The process of lead generation is the most key issue for the development of an IT company, so we decided to devote a separate article to this issue.
Lead generation is a separate outbound marketing function in IT responsible for finding and contacting potential customers for your IT company.
The lead generation process is divided into 4 main stages:
1Creation of ICP
Creation of ICP (Ideal Customer Portrait) – a description of a portrait of an ideal client, which helps you find and highlight a group of people who, you think, can benefit from your services as an IT company.
In order to do this efficiently, you need to understand:
- what potential customer problems you can potentially solve;
- why you might be interesting as a contractor, and how are you different from many others;
- what risks the customer will bear and how can you guarantee their absence.
Only by putting yourself in the client’s shoes will you be able, firstly, to work out a conditional “client’s portrait” with high quality, and secondly, come to him with a really high-quality offer and conclude a deal.
Let’s take a simple example: you need to sell a writing pen (this question seems to still be asked in interviews). You have 2 options:
- go outside and ask all passing people if they need a pen (yes, sooner or later, perhaps in a few days, you will meet a person who needs it);
- work out the ICP and understand that there are places where you always need to write or sign something, and they are often simply not there: for example, any government structure, or a hospital where there may be 50 people in the queue, and there is only one pen (and then on a string). This is the best place to market for your pens.
The same is with lead generation, you can write to everyone in a row on LinkedIn and yes, in a few months (or years) you will find customers, but by working out a high-quality portrait of your ideal client on LinkedIn, you can do it much more efficiently and shorten the period to several weeks.
2 Creation of databases and work with them
After you have decided on the “ideal client portrait” for your IT company, it’s time to start organizing databases for working with them and choosing channels for lead generation.
There are 2 main approaches when organizing databases:
- Excel and work with databases right in it.
+ very fast organization of work, sufficient flexibility, clarity and transparency of work (all on one sheet. sheets)
– a lot of manual work, automation requires a lot of effort.
- Uploading contacts to the CRM system and working with them directly in the CRM.
+ there is the possibility of automation and work through several channels of lead generation at the same time
– you will need to spend a lot of time for the initial setup of the lead generation process
We recommend using the approach with loading all leads in CRM (for example, HubSpot, Pipedrive), followed by a multi-channel approach.
3The choice of channels and sites for lead generation
The main platforms for IT lead generation are as follows:
- freelance – platforms (Upwork, Freelancer, Guru and many others).
If we consider freelance exchanges for IT lead generation, then we do not recommend giving up this channel, even for medium-sized companies and, of course, this can be a good basis for business if you are just starting out. Also, the largest exchange Upwork always “sags” 2 times less than all other lead generation channels during crises and will always be able to provide you with applications, even in “difficult” times for the economy.
- social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tik-Tok …).
Here you need to choose an approach, depending on the “portrait of your ideal client.” For example, if a potential client is described as a “19-year-old IT startup,” then trust me, it might not be possible to find him on LinkedIn. Also, most likely, he does not have an email (he just uses instant messengers, so it is “more convenient”).
- messengers as a way of IT lead generation also deserve our attention.
By joining thematic groups, which may include potential customers for your services, you increase your chances of making the lead generation process successful.
Many people think that this channel is “dead”, but with the correct ICP programming and maximum customization of letters before sending, we get an excellent IT lead generation channel that works.
4Writing texts for mailings
Understanding the “portrait” of your potential client and choosing the right channels for lead generation in IT – we significantly increase our chances of success. But there is a very important point that we must not miss – the creation of texts for mailings. After all, choosing the right words, making the maximum personalization of mailings for lead generation and taking into account even the time when you send your messages – you can raise the efficiency of communication (the main KPI of which is the number of responses, reply rate) from the usual 5-6% to excellent 15-20 %.
5Automation of lead generation in IT
We recommend you to automate lead generation as much as possible, because using the most modern lead generation tools, you can organize your work so that your automatic mailings, for example, on Linkedin, or via email, will not differ in any way from the work of a “live” lead generator. Where there is an opportunity, in addition to the “standard” name and company, to insert into your campaigns a customized video about a client, or your photo with the name of a specific client, written on a cup with a felt-tip pen, for example (and it is simply impossible to distinguish from reality).
Of course, we also do not recommend completely abandoning “manual” lead generation in IT, since having a lead generator at hand, you will be able to prescribe more and more personalized messages, preliminary researching the client’s business and forming truly unique offers for each client (which automation cannot yet).
Taking into account all of the above, we can draw the following conclusion: lead generation is the most important marketing function of an IT outsourcing company, with proper planning and use of which you can provide your company with a sufficient number of “leads” first and, in the long term, clients.
Also, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with our article detailing the search for customers in Western countries using Linkedin.