reason. And you expect results!
So it’s tempting to jump on the gas and contact a ton of prospects in as short a time frame as possible. After all, you want to get some meetings – NOW.
Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the worst thing you can do. In almost every case it’s better to start slow and scale what works.
You’ve probably already figured why this is true. It takes a bit of time to test an idea in small numbers. If you get good results then you can slowly increase the daily sends. If the positive results are still good then you can accelerate even further.
But the opposite is also true. If you get poor results, there’s no benefit to further outreach. You’ll want to iterate until you achieve the results you expect.
In either case, it’s better to start small. If things go well you’ll be using your valuable data to drive highly qualified sales leads to your firm.
If things don’t go as hoped, you’ll have used very little of your precious data on an under performing campaign. And you’ll have an even stronger understanding of how your prospects like to be approached.
So start slow, work in small batches, and accelerate what’s working well for you.
Review Your Sales Targeting
It’s tempting to ASSUME your sales targeting is spot-on. But don’t take things for granted. Given the key role lead generation plays in your business, it’s too important to leave on auto-pilot.
With this in mind, regular campaign reviews are a MUST. You should plan a detailed review of your sales targeting and results at least once every 4 to 6 weeks. And don’t settle for surface numbers. Dig into your results to see what’s working, and what isn’t.
Review the available stats for your campaign. It’s tempting to look at absolute numbers like how many leads were created. But there’s more value to be gleaned from ratios and trends. For example, if your positive response rate increases, that’s great news. Or if your opening rate is gradually going up, then you’ll know you’re on the right track.
Campaign review meetings are the perfect time to brainstorm new sales targeting. And different ways to introduce yourself to decision makers. You should also look at new industries or roles that would be potentially a good fit for your solutions.
Spend More & Save
There are two dependable ways to accelerate campaign response rates.
The first is to hyper-personalize your copy. Prospects love it when you demonstrate you know who they are; and that you’re contacting them intentionally.
The second is to make your targeting hyper-focused. The fewer people you contact, the more likely they are to respond. So instead of contacting 1000 CEOs, instead contact the 10 people who are most likely to need your solution.
The thing is, both of these methods incur additional costs. It takes time to do deep customization for every email you send. And it also takes more time to research 10 perfect people than it does to find 1000 people that fit a demographic profile.
But spending more time and money on targeting and personalization can be a very good investment. The whole point of your campaign is to start a relationship with a decision maker. And they’re far more likely to reciprocate your invitation to connect if they feel like you are genuinely interested to connect with them because you know enough about them to make a genuine offer of assistance.
Sales Targeting For A Successful Campaign
Sales targeting is the KEY to a strong lead generation campaign. When you contact the right people for the right reasons magic will happen.
Remember to keep your copy, AND your intentions, on the prospect. Your approach should be all about solving their biggest challenges.
You can massively improve your campaign ROI by being flexible in your approach to sales targeting and iterating as needed. Sometimes only a few words need to be changed. Other times your entire approach needs to be re-considered. Limit the number of contacts you reach out to when you are still testing an idea. When it works, then pour on the gasoline and accelerate your outreach.
And finally, be accountable for the success of your campaign. Review the ratios and trends on a regular basis. And make your campaign reviews a ‘non-negotiable meeting.’
That’s all! Follow the sales targeting tips above and your lead generation campaign ROI will skyrocket.
Need More Qualified B2B Leads?
Meet decision makers interested in your solutions
Matthew Murray is the Managing Director of Sales Higher. He knows any company can THRIVE with enough qualified sales leads. So he’s spent the last decade helping companies meet engaged prospects and win new deals.