The Exact Framework We Use To Generate Consistent B2B Leads Every Month

Nothing gets sales leaders on the edge of their seats quite like the rush of looking at a pipeline filled with sales qualified leads (SQL). SQLs are considered to be the ‘holy grail’ of leads. Like Indiana Jones, the pursuit of the ‘holy grail’ aka high quality sales leads proves to be arduous, and many times downright elusive for many struggling B2B sales teams.

The Scale Lab has worked with dozens of companies and hundreds of teams in generating consistent and reliable sales qualified leads that have generated 30 million USD in sales pipeline value - all without ads.


It’s not rocket science, but it’s as simple as A, B, C, either. So you do need the right process, proper qualification, a killer pitch, and a solid system.


In this article, we’ll share the exact framework and timeline we used to kickoff a proper lead generating campaign that helped The Scale Lab reliably deliver B2B sales qualified leads for our clients - every month.


Let’s get into it. 🤑



Step 1: Defining Your Buyer Persona 🎯

Timeline: Week 1

You should always remember that in the process of creating your B2B buyer personas, there will almost certainly be multiple personas involved.


It's what you do with the data that you get. And in our case, how we tailor our campaigns are based on the quality of the data we get from our customers. How we structure our copy and outreach templates is dictated by how good and accurate our customer avatar is.


At The Scale Lab, we define multiple personas for each client we work with because different personas will require a tailored approach. Identification and proper discernment of what makes your prospects tick is mandatory here; that’s where your market research comes in. Getting this wrong will yield sub-par results in the next steps of our framework.


Here’s a great template from Hubspot to start with:




Courtesy: Hubspot



Key Points

  • Usually you’ll already know this based on your first customer interactions. This typically starts wide, so you can talk to as many similar types of leads that fall under a general “most likely to qualify” bracket. As you go through more conversations, you start narrowing the best types of leads that typically convert and improve on your buyer persona.

  • The “trick” here is continuous optimization through careful scrutiny of your campaign. As you go through your lead generation campaign, so does your buyer persona change. Understand who are the people who respond, show interest and double down on them.


  • More data points, the better. Instead of targeting a broad keyword like “tech founders” you can add other qualifiers such as specific niche, length of years since founding, number of employees, or amount of funding rounds completed.

  • Once you have this data, you can turn these into a profile of your Most Profitable Leads. From a general outreach, you now start with a target persona in mind based on your data.


  • Pro tip: Research your closest competitor’s reviews and look for online conversations that talk about them e.g G2, Reddit, Quora etc. Insights gleaned from these help you understand your target market better.


Step 2: Finding Your Prospects 🕵️


Timeline: Week 1


Have you ever seen videos of fishermen casting extremely wide nets to catch fish and then have over a dozen crew members manually sift the unwanted fish? That’s a picture of how most lead generation campaigns are. Targeting a very large amount of seemingly qualified leads is not only inefficient - it’s a complete waste of time.


Trust us when on this, our years of B2B sales experience tells us that aiming for quality vs quantity is still the best approach. It's better to build a list of 100 very, very qualified leads and to personalize your approach to each, vs sending a generic message to thousands of leads.


Armed with a crystal clear understanding of your target market, it’s time to start prospecting leads. Your success in finding the right prospects goes back to how well you define your buyer’s persona.


Because finding prospects is such an important part of lead generation and it also takes the majority of time in the lead gen process, we actually built a standalone list building service specifically just for building vetted contact lists.

Sales Intelligence Platform


B2B businesses use sales intelligence software to improve the quality and quantity of sales leads by identifying new sales opportunities and providing the information salespeople need to take advantage of them, like contact information, job titles, and company information.

Apollo is an example of a sales intelligence platform that collects millions of sales data points across the internet. In the screenshot below, the left pane features a robust set of filters such as ‘Industry & Keywords’ that contains a list of specific industries you can choose from to help hone in on your prospects.


Depending on your budget and bandwidth, your target number of leads may vary for this campaign aim for at least a minimum of 1,000 working leads per month.


The downside with this approach is that sales intelligence platforms can be quite expensive and don't really guarantee you get quality leads every time.



