Joshua Smith serves as CEO of a real company called FizzyBlox on the front lines of revenue acceleration. He’s the co-founder of a couple of businesses and the author of the book Stacked: How to Guarantee Qualified Sales Meetings With Real Decision Makers.
He recalls that his team wondered where the people at the top of the sales profession go to upscale. Where do they go to be educated? Their challenges are much bigger than the average seller because they are responsible for multiple billions in revenue.
People constantly tell me that they could close more deals if they could just get in front of more people. Research suggests that 65% of sellers’ time is spent on non-revenue-generating activities. For people whose job is selling, that’s a huge number.
So how does any business optimize their lead generation process?
The bad news, according to Hubspot, is that for B2B lead generation, it’s virtually impossible to pinpoint which of the channels was most effective at lead generation. If I had to guess which channel was most effective, I’d guess it’s web-bound leads. In truth, though, Hubspot reported that the most effective channel was one labeled “other.” They simply don’t know which activities generate the most leads.
Truthfully, though, that uncertainty creates a huge opportunity. It suggests that there are tons of amazing tools out there that sellers can utilize to generate quality leads. They aren’t all publicized, so our job as sellers is to identify the different tools we can use and more importantly, how we can automate that process.
Josh’s mission is to create the number one sales platform in the world for senior sales leaders to network, to mindshare, to problem solve, and to intimately discuss the pressing topics of revenue generation.
This tool won’t be news to anyone because so many of us are getting leads from LinkedIn, but we must realize that data is fuel for the economy of the business world. We’re on a long business journey and we can’t rely on a single gas station. As amazing as LinkedIn is, we can’t rely on a single place for our fuel.
Sellers need to become their own content marketers to really meet the demands of the modern buyer. LinkedIn can do wonders for your business in terms of connecting with prospects, especially high-level decision-makers, in a space where they feel safe. Be mindful, too, that if you upgrade to premium, you can see what your social selling index is. You can measure yourself against the other people in your network or industry, which is a really good indicator of where you are.
I recently had a conversation with someone as a direct result of my LinkedIn efforts, and it turned into an opportunity. It was easy to move the conversation from LinkedIn to a phone call without feeling sleazy. He raised his hand and engaged with me because of the content I shared.
Your content positions you as a person who can help people. Focus on genuinely providing value rather than posting for the sake of posting. You don’t have to post every day. Josh engages with the sellers’ reps of the companies he’s pursuing and then gives his feedback on the buyer’s experience. If the experience is good, he’ll say so. If it’s bad, he’ll say so. The companies often engage with him after seeing his review, and it launches a natural dialog.
Every seller wants more leads but few are willing to do the prospecting necessary to generate them. With the rise of AI and automation, sellers feel entitled to not do the work and instead rely on technology. LinkedIn is an established platform for lead generation, and Josh estimates that about 70 percent of the total sales revenue he has generated during his career has been a product of it.
Even his other interactions like those at trade shows eventually land on LinkedIn, because eventually his prospects will look there to see who he is and what he’s about. Allocate time for LinkedIn.
From a content perspective consider using automation to help you produce content without manually uploading it every day or every week. There are also plugins that automatically message people as soon as you connect, but if you rely on those you miss out on the personalization that is so important.
Humans fundamentally need interactions. We’ll never be eradicated by technology because you must be genuine if you want qualified leads. Use automation, but don’t abandon your humanity.
Many people in the states opt to use ZoomInfo, but Josh reports that it’s expensive and the data often lacks accuracy. Instead, he suggests SalesOptimize, a tool that’s about 40 percent cheaper than ZoomInfo with much better accuracy and functionality.
It’s a market intelligence platform that scans the Internet to extract company data like what technology it uses to build its website, who the hosting provider is, what are their annual revenues, and what are the associated brands? Additionally, it provides the contact information for the people who work there.
Consider that searching for humans may be less effective because they won’t work for the company forever. Instead, search for companies because they represent the accounts. Your prospecting list includes companies, not people.
SalesOptimize allows you to type in the kind of company you want to target and receive a list of all the different companies you can approach. It also gives you the details around each company so you can determine whether it’s actually a good fit. Once the company passes that qualification process, you can generate insights around people.
Given that the average sales rep stays in position for about 18 months, and given that there are multiple people at each company that we need to connect with, it simply makes more sense. Especially in the tech world, it’s rarely a single person that makes the buying decision. More likely, you’ll interact with five to 10 people on your way to a decision. Why, then, are we constantly searching for a single person?
Even in organizations that have consistency, job functions change slightly. Additionally, titles might differ among companies because of differing hierarchies. SalesOptimize is cheaper, more accurate, and it’s GDPR compliant.
This tool is for the lazy sales folks who want a super-automated way of doing outreach and getting effective leads. It’s kind of an amalgamation of SalesOptimize and ZoomInfo, but it automates the outreach. Qualifier.ai is about 12 months old, and in its first year, they’ve gained more than 1,000 clients organically.
It won’t be ideal for everyone because although automation is fine to an extent, personalization is still important. But if your company won’t pay for the other two tools, this is one you can afford for yourself. If you haven’t been given the actual tools you need to do a proper job, spend the money on this tool.
It sends auto-sending sequences to your prospects and it measures and optimizes and tracks your open rates. You can set the sequence the way that’s best for you.
The last tool isn’t just a tool. It’s a weapon. Josh calls it a freak of nature.
With lead generation, we’re collecting data. Our job is to get enough fuel to actually move the vehicle. This tool takes your prospect information and plugs it into this tool and turns it into jet fuel. ConnectAndSell allows you to provide basic data like prospect name, company, and office number in a spreadsheet. This tool navigates you past the receptionists and directories and connects you directly to the person you’re trying to reach without you doing anything.
Typically in two hours, you might do about 30 dials. With this tool, Josh managed 411 dials in two hours and connected to 15 prospects. These weren’t sales managers or low-level people, but C-level people in Fortune 500 companies, the hardest people to get hold of.
It’s expensive, but the ROI potential is huge. For two hours every day, you’ll be plugged in speaking to people.
If you’re seriously looking to scale your business, get SalesOptimizer or ZoomInfo and even consider stacking it with ConnectAndSell to dominate the market.
Find out more about Josh’s event at csouk.com. In October, they’ll release CSOConnected, an online pool for education that will provide access to all the interviews. After October, look out for CSOConnected.com.
Grab a copy of his book, Stacked: How to Guarantee Qualified Sales Meetings With Real Decision Makers.
If you haven’t already, connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth.Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.