Lead generation is vital to growing your business, but annoying and spamming your target market can damage your reputation and your brand. With over two decades of business development experience, we know how to effectively target your audience – the following are tactics to avoid along with some tips for how to fix these annoying lead generation tactics.
1. Automated Bot Emails
Using your LinkedIn profile demographics, companies will collect information using AI to target your inbox- picking up things from your profile and including them in an email. Example: I notice you went to X college, we have that in common…etc. The first email is an invitation to set up a meeting- it is unsolicited and therefore spam. There are more effective ways to use email as a lead generation tactic.
The emails are trying to get meetings with targets, often without ever talking to an actual person. Instead, you are talking to a bot. The bot will pretend you have a meeting set up already, and say something like “Hi, my boss would like to set up a call. What time works best for you?” It is presumptuous and very ineffective.
What to do instead:
Use a professional, introductory email in conjunction with a calling campaign. Follow up emails with a call for a more personalized approach. This is where you can better learn the needs and pain points of the lead. Treat email as exposure and brand recognition. It can be tricky to distinguish between annoying and “normal” marketing, so aim for precisely targeted messaging rather than just getting your message in front of as many people as possible.
2. Linkedin Spam
Over the past few years, many businesses have turned to LinkedIn automated invitations and connections, through email and messenger; however, this lead generation tactic is spammy and ineffective. You connect with the bot once and then get endless annoying notifications.
These automated messages are often poorly targeted and lead to promotions and other unwanted content. Most decision makers do not like this form of outreach. Lately, even a very targeted InMail campaign on Linkedin will not get responses, most likely because people are not paying as close attention to Linkedin messages any longer as it has become flooded with these spam messages.
It used to be an effective lead generation tactic to use InMail to reach out, connect, and determine interest, but this has been rendered ineffective by automated InMail ads- it is no longer a place people go to look for new business connections. Notably, LinkedIn InMail outreach of this type even says “sponsored,” which, unsurprisingly, results in lower email response rates.
What to do instead:
Focus on calling to complement your traditional marketing programs. InMail is ok on a limited basis, but not as a core marketing strategy. Most clients see the best results from integrated marketing and calling programs- either in-house or outsourced. A combination of methodologies with cold calling is the best strategy for complex sales.
3. Bad Telemarketing Calls
Telemarketing can be incredibly effective lead generation tactic if you have professional callers and a proven process. Bad calls are often the result of junior-level callers not having the experience needed for high-level lead generation calls, a caller relying too heavily on a script, or a caller acting on their own without a script as a guide for a quality lead call. They will often only focus on features and benefits, and cannot engage in the meaningful, in-depth conversation needed to engage with senior-level decision makers regarding complex solutions, services, or products. To be effective, there must be communication that is more of a “peer-to-peer” call with discovery, qualification and open-ended questions that lead to the buyer talking more than the caller.
What to do instead:
To drive more qualified sales leads, you should be reaching out professionally to prospects within your prospect universe with highly developed initial calls, combined with strong, attention-grabbing voicemails. Reach out professionally to your target audience with multiple calls into multiple contacts. Work in tandem with your marketing team to ensure all bases are effectively covered.
For more, read 3 Ways to Improve Your Calling Skills.
Implementing Successful Lead Generation Tactics
Lead generation is a crucial aspect of your sales playbook. Avoiding these annoying tactics will protect your brand reputation and improve your chances of engaging with your target audience.
Implementing strategic, precise methods of reaching out will improve the quality of your leads and increase your ROI. Lead generation is not about reaching as many people as you can at one time- it is about making smart choices to get your brand in front of the right people at the right time.
Read more in 3 Steps to Building a Successful Sales Playbook.