I have to say that from the hundreds of startups I have work with in one or other way, I have never seen someone "hire" a lead generation solution.
Most of the work on the early days is done "manually" or "by hand" and the grow is all worth to mouth (or some inventive growth hacking technique with some network effect).
Not sure what you are trying to do, but the number #1 focus of a founder/CEO in the early days is to be the lead generator for his/her business. "Focus on business" = generating the lead and closing the customers.
Yes I say with my personal experience that every startup needs lead generation.
Even though lead generation is necessary in today’s sales process, startups are the type of businesses that seem to need lead generation more than any other business out there. Because this method will provide you with exact name, job description and contact information about the people that are the most likely to buy your product or service.
These are the main 10 reasons why a startup should start generating leads:
1. You Want To Focus On Your Core Business
Startups have scarce resources to maintain and improve their businesses as it is, and most of the people involved usually have other things to do that don’t involve selling. They may need to develop their services and products and if those are not satisfactory there’ll be nothing to sell. Even after the product or service is developed, it always needs to change and become even better.
2. You Don’t Have A Sales Team Or Have Very Busy One
Most startups can’t afford to have a sales person or an entire sales team. Meaning they have no idea how consuming a sales job can be. Sorting contacts, updating CRM, evaluating their purchase intent, writing email threads, scheduling meetings, etc. And those who do have a sales department are usually so busy trying to find a buyer and managing their accounts that the lead generation is the last thing on their mind.
3. You Are Not Sure Who To Target
Some CEOs and sales reps just don’t know who their target accounts and potential buyers are. They have a vague idea, sometimes even a wrong guess that their buyers might be some companies they envisioned as clients or worse all the companies they can think of.
4. You Are Not Good At Writing Emails And Selling
Some people are just not born for compelling writing or convincing conversation that sales requires. Full stop. They may be shy or just have no wish to be good in that kind of thing.
A CEO should not feel obligated to compose a perfect sales email, but only to provide enough information for its sales to know the ins and outs of a business.
5. You Want To Rise Above Your Competition
Struggling with dozens of similar companies that have the same product or service as you do is a daily trouble of every startup. You all work hard and you all target the exact same customers more or less successfully.
But the ones doing lead generation will always be step ahead of their competition. They know precisely who the decision makers are and they know exactly how to approach them in order to sell.
So if you want to know about some tricks of lead generation by which you can gain popularity you can consult me.
I completely agree with JD's sentiment re: focusing on the business = finding leads.
From my experience setting hundreds (if not thousands) of meetings without existing brand awareness, it's crucial to identify your ICP (ideal customer persona). I'd recommend focusing on this process, testing messaging, and generating your leads yourself.
As a result, you'd be able to save money, better understand the pain points of your customer and ultimately make a sound investment in a lead generation service/hire.
Do you have an understanding of your ICP? What are the most effective channels you've pursued?
Happy to chat more...
Lead generation is very essential for a start-up. Generating leads is essential for any business to succeed, but for start-ups it can be an especially difficult challenge. Why?
a. Limited resources. When you are first starting a business, you will never have enough time and money to do everything you want to. Whether it is paying staff, leasing new office space, or even just drawing enough cash to survive, every penny counts. That means you cannot throw money at all the different potential lead-generation methods you’ve read about.
b. No reputation. A brand-new start-up is a blank slate. You have no positive word-of-mouth, no referrals, no testimonials, no social proof. You’re also competing with companies and brands with a well-established customer base — convincing prospects to take a chance on something new is always going to be hard work.
c. No experience. Every business is as unique as the people in it, and no-one can walk in and tell you what strategy will work best for your specific situation. What works for others won’t necessarily work for you. Only as you gain experience will you be able to look back and see what works to attract leads and what does not.
Hiring a lead generation solution is completely up to you, however I can give you strategies that do work well. There are two main routes for generating leads: outbound and inbound. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. Ideally, your business will employ a little bit of both, but when you are starting up you might have to prioritize one over the other.
Outbound strategies generally require more of a financial investment than inbound strategies but can also offer quicker results. We have found the following process the best way to plan an outbound campaign.
