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How to Save Time By Automating Your Lead Generation Efforts

Written by
David Scott

Your lead generation efforts are never over.

No matter how much work you put into it, you'll always want more leads next month.

You're not alone.

Over half of B2B marketers dedicate over half of their budget primarily to lead generation activities.

53% of all B2B marketers spend more than half of their budget on lead generation
53% of all B2B marketers spend more than half of their budget on lead generation

However, lead generation can feel like rolling a boulder uphill.

Your pipeline is full of sales qualified leads on Monday, and by Friday, you're already thinking about how you can add more relevant leads, as half decided not to purchase, and the other half need more time.

If you want a lead pipeline that's always full to the brim, you need to automate your lead generation activities.

If you're a sales rep, don't worry.

This article isn't about automating you out of a job.

It's about making your efforts compound into tangible results. You'll be able to source more leads with less effort.

If that sounds like what your business needs, this is for you.

We're going to cover:

  • Automated Lead Generation: Is It The Holy Grail?
  • Benefits of Automating Your Lead Generation System
  • Automating Your Inbound Marketing Efforts
  • How to Automate Outbound Lead Generation

By the end, you'll have a list of actionable tactics you can go and put into place.

Let's get into it.

Automated Lead Generation: Is It The Holy Grail?

Automated lead generation is the process of creating systems and processes that enable you to generate leads without having to source them all manually.

Your automated lead generation process will help you have a regular source of qualified leads, and it won't feel like you're pushing a boulder up a hill every single day.

For many businesses, this is the holy grail. It's why companies invest millions into their sales and marketing efforts.

But, you don't need to have raised a $20 million Series A round to start automating your lead generation.

Any business with access to a few simple tools can do it.

Before we jump into the tactics, here are a few of the benefits of automating your lead generation.

Benefits of Automating Your Lead Generation System

Automation Increases Efficiency

You didn't hire your sales and marketing team to spend their days on repetitive busy-work.

You hired them to help generate your business more leads and help you realise your growth targets.

By automating parts of your sales and marketing process, you can keep your pipeline filled without having to resort to repetitive tasks.

Your team can spend time on high-impact work like closing deals, and investing time in new strategies to further increase your growth.

More Time Talking with Qualified Prospects

The more time you spend talking with potential customers, the more you learn about them.

Once their work is automated, your team can spend more time on the phone with leads, learning about what they want from your solution.

This has benefits that will trickle-down through your whole business.

Your product development direction will be in-line with what your customers want.

Your marketing copy will reflect your customers' thoughts.

There's no better way to learn than from talking directly with qualified prospects.

Automating Your Inbound Marketing Efforts

Compounding Traffic Benefits Through SEO

SEO is one of the best ways to automate your sales and marketing work.

Use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to identify relevant content opportunities in your niche and build out content to attract your ideal customers to your site.

For example, if you sell a marketing CRM product, you'll be able to quickly identify keywords that relevant customers are searching for and create content that satisfies the search intent.

Use tools like Ahrefs to quickly find queries your customers are searching for
Use tools like Ahrefs to quickly find queries your customers are searching for

Once you identify keyword opportunities, you can then create new blog posts, landing pages, or other on-site assets that will help drive new qualified leads to your business.

We don't usually think of SEO and sale going hand-in-hand, but it's one of the most effective methods of generating new leads without you having to lift a finger.

Remember, founders, CMOS, or your sales reps shouldn't be the ones writing your content. Consider hiring a writer, or outsourcing the work to scale this quickly.

You can also map your content to your sales funnel and send leads to different lead nurturing campaigns to ensure every interaction feels personal, even if it's automated.

Build Your Personal Brand on Autopilot

Personal branding doesn't sound like much fun, but it's worth your time.

If you're skeptical, maybe these statistics will help.

  • Sales reps who use social media as part of their strategy outsell 78% of those who don't
  • Leads sourced via employees' social media activities convert 7x more than those who aren't

Personal branding is still a powerful motivator for purchase.

It doesn't have to be time-consuming, either.

You can re-purpose your company blog content into thought pieces and publish them on LinkedIn, or Tweet out snippets of insight from the best content you read over the past week.

In most cases, you won't see results overnight, but over time your efforts will compound as more people engage with your content and amplify your voice.

Remember, this article is all about automating things, so it's important to note that you shouldn't be opening up LinkedIn and Twitter every 30 minutes. Spend an hour (at most) each week preparing your posts in a tool like Buffer.

