6 Reasons Why Most B2B Lead Generation Services Will Burn Through Their Client’s Money.

By: Jack Reamer |
 August 1, 2022 |

If you’ve hired a b2b lead generation company and felt disappointed with their results, you aren’t alone. A simple Google search about b2b lead gen service reviews will show you a few bad results with unhappy clients. 

For example:

And this review is one of many, unfortunately.

There’s a reason why many b2b lead generation companies burn through their client’s money. 

Some of these reasons include not enough personalization in their messaging and bad targeting.

This article will discuss why most lead generation agencies don’t work and what you should look out for when wanting to hire the right company to generate qualified leads

(Not sure if you should hire Salesbread? Read this article https://salesbread.com/the-best-done-for-you-lead-generation-service/ It explains our lead generation strategy, as well as shares our stats for last year along with testimonials.) 

Reason number 1: The prospect list isn’t targeted enough – Find your starving crowd

The number one biggest reason why most b2b lead generation services fail is because of basic targeting. 

They aren’t going after your “starving crowd.”

What does this mean?

The “starving crowd” idea came from Gary Halbert, one of the best copywriters to ever walk the earth. 

“I, myself, only want one advantage and, if you will give it to me, I will whip the pants off of all of you when it comes to selling burgers!” 

“What advantage do you want?” they ask. 

“The only advantage I want,”

I reply, “is A STARVING CROWD!” – Gary Halbert

Gary Halbert argued that the best way for success is not to sell the perfect product, or have the best CTA, but rather to find potential customers who have a problem that your product/service solves. 

Example:

If you are a parent, you know how hard those early days are with a newborn. 

Why

Mainly because your baby wakes up through the night to feed. I remember being so sleep-deprived that I would literally do anything to help my little one sleep just a bit longer than 60 minutes so that I could sleep. 

I would have paid $10 000 if someone told me they had a guaranteed solution to my no-sleep problem. 

And this is why the “baby sleep” industry makes a killing when it comes to money because they are going after sleep-deprived parents who would do anything for some extra zzz’s.

Whether it’s buying a teddy with a heartbeat sound, or a course on “How to get your baby to sleep through the night”, or some fancy singing night light that uses soothing… blah blah blah…

Point is…. 

If you don’t solve people’s PAIN POINTS, if you don’t find your STARVING CROWD, you’re not going to be successful with lead generation. 

And this is a huge problem that many lead generation services make.

Let’s say you would like to target doctors in the healthcare industry.

Great…

And this is where many agencies stop with their targeting. They get a huge list of doctors and message every single one of them. 

The Problem is…

Your list isn’t refined.

Perhaps you’re selling customized stethoscopes. If your list isn’t ultra-refined, you could be reaching out to the wrong kind of doctors, like psychiatrists and psychologists, who don’t really use stethoscopes.

See the problem?

If your list is not refined, you are going to waste time and money trying to sell your product to the wrong people. 

So how can we apply this advice?

It’s really just list building 101.

Don’t just think, “where can I buy a list of 5,000 business owners.” That’s a rookie mistake and a mistake that many lead generation companies make.

It’s much more important to ask, who are the people that need my saas product more than anyone else on earth?  Who are the ones that are losing sleep because of a problem that my SaaS can solve? 

How Salesbread solves the problem of basic targeting, hence saving our clients money.

At Salesbread we ask our clients who their buying customers are.

We have a look at their data from the past 6 months and then work with our clients to find visible or common triggers among their best clients.

Example: It’s basically like saying….

“Show me the clients that you have worked with for the past 6 months. We then go through each one and say, okay….What’s unique about all of these? What’s the common denominator?”

Then our clients might respond and say: “ Oh, well most of our buying customers, hire the chief marketing officer to contact us when they are new to the role, etc and they are looking to change things up…”

This then tells us that most or 80% of their buying customers come from newly hired CMOS, then let’s target companies with newly hired CMOs and reach out there. This is a good signal that shows us who our client’s starving crowd is.