Courtesy: Apollo


Filters are extremely effective tools if you know how to leverage them. In the image above, the ‘Technology’ filter is a great qualifier that you can use to uncover competitor insights. For example, let’s assume I work for a company that produces online forms, and I would like to find out who is using my competitor’s products (in this case Jotform) or something that’s similar to what I offer.


Here’s another example of how filters help you, this time from FindThatLead. In the screenshot below, I simply look for the filter option to search by technology and key in my search that then generates a list of 1545 websites that use my competitor’s product.




Linkedin Sales Navigator


There are over 100 million senior level decision makers at Linkedin. If your team isn’t sourcing leads from this platform then you are missing out on one of the best B2B sales platforms.


At The Scale Lab, we use LinkedIn Sales Navigator as an effective channel to warm up leads through meaningful conversations. In fact, it’s our main prospecting platform that has helped us generate thousands of leads for our clients.


Source: Linkedin Sales Navigator

To help zero in on your prospect, take advantage of LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s ‘Lead Builder’ and choose from over a dozen of its advanced filters. Remember, the more focused your search, the better your results. Take advantage of the other features that help make searches more specific such as:

  • Use shared connections to find common contacts that you can leverage

  • Leads that have a change of jobs and/or company

  • Filter according to platform activity

  • Mentions in the news



Source: Linkedin Sales Navigator



Search Engines

Manually searching for leads through search engines may not be a scalable method if you’re looking to find thousands of leads, but in spite of this, a good ol’ Google search will still help produce prospects for your business.


The problem with regular text searches is that they don't always uncover your prospect’s contact information. The key here is to learn how to make use of its advanced search terms aka “advanced operators” to help you zero in on your prospects. These are commands that help extend the capabilities of regular text searches. Here’s a great guide on advanced operators from Ahrefs.


Key Points

  • Unless you’re sending sponsored messages via InMail, you must connect with prospects before sending them a message. Start by following them. From there, you can begin to comment on, like, and share their status updates and work your way into their world. If they think you’re providing value, they’ll be more likely to respond to a connection request.

  • Strict qualifying is very critical in this step. It’s worth reminding you that not all prospects will be your leads, the better you qualify them the higher your close rates will be. A list containing 10,000 leads won’t do you any good if you don't even have 1% of those that are a product-market fit for what you offer.

Step 3: Managing Your Leads 💻


Timeline: Week 2

Managing leads in a spreadsheet can be very tedious, especially if you have a lot of them. How do you keep track of who's waiting on what? Are they all being contacted? This is where a CRM software comes in handy but if you’re bootstrapping or want higher customization, Google spreadsheets will do the trick just fine.


Our process for managing leads is fairly straightforward. Here’s the 3 steps we do after finding our leads.


Extract


We use tools like Captain Data that helps us extract data we’ve collected. We like the high level of customization and integrations that seamlessly plug into our workflow. The leads that we’ve gathered from Linkedin Sales Navigator are then extracted into a Google Sheet that serves as our custom CRM.


Enrich

We then use other data sources to enrich the extracted data with other types of qualifying information such as such as fund raising stage, web pages, job hiring posts, and other data aside from standard contact details.


Enriching your information helps you create a deeper understanding of the prospect. This part is critical for us because the additional data gives us actionable insights into the leads when we’re reaching out to them. We like to take note of information like fundraising to understand where the leads are financially. Employee headcount is also another one. If a company is hiring more people it means they probably need support in something specific. If they are reducing the size of the company, that might also mean they'll need help in other areas.

Organize


Once our list has been extracted and enriched with more information we then clean the list to weed out invalid contact information. We use tools like Hunter and Bouncer to verify emails and remove undeliverable email addresses.

Step 4: Crafting Your Outreach Message ✍️


Timeline: Week 2

The outreach template is the most critical part of your campaign. This is where many salesmen get it wrong. ☠️


A poorly composed email or LinkedIn message is the bane of any cold outreach. Mistakes here will undo ALL of the effort and resources spent on prospecting and qualifying your leads. At The Scale Lab, crafting a killer intro message that will catch readers' attention, and keeping them engaged is a fine art that we have mastered over the years.


Fact: No one likes talking to a salesman. That’s why it’s so important to not sound like one. Be a master at building rapport and creating genuine interactions, results are bound to follow.