Schedule social media posting
Use Buffer to quickly share your knowledge, ideas, and content to build your personal brand

All you need to do is spend 1 hour each week scheduling posts to be sent out on LinkedIn using a tool like Buffer and your posts will get sent out on a regular schedule. This is also a task that can easily be outsourced to your VA, or delegated to your marketing team.

Run Webinars All Day, Everyday

Webinars are huge in B2B sales and marketing right now.

73% of B2B marketers say webinars are their favourite way to generate qualified leads.

Patrick Whatman, CEO of Mention, says:

"We do one webinar and we get between 500 and more than 1,000 leads... with an hour of live webinar and a little promotion."

It's clear they can deliver huge ROI, but, running live webinars all the time just isn't feasible.

They're time-consuming to prepare for and host.

However, you can automate this by uploading past webinar recordings to YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia, and allowing access to them in exchange for an email address and a few details about an attendee's company.

Your webinars will be available 24/7 to anyone who wants access to them.

It's an easy way to scale your webinar attendance and automate your webinar process without your team having to be online hosting live webinars all day, every day.

How to Automate Outbound Lead Generation Efforts

Inbound is one thing, but if you want to engage with accounts that are always a perfect match for your services, you'll need to automate your outbound lead generation efforts too.

Reach More Prospects with Cold Email Automation Tools

Leadiro

To increase your cold email campaign success rate, you can use a lead provider like Leadiro.

You'll have the ability to instantly identify companies who are a great fit for your services, with the ability to filter leads by demographics, firmographics, and technographic data.

Instantly access B2B data lists of qualified leads with Leadiro
Instantly access B2B data lists of qualified leads with Leadiro

Your sales team won't need to spend hours crawling through LinkedIn to identify prospects and can spend more time having conversations with sales qualified leads.

Leadiro's data is regularly verified for accuracy and is ideal for sales teams who want to increase the ROI from their outbound and ABM campaigns.

Mailshake

So, you have contact details for qualified leads, but how do you reach out to them?

While you can do everything manually, a tool like Mailshake can enable your team to automate a lot of repetitive work.

Automate cold email campaigns with Mailshake
Automate cold email campaigns with Mailshake

You'll be able to send emails to prospects out at scale and can personalize your email subject lines and copy by using mail merge fields.

If Mailshake isn't quite right for you, check out our guide on How to Choose Your Cold Email Software.

Use Your CRM to Qualify Leads

Lead Scoring to Identify Purchase-Ready Prospects

If you've implemented any of the tactics I've already mentioned, you're going to have a steady stream of prospects entering your pipeline.

Now, you'll need to identify those who are purchase ready.

Most CRMs and email marketing software have lead scoring built-in.

Use this to score your leads based when they take relevant actions like:

  • Attending a webinar
  • Downloading a whitepaper
  • Visited your pricing page

The goal here is to ensure your sales team don't have to manually review your list of leads often, and can instead rely on purchase-ready leads being automatically identified by your automated system.

You'll save your team hours of work and be able to get in touch with qualified leads at exactly the right moment.

Nurture Leads with Smart Email Automation

According to Experian, email marketing delivers an ROI of $44 for every $1 invested in it.

When someone signs up for a webinar or fills out a call-to-action on your blog post, they're probably not quite ready to buy from you.

But you need to assume that they will want to purchase in the future, as they've likely found your brand and content during their research phase.

Your email marketing is going to be a critical factor in determining whether someone chooses your business or a competitor.

You need to be using it.

Use email to send prospects relevant information that helps them with their decision.

This could be a blog post, it could be a personal email from a sales rep asking a question about their pain points, or an invite to your next webinar.

The key is not to force the sale, but help educate your prospect on why your solution is right for them.

Wrapping Up

Automating your sales process as much as possible is going to significantly improve the ROI on your sales reps' time.

They'll be able to take a break from repetitive tasks and focus on activities that move the revenue needle.

The best part?

Being able to automate parts of your sales process isn't only reserved for companies with cash to blow.

Using the strategies and tools that we've included here, anyone can start automating their sales process.

If you're ready to supercharge your sales, try Leadiro for free today.

This article was first published on
April 29, 2020
updated

David Scott

Senior Director - Projects, Marketing, Technology – With over 15 years’ experience in marketing, sales & lead generation David leads the strategic projects of the group.

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