Here are some other examples of signals to look out for to find patterns:

  • Have a look if they are all in a certain industry.
  • Do they have the same employee size like 100-200 employees?
  • Are they all based in a specific location?
  • Do they use the same kind of technology?
  • Who are they hiring?
  • How many followers do they have on social media and what kind of followers? Is it mainly influencers?
  • Do they all publish specific content or use certain content tools?
  • Are their businesses funded?
  • Do they use the same CRM tool like Hubspot

There are lots of ideas here. Read this article for more signals: https://salesbread.com/target-accounts/

And watch this video to show how we narrow down our list of prospects:

But in short, you can narrow your new leads down by a target contact inside your “target company.” 

Think:

Job title, keywords/skills, school, seniority, function, blog posts they’ve liked, things they’ve retweeted, articles they’ve written, recent activity on LinkedIn, etc… 

Your ideal target audience is going to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for you to follow. 

You just have to widen your search and think outside the box to find your starving crowd. 

We actually use various research tools to help us narrow down our search. This could be data service providers like Clutch and Crunchbase. We also pay for Linkedin Sales Navigator, Bombora, and even Zoominfo. 

There are many many more.

We even use the following tools to narrow down our lists:

    • Company size: LinkedIn, Angel.co, Crunchbase
    • Company revenue: LinkedIn
    • Office location: LinkedIn, Google Maps, Yelp, Foursquare
    • The same CEO for 5 years in a row: LinkedIn.
    • Technology used: BuiltWith, Datanyze, NerdyData, LinkedIn Sales Navigator
    • Website is not optimized for mobile (NerdyData)
    • More than $30k/month spent on ads: SpyFu.com
    • Twitter followers: FollowerWonk
    • Monthly visits: Alexa, SEMRush
    • Webinar attendees: just join one in the middle and see the number of people showing up
    • Podcast downloads: iTunes, iTunescharts.net
    • Raised money: Angel.co, Crunchbase
    • Acquired: TechCrunch, Angel.co
    • Hiring: Indeed.com
    • Nominated or won an award: Google Alerts, industry website/directory, company website
    • PR disaster: Google alert for keywords (“Company” AND “Disaster”) OR (“Customer” AND “Outraged”)
    • Just started a new ad campaign: SpyFu.com
    • Just hired a new role: LinkedIn Sales Navigator, company website
    • Entered a new market: SpyFu.com, LinkedIn News, TechCrunch, Google Alert (“Enters New Market”)
    • Holidays (4th July, Anzac day), Google Calendar
    • Seasons – winter/summer: Google Calendar (for cyclical sales events)
    • Company anniversary: LinkedIn, Who. is to see when the website domain was 1st acquired
    • Featured on product hunt: Product Hunt 
    • Just got a really bad employee rating: glassdoor.com

 You might be thinking that checking out the above for list building could be time-consuming… 

And the truth is, it is. 

It takes Salesbread an entire week to build an ultra-targeted list of quality leads

Whether it’s start-ups in the saas space who specialize in real estate solutions, or even if you would like to target lawyers for your podcast service.

We obsess about list building and this is what sets us apart from many other top lead generation companies out there.

Salesbread doesn’t just stop at basic targeting because we know that this means your lead generation campaign will most likely fail. 

The only way to success and more conversions in your sales funnel is by expert list building. 

Reason number 2: B2B lead generation services focus on me me me copywriting.

The messages below have been written by a competitor of ours:

The chances of getting a reply from these kinds of messages are super slim. 

Why?

Because it’s all “me, me, me.”

Notice:

  • There is no personalization
  • And they go straight to the sales pitch.

FACT: We all have sales blinkers on. When prospects see a sales pitch, they ignore it. Very seldom would anyone reply to the above kind of messaging

Marketing campaigns that focus on the sale are very seldom successful because people aren’t interested in what you’re selling unless you’re solving their bleeding neck problem.

