Recently, an old friend contacted me. We haven’t seen each other for a while now, so we indulged in a friend-to-friend marathon convo. Being close friends, we share our ups and downs, happy moments and cherish our memories together. That was when he told me about his new passion. He is an amazing accountant, so he decided to open his own office. That was a pretty big deal. After years and years of working for others, now he works on his own terms. Not everyone can do that, and I was so proud of him.
Then, he admitted something. He didn’t have any clients yet. No B2B leads on the horizon yet.
His business plan and website were very polished – except for his ideal client profile. But, who do you want to work with the most, I asked? He said he wanted to work in the hospitality industry since he has the most experience at it. And yet, his actions were generic. That was a huge problem. And I rushed to advise my friend to rethink.
I told him that defining the ideal client profile is the first step in acquiring B2B leads and that he needs to focus his efforts on his ideal clients only. That way, you don’t splurge on anything. It took some reasoning, but in the end, he agreed.
Why is it important to have defined ICP?
Ideal client profile (or ICP as we love to call it) is a profile of a person or a company that resonates with your product the most. That being said, your ideal client will benefit the most of what you have to offer them. So, why do plenty of companies still don’t know who their ICP is, or even worse, they don’t think they need to know?
With all the data available on the web, you would think this is not possible. But, it is.
I personally have struggled with identifying my company’s ICP. That was mainly because I’m confident we can help anyone. A consulting agency. I was convinced I could serve everyone. But that wasn’t true. In fact, serving anyone is impossible. One big delusion. I am glad my friend acknowledged this on time.
Identification of your ideal client profile will result not only with bigger sales but more sustainability. Plenty of fantastic B2B leads that are relevant.
What am I trying to say here?
Imagine that you’ve built software for the dental industry. And you are about to place the software on the market. Logically, you are going to make a thorough and in-depth research, and then, after finding your preferred clients (dental authorities), you will proceed with outreach.
From this, we know that your ideal client profile is dental care.
Focusing your efforts on both dentists and other branches in medicine would be wasting time and money, right? They have no need for your software.
Whether you are using inbound or outbound methods, spending money on non-relevant industries is absurd.
That’s why defining your ICP is essential. So your expenses are justified and rewarded.
LinkedIn – the outbound king
Before I bootstrapped my own company – BizzBee Solutions, I‘ve never even imagined how much impact LinkedIn would have on my life. I didn’t know its mind-blowing power back then. I mean I barely had a profile on the network. :/
Some recent studies show LinkedIn’s astonishing growth. Almost 680 million users as of 2020. And, it’s still growing. Not to mention the enormous significance it has for the B2B industry. LinkedIn is the #1 channel for B2B marketers. It doesn’t strike me as strange, considering it’s made primarily for business people and companies. Thus, marketing gurus. So, why is LinkedIn so popular for lead generation and prospecting? Or more importantly, how is prospecting B2B leads conducted overall?
Let’s dive into how BizzBee does it.
Linkedin lead research – the Bizzbee way
Managed properly, LinkedIn can be a remarkable source of B2B leads. We know its broad scope of people and companies. Each of them offering their products and services in a merciless, competitive environment. And each of them figuring out how to stand out.
Honestly, I thought I don’t stand a chance.
But, it appears that on LinkedIn, there is a place for everyone. Whether you just started with your new business, or you are in the industry for a while – you can find plenty of benefits using LinkedIn.
First and foremost, the size of it. As vast as it is, the number of people and companies seem limitless. Sometimes it looks like you are searching for a needle in a haystack.
The best thing – the filtering. I just love it. Especially LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator, a magic tool for B2B leads
Linkedin Sales Navigator was love at first sight, or use to be more precise. The filtering options it offers – as LinkedIn’s best paid sales solution are remarkable.
We already know that LinkedIn is friendly to anyone that wants to shape their business potential on the network or explore various alternatives. Perhaps, that’s the reason why it has both free and paid versions. So everyone can be included.
