How should you source your leads for your outbound sales campaign? I see a lot of people getting this wrong—they take the most obvious, easiest and least intelligent way, and it hurts their business.
There are several providers that will sell you lists of names, emails, titles and other contact information and business data:
An alternative to buying lists is to make your own list by scraping websites, which means you extract contact data from a website with a little program/script.
It's a bit of a gray area, and you should check if the website you want to scrape allows that.
If you target a very specific niche and there are highly targeted websites, this can be a successful approach.
Hire a company that manually finds leads for you, based on the criteria you establish with them.
Look at your current 5 most successful customers. Successful in this context means: a) they get the most value out of using your product and b) you profit greatly from them being a customer. (Look for the strongest win-wins between you and your customers).
And then try to identify the core DNA of your most successful customers. Ask a lot of questions about these companies and look for common denominators:
You'll have to ask a ton of questions and then filter out those that they have in common and that are most relevant.
Based on that you'll then create a very specific customer profile.
And then you go and find another 5 to 20 businesses that have the same core DNA (sometimes you can start with their closest competitors. ;)
You don't need thousands of shitty names. You just need a handful of really great ones. [Tweet this!]
Reach out to those and strive to create high-quality sales conversations. Try to maximize response and conversion rates. Gain deep market insights that you can then leverage to make more sales and close better deals.
You can probably tell from my answer that I personally prefer the highest quality, lowest quantity approach. But I encourage you to experiment for yourself. In some industries, for some businesses, the "spammy" high quantity/low quality approach works best.
In addition to that, the most valuable source of high-quality leads you have is your current customer base. Check out our post for specific advice.
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