Every outbound demand generation starts with a list! The request goes something like this:
“We need leads for SICs 1234, 2345, 3456, employee size greater than 100. Titles containing operations, networking; levels of director and above. Must have direct dial phone and email. Let us try 500 records, if reps like it we will buy more”.
It’s natural to start small, be cautious, make assumptions based on what we trust and go with the gut. However, it is not always a path to consistent, relatable and scalable success.
One of our customers, Verizon Connect, believes prospecting should be MUCH more strategic. They implemented three concepts that delivered a successful a demand gen program over the long term:
a. Understand the market. Every market is finite. It is further limited by segments that likely don’t need your product or where you may not choose to operate – let’s call this the non-targeted market. What’s left is the addressable market from which lists should be sourced.
For example, Verizon Connect targets commercial fleet owners. So we started with the market of all known fleet owners. Next, we removed new and used car dealers, who would not buy product because while they have fleets they are not the operators.
Takeaway: Get an idea of available market, hire optimal sales resources, plan SDR/BDR ratios and define pipeline stages.
b. Define the Ideal Customer Profile. This is where we define, from the addressable market who is likely to become your customer – quickly and profitably. In order to create this profile, you need to segment the buyer persona: their use case/industry, role and goals.
For example, Verizon Connect grouped the high value buyers by industry, and identified the top 10%, 10-20% of SIC codes (Standard Industry Classification). This was then overlaid with geographies with best traction, as well as company data to create a scored list.
Takeaway: Know which industries your best customers are coming from and number of sales touches needed. Track where you are most successful and refine data acquisition.
a. Build out the prospecting database. You know that not all eligible leads convert at once. So it is important to record lead disposition codes to guide future list selections. This will be very valuable in managing your multi-touch campaigns too.
For example, Verizon Connect curated closed lead reasons and acted on them this way:
– Bad data – delete, keep short term
– Not a good fit – filter, keep long term
– Not good timing – nurture, keep term
Takeaway: This lets you “memorize” and record past lessons so you continuously improve the selection of and outcome from each list.
Applying these learnings can put you on the path to roust demand generation. Because no matter which list you start with, you’ll now have a path to sustainable, predictable pipeline growth.
Parth R. Srinivasa