30. How Lead Generation is Helping to Disrupt B2B Companies | Eric Quanstrom

Slide Ep. 30: Interview with Eric Quanstrom

How Lead Generation is Helping to Disrupt B2B Companies

EP30 - Eric Quanstrom

On this week’s episode, we sit down with Eric Quanstrom (CMO, Cience Technologies) to talk about lead generation for B2B. During our discussion, Eric elaborates on some of the most common misconceptions people have about lead generation, some changing dynamics that he’s witnessed in the current landscape, his top predictions regarding how B2B lead generation will evolve, and why statistical significance as well as personalization are paramount to success.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • The difference between lead generation and demand generation. [7:11]
  • Top misconception about B2B lead generation is that ‘if you keep pushing, you will get there’. [15:15]
  • How to measure the ROI of outbound campaigns. [26:23]
  • Predictions on B2B lead generation: Hyper-targeting, leveraging AI to be more human, and a hybrid model. [30:12]
  • More isn’t better! Premature scaling is one of the biggest problems. [36:57]

Companies & links mentioned in this episode:

Transcript

SPEAKERS

Christian Klepp, Eric Quanstrom

Christian Klepp  00:08

Hi, and welcome to the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. I’m your host, Christian Klepp, and one of the founders of EINBLICK Consulting. Our goal is to share inspirational stories, tips and insights from b2b marketers, digital entrepreneurs, and industry experts that will help you to think differently, succeed and scale your business.

Alright! Hi, everyone, and welcome to this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. I’m your host, Christian Klepp. And today, I am thrilled to welcome my guest into the show, who is an extremely successful b2b marketer, who also has impressive expertise across different disciplines, ranging from branding to sales and business development and from lead generation to marketing strategy, business planning for cloud, SaaS, as well as b2b software. So Eric Quanstrom, welcome to the show.

Eric Quanstrom  00:58

I am really happy to be here. Thanks.

Christian Klepp  01:00

Alright. Well, you know, it’s, it’s really great to be connected. Eric, and I’m really looking forward to this conversation. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.

Eric Quanstrom  01:06

I can’t wait to dive in.

Christian Klepp  01:08

Alright, so yeah, let’s get the show on the road, as they say, and, you know, just let’s start off by you telling the listeners a little bit about yourself.

Eric Quanstrom  01:17

Sure. Pretty much a lifelong marketer, someone who definitely views my role as Chief Marketing Officer here at Cience as a craft. And I see myself as a craftsman to be perfectly honest. And that’s a philosophy that I’ve had for quite a number of years in quite a number of CMO roles. And I, I kind of love all the aspects of marketing. So for your listening audience, it’s, there’s never a dull moment in my chosen profession.

Christian Klepp  01:53

All right. No, fantastic. And I love that description, craftsman. Because it’s so apt for the marketing profession, because, you know, you’re continuously, I guess, honing that craft, you know, carving out, even carving out a name for yourself, if I may say so. Right?

Eric Quanstrom  02:14

Well, thank you for the compliment. But I actually think a lot of the craft piece is also around taking skills that one’s developed, and applying them in situations, especially new situations as they come up. And I also kind of use the word craft largely so that it always reminds me to be ever curious about kind of my profession, about our, our field, about my own career going forward, because I think those things are really important to being a good marketer.

Christian Klepp  02:45

Absolutely, Eric, and, you know, undoubtedly, you know, the whole being ever curious part certainly, for the most part, served you well throughout your career. And I’d be interested to know, and we’re gonna dive into this in a second, you know, like how you’ve applied this mindset and this philosophy, in short of stating the obvious, what has been an undoubtedly unconventional year. Talk to us about a recent project that you’ve been working on that’s gotten you really pumped?

Eric Quanstrom  03:21

Well, you know, it’s funny, we have this project that we’re about to kind of, like launch into the world, that is a little bit of a risk. And what it is, is we compete in a space that’s heavily, heavily, heavily competitive. So two pieces of context, cience.com without the s, our businesses, you know, top of the funnel, tech enabled lead generation services. A lot of it, you know, is really rotates back to appointment setting. And I don’t think that the world is starving for kind of the next appointment setting firm or lead generation firm come onto the scene, there’s potentially 1000s, if not 10s of 1000s of those companies already. So what we’ve built is kind of a buyer’s journey take on our space through the lens that frankly, is 100% biased. And, disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer. You’re our own services. But what we did was we basically and we called it the internal name was the lead gen mega 100. And what we did was we basically looked up 84 buying criteria that we felt mattered in our kind of like buyers journey. And then we ranked and scored us and 99 of our closest competitors across these dimensions. And so we built an entire website out of this and 99 children pages off of the pillar page going forward, and so we’re going to be releasing it this month to the world. And I’m really interested to see the feedback that we get on kind of like our findings, our own research arm putting kind of competitive intelligence.

Christian Klepp  05:11

Wow, that’s absolutely incredible. I mean, talk about taking it to the next level.