Check out this helpful resource: 92% Open rate using this cold email sequence


The SIVA Framework For Cold Emails


SIVA stands for Subject, Intro Line, Value, and Action. These are the 4 most critical areas that affect how successful your cold outreach will be. Cold emails have gotten a bad rap because the majority of outreach emails are salesy and impersonal. The SIVA framework was created at The Scale Lab to systematize the way we design our outreach templates.



Tip # 1: Use an attention grabbing subject line

You want your email template to be personalized and friendly here. Using a subject line that reads “Increase your revenue in 30 days…” is the quickest path to the spam folder. Short and snappy subject lines that pique the curiosity of the reader are what gets the highest email open rates. Make it clear, crisp, and, most importantly, concise. 7 words or 41 characters are ideal.


Subject line examples

  • Question {firstname}

  • Coffee {firstname} ?

  • Hey {firstname}, check this out

  • Quick question about {companyname}

  • I knew it {firstname}


Tip # 2: Less about you. More of your prospect

Many naive cold emails typically begin their email in this way: “We help companies get more sales through our lead generation services...”. This puts the spotlight only on you and what you do which is the equivalent of talking to someone who only talks about themselves and how great they are. The majority of your email should be about the prospect and what’s in it for them.


Tip # 3: Personalize your approach


The key here is to standout from the ocean of salespeople all trying to reach into their pockets. Show your leads that you understand their goals and problems. Additionally, you want your email to stand out by saying something specific and relevant that’s about the person reading your message. Huge plus points if you are able to build rapport through recent news about them or their company and use that in your intro line to make your emails more interesting to them.


  • Mention where you found the prospect

  • Highlight technologies they use

  • Highlight that you know what their problem is

  • Add a photo of yourself with the prospect’s name

  • Add a human touch to your message (tasteful and funny photos that are relevant to the conversation)


Tip # 4: Write a clear call-to-action

Your aim here is to present the next steps as frictionless as possible. Questions like, “When are you free for a 30-minute call” increase friction because you are reminding them of how busy they are. Making it easier for your prospects to choose a pre-set schedule that works for you increases your odds of setting-up an appointment with them. Avoid vague and weak CTAs that don’t present your next steps.


CTA Examples

  • Are you available for a 15 min chat on {date} and {time}?

  • Would you be against a 10 min chat on this, what time are you free on Wednesday or Thursday this week?

  • I’ll be happy to share more about this, will tomorrow or Wednesday work for you?

Related: Struggling to write your email template? Check out this roundup of great email templates we approve of.

Step 5: Setting Up Your Outreach Campaign 📩

Timeline: Week 2

Now that you’ve crafted your perfect outreach template and your list of high quality leads are sparkling clean, it’s time to get the word out to them. We recommend using outreach tools like Lemlist to automate your emails and follow-ups all in one platform.

Email Account Setup

Before you start sending out emails you want to make sure that your account has been set up properly from the get-go to help increase your email deliverability.

  • Use an alternate email domain - no matter how good your outreach templates are, it is still possible that leads will mark your emails as spam. Your company’s domain may be blacklisted if this continues to be the case. Create an alternate domain from which to send your outreach emails in order to avoid this.

  • Authenticate your email domains - don’t forget to Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) are authentication tools that tell ISPs and mail services your emails are safe.

  • Warm up your email - never send out hundreds of emails on your Day 1. Start with a smaller number, and gradually increase the number of emails each day. Aim to send 10-15 warmup emails from the new email address for the first few days and then gradually ramp up the volume over the course of the next few weeks.

Sequences


Here at The Scale Lab, we employ a multi-channel approach for our outreach campaigns. We use it to then write up very creative messaging that combines email as well as LinkedIn interactions to get high engagement from our prospects. The secret sauce is in the interaction and how you personalize it. Standing out from a sea of salesmen goes beyond a mere mention of their name and company. Remember, higher personalization = better responses. This is where our data enrichment and research come into play. The outreach sequences we write up are highly personalized and creative because of the quality of data we have on our prospects.


Cold email sequences work by providing prospects with step-by-step information about a new product or service. Let’s take a look at great examples of sequences we use to achieve over 90% open rates. To get you up to speed with emails, we’ve written an in-depth guide on emails and highly recommend reading our ultimate guide on how to compose emails that get you more clients.


