Every business aspiring for growth needs to generate leads outside of word-of-mouth referrals, regardless if you’re an international organization, a 50 person company, or a team of 11 like Bits Creative.
As the Business Development Manager for Bits, I’ve personally tested several Software as a Service (SaaS) products and consumed a ton of lead generation marketing content. Here are some of the resources and tools I’ve found to be super valuable (in no specific order or preference):
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Great for prospecting and building out lead lists, I’ve found it a little clunky to use at times but the ability to search for leads based on specific criteria such as geography or industry is pretty helpful. You can also save target leads and accounts directly on the platform as well as conduct an unlimited amount of searches. This has been enough for me to justify the $90 CAD per month.
An email automation software, Yesware allows you to track email opens, send delayed emails and set up multi-stage mail merges. It’s available as an add-on to Gmail and it’s pretty simple to use. Whether you use Yesware or another platform, email automation is key to scaling your lead generation efforts.
Predictable Revenue is a book written by Aaron Ross who helped SalesForce add $100M in annual recurring revenue. This book is a great guide if you’re starting with no sales process at all or if you’re finding your process to be inefficient or ineffective. I personally reference it all the time and recommend, if nothing else, you should read the section on Cold Calling 2.0. Aaron is a great person to follow on twitter as his tweets will constantly remind you of what’s important when it comes to sales process.
6 Creative Ways to use Cold Emails
Every time I’m writing a sequence of cold emails for a campaign I reference this blog post by Dominic Coryell. I find his suggestions are laid out in a straightforward way that is easy to absorb. I like that I can easily jump to a specific section without having to reread the entire article. If you’re more of a visual learner, the content is also available in video form.
I lean on the Bits Creative team heavily when it comes to getting the right content in front of the right people. Marketing is integral to filling the top of your sales funnel. To paraphrase the aforementioned Aaron Ross, marketing’s number one goal should be generating leads. If you don’t have a marketing team, outsourcing to an agency is an option. If you want to know more about how that would look, reach out to me directly!
There are two blogs I like to keep my eye on and read on a regular basis. One is Signal v. Noise run by the good people over at Basecamp. On a side note, if you haven’t read Rework written by the founders of Basecamp (formerly 37signals) you’re really missing out. It’s not a sales book, but it’s a must-read for anyone in business especially if you’re managing people or looking to run a successful business of your own, this book offers a unique perspective on a wide range of topics. I read Signal v. Noise for the same reason, it gets you to think differently about how to approach your business goals and encourages you not to follow the herd.
In addition, I read many of Proposify’s blog posts. Proposify is a SaaS that helps you write better proposals and close more deals. I don’t use the service, but I’ve met the guys behind it and I’ve always appreciated the quality of the content they put out. Not only does the blog serve as a source of inspiration for the sort of content I’d like to produce but they also have posts relevant to me as their target audience includes small to medium sized agencies.
This is something I picked up from the Proposify blog as a way to discover what industry related events are coming up. Head to Eventbrite, click browse and select the category of event you’re looking for. You can also select a location and adjust a few other filters to narrow down your search.
Need to find an email address for a prospect? With Hunter, you can search for a contact’s email based on their company's domain. It’s not 100% accurate (more like 70% from what I’ve heard from others and experienced myself) but it's an efficient way to build large lead lists without spending a copious amount of hours searching for each email address manually. Hunter also plugs into LinkedIn which makes using both services at the same time highly efficient. My good friend and serial entrepreneur David Howe, currently working on Cribcut, introduced me to this service.
With business and technology moving so quickly it can be hard to sift through the massive amount of tools and resources available. Hopefully, something I’ve highlighted will be a valuable addition to your sales arsenal. The key is finding what works for you and your company, while at the same time, not being afraid to try something new!