1. Define your leads: To reach out to someone, you need to know who they are. A common mistake made by new businesses is believing their product or service is for everyone. If you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no-one. It is a bad strategy for a business, and a bad strategy for an outbound campaign. If you have any existing customers, that is a great place to start; send them a survey or better yet, carry out interviews. If you do not have any customers yet, do not panic. You can learn a lot by researching your competitor’s customers and reading their comments in forums and community blogs, or sites such as Reddit and Quora. In each case, you are looking for solid data you can use to build an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Ideally, you are looking for the following information:
a. Company details - Industry, specialization, size, structure.
b. Demographics - Location, age, education.
c. Psychographics - Industry challenges, problems faced, concerns/anxieties about the product.
You should also consider creating a ‘negative’ buyer persona, of people you do not want to sell to. This way you can further refine your messaging.
2. Find your leads: With a clear idea of what your customer looks like, it is time to find them. This used to mean buying lists of prospects, but that can be risky. Quality can vary greatly, with out-of-date emails and incorrect information. While it may seem easier than building your own list, the benefits of a high-quality list make up for the time and effort needed.
Hopefully, you have managed to pick up some useful clues in your ICP. For example, if you found your ideal lead works at B2B companies and hang out on LinkedIn, that is a great place to start looking. On the other hand, if your target market is Gen Z and spends all their time hash tagging on Instagram, there is no point wasting time looking anywhere else. If you are in the B2B market, there are plenty of databases you can use to build your own list of leads. By using their filters, you can easily narrow down your criteria to find your dream customers. Finally, keep an eye on any websites or news channels that cover your target market. Announcements and press releases can help you find not just the right leads, but the right time to reach out to them.
3. Get in touch with your leads: Finally, you need to decide what specific method you are going to use to contact your prospects. Your main choices are:
a. Cold calling
b. Cold emailing
c. Social selling
Each of these choices comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. Many people dread making cold calls and find it interrupts people, but it can be highly effective at getting quick decisions. Social selling takes a lot longer but has the benefit of building a relationship with the prospect before you reach out.
Cold email is our preferred method—after all, it is how we built our own business—as it has a good balance of getting attention without being too intrusive. Open and reply rates vary by industry, but you can boost your chances of getting a response by 50% if you include 1-3 questions. The most important thing to consider is what is most effective for your prospects. It does not matter if you love social selling; if your prospects are not on social media, you are wasting your time. Even with your research, it may take some experimentation to find out what works best. Ultimately, a combination of all three is likely to give the best results.
Alternatively, you can use inbound strategies to attract leads. Inbound is all about creating value for prospective leads and drawing them to you. Most often this is in the form of content, such as blog posts (like the one you are reading right now), eBooks, webinars, and video content. Inbound may take longer to get results, but costs less. The right piece of content can go on attracting prospects for years. To succeed though, you will need a clear strategy.
1. Create valuable content: The first step is the same as with an outbound campaign; if you want to create content that attracts your ideal customer, you need to know who exactly that ideal customer is. Once you have your ICP you are in a much better position to start creating content. By addressing the needs and concerns of your ideal customer, people will be lining up to check out your content. For example, suppose your ICP for your internet security business identified your leads are concerned with creating back-ups. Your interviews found they are worried about remembering to back-up regularly and find the whole process complicated. By creating a blog post or video on ‘The simple way to schedule your back-ups’ you are addressing their biggest concern. You are providing real value.
2. Distribute your content: All the content in the world will not do you any good if your potential leads cannot find it. SEO can help bring in organic traffic, but it takes time. To make sure your hard work does not go to waste, you need an effective way of sharing it, in the places your leads hang out. While you can always use paid channels to promote your content, there are plenty of free options. This might involve establishing your own distribution channels, such as social media profiles and email newsletters. If your content is valuable (and it should be), you should also be able to leverage other people’s channels. For example, you could make guest appearances on other popular blogs or podcasts or encourage people to share your content with their followers. Get creative with your distribution channels and try to come up with original ways to get attention.
3. Capturing leads: I have seen plenty of sites with great content, but they have unfortunately forgotten the main objective: capturing leads. This usually requires several types of content forming a funnel. You might have a blog post freely available on your site, along with a more substantial e-book offered in exchange for the visitor’s email address. If you are a guest on someone else’s channel, you will normally be allowed to include a bio, which is a great place to link to your site. Make it easy for people to sign up for more valuable content. Getting followers on your social media is great but leaves you at the mercy of the social media provider. If Facebook decides to close your account, you lose all those leads. That is why we highly recommend getting prospects on your email list at the earliest opportunity.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath