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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Sales as a service

Sales as a Service: Lead generation on demand

A month of sales work in one day thanks to automation through sales hacking

Leads are a volatile thing. One month, your content hits the nail on the head, word of mouth is spreading, there's a sudden demand for your product or service and everything's going swimmingly. Then the next month, the hype dies down, existing clients never bring up your name, and people seem to have forgotten you exist.

Lead generation is about finding the right people and converting them into business opportunities, yet it is not uncommon to feel that relying on SEO, content marketing, and word of mouth is a bit of a spray-and-pray - throwing a lot of stuff at the wall and hoping something sticks. There are always slower months, and they do not always correlate with slower sales efforts, which can feel annoying and chaotic.

Taking greater control of the sales process through direct outreach is one way to combat this - seeking out the leads you want, rather than hoping they magically end up where you want them to be.

In what follows, you can find two lead generation processes. The first is a tedious one, that you might find familiar, especially if your sales efforts are at an early stage. Most businesses (including ourselves) go through this stage at one point or another, and it is a tried and tested, albeit slow, method of lead generation.

The second one is a streamlined and perfected version of the first, that cuts down the manual effort required to a fraction of what it was before thus maximizing efficiency while utilizing the most of automation and technology. It's in a constant state of improvement and experimentation, hence the fitting term - sales hacking.

The classic & tedious manual lead outreach process

Let's say you're interested in running a sales expansion working on expanding designer networks for affiliate sales or generating B2B leads for wholesale. The classic approach is as follows:

  1. build a report of the relevant stores;
  2. manually check and validate the data;
  3. Seek out the decision makers;
  4. connect on Linkedin + follow-ups;
  5. try to retrieve their emails using tools such as hunter.io or voilanorbert.com;
  6. fill in your CRM with all the data;
  7. place validated emails into whichever mailing tool you prefer and run it.

All in all, those 7 very straight-forward steps are very time-consuming. Back before we optimized this process, it could take up to 2 weeks for a team of several people before actually reaching the stage to start the outreach. The market is a highly dynamic environment and given the broad scope of the efforts, it was unsurprising to find that by the time the “collection” stage was over, a small, yet significant portion of the data was outdated - 2 weeks is a lot of time in the modern, fast-paced commerce environment.

On top of that, Linkedin follow-ups were taking a tremendous amount of time - walking through every conversation and copy-pasting the relevant message, as well as modifying the name to that of the recipient, for those who did not respond.

Sales Hacking: the streamlined method

We managed to reduce the workload through liberal use of a variety of tools for automating processes as much as possible, and in doing so we achieved the impossible. The sales efforts that previously took several people several weeks, could now be achieved by a single person in a single day. Here's how:

We employed the following tools:

  • Keyboard Maestro - for walking through the links, platform version verification, for making searches in Google, as well as detecting company names on LinkedIn to search for decision makers; (goodbye hours of developing scrapers)
  • Linkedin Premium - for making advanced Sales Searches;
  • Hubspot CRM - a CRM solution with very expanded APIs;
  • Growthlead - for automating Linkedin work, such as connecting to the leads, following them up, and once added - push their email data to CRM;
  • Mailshake for emailing;
  • Zapier - the King in the North for everything. Magical glue which intakes push from applications and serves the data to other web apps.

Here's what the routine looks like now:

  1. Build a report of the stores;
  2. Run macro to validate stores, analyze the database with simple formulas;
  3. Create and save a search on Linkedin & import it into Growthlead;
  4. Press Start.

People from the search are connected and messaged automatically. Their emails are served through CRM into the emailing tool. And the email outreach is started automatically. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Further remarks on Sales as a Service

As part of our digital growth services, Scandiweb can help you take control of your leads with Sales as a service. Our tools are ever evolving, continually polished, and proven to be effective.

Beyond the blatantly obvious benefits of being proactive and in control of lead generation, there are other factors, which should be considered. The sales campaign is also a marketing campaign in disguise, with brand recognition taking center stage.

It is not uncommon for interest and traffic to grow significantly following such campaigns, as even leads that fail to convert often help produce some word of mouth momentum, if your campaign has succeeded in targeting the right people.

Furthermore, establishing lines of communication with your potential clients can have an unknown residual impact, which is why a maximally personalized approach is suggested. Build relationships. If you employ this methodology as a means to spam, you're likely to alienate a significant portion of your leads. Going even further - you can destroy your business. Be wise in your goals and their execution.

Nevertheless, control over your leads is the primary and most incredible benefit. With Sales hacking, you unlock the ability to pin down the whimsical market and get what you need out of it. That being said, this should, by no means, replace any of the more traditional lead generation methods (SEO, content marketing, etc.). However, if you're still sticking solely to a spray-and-pray sales methodology in 2019, then you will absolutely fall behind.

If this all seems too intimidating, remember - you can always outsource your lead generation to someone who offers sales-as-a-service programs.

Curious about our Sales Hacking methodology details? Interested in Sales-as-a-service? Want Scandiweb to give you control over your leads? Get in touch with us at info@scandiweb.com or through the chatbox to your right -> and we'll answer your queries.

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