Lead generation is harder for technology companies than for any other sector. Primarily, it’s a fight against the tech founder’s own mind. Oftentimes, the founder thinks mainly of improving the product, much to the detriment of every other aspect of the business. Yes, even with a great product and rock-solid business model, they can still fail to become truly profitable.
Who is going to educate leads on the tech product solution, help prospects catch the vision, and then convince those buyers to untangle from their old ways and embrace the inherent risks of trying something new?
Who is going to generate referrals from the existing user base?
Oh yeah – that’s all you. But it doesn’t have to be.
A warning: when a tech company’s lead generation doesn’t find a front-burner position, down goes the ship! There are many ways to fail, but this one is easy to avoid if you apply the strategies I’m sharing today.
The key to success? Find leads, FAST!
There are 5 proven strategies for lead generation for technology companies, and two of them you can begin applying immediately.
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Leads are the Lifeblood of Your Tech Company
A user engagement slow-down is a sure sign that a tech company is falling off the edge of the map. And while dollars are typically tied up in R&D, it’s a big mistake to think a great product will sell itself without a smart lead gen strategy.
No matter how much better, stronger, and faster the product is, there has to be a consistent flow of leads. Otherwise, investment dollars would be better spent on a tricked-out gravestone.
Supposing your goal is to build and exit your tech company, or woo new investors, a steady flow of new qualified leads is essential to show profitability and increase the company’s valuation.
In other words, leads are the lifeblood of a tech business. So how do you generate them when time is of the essence?
Lead Generation for Technology Companies: 5 Proven Strategies
1. Reach qualified buyers with videos that educate and inspire.
YouTube is the second largest search engine, and tech product how-to’s and testimonials are among the most searched content categories. There are many ways to approach the video space, but it all starts with a search.
- Do you have a YouTube channel? People will be looking for you there, and sizing you up. Be sure your channel is loaded with the basics: upload a couple how-to videos and an about video to start. More on this in #4.
- If someone looked up your tech company right now, what would they find? Beyond your site, the first thing they’ll be looking for is a trustworthy, third-party source for testimonials. If you’re not constantly seeking and sharing positive reviews, the likelihood of something good coming up is slim to nil. And don’t be afraid to get scrappy. If you can’t get a user on camera, film yourself reading written testimonials aloud.
- Work with influencers to reach new audiences. Begin by searching for popular YouTubers that meet your client profile. A simple paid collaboration, through a sponsored video or even asking for a comparative analysis of your product vs the competitor will get you seen by new eyes.
Do this: If you’re going to work with an influencer, always offer a promo code for a free trial or an introductory discount for their subscribers.
2. Create gated content and foster a digital community
Access to members-only content and closed community is an ingenious selling point, and in today’s world it really couldn’t be easier. Actually, building community is an underrated stick-with-us strategy too.
Whenever you host a webinar, require an email and short survey to enter. After the webinar, offer access to an attendees-only community so everyone can stay in touch.
Not sure what to talk about in a webinar setting or a Facebook group? This is why we survey. Ask every single person who signs up for your trial for their first name, and then ask an open ended question about their pain points that led them to try your product.
Once you’ve collected enough of these pain points and mapped them to solutions in your product, it’s time for a webinar. Title the webinar “about x pain point” and make it happen. Leverage the braintrust of your team and share the mic with the people who make your company special. Let them share what they do and why it matters.
3. Be the Best for Customer Service (and brag about it)
One of the biggest hurdles for the tech customer is overcoming the fear of the learning curve. Show you are best-in-class for ease of use and friendly support by publicly celebrating customer service wins. This is a great driver for new leads!
A Facebook group or Webinar may not be the right time or place to offer tech help, but a chat certainly is. And when a pain point has been addressed and solved, be savvy and make it front-page news. Whenever you solve a problem for a customer, upload a video to YouTube, post on your blog, share to Twitter explaining the problem and how you won the day for your user.
And here’s another lead generation tactic most tech companies miss: Screen capture client onboardings when you help someone switch from a competitor’s tech product to yours.
