Putting personalization and process at the core of lead generation

When a sales rep or a lead generation service books you meetings, how many people do they need to contact to book you those meetings?

Lead generation is typically measured on output alone, but companies should hold lead generators accountable to the number of leads it takes to get the desired output. Correlating lead generation activities to output is like walking into a dark room and switching on the lights- there’s no better feeling than uncovering your own predictable algorithm for connecting with new customers. 

Not matching activities to output encourages poor qualification of leads, a mass approach to outreach, generic messaging, fewer meetings, and it risks damaging your brand.  

Protect your brand at all costs

When a decision-maker receives an email from your company, do you want to be known as the brand that genuinely cares about helping them before they even become paying customers? Or do you want to be known as a brand that has employed the same tactics as all the other companies looking for business? 

Targeted lead generation is an excellent way to get your perfect customers to know you exist in an ocean of other products and services in your industry.

But as lead generation and brand awareness impact each other directly, be aware that a generic email creates a bad first impression, it could serve to annoy the recipient, and reduce the chances of creating a future relationship with the prospect.

If you’re outsourcing, make sure your partners are representing your business in a way that limits brand damage.

Make “Skin in the game” services more accountable

Let’s think logically about a service that promises you X leads/month or they don’t get paid. They might be brilliant at qualifying leads, targeting and messaging. Or you might be blissfully unaware that they’re contacting 3000 of your ideal customers with generic messaging in an attempt to get paid.

Tell them to stop immediately.

There might be hundreds of decision-makers that won’t consider doing business with you in the future based on a careless, generic email sent on your behalf.

Encourage Personalization

Do you think a mass email ever gets forwarded around the office for consideration? What about a targeted email to a key decision maker that shows you’ve done your homework, speaks to their needs, and subtly suggests how your product can help them overcome their unique challenges?

Nothing replaces human connection.

Lead generators can contact far fewer people and get far better results through being more personable. Personalization of messages significantly increases your chances of a reply, a meeting and a fruitful relationship. It also increases buy-in from multiple stakeholders.

What exactly is personalization?

Effective personalization doesn’t mean over-using first name and company name. Personalization involves uncovering specific information tailored to the industry, the company, the persona, and the individual.

Armed with this research, you can then weave together a narrative that combines information you’ve found on their account with your offering. Do this at scale and you’re on your way to finding a predictable means of connecting with new customers.

Many lead generation services tend to personalize their emails based on industry alone. While industry knowledge helps you leverage your authority, it’s the most general, the least personal and consequently the least effective.

A digital marketing manager is hardly going to be blown away by receiving a copy of the latest digital marketing trends. But she’ll be more intrigued by how a specific tactic supported by a recent marketing trend will help alleviate the challenge she mentioned in her latest blog.

She’ll also be a lot more motivated to forward your email on to her colleague who’s in charge of procuring new tools, or to approach you for a solution in the future if the timing isn’t quite right.

The right message in front of the wrong person or at the wrong time is effective if the person understands the value your tool can bring to their organization. The wrong message in front of the right person will either be ignored or make a bad impression.

Take Action

How many more meetings would your business get if your lead generators halved the number of leads they contacted and personalized more? Start by working out your lead generators current level of personalization (industry/company/persona/individual) and then go one level deeper and measure the outcomes against previous campaigns.

Sales leaders could also consider levelling the playing field by putting a cap on the number of people reps contact/week to encourage deeper personalization and to protect their brand.

Encourage process

Instead of casting the net wide and targeting multiple industries with similar messaging, develop a focused lead generation process that targets one specific industry or vertical. There is no magic formula for this- each company is different and needs to uncover their own algorithm.

Here is an overview of The LeadLyons process that we use to help SaaS companies & Digital Agencies unlock their own predictable formula for connecting with new customers.

North Star: Defining your Focus, Differentiation, and Messaging

Targeting: Finding your ideal customers with the correct database

Personalization: Researching key information tailored to industry, company, persona & individual

Execution: Launching campaigns using a sequence of emails and a multi channel approach

Measurement: Assessing the success of each campaign using both high level and customized metrics

Optimize: Continuous optimization of the process to reach the highest levels of predictability

Final thoughts

At LeadLyons, we strongly believe that for the sake of everyone in business, the mediums of email and LinkedIn should be respected and used for what they’re meant for- purposeful communication, knowledge sharing, and relationship building.

Unsolicited, careless, generic emails have had their day, and lead generators should only be contacting well qualified prospects with meaningful messages.

Creating a reliable brand is critical to your ability to scale and grow your business, so whether you outsource lead generation, or you do it in house, keep your brand intact and increase your meeting rates through personalization and process.