Your Lead Generation Machine IS NOT Like a Gym Membership

Posted by LinkedSelling in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Development

Everybody wants a magic pill… some way to snap your fingers and *POOF*... result granted.

Warmer weather comes around and it’s time to shed the jackets… and face the reality that maybe we gained a few over the winter. 

That magic pill sounds great right about now.

The company needs consistent appointments on the calendar. We ask…

What’s the fastest way to achieve that? When it doesn’t work, we switch to the next shiny thing. 

Isn’t that kind of how we all think?

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How Companies Should View Lead Generation

Human psychology is a funny thing. For example, did you know that simply signing up for a gym membership, buying exercise equipment and clothes, and figuring out an exercise program is enough to make people feel like they’ve done something productive toward their goal of getting in shape?

It’s the same with lead generation… people create content, post on social media, count the likes and comments…

But does any of that actually contribute toward the one goal of generating leads, closing sales, and increasing cash-in-door? 

Of course, you can make the argument that long term, increasing awareness and executing content marketing can definitely contribute towards inbound lead generation. However, inbound lead generation is out of a company’s control. 

For the sake of our argument today, we’re solely going to focus on the tasks within our control that lead directly to increased appointments and sales opportunities. 

There’s something else we all do. I like to call it the Negative Time Trap. We try something out. We have the best intentions. Of course. 

After a few weeks… results don’t come so we switch things up. We give up on that strategy and try something else. Or we go back to what’s familiar… even if it’s not the most effective solution.

Enough with the rant. Let’s focus on what this is really about: how you can’t treat lead generation like a gym membership.

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The Missing Ingredient to Lasting Results

When it comes to lead generation, too many companies are looking for the quick fix… the magic pill.

The mistake is thinking that lead generation is a one and done task. Let’s set the record straight:

Which means that the missing ingredient is dedication. 

Like a gym membership, it’s best utilized consistently over time. 

Unlike a gym membership, you can’t just expect to pay a monthly fee and see immediate results, let alone expect specific results.

The process requires optimization, which absolutely requires dedication, that missing ingredient that so many companies lack.

We see this all too often. For example, we’ve worked with large companies who expect instant results. It takes time to prep for and launch “the machine” but that’s only the start. Once we’ve done our best with the knowledge we have about your company, the offer, and the market - then we start testing.

Here’s the reality:

You can't sign on with an agency (this applies to all agencies) to solve a million dollar problem with the click of a button, or even a 1-2 month solution.

You have to be dedicated to two things:

  1. Dedicated to building the system and
  2. Dedicated to optimizing the system

Building Your Lead Generation Machine

A machine is systematized and strategic. 

To create a lead generation system that works like a machine, you need to plan extensively. This includes research on your company, on your offer, and on your market. We need to know what their pain points are, and what they’ll respond to. Even after all that research though… it’s really only our best guess. 

From there we create a strategy that we believe will have the greatest impact out of the gate. Again, while we make every effort to do this as quickly as possible, this preparation phase takes some time.

What does it really take to build a lead generation machine? It starts with strategic planning: 

  1. First, understand your prospect profile. This cannot be understated. All efforts will fall flat without an understanding of what will motivate your prospect to take action.

  2. Craft messaging around your prospects’ immediate pain points, taking into account where they are in the buyer journey. When we craft messaging, we always get your approval before launching. This also includes any marketing collateral that we create, such as a report or white paper. 

  3. Choose your primary channels for lead generation. This is where a multichannel strategy comes into play. For ads, we use primarily LinkedIn and or Facebook as a platform for B2B service offerings, depending on your offer and your industry. (To learn more about the difference between the two, read more here.)

    For outreach and sales development follow-up, we use primarily LinkedIn messaging, email, and phone calling. We’ve found that a multi-channel approach, when well integrated, serves to expand the efficacy of any one channel.

    >>> Curious about our multi channel approach? We wrote a manifesto on it. <<<

  4. Create a method of execution that allows for consistency. A machine that runs like clockwork requires a system. This means that you can plan on certain tasks being completed and that those tasks will get done and that over time they will be optimized. 

    The question here is to address what the bottlenecks are. Does your team need help with consistent outreach? With follow-up? Do you have the expertise on your team to run, manage, and optimize an ad campaign? If you can identify any potential roadblocks that would interfere with the ability to produce consistent action (leading to consistent results) then you will have more success.

>>> Curious about the true costs of setting up and running a lead generation inhouse vs. outsourcing it? We’ve done the research and shared our findings here. <<<

Our methods are the best we know of - after more than a decade of experience and research, spending millions of dollars on ads and lead generation strategies.

If you’d like to learn more about our exact ad strategies - read more here. <<<

If you’d like to learn more about our exact outreach strategies - read more here. <<<

Once we execute the strategy, it’s still only the beginning...

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Optimizing Your Lead Generation Machine

Another aspect of machines is that they are predictable and reliable. Generally, with machines, you’ll know what kind of output to expect for any specific input. Or that’s the hope. 

When it comes to lead generation, you can get within a certain range, and over time, you can certainly gauge that expectation more accurately.

For example, it’d be great to predict out of the gate that the end result would be something like a certain number of appointments every month for any specific investment in ad spend every month, or in manual outreach. 

Any company that promises this is lying.

There is NO way to gauge exactly how many people will book appointments based on a certain amount of lead generation investment without testing.

It’d be great to expect a specific amount of clicks from those ads. At first it’s impossible. However, over time, it’s more probable.

With outreach, we can almost guarantee a certain amount of touchpoints, but still many of those touchpoints are dependent on the prospect. We certainly cannot guarantee that you’ll get an appointment with So-and-So and Such-and-Such company. Although we can try, we can’t force anybody to respond.

There are way too many factors out of our control to promise that…

  • Prospect responses
  • Your offer
  • Your messaging or branding requirements
  • Time of year
  • Etc…

You get the idea.

Both strategies (ads and outreach) are inherently wrapped around the responses of your prospects. That’s entirely out of any agency’s control. 

(Admittedly, we’ve learned this the hard way. As much as we try to reach a certain promised result, there’s too much out of our control to be able to achieve it.)

All that we can do is to:

  1. Track messaging and graphics and the specific targeting, along with which platform is gaining the most momentum and
  2. Tweak and test to continually optimize the chance that your ideal prospects will respond. 

Doing so not only increases the amount of lead volume you have (and gives you the end results of more sales opportunities in your pipeline), but it also decreases the cost per lead or per appointment over time.

The key here is “over time”, which is why dedication is such a crucial component for any company to have when either working with an agency - or even executing lead generation and sales development strategies in-house.

Dedication Pays Off

In conclusion, after working with 100’s of companies to give them a system that allows for more control over their lead generation, we’ve seen the ones who understand that value of dedication and the ones who treat lead generation like a magic pill, or like that gym membership, where they expect to be able to pay a subscription every month and see an exact result. Those companies end up spending more in the long run because they are continually starting from scratch. They neglect to take the time to build a system that optimizes itself over time, resulting in more efficient action in the long run.

The dedication we expect of our clients is why we ask for a contract of more than one month at a time. Usually it’s at least three to six months, although the best results we see happen with those who approach us as true long-term partners. 

Are we asking too much of our clients? No. The reality is that any agency who makes promises upfront is not being transparent with you. This goes against our core values as a company. We value the companies we work with more than that. 

If you’d like to learn more about our approach to lead generation and why our clients keep coming back to work with us, let’s talk. Our strategies have been proven to work in many industries and on the call, we can share our expertise and give you some insight as to which lead generation strategies we would execute on your behalf. Even if we don’t work together, we’re happy to speak with you. 

Just book a free consultation below.

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