Building a Successful Prospecting Engine

In this ScaleRep blog, we’ll share new B2B lead prospecting tools and techniques that brought the most success to the teams ScaleRep worked with. Our goal is to enable you with ways to build a sustainable prospecting process that plugs into your nurturing and engagement efforts.
ScaleRep works with sales and marketing teams to continually nurture and qualify leads at scale. Because of our knowledge set, we’re continually asked how companies can put together a prospecting engine that can drive predictable revenue.

After all, it can feel like a daunting task to find people that will be interested in your product.

The good news is that contact data is becoming commoditized; that is, it’s becoming easier and less expensive to find contact information of potential customers. There are more contact databases and more tools than ever before to help. This movement has fundamentally changed the way businesses can lead prospect – they’re moving away from repetitive manual prospecting to technologies and automation tools that can prospect at scale. We’ve leveraged these higher-level trends in creating the following workflow in lead prospecting, as described below.

Step 1- Define Ideal Customer Profile

It’s imperative that you Identify your ideal customer profile(s) – or at least who you think your ideal customers are. Doing so provides a framework around prospecting, measuring results, and improving performance.

What are the personas of the people you are looking to engage with? What titles do they have? Where are they located? What industry are they in?

  1. Come up with a name for each ideal customer profile (ICP) so you can easily refer to it

  2. Define them based on common search fields (their title, industry type, company size etc.)

  3. Find a LinkedIn profile that fits each profile and run a Crystal Knows profile search — this will provide general insight on how each customer profile will generally like to engage, which will provide insight on how to craft messaging for them.

Figure 1: A snapshot from Crystal Knows of our CEO’s profile

Step 2 – Use Contact Databases to Get Started

Depending on your target market, you can easily source a wide range of contacts in your target profile using contact databases. Below are a few options for B2B lead lists that ScaleRep used.

Uplead
Leadfuze
Voogy
Leadiro
Radius
ZoomInfo and Discover Org

Use email verifiers with contact databases!

ScaleRep highly encourages you to pair contact databases with an additional email verifier tool. Each provider updates emails in different cadences, and it is important that you do not send outreach to contacts that are no longer valid, yet still in these databases. Doing so will damage your email deliverability rates and your ability to connect with people!

Snovio and Hunter.io are our go-to email verifier tools. Note that oftentimes, it’s expected that only 20-50% of contacts that are generally pulled from contact databases will be verified emails.

Figure 2: A snapshot of verified emails from a contact database; 53% were deemed deliverable

Step 3 – Other Means for Data – Public Sites

Along with contact databases, there are a few other methods you can use to build a healthy set of contacts by utilizing sources around the internet.

    • Job posting information
      If your product is more appealing to companies that are hiring for a role, you can scrape job postings to find such companies that need that role and reach out.
    • Yellow Pages
      If your ICP includes businesses or services that have local presences (therapists, real estate agents, dentists, retail shops), you can scrape public posts from places like Yellow Pages or Yelp to surface businesses.
    • Crunchbase
      Crunchbase has a plethora of information about companies and different queries that may be useful. It’s a go-to place to surface accounts that have recently raised money, find accounts that are competitors of current clients, etc. Their Crunchbase Pro offering allows you to export company data for such queries.

As an example of the above methods, ScaleRep built an internal tool called GetPostings to scrape public job posts from a few sites, as well as listings off of Yellow Pages.

Figure 3: A snapshot of GetPostings, an internal job posting and Yellow Page scraper.

These methods would yield a list of locations and domains of specific accounts, or companies, that we’re in our target market. Once we had this info, we would use tools like Hunter.io’s email finder and findthatlead.com to source contact information from these domains. You’ll be able to pull leads based on different verticals within these companies (contacts in sales, marketing, etc).

Figure 4: A snapshot of Hunter.io’s “Email Finder” option that surfaces emails from specific departments given a domain name

Step 4 – Other Means for Data – Affinity Data

The one source of data we have yet to cover is LinkedIn. LinkedIn most likely holds the largest contact graph, but does not include an abundance of contact information. Nonetheless, there are a few methods to surface contact information given a LinkedIn account that proves helpful in pulling data.

Perhaps the most effective engagement technique we’ve found is to reach out is what we call ‘Affinity Data’. Every company has a unique set of networks that their employees are members of. Largely, marketing and sales teams do not take advantage of these networks. In many cases, there are people who are part of the same networks as you and your coworkers that are also members of your ICP. ScaleRep calls these “affinity groups.” Our data shows that outreach to affinity groups yield on average 6.3x more conversations than cold conversations. Furthermore, this knowledge graph is generally captured on LinkedIn.

A few examples of affinity groups include people in your ICPs that are alumni of the same schools as you/your coworkers, ex-employees of companies you used to work with, people in the same geographic location (if that location is not San Francisco or New York), and people of the same ethnicity. We also found that the more technical a product was and the higher seniority level the ICP (VPs, CXOs), the more effective affinity data was than cold outreach.

Figure 5: An example of a few Affinity Groups ScaleRep has used before

Figure 6: Internal ScaleRep data that shows how much more effective affinity prospects was than cold outreach prospects

ScaleRep would frequently source contact information within key affinity groups and reach out to folks from people in your company also part of that affinity group with a subject line of ‘Fellow X – Y intro’. In short, we found manufacturing connections through affinity groups lead to significantly better results in creating conversations.

To source affinity data, we utilized LinkedIn Sales Navigator and a tool called AnyLeads to find prospects that matched specific affinities.

In Conclusion

Between contact databases, utilizing tools like our GetPostings scraper and Crunchbase, and sourcing affinity data, ScaleRep sourced 3K – 20K verified contacts per month per client.

As you start to build a sizeable database of contacts, your challenges will shift to lead nurturing and qualification. That’s where ScaleRep helps – we’re great at nurturing and qualifying sales opportunities that are sitting in your CRM and are falling through the cracks. As companies focus on key customer personas and leads, we work with them to ensure that their contacts are intelligently being engaged and qualified.

 

Have questions? Need help? E-mail us and info@scalerep.com

Happy Prospecting!

Leave a Reply