How Salesbread Solves “Me Focused” Copy Writing Problem

We do not sell in our messages and focus on adding tons of personalization to our messages

Our personalization doesn’t just stop at adding a first name, but rather finding something out about the prospect; whether it’s a blog post to compliment them on, mentioning a commonality, or even asking them a question.

How do we do this?

We actually have a full-time personalization expert who researches each and every prospect on your list and finds either:

  • A compliment
  • A commonality
  • Or a question to ask them

We then go about writing an outreach message that will capture the reader’s attention.

Here’s an example:

Hi {firstName}, {custom Intro}

After reading that you’re working on {specific project responsibility} for {type_of_client}, I’d like to find out how you’re dealing with {current pain point}. 

My company is working on new ways to handle {unique benefit} for {customer_type}, but I’m curious to hear what’s been working for {Company} lately if you’re open to exchanging ideas around {pain point}. 

How’s Thursday or Friday looking to connect?

Notice:

No Sleazy sales pitch. Just a question on the prospect’s pain points to get our foot in the door to open up the floor for a conversation. 

 Salesbread always asks our clients to imagine a room of 100 of their best prospects. Imagine a stage, and a podium and you were standing on that stage. 

What would you say to those 100 prospects to capture their attention? 

And this right here, with this question is where we take extensive notes.

We get straight to the best selling points of your business. 

  • What are the benefits of your product or service? 
  • What do you have to “sell”  it up? 

What credibility, social proof, figures, and stats do you have that show what you have done for your clients? It’s all about trust signals. 

  • Do you have a lot of users?
  • Have you been featured in a magazine?

What can we say as a sales team that will make a total stranger believe what you are telling them will help them?

We move away from sales pitches to “how can we help you.”

Then, we focus on lead nurturing with real-time follow-ups. We add even more personalization and always ask for a meeting. 

NOTE: We personalize all our messages and this generates new business because prospects are happy to engage because you are showing an interest in them. 

Does this work? 

See some of the replies we have received from prospects in the past.

These are our Linkedin outreach stats for 2021

Reason Number 3: Setting unrealistic expectations

If an outbound agency promises you hundreds of leads within a month… Be wary.

An agency can’t focus on expert personalization and ultra-refined list building, if they are reaching out to thousands of prospects. 

Be wary of companies who promise 20 + booked calls per week. Sometimes B2B lead generation services oversell, to get you to sign up with them.

Salesbread tells our clients to expect 1 high-quality lead per day

If you decide to partner up with Salesbread, we can guarantee 1 qualified lead per day. We don’t promise the moon and stars but are realistic with what we can deliver. 

Would you rather have 80 leads who are all the wrong fit for your business? Or 20 qualified leads who will be more likely to buy from you?

We focus on quality over quantity. 

Open conversations beforehand are critical, so as not to have unrealistic expectations.

You should have a very good idea of how many leads are going to come in, and if an outsourcing company is promising something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Reason number 4: Locking clients into long-term contracts

Most of the best lead generation companies lock their clients into long-term contracts. Whether it’s for 3 months, 6 months, or a year. 

But you need to ask yourself, why would an agency lock you into a contract? Shouldn’t the best b2b lead generation agencies get you to stay with them because of their results?

If an agency does insist on you having to sign a contract for a few months, always read through it very carefully. 

On the business side of things an agency only really begins to make money from a client when they can keep them for 5 – 18 months, after that your agency should work with you to onboard an in-house SDR to take over their efforts.  

Which we do for our clients. 

We know that it doesn’t make sense to outsource lead gen indefinitely and eventually once you have enough qualified leads, and a marketing strategy you will save more money by bringing lead gen in-house.  

Salebread will share all our knowledge with you for you to do your own lead generation for more growth. 

Normally other agencies fight you on this step because they don’t want to lose your business. 

Also, be wary if an agency doesn’t have a waitlist. 

Why?

Because if there’s a waiting list, it means that their clients are staying. It is extremely difficult to add an extra client base without sacrificing performance.

