The Lead Generation Grind
Many B2B companies do not fully realize what it takes to implement and sustain a well-executed ABM demand generation effort to produce highly qualified leads in target accounts. It’s easy to assume that current technologies will magically transform sales pipelines into automatic growth machines that, once in place, will hum along without any significant human intervention. However, the reality is a different story. Applications and software certainly help us achieve our goals, but we still need a vision and methodology to to engage prospects in a fashion that will allow prospects to open up so you can accomplish real sales pipeline success. Intelligent account focused targeting, one-to-one prospect engagement, metrics monitoring, and continuous improvement are key ingredients in the expansion of demand gen sales pipelines and ROI. To put it bluntly, it’s all about the grind.
Use Case: Manufacturing Client
To illustrate this point, I want to share one manufacturing client’s story.
This company decided to engage DMP’s ABM prospect development services to overcome a variety of challenges related to prospect database, outreach staffing and lead conversions – all of which were negatively impacting the sales pipeline. Despite offering a quality niche product in custom fabricated metal products, sales were limited to small geographic areas related to the locations of the production plants and were mainly fueled by inbound web generated inquiries. Unfortunately, most inbound responders fell outside of the ideal customer profile target accounts, so they were ignored, and the sales organization was on its own. The sales pipeline was flat at best.
We realized this client was ideally positioned to benefit from an ABM sales pipeline building approach custom designed for them.
Adding Account Based Marketing (ABM) into the Grind
The new ABM strategy was designed in a collaboration between DMP and the client.
The first step was to establish their target named accounts and their ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) in each vertical sub-market. This enabled us to design a message that would be attractive to each specific type of clientele in each niche. The shotgun approach of the past was replaced with sniper-like accuracy. The intent was not only to target certain kinds of businesses, but also to focus on roles and personas within those companies who had influence and purchasing power. The messaging was custom tailored to these individuals. Using the ICP, we gathered data that led us to conclude that the best targets were not all necessarily known to the client. Applying a variety of data tools, the newly compiled contact data was built and then validated. In this process, a significant number of new and more appropriate relationships were discovered through referrals. The team had now created a much more focused and current prospect list source containing email addresses and direct phone lines to the job titles most likely to be receptive to the particular offer
The Nurture Process…A Whole Lot of Tweaking
It was now time to utilize ABM nurture methodology to undertake a multi-touch outreach effort consisting of customized and personalized cadences of emails, phone calls and voice mails. Four different contacts per company were targeted with this multi-touch “grinding” and we closely monitored the impact of each touch while tweaking and refining the message being delivered.
Armed with a clean target account database, ever improving messaging and more targeted contacts, our experienced pre-sales SDR team implemented the multi-touch grinding plan and hit it out of the ballpark:
- Significantly increased number of prospect engagement in only target accounts in the vertical sweet-spots
- Improved sales force time efficiency with 132 pre-qualified appointments
- Eliminated sending non-qualified leads to the sales team
- Collected valuable market insights by identifying obstacles hindering sales expansion and sharing with the client
- Reported ABM lead gen campaign KPI funnel conversion metrics weekly
- Uncovered areas of campaign weakness and implemented solutions
Finally, here were the well-received campaign results:
- Qualified Sales Leads: 132
- 34% leads went forward and became sales pipeline opportunities
- Accounted for 40% of the new business sales pipeline
- Sales Pipeline ROI: 21:1
Respect for the Grind
The above steps and actions are what I facetiously referred to as the grind — but do not take me wrong, I have the utmost respect for this process. Without it, we would have never gotten into the accounts we did. To sum it up, you can have the best grinder available, but without high quality ingredients, the grinder, alone, won’t produce magic. It’s a combination of the components: trained SDR reps, a good value proposition, dynamic script, collateral, motivating offer and the multi-touch process that will yield the best results. We use technology to our advantage, but we also put in the blood, sweat, tears and brains– hence the grind.