In the modern world, hundreds of business letters are poured into company managers every day. Mail is like a battlefield, and it is almost impossible to wade through hundreds of letters of the same type. It happens, because most companies choose cold emails to find prospects. To speed the process up, they use template texts that are sent to many customers without personalization.
It is common for cold emails to end up in the spam folder and do no good to anyone. To both the sender and the recipient. Why is this happening? Let’s figure it out.
Let’s consider common stages for a regular B2B sales prospecting process.
7 B2B sales prospecting stages
The B2B lead generation process includes seven stages:
- Make your ideal customer profile
An ICP is a combination of different company characteristics that define its most valuable customers.
- Collect companies that meet the requirements according to the created profile.
A Sales Development Representative (SDR) is trying to find prospects according to the ideal customer profile fit. An SDR does not know if these prospects are interested in goods and services or not. They only assume that prospects may be potentially interested in them.
- Find decision-makers in chosen companies.
- Find contacts of all people found in the previous stage.
- Make a flexible template for emails or messages for chosen people.
- Send emails to these people.
- Further processing: lead classification and follow-up messaging.
To make life easier and get better results in cold emails, companies are using automation services. They allow you to automate one or several stages of the lead generation process. Let’s take a look at the most prominent sales prospecting tools that automates specific lead generation processes.
4 examples of lead generation automation
There are many different tools on the market to automate the lead generation process, let’s take a look at some of them.
Zoominfo.com collects business info about 20M companies around the world. It allows you to find people you need, according to the vast majority of criteria. You can adjust company, country, job title, etc. and Zoominfo will show you a list of your prospects with verified business information. The thing is you can find your ideal prospect with these criteria.
It automates forming a prospects list.
Prospect.io is a sales automation platform that provides tools for searching, emailing, analyzing, and syncing data. Prospect.io automates customer searches, makes emails verification, and provides email templates and drip campaigns.
Snovio is an automatization tool that helps people find email addresses on LinkedIn profiles or websites and launch email campaigns. This service also has an email checker and provides automatic lead qualification.
Leadfeeder works a little differently. This tool is designed to find information about leads who have visited your website. This platform analyzes traffic on your website and creates a list of companies that have visited it. So from that point, you have properly listed leads, and if for some reason you’re not satisfied with it, you can use custom filters.
Two main automation problems
As we can see, most of all these services automate collecting information about potential prospects or sending cold emails. Let’s consider problems that may arise from such automation.
First, a lot of companies make a prospect list based on their ideal customer profile. They assume that companies which meet the requirements will probably be interested in their product or services. Unfortunately, this assumption doesn’t work in most cases. The prospect list is full of companies that don’t need your products or services. So, most of the emails are sent to the wrong recipients.
A more reasonable way is to find relevant prospects based on their interests and demands expressed in their posts and comments on social media.
Second, today almost everyone uses such automation services, pursuing quantitative growth, not quality. For sending emails to as many potential leads as possible, companies forget that there is also a person on the other side of the screen, not a machine. In fact, in many cases, such services help to automat SPAM.
As a result, the decision-maker has a ton of spam and the sender companies have zero conversions.
Reckless automation of outbound marketing leads to the domination of spam in the email boxes of decision-makers. It happens because SDRs are learning from each other the same tips and tricks. Widespread and common methods simply do not work. If you want to stand out from the ocean of spam and be heard, you should use original techniques and channels. Otherwise, you will send unwanted emails to the wrong people at one end and a poor conversion rate at the other. Such a way of communication is costly and ineffective. So you might use automation not to generate tons of SPAM but to manage all routine operations except communication. Communication with prospects should be personal.
For instance, Leadguru, an Automated Social Selling platform, is created on these principles. It finds prospects based on their expressed interest and needs in online communities and allows you to communicate with them directly. Take a look at it!