If there is no waiting list, you need to ask yourself why. Be wary if they are willing to start tomorrow.

If the B2B lead generation service is really good, it should almost be hard to get a spot to work with them because clients are staying, especially if there are no locked-in contracts.  

At Salesbread we have a waiting list of a few weeks. 

This is what one of our clients had to say:

How Salesbread helps our clients with the above

At Salesbread we don’t lock our clients into contracts. We do let you know though, that leads ramp up over time, so the longer you choose to stay with us the better. 

But we don’t lock you into a contract, you can choose how long you would like to partner up with us.

We have had clients stay with us for months because they are happy with our results. 

See the quick case study below:

84 Qualified Leads in 2 months

Regalytics have been with us on and off since last year.

A few times, they have actually asked us to please halt their campaigns because they were getting in so many leads.

Here is a video testimonial from Stacy Bjornstad:

Why does Regalytics stay with us, despite not being locked into a contract?

Because of our results. 

And at the end of our partnership together, we will also help you bring the entire process in-house, by teaching our playbook to your reps

Reason Number 5:  They are A/B testing incorrectly 

A lot of agencies test incorrectly with outbound

Especially with regards to Linkedin and cold email marketing/outreach. They don’t have enough sending volume to test multiple variations at a time. 

In the above interview on marketing data, the biggest mistake cold emailers make when A/B testing is:

“We look at reply rates instead of the actual replies.”

Yep, now, when I run A/B tests, I don’t care about reply rates. At least, not at first.

Why? According to data scientists, reply rates are not a reliable metric until you get 100 replies per cold email variation. If you end a test BEFORE you get 100 replies per variation, you won’t know (with confidence) which email performed better!

This means that if you get a 10% reply rate per variation, you’d need to send 2,000 emails before you can adequately run an A/B test.

Do you see the problem here?

That kind of volume may work with landing page optimization or inbound marketing… but if you have a VERY targeted list, you won’t have 2,000 people to contact per segment.” – Jack Reamer Mailshake article

How Salesbread does A/B testing

Salesbread does A/B testing and we run 1 variation at a time. We then change course if we aren’t seeing 1 lead a day after 14 days of outreach. (We can see very quickly if we have a winning campaign.)

We will then add a new variation, whether it’s refining the list even more or changing our copywriting, as opposed to having many variations run all at once and declaring winners before we actually have really good data. 

Reason number 6: Agencies rely on volume to hit numbers

The issue is that many marketing agencies treat outreach like a numbers game but not in the right way. 

They are trying to optimize for the number of people they hit as opposed to the number of good conversations they start. The number of leads that come in.

You might find that these services are reaching out to thousands of prospects in a short span of time.

They focus on volume and not quality.

And this is where many customers will lose out on money.

A.) Because the leads that come in are not the right leads

B.) Because there are just so many prospects on the list, personalization goes out the window, leading to a crappy campaign, with very few replies. 

They are also at risk of getting their clients’ Linkedin accounts blocked, or messing up their client’s email deliverability – leading to email purgatory, the spam folder. 

How does Salesbread differ?

We put a lot of emphasis on getting more leads in the door by sending fewer outreach messages. You can do this if you have a really strong positive reply rate. 

It’s not uncommon for our clients to see a 20-40% positive reply rate at Salesbread. 

Looking for an agency that actually cares about your financial investment?

Salesbread specializes in Linkedin and cold email outreach. It’s no doubt that we are pretty different from most b2b lead generation services out there. 

We actually give a Sh!t about your investment and want your business to grow by bringing in more qualified sales leads.

And we do this by:

  • Obsessing about building the ideal customer profile for you.
  • Writing expert copy that has in-depth personalization (not using random automation tools to write copy.) 
  • We won’t lock you into a contract, because we know that our performance will get you to stay.
  • We will even help you at the end of our partnership bring the process in-house

And we do all of this for pricing less than that of a full-time sales development rep

For more high-quality leads in your sales pipeline get in touch below, or schedule a free 15-minute consultation. 

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