Lead generation is an essential part of getting any business started or to sustain growth at existing businesses. Leads are the lifeblood of any business. The days of opening up a store front and hoping customers would just walk through your door only applies to a very small set of businesses (retail and localized services primarily). Even in retail, eCommerce has decimated brick and mortar businesses.
Successful businesses who have brick and mortar locations can still have a massive sales opportunity globally through the Internet. And all that is enabled through lead generation or advertising.
Cold calling/email has not gone cold yet
It would be difficult to argue that cold calling/emailing is dead. It is one of those skills, if done right, that can be help you find your dream job or generate a potential client or it might even land your start-up the much needed funding.
One of the main requirement before you cold call or send an email is to know who to call or email (obvious isn’t it!). The correct phone number or email can make the difference between a sale or a waste of time and help you achieve a much higher success rate for your calls or emails.
What feeds the Sales Funnel
The Sales funnel needs a lot of input to generate a proportionally lower output. Even more important is the quality of the input. Like anything else, if you enter low quality data into the Sales funnel at the lead level, you will get very few customers and also a low quality customer base.
Historically, the Lead generation phase of the sales funnel was a slow process coupled with low success rate. The reason being that it usually required you to take a chance in the hopes that it would work. But in order to make the whole process work it would make more sense to take a calculated chance by narrowing the leads you contact.
Web scraping to help get better leads
Web Scraping is one way you can make sure that the leads you contact are in fact interested in buying what you are selling. Tough competition has now forced companies to adopt lead generation methods that are more accurate and more likely to help make a sale. Web scraping provides you with the option of making your lead gathering process more customized to suit the right kind of audience you are looking to market to, by allowing you to specify the exact business type and location you are looking to target thereby narrowing down the target audience which would be more interested in buying what you are selling. Airbnb is one of the prime examples of a startup employing scraping techniques (since they are a multi-billion dollar company, they don’t use the word scraping but call it “craigslist integration” instead) and scraped data to increase their website traffic, emailed “leads” for the listed properties and turned Airbnb into what it is today.
But first let us make a case as to why you should try cold calling/emailing. Cold calling is highly dependent on the caller and timing of the call (you don’t want to sell your new shoes to someone who just walked into an ER with a broken foot) you also need to be careful as one wrong impression over a phone call can get you marked spam and there’s no getting out of that rabbit hole. We have generally preferred cold emailing as it gets our exact point across and is less intrusive, in addition it can be easily customized to cater to the needs of the individual being contacted. With marketing becoming more millennial centric it would make sense to employ a more text based marketing over cold calling.
Where do you start and why?
Yellow Pages and Yelp are some of the biggest business listing websites and seem like an ideal place to start. We have had considerable experience in scraping business listing for our clients. One of the main issues people face while scraping business listing websites is that some of these websites do not have the exact information that is required by them, e.g. – you need email but the website has only website and phone number, you need phone number but the website has only website and email. ScrapeHero has solved this issue and has been helping out businesses and individuals all over the world finding the right data that they need to generate leads.