These types of helpful, utra-specific content pieces have the compound effect of generating unbeatable tech lead generation momentum in the online space.
Do this: Whenever possible, show your face and feature a founder, don’t just share the screen. In the online world, real faces still rule.
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4. Pick up the Phone and Reach out directly, everyday!
This one is painfully obvious, but you’d be surprised how many companies overlook it. Simple trick: Pick up the phone and make calls. If you have a dedicated sales team, then you know the power of daily dialing. And if you don’t have a sales team in place it’s time to prioritize this. Calling prospects is the single fastest way to infuse a steady stream of leads into your technology business.
Just like the tech-mind is built differently, so is the sales-mind. A truly great sales-mind is ready to score the clients that put millions back in your pocket, faster than you can imagine. It creates win-win scenarios that also lead to happy lifetime customers. It’s an art, it’s a science, and I love it.
Ah, but you might be thinking “easier said than done.” And you’d be right. There are many ways to go wrong in a cold-calling campaign. But thankfully the learning curve isn’t too steep, and you can learn from your mistakes over time as you go. Learn from the data, pivot, and improve.
5. Don’t play small
The tech-brain thinks at the user level, and that type of thinking makes for a great product. It’s part of what makes a tech company successful enough to get to the lead generation stage. But the tech-brain is guilty of the same mindset that most commonly drives burnout with sales and marketing. It’s notorious for making a whole company suffer through a cheap, piecemeal marketing approach. It’s completely exhausting to everyone, founder included.
So here I am to say change your thinking! Start thinking in terms of winning groups, organizations, associations. Think enterprise. Think bigger.
Measure Results and Learn
After trying the 5 proven strategies above you will be able to see what is getting you the most qualified sales meetings.
It can be hard to measure what’s working. Traditional analytics are always encouraged.
And be realistic. A 10-email drip sequence may not be enough to win the big lead on its own, but give yourself some time to see how your efforts are combining. Get used to mixing it up, because what worked last month may not work the next, and you need to keep things fresh to keep leads interested.
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What to Avoid When Doing Lead Generation for Technology Companies
It’s so tempting to spend less on lead gen and marketing for your tech biz, and starting and stopping your marketing efforts as anxiety peaks and valleys. But consistency is the name of the game. Company leaders are so prone to burnout, especially when they’re fighting for profitability at the 11th hour.
After R&D has eaten away the budget, a tech company can’t increase the burn rate with more financial commitments that aren’t even guaranteed to work.
At first blush, a DIY approach looks like it’ll be enough. But too often, these approaches fall woefully short.
When to Outsource Your Lead Gen?
Right away. Because you only get one chance for a first impression.
A tech-mind and a sales-mind are very different from each other, but working together, results can be brilliant. The thing is, not all lead gen services are created equal. And there’s so much to consider when hiring a lead gen provider or sales service for your company.
When trying to generate leads quickly…
When you need to get to profitability NOW…
There’s no time to waste. Look for a tech lead generation firm that has a proven track record for offering an impressive flow of qualified sales appointments with actual decision makers.
Again, don’t think small, think big! Choose a company that has worked with big fish that you can proudly display on your tech company’s front page.
Choose a tech lead generation company that will energize you and inspire you rather than drain you and your resources.
When you’re feeling the crunch, quick wins are essential. A great lead generation system will identify your fastest route to profitability, get you those quick wins so that you can start to breathe easy again, and get your eyes off your broken marketing and back on the billion dollar valuation.
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I said it before, I’ll say it again, I have so much respect for technology companies, their teams, their founders. It’s such a slog to get to a saleable, scalable product, and it’s so stunningly easy to fail fast and fail hard.
It’s also wildly emotional. Tech companies have investors counting on them and tremendous opportunity, but it could all fall through your hands if you don’t have a proven, guaranteed lead generation system.
So hopefully these tips and tricks have helped you in your quest to drive new leads into your funnel and find a winning strategy for lead generation for technology companies.
And remember, if you want help generating new leads, nobody does it better than our team.
Until next time…