Icebreakers


This is the game changer for us. Adding a bespoke icebreaker has helped us consistently deliver results to our clients, month over month. Everybody else is doing their outreach in a generic way and thus most of them just get their pitches ignored.


For every single prospect, we craft a custom icebreaker that is super specific about them. Your data enrichment measures will be tremendously crucial for this purpose.


  • Linkedin post

  • Article they’ve written

  • News about their company

  • A new milestone (personal or career)

  • Seeing them on the news or a recent podcast

  • An event they’ve attended


The Scale Lab’s Outreach Sequence Framework

Anyone who works in sales knows that the money is in the follow-up. Unfortunately, a lot of salespeople get their follow-up approach wrong. Here’s how we do it at The Scale Lab. 👀


1st Touch: Linkedin Profile Visit


When: Day 1

We start the outreach by setting up an automated visit to the prospect's LinkedIn profile. This gives us a chance to be recognized by the prospect once we’ve landed in their inbox. This step shows your prospects that you are genuinely interested in them. We use Lemlist to automatically set this up. 🤯



2nd Touch: Email #1


When: Immediately after first step


The first email we send immediately impresses a lead because it feels personal and genuine. The email body contains an actual photo of us with a handwritten note that shows how we can add value to their company.



3rd Touch: Email #2


When: 2 days after previous mail


Keep the first follow-up email short and reply via the previous subject line to keep the thread going. Short is best here because we don’t want to sound salesy or pushy with the prospect.




4th Touch: Revisit Linkedin Profile


When: 2 days after follow-up mail


If a lead hasn’t responded, we do another Linkedin visit to help keep us in the prospect’s radar.


5th Touch: Linkedin Connection Request


When: 1 day after profile revisit


If a lead still hasn’t responded, they may have not seen your email at all. So in this case, we send a personalized Linkedin connection request to signify our keen interest to engage with them.



Here’s an example of a connection request message.


6th Touch: Email #3


When: 2 days after connection request


Still no response? Now we crank up the personalization one notch higher. This approach works well because it’s unconventional and besides, who doesn’t like coffee? 😇



7th Touch: Email #4


When: 4 days after previous email


If it still doesn’t get a response, we turn to humor. Lighthearted and witty messages take some of the pressure off then follow-up with a soft CTA.



8th Touch: Linkedin Message


When: 2 days after previous email


If still without a response, we shift over to Linkedin and send the prospect a message. Keep it short and simple, no pressure.



9th Touch: Email #5

When: 2 days after previous Linkedin message


At this point remind the prospect of how you can add value to their company. Keep the follow-up light by injecting a nice bit of humor to help increase your chances of getting a much awaited response.



10th Touch: Email #6 [Final]

When: 4 days after previous email


After 10 touch points and a lead doesn’t seem to respond, it’s time to move on. Here’s a sample message you can use when it’s time to bid goodbye.



Step 6: Monitor Performance and Optimize 🧐


Timeline: Week 4


You’ve made it this far and you're starting to get some engagement and your leads are definitely interested. Don’t stop even if you’re ahead, getting feedback and gleaning insights from your campaigns are extremely important as it helps you learn what works and what doesn’t.


Check out these guides to help you out:




  • A/B test emails to see which template converts or gets better responses. Experiment with different structures, word choice, and icebreakers.

  • A good email open rate to target should be more than 30%

  • Anything above a 2% bounce rate for your email campaign is worthy of your attention. If you're seeing bounce rates over 5% or greater, make sure to clean up your prospect’s email list.

Wrapping up


Lead generation ranks as the #1 challenge marketers face according to a survey conducted by Hubspot. Use the exact framework we shared here to help you get started on the path to B2B sales success.


Creating a list of thousands of prospects, finding their correct contact information, qualifying and setting up a lead gen campaign from scratch is often an onerous activity. From a cost and productivity standpoint, your sales team would be better off focusing more on the selling process. This is where we can help.


Our team at The Scale Lab have perfected our craft through decades of combined experience in the cold outreach and sales industry. We’ve helped companies land appointments with top-tier businesses like Google, Nike, Citibank and Samsung to name a few. Our lead generation campaigns consistently deliver warmed-up and highly qualified sales leads that directly increase your pipeline value. Come and say hello or drop us a line at hello@thescalelab.com 😇


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