Local lead generation is an effective strategy for B2B companies seeking to increase the number of their clients in a particular geographic location. Though much has been written on marketing tools for conducting outreach in a certain area for B2C, there are few valuable articles on sales prospecting. Meanwhile acquiring local buyers can be an excellent start for a new business or a part of the expansion strategy to new regions.
CIENCE has vast experience in the local lead generation. We conducted 93 successful campaigns for our clients searching and outreaching companies within specific geographic regions. We’ve outlined the major features of such projects as well as the techniques to make them successful.
Who needs local lead generation model?
About 40% of our data enrichment campaigns are connected with a certain region of the US. And there are several reasons why our clients want to search within particular geographical areas.
- In-Person. First, developing businesses generally want to start working with the enterprises within their county or state. It reduces costs, especially if they wish to set face to face appointments.
- Organized Expansion. Companies that are going to expand generally do so by geographical areas.
- Regional Process & Tracking. Many companies have regional sales managers. They track and manage all sales activity within their territory. Many want to find businesses within 50 miles away from their location. In such case, a manager can drive to a prospect on his or her car. Once again, it’s cost-reduction philosophy.
- Product / Service Availability. There are products or services that are customized to a third party product or service available only within a particular location (e.g. electricity provider).
- Swim Lanes. Many campaigns include all the US states. However, they are divided into stages based on geographical criteria. For example, they begin with California and then move to the North or the West. It makes data enrichment and outreach more personalized and more organized.
Lead generation for local business – significant features
Local lead generation in B2B is synonymous with regular outbound prospecting. However, there are several features that make it unique in a way.
When researching for a local lead generation, make sure that the person in charge of this task is apt at working with maps. We suggest using the respective tool from Google because it’s accurate, free and up-to-date. It also provides data from satellite, which might be crucial for a very specific data enrichment.
Use of graphical models for Lead Generation are far more insightful than mere lists alone. Why? Because it’s so much easier to determine saturation, coverage, weighting, and even areas of optimization when visualized onto a map (and be rather invisible in a list with hundreds of rows!).
We’ve talked with our Data Enrichment professionals and picked four important aspects a company needs to take into account when conducts local lead generation strategy.
The research will be harder, especially if you have a very specific buyer persona. For a regular lead generation, your data enrichment team will have to look all over the US. As a result, you will get a long list of contacts within a short period. However, if you narrow the search to a single time zone or state, it will take more time to sort the companies.
Diana Kacheyshvili, Data Enrichment Team Manager at CIENCE – about 70% of her projects are related to local lead generation:
The research of one lead becomes 2-3 times longer,
when you need to look for leads in a particular geographic area.
Here are several examples that make data enrichment longer.
First, some businesses have affiliates in various states, which requires additional efforts to find necessary representatives.
Second, there are companies that don’t provide geography-specific contact information on their websites or social media.
Third, in some regions organizations that fit your buyer persona are scarce.
Summing up, when you have a local data enrichment campaign you should expect fewer leads– but this doesn’t mean the effort isn’t worthwhile. In this case, you either increase the number of researchers or take it into account when planning the outreach. Our suggestion is to begin data enrichment at least two weeks before the beginning of any campaign send out.
2. Data enrichment capacity
Julia Menzheres, Data Enrichment Team Manager at CIENCE – about 50% of her projects are related to local lead generation:
When your research is limited to a particular location, you need to
understand that you will soon get to the end of the list of good fit leads.
It can happen earlier than you actually expect.
Julia is absolutely right. Furthermore, sometimes, the list of companies that fit your buyer persona within a certain zone can be surprisingly short. That’s why it’s crucial for start-up founders to research leads at the outset of determining product/market fit for their company. It will save much money and time if they find out that there aren’t many potential clients around.
3. Type of companies
More often than not, local lead generation is conducted for new businesses and Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs). They rarely begin targeting large enterprises. Usually, they try to outreach to SMBs. It’s easier to acquire a large number of small orders before you grow big enough to close $200,000+ deals.
Unsurprisingly, searching for SMBs is quite a challenge. That’s what we’ve learned over the past three years. Our first project was the data enrichment for FiveStars. The company provided loyalty program tool for small and medium enterprises. They had problems acquiring up-to-date contact lists. We managed to generate about 940,000 accurate leads for them.
Here are some problems that occur when you look for contact data of SMBs:
- Many of them don’t have a website.
- LinkedIn and other social networking websites don’t provide valid information.
- SMBs aren’t as stable as large companies: they terminate their work more frequently, and contact data also changes more often
- In small companies, there are fewer positions. Oftentimes, founders do the sales, marketing, and other tasks. You need to take it into account when outlining your buyer persona and searching for the accurate leads.
4. Unusual local lead generation
Sometimes data enrichment disregards administrative division of territory and complies by natural boundaries. Have you ever thought of researching companies located close to a river that runs through several states? What about the outreach during a natural disaster? Prepare to compare the impact of a flood with the location of your lead.
It’s time-consuming and requires diligence, attention, and dedication. Make sure you have such person in your company. Otherwise, entrust it to the professionals.
***Also worth noting: Any outreach campaign is subject to events that occur locally. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters affect business as usual. Trying to connect with prospective buyers in Houston during Hurricane Harvey will not only result in OOO replies but generally show a lack of sensitivity that will cost your brand money.
Local Lead Generation Business Development
While data enrichment is more laborious for local-tight projects, the business development is easier. There are several aspects that influence the work of your team and facilitate the attainment of your goals.
Local lead generation makes personalization easier for email writers. When you have a number of companies situated in one region, you can promptly find a local event to mention in your letters. A good example of geo-targeting is the introduction of local happenings… A new law in a state or the launch of a government program.
However, you should always keep in mind the pitfalls of local lead generation messaging. Oftentimes, the local targeting that requires looking for companies within a certain range from your office might cross the county and state boundaries. In this case, the personalization targeted to a county- or state-specific events would be a damaging mistake.
When all the prospects are located in one region, it’s easier to organize the outreach. Here’s a simple example. You won’t send emails to leads from Maine and California at the same time, because they have different time zones. This makes a regular send-out harder because an SDR needs to divide them into several stages during the day.
When setting up an appointment between people in different time zones, you need to take it into account and try to find the time suitable for both parties. For example, when it’s 11:00 AM in Denver, people in Memphis might be out to lunch.
Many prospects are eager to make face-to-face appointments. It’s easier for an SDR to convince them to appoint a meeting if they know it will be in the desired format.
It won’t work with every single lead you reach out to. However, some people are very loyal to their town, county or state. As a result, they are more eager to start a conversation with local companies, because in their opinion, they’re willing to help businesses in their region develop. They will also have more trust in their “neighbors.”
Summing up, the local lead generation can be an efficient way to acquire new clients within one geographic region. However, you need to remember that data enrichment will be harder for your researchers. It will also last longer and will provide you fewer leads.
That is why you need to ensure that you have a professional engaged in searching for prospects. You’ll also have to secure enough time before starting your outreach campaign.
On the flipside, local lead generation will facilitate your business development. Your content writer will have better options for specialization. In addition to this, your reps will have fewer problems when working with one particular location. They’ll also face less resistance when trying to set up a meeting.