You probably spend an excessive amount of time chasing leads down. Lead generation is a never ending necessity for businesses, especially for companies trying to grow. (And, what company isn’t?) Because of this, you might feel like you’re starting at ground zero month after month.
As your organization grows, you need to find ways to bring in more leads while reducing the workload of finding them. It’s all about efficiency and scale. Lead generation becomes unsustainable if you don’t invest in the right technology. That’s where automated lead generation comes in.
Let’s dive into what automated lead generation is, the benefits your organization will receive and tips on making it work for you.
What is automated lead generation?
To understand what automated lead generation is, let’s first go back to basics. What is lead generation? Lead generation is the process of finding new prospective customers and markets to sell your products or services to..
Automated lead generation often uses AI technology to give you more relevant leads. Automation doesn’t have to use AI technology, though. Automated lead generation can also be finding ways to save time and grab attention. For example, you might use an automation tool to send emails or messages on your behalf.
What are some of the benefits of automated lead generation services?
Before we dive into some automated lead generation strategies, let’s cover a few benefits of automation. The thought of using artificial intelligence or automation can feel overwhelming. Some teams may worry that AI will replace sales and marketing teams, but typically the benefits of automation outweigh the negatives.
Automation saves time
When companies use automation, one of their main reasons is to save time. Lead generation can be a time-consuming process that involves several steps.
First, companies need to do the math to understand how many leads they must bring in during a given month. Once the number of leads is determined, sales and marketing typically ideate the campaigns and strategies they will use to reach that number. Then, they start executing on their plan, turning targets into leads.
Sales and marketing teams pour over prospects on sites like LinkedIn and inside company databases. Finding people to reach out to can be exhausting, and it doesn’t always lead to success. Sometimes teams can spend hours getting a list of targets together, only to be hit with dead ends, wrong numbers or people who aren’t ready to purchase.
When companies can automate some aspects of this process, whether that’s finding or reaching out to contacts, they save time and money.
Automation frees sales and marketing teams up for less repetitive work
Besides saving time, automation also frees sales and marketing up to work on valuable projects. If a task or process is repetitive, it can most likely be automated. When sales and marketing teams can farm out repetitive tasks, they can focus on the one-on-one work that turns prospects into customers.
Automation can help your company with tasks like:
- Finding potential customers to reach out to
- Sending out the initial messages to prospects
- Booking meetings
- Meeting preparation
- Post meeting follow-up
Automation frees up sales and marketing expenses
Lead generation is expensive for many companies. Most of your marketing budget might even be going to lead generation. When funds are tied up in lead generation, it leaves little room for other activities like sales and marketing development or brand building. Companies need to get out of the expensive lead generation race and make better use of the smarketing budget.
When you automate certain aspects of the lead generation process, you’ll undoubtedly free up hours from sales and marketing, saving money. For example, our customer Oracle noted a lower cost per lead and more efficient opportunity creation when they used Rev to source leads.
Automation can spot trends early
One of the best parts of using automated lead generation tools is their trendspotting ability. Automated tools use a wide array of information to make business decisions and understand whom to connect with.
In a recent episode of The AI For Sales Podcast, our CEO Jonathan Spier discussed how our sales development platform helps companies, “The opportunity of AI is to see more really good patterns early. In our case, it’s seeing who’s a good person to purchase before they even know to show intent yet. That’s where AI is just super exciting for the sales process.”
10 helpful automated lead generation tips
So, you’re interested in automating your lead generation activities. How do you go from thinking about it to automating your lead gen process? Let’s dive into ten strategies that will help you get started.
1. Build a reliable lead source tracker
Before diving into automated lead generation, you must ensure that leads are tracked appropriately. Your client relationship manager or CRM should track where leads are coming from, but your tool may struggle as lead sources become more complex.
For example, sometimes a client is in your CRM, but automation may help reenergize that lead. What will show up in your CRM as a lead source if this happens?
There are many strategies to understand attribution. Most often, companies use first or last touch attribution. These simple strategies say the credit goes to whatever added the lead or whatever last helped the lead turn into a sale. Many companies use a multi-touch attribution model, which strives to share attribution across as many channels or people who played a role in the sale’s success.
Whichever model you choose, it’s essential to be consistent and ensure your CRM can handle everything. Keeping up with attribution will help you understand the impact that automated lead generation has (or doesn’t have) on your sales journey.
2. Create multiple opt-in opportunities
One of the best ways to convert leads is to send them a relevant content piece. Opt-ins are typically sent behind a gate, encouraging a prospect to enter their email address to get the information.
When someone gives you an email address (or any other details about them), they’re putting their trust in you. While email opt-ins or freebies can make it easier to get leads, they have to be worth it. Prospects are particular about what they sign up for and stay subscribed to. Therefore, your opt-in should have a stellar landing page. When someone starts to read it, they should be just as impressed.
Here are some relevant opt-ins that will make prospects want to give you their email address:
- Consultative calls to solve a specific industry problem
- Courses that cover a hot-button industry topic
- eBooks with insights from industry influencers
- Webinars or panels with leading experts
- Industry reports with proprietary data
3. Optimize the landing pages you send leads to
Before you send leads to any landing page, you must consider the experience prospects will have when they get there. When your automated systems send prospects to landing pages, your sales team may not always be able to drop things and assist if things go awry. Take your time and review your landing page before sending it out.