As there are paid licenses for recruiters, job seekers, etc – there are also for sales reps. And, that is the almighty LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This tool is so powerful to the point it can tenfold your sales if you know how to use it properly. And no, LinkedIn didn’t sponsor me to write this. 🙂
The reason I am saying this is because I’ve learnt my lessons the hard way. Back at my beginnings, no one told me about this. Nor do they pointed me in the right direction. I didn’t want to take random risks and make things worse. In my last blog post, I wrote about the tools I use in my email outreach. If you’ve read it, you already know that I was sceptic to use any of them. Now, with this experience, I will gladly show you the way I think is the right one.
After integrating with the inevitable technology, my team and I found relief. Relief and peace of mind that we don’t have to do everything manually ever again. It turned out that most of the things can be automated. Of course, not all. But, prospecting? Heck yeah. Knowing the ICP, lead generation was a breeze. Talking about LinkedIn Sales Navigator, we at BizzBee use it extensively. The research that we do starts by defining the ICP. After the ICP is defined according to our client’s needs, we continue our prospecting mission. Sales Navigator allows us to dig deep into LinkedIn’s network and find the companies we need. You can search by company name, company size, keyword search, search by geographic location, years of experience, industry, followers etc. Basically, everything is given to you on a silver plate.
You can choose one of the 3 paid plans: Professional, Team and Enterprise plan. We as a startup, use the Professional plan, and so far it serves us greatly.
The Professional plan starts at $64.99/month. Of course, you have a 1 month – free trial, so you can taste it first. 🙂
Within this plan, you get:
- 20 InMail Messages per Month
- 1,500 saved leads
- Who’s Viewed Your Profile (if you are curious 😉 )
- Extended LinkedIn Network Access (this is the coolest thing)
- Advanced Lead & Company Search
- Custom lists
- Lead and account recommendations (also you can save the accounts you want to monitor)
- Territory preferences
- Lead and Account Alerts
- Outlook Web integration
- Notes and tags
- Sales Navigator Learning Center
- Includes LinkedIn Learning and Premium Career
- Sales Navigator Mobile App
Yes, all of these for $64.99/month. Not bad, huh?
B2B leads outside LinkedIn?
You know that we love LinkedIn and can effortlessly talk for hours, but let’s not make you yawn, yet. 🙂
Although we glorify it as the outbound king it is, and also the best place where you can find B2B leads – it’s not the only one.
Here are some places where you can find SaaS companies, startups, marketing experts, and others that will match your ideal client profile.
Perfect if you are looking for SaaS and software companies. Capterra acts as an aggregator for software companies. Additionally, it offers customer reviews. This way, you can discover a bunch of companies or even look at the abundance of reviews, so you’ll know who uses their products.
If you are in the pursuit of software business apps, this place is great for you. It has plenty of categories, similar to Capterra, so you can easily browse through their busy platform.
A website for startups, angel investors, and job seekers looking to work in a startup. On this platform, investing is easy and applying for the various jobs is also very convenient. AngelList is one of the best places to be if startups fit your ICP.
Similar to AngelList, here you can browse for companies (by industry, headquarters location, keywords, number of employees, events etc.). Apart from that, you can also search for people, investors, funding rounds, acquisitions and so on. Crunchbase has a pro version, in case you want to filter your search by more than a few criteria.
200,000+ Agencies in 500+ Categories – that’s what it says on Clutch’s webpage. So we better believe it. Besides companies related to SaaS and software development, here you can find advertising and marketing agencies, digital service providers and web design agencies.
A great community-based platform where marketing experts and bloggers engage. Well, not necessarily engage, but publish their own content. If you happen to like any post that it’s submitted to the platform, you can send an email to that particular person and throw in an opening line about the content you’ve just read.
These 6 websites are just a few that we often use to search for B2B leads, outside LinkedIn. There are many more, but we just can’t list them all. If you are persistent enough and skilful to make a thorough research for your prospects – be sure that you’ll find them.
Whether it’s LinkedIn or the plethora of other sites, people engage everywhere. And your prospects are people too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect. They might need you now more than ever. 😉
Danco is a serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO of BizzBee Solutions, proud father of a 3-year-old and a burger enthusiast. He is inspired by growth and goes above and beyond to make it possible – whether it comes to his 300+ clients or his people. Eager to learn more? Follow Danco on LinkedIn and Facebook.