Lead generation

What are good sources for procuring and qualifying leads?

Tony Vinayak Building and Monetizing Software Products & Services

October 22nd, 2016

This is probably a two-part question. I am evaluating various options for generating leads, and then qualifying those leads for further followups. This is for a software development services startup. 

I do understand that, after identifying the target demographics (e.g., company size, decision-maker profile, industry verticals etc.), lead generation sources could be a combination of:
  1. Buying leads
  2. Generating leads from trade shows
  3. Generating leads via digital marketing activities
  4. Leveraging existing professional networks
  5. Researching on LinkedIn
In particular, I am keen to explore option #1; I will be keen to hear if you have any recommendations. I do have a limited budget so looking for most cost-effective solutions.

Once I have the leads, next step would be qualifying those leads via targeted email campaigns and cold-calling. I am also looking for agencies that could help me with that, as I have limited bandwidth for pursuing those options myself. 

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Ben Bradley B2B Marketing Automation & Creative Director

October 23rd, 2016

Start really simple and add complexity as you go.

If you have sales people, teach them to fish. For $14/mo, buy them each a license of DuxSoup and use that to scan LinkedIn daily (I don't work for DuxSoup and have no relationship with the company).  

Next, avoid buying lists - there is no shortage of companies doing offshore development. There is too much risk.

Evan is right - inbound marketing is a good tactic. Just understand that it will take a while to move the needle so augment all your inbound efforts with solid outbound while you build momentum. 

If you can, I'd also task your consultants with the job of writing one technical "how to" blog post per week. This helps with SEO. If you can convince them to promote their content on their own (LinkedIn pulse, dev ops sites, other technical forums) AND give them a method to track their own lead generation AND provide a commission to your technical people for bird-dogging leads (NOT CLOSING LEADS), you'll find that their interests and your interests suddenly align.

Last, consider seriously rethinking how you talk about your company - my read of your company profile on LinkedIn tells me you are a beautiful and unique snowflake - just like everyone else :). 

Lead generation is a marathon, not a sprint - the more layers and tactics that you weave into your programs, the better your programs will perform.

Denise Williams Director of Strategic Marketing | Entrepreneur

October 24th, 2016

If you are interested in "buying leads" -- the best way to do this is as follows: 
1.  Highly qualified leads who have agreed to a phone call  
2.  Marketing qualified leads that still need to be nurtured but have been qualified
3.  Content-generated leads who -- through answers to customized questions -- infer where they are in a buy cycle
4.  Hyper-search leads who -- through volume of search and downloaded content -- infer where they are in a buy cycle. 

I can walk you through each of these options if you are interested. My firm has collected decades of best practices that still hold true today and you can cut to the chase with them ;) 

Gunaseelan Nadar Founder & CEO whiteDigital - Google Partner

October 25th, 2016

We do it through google and FB ads. The visitors land on the landing page where we offer free trial, Guide, Whitepaper or whatever depending on the targeted audience. And then we use Leadsquared to do the profiling. Well I am not associated with LS or promote it.. there are several other marketing automation tools which you can use.  This works much better than buying leads. We used to buy leads earlier and the quality of the leads were not so good and lot of time was wasted

Tony Vinayak Building and Monetizing Software Products & Services

October 23rd, 2016

Thank you all for your invaluable input! I hear you loud and clear about best practices for lead generation.

Evan Weber Affiliate Summit West's Most Popular Speaker Last 2 Years - 954-662-8010

October 22nd, 2016

Lead buying can be extremely risky, so proceed with caution. I recommend #3, where you drive traffic to a leading page with an e-book or white paper giveaway, and then "retargeting" the visitors that leave the site without converting. My agency works in the B to B space generating leads and managing advertising budgets for our clients. This is a tried and true strategy to generate leads cost-effectively. Let me know if you would like to discuss in detail.
Thank you,
Evan Weber

Geoff Tucker Is your marketing automation working for you -- or against you?

October 23rd, 2016

Agree with Evan. Focus on creating free downloadables that offer value/utility for the prospect (not sales pitches disguised as marketing content).
As a marketing automation guy, I have to say loud and clear DO NOT BUY LISTS. It is a shortcut that will cut you off at the knees in the future. You will have bounce rates, poor deliverability rates, and honestly no one wants to hear from you in their inbox without asking you to be there.

Instead, find your audience online and spend time where they spend their time. Join their conversations, offer advice and help. In that scenario is the right time/place to offer your free resources to them, and that's how you can begin building your list.

An organic list takes a lot of work and time to build. However, the quality of it will pay off tremendously for you as you grow. Do not take the shortcut no matter how tempting.