Here are some steps you can take to optimize your landing pages:
- Pare down your landing page so that prospects can focus on your call-to-action
- Ensure the landing page copy matches the copy you use to attract visitors to avoid confusion
- Create a focused lead form by asking for the bare necessities and supplementing data with artificial intelligence after opt-in
- Test your landing page on desktops, mobile devices and tablets to ensure everyone has a smooth viewing experience
- Proofread the copy one last time to make sure everything is clear and free of spelling errors
4. Always test your copy
A/B testing is an integral part of automated lead generation. Small things can make an enormous difference, and you want to ensure your organization uses the best copy available.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when A/B testing is changing too much at once. Split testing only works when you can understand what improvement made a difference. Tweak a photo, headline or call to action. Keep it simple.
You can test landing pages, email/outreach copy, advertising copy and more. Anything you use to bring in new leads can likely be tweaked with A/B testing.
5. Consider your automated persona
When you automate your lead generation process, you often have to use a persona to do it. Sometimes you use your general brand persona, but usually, you are using your marketing or sales team to be the face of your brand. What will potential customers see when they look at an email signature or check out a social media profile? Most potential customers will want to learn more about the company or the salesperson they are speaking with.
You should work with your website and social media team to ensure that your website and social media profiles are active if you plan to use those during the automation process. You should also work with specific team members to ensure their social media profiles and web presence look professional and well-utilized.
6. Use relevant messaging in your campaigns
When connecting with prospects, you want to focus on what you are saying. Conversion is more than a number. Conversion is about building a deep connection with potential customers. If your message isn’t relevant to what your potential customers are dealing with, they’ll move on to a company that gets it.
Wrapping your mind around relevant messaging can be daunting, but it starts with connecting with prospects and current customers.
- Talk to your customers and prospects to see what language they use
- Survey your audience to understand the trends and issues they are dealing with
- Create a Facebook, LinkedIn or Slack group so you can hang out with your customers and people in your ideal audience
- Check out sites like Reddit or Twitter, where your ideal audience already hangs out and has conversations
- Listen to sales calls to understand why prospects decide to reach out and learn more about your brand
Doing this research should give you a clear idea of what your message should look like. By researching what is most often said or discussed, you’ll be better positioned to understand what your audience needs from you.
7. Focus resources and attention on remarketing
Remarketing or retargeting is one of the best advertising tools companies can use. According to a survey by Ascend, 34% of marketers use paid advertising/retargeting during the lead nurturing process. Companies use remarketing to get back in front of their ideal customers.
The remarketing process is simple. Companies like Google and Facebook allow you to install tracking pixels on your website. From there, you can retarget people who have visited certain pages or performed specific actions on your website. Pixels are often used in B2C marketing to reduce cart abandonment, but these strategies can also be used in B2B marketing.
Prospects may not respond to your automated outreach right away, but over time they might. Retargeting lets your company stay top of mind while potential customers consider how they can use your product or service.
8. Use the right tools
Automated lead generation is a challenge for companies. If you don’t use the right tools, you risk creating an uncanny valley for prospects, especially if you use artificial intelligence. You need to utilize tools that feel like a helpful addition to a prospect’s life, not a burden.
We’ve previously shared some of our favorite AI tools for lead generation. When picking an AI or automation tool, you must consider which areas of the process you and your clients are comfortable automating. For example, you might not want to automate outreach, but you may feel comfortable automating the research process.
Automation is still relatively new, so you don’t have to push the envelope. Instead, understand where the boundaries are for your company and stick to them.
9. Build a cadence for connecting with automated leads
If you plan to use an AI tool for outreach, connecting with automated leads can get complicated. With your automation tool taking center stage, you might add too many cooks in the kitchen when sales reps get involved.
Creating a communication cadence for the automation tool and your employees is crucial to building a successful lead generation process.
Here are some questions you might want to ask your sales team:
- How often does the automation tool reach out to prospects? What does it say?
- When you get a response from a human, when should a sales team member step in and take over the conversation?
- Once the sales team takes over, when does the automation tool get shut off?
- If the sales team loses contact, does the automation tool get turned on again?
- When is it time to stop connecting if there isn’t a response?
10. Don’t abandon other lead sources
Automation is a tool in your box, but it’s not the only way to gather leads. Other sources like inbound leads can be just as powerful. Consider how you can beef up other lead sources as you use automated strategies.
Here are a few lead sources that you can try:
- Create content to boost your organic results on search engines
- Send regular monthly newsletters to engage people in your database
- Hold webinars and events with other companies in your industry
- Go to industry conferences and tradeshows to meet potential clients
- Build an organic presence on social media sites like LinkedIn
- Invest in a referral program to encourage current customers to share your business
- Work with influencers in your niche to promote your brand
Bottom line: Automated lead generation with Rev
Today, we took an in-depth look at automated lead generation and what it can do for your business. There are many reasons why your team might be interested in automation. Maybe your sales team is struggling to keep up with lead generation goals, or perhaps you want to use your marketing budget better. Automation is the perfect way to future-proof your business, ensuring you can get in front of the right people every month.
If you are ready to start automating your lead generation process, consider Rev. We have all the tools you need to transform prospecting from a manual, random and frustrating experience to a scientific and precise process. We’ve built a database of 6 million companies and counting. Our strategic approach helps you understand the exegraphics behind your best customers. From there, we can help you find your next best leads to grow your pipeline efficiently. If this sounds like a process you need, request a demo today.