As a business owner or business development manager, you understand the importance of new customers and clients to your business. Lead generation campaigns can help you keep your business growth efforts on track and hitting your goals.
Planning your campaign first is our top recommendation to increase the success of both your next and future lead generation campaigns.
Why you should plan out your next lead generation campaign
As Peter Theil in his book Zero to One said, “It is better to have a bad plan than no plan at all”. What a plan provides you with is a clear sense of direction, purpose and a document to review how the campaign went compared to the goals that were set out at the beginning of the campaign.
When you make a plan, it forces you to think purposefully about what you are looking to achieve, what would be a good outcome and what are some of the most effective ways you can go about achieving those goals.
Set a goal
Before you start planning your next campaign, the first thing you need to do is set a goal. Ideally, your goal will be a SMART goal. SMART goals are S: Specific, M: Measurable, A: Attainable, R: Relevant and T: Time-bound.
As you are looking to grow your business, your SMART goal will guide. A good starting point is clarifying how many new clients you’d like to acquire in the next three to six months.
Start by thinking, to get X amount of clients, how many appointments or leads do you need to achieve said goal and what is your time frame to make that happen?
For example, if your goal is to achieve three new customers in the next three months, and your business has a close rate of appointment to leads of 3 leads to 1 new customer, and it takes you an average of 1 month to close a deal. Your target for leads will be 9 or more leads in the next two months to ensure you achieve your goal.
How attainable that goal will be, will be based on the value of a new client to your business and how difficult it is to set new appointments for your industry.
Who to call
Once you have a clear idea of your goals, you can plan out who to call. The ‘who’ will include what industries do you offer your services to, who are the decision influencers and decision makers regarding the purchase of your services and what range of business size would you like be talking to.
Where are they
Once you understand who you would like to call, you can establish if there is a geographical location you would like to call. For some campaigns, it would make sense to target a specific geographic area to enable your business development team to attend all the appointments and not to be running around the greater metropolitan area. Sometimes it may make more sense to cast a wider geographical net to ensure we stay industry specific for the target of the campaign.
Getting A Contact List
Based on who you would like to contact and where they are based you are now able to source a data list. There are a few things to take into account when purchasing a contact list.
To rent the contact list or to buy?
When you rent a list, you will only be able to use the contacts for a specific campaign and contact them once. The time frame you can contact the leads is typically around three months. When you buy a list, the data becomes yours to own, and you can contact those numbers as many times as you would like.
At this point you are probably thinking buying is the obvious choice and sometimes it might be the right choice, but our recommendation here is to rent the list. The reason we recommend this is there is a significant difference in price. The price to rent is around $0.425 per contact, and the price to own is $1.5 per contact to own the list when you are acquiring a list of 1000 to 2000 contacts that extra dollar or so per contact becomes a significant amount of money. The choice needs to be right for your needs but most numbers on the list you will never want to contact again. Our general recommendation is to rent the list.
Personalised data or non-personalised data
Personalised data will include your target contacts role the position they hold in the company. Personalised data will also include the size of the business for each contact. For some campaigns, you might want to talk to a particular job role as a decision influencers, such as the CTO or CIO.
For these types of campaigns is recommended that you get that personalised data. Non-personalised data is cheaper and more readily available so it can be useful at times. The biggest reason not to use non-personalised data is the lack of business size information that comes with it. If you are looking to target businesses with more than five employees, you are best off making sure you get Personalised data to ensure you are speaking to potential clients, not just any company.
Most data companies we work with will charge a setup cost. This is essentially an order cost. Each time you order new data, you will incur this cost. Setup fees are around $250-$300. How this becomes important is in the regularity of data orders. If you are going to run a three-month campaign, you should plan to order enough data for the full campaign and not order three or more times over those months.
Data List Size
The size of the list you purchase should be based on how many leads you hope to achieve and how many people you need to contact to make that goal a reality then plus 50 to 100%. The setup cost is a significant part of your overall list cost, and you should give yourself a contact buffer to ensure you have enough contacts to complete the campaign.
If the campaign is going well, you want to keep that train moving and having those extra contacts to keep momentum can be a significant bonus to your next lead generation campaign.
Lead generation works best as part of the sales process, not as the entire sales process. You should always keep in mind the buyer’s journey and how you can best assist your future client to achieve the best outcome for their business by signing up for your service.
Most business owners and business development manager will think of sales as a process with deals and deal stages. Lead generation can be a very effective tool for getting your sales process going and moving them to the face to face deal stage.
When planning out your next step think about why most of your previous clients go to the appointment stage and what they were looking to solve at that stage of the buyer’s journey.
Your script should drive interest and intent to move forward comfortably to explore the face to face deal stage. When creating your call script spend some time with your team thinking about what are the most common questions your clients ask during the face to face deal stage, these are likely some of the top reasons why they would like to meet with you. The call script should peak their interest and assure them that they will be able to get answers to these common questions they have about your business.
At the end of the campaign, you will be able to compare the actual results of the campaign to what the goals and forecasts were. This will allow you to measure performance to goals and identify areas that were stronger or weaker than you predicted.
In our experience, the most successful campaigns we have been part of have been a result of continuous learning and improvement for each campaign. Having a clear plan will help you succeed now and be more effective in the future.
Good luck planning your next lead generation campaign and if you have any questions about planning your next campaign we are happy to consult with you to ensure your next lead generation campaign is a success.
Look out for our upcoming blog article on what you can do to increase the chance of success for your next lead generation campaign.