Eric Quanstrom  05:16

It was a multi month, definitely resource intensive project that, I’m kind of, again, very anxious to see what the reception looks like. Our sales team has been using this internally actively over the last few weeks, but making it public and kind of like ripping off the komono, bringing it out to the world is a whole different story.

Christian Klepp  05:41

Indeed. Wow. Wow. Sounds like exciting times ahead. And you know, as they say, no rest for the wicked, right?

Eric Quanstrom  05:51

Well put.

Christian Klepp  05:55

I’m mean, I’m really, really anxious to see that now, you know, now that you’ve laid it out so beautifully for us, I’m excited to see what the future holds in terms of that project and all of our projects moving forward.

Eric Quanstrom  06:11

I’ll make sure to send you the link, it’ll be leadgen.cience.com when it goes live.

Christian Klepp  06:17

Okay, no, fantastic, fantastic. Eric, let’s zero in on the topic that you’ve clearly built your expertise upon, and that’s some lead generation for b2b. So we all know and you spoke about it in the past couple of minutes, there’s still a lot of like, the competition in this space is really intense. There’s a lot of b2b businesses out there that are still struggling with lead generation. And that’s also due to various reasons. I mean, ranging from things like prospects being on multiple platforms, and then you know, there’s the copious amounts of data that marketers need to filter through. But let’s try to clear the air on something that I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again, that, you know, terms that people are using, or should I say misusing, so could you please highlight the difference for us between lead and demand generation?

Eric Quanstrom  07:11

Sure thing. So the way I think of it is lead generation is taking your brand out to a target audience, whereas demand generation is putting out things like content, setting up the opportunity for basically demand for your brand. And then watching people come to your front door, basically, the difference between inbound and outbound in my opinion.

Christian Klepp  07:37

Right. Right. I mean that’s certainly is a very clear explanation, because, you know, it’s, it’s obviously a topic that people are talking about a lot. And, you know, I’ve seen a lot of chatter and in discussions on LinkedIn about it, and people going at length to explain the differences. So it’s really great to have a very simplified explanation for it. So, you know, Eric, like many companies, and yours is certainly no exception, you started off the year with a plan or a strategy, and that strategy was clearly going to be implemented, and then bam, COVID happened. And everything that followed in this way, you know, um, but talk to us about some of the changes that you’ve seen in the b2b lead generation space. And I’m trying to look at this from a more you could say, constructive perspective. So, talk to us about some of those changes that you’ve seen on what these mean for people in your field of expertise?

Eric Quanstrom  08:42

Sure, one of the biggest changes, I think is, and I’ll speak kind of through the lens of the marketer here, you know, for the benefit of your audience, which is COVID has taken off the board, a bunch of tried and true marketing, go to market or initiatives or programmatic activities, such as anything related to network marketing, such as anything related to events, such as most marketing support functions of Field Sales efforts. Those just don’t exist in 2020. And debatable when in 2021. Those things come back to and I’m doing air quotes right now, some sense of normal. So what I would say from our industry is that and I don’t know that we’re that unique here at Cience, but we’ve seen massive uptake or uptick in both demand and our lead generation efforts. And I think it’s probably a lot to do with the fact that people still need new revenue. People still need to move the needle, fill their pipelines. Get business done, from small startups, all the way up to, you know, the upper crust of the Fortune 500. And the way I guess COVID has changed a lot of that is, okay, if I’ve got marketing activities that are now off the board, I probably have budget resources, a market motion around those things that now need to go somewhere else wanting to retranslate. And do I want to over index or re index or start to index on things that I wasn’t doing before like outbound? There’s other areas of kind of marketing that are also seeing a little bit of redoubling or reinforcement effort. But in our sliver of the world in our purview, we’ve definitely seen a dramatic increase in people saying, hey, I want to start a lead generation program with you, I want to scale my current lead generation program, I want to boil in the tank and step on the gas.

Christian Klepp  10:57

Yeah, yeah. Well, those are some really interesting observations, Eric, you know, some of them are not are not surprising. And others, I would say, and, you know, I’d like to get your thoughts on this. Because, you know, it’s always been said that many aspects of b2b marketing are, well, let’s just say that many b2b industries were very slow to adapt. Right? So it took something like the pandemic, to get them to pivot, to rapidly digitize, if I may use that expression. And, you know, to your industry, for example, you know, when you’re talking about the increase in demand for lead generation solutions, it’s probably also because of the fact that, well, conferences and trade shows are, well, for the moment, put on hold. You can’t meet people face to face, they have to resort to online means in order to generate those qualified leads.

Eric Quanstrom  11:55

Yeah, without a doubt. And, you know, it’s funny, like, our industry is both as old as dirt, and even selling itself. Well as, as new as it gets, when you think about the introduction of hyper targeting to companies and target audiences or contacts, that would be really best fits, and then taking a fully integrated multi-channel approach to starting conversations with those target audience members. And so that’s really the way that we like to think of it is we’re blending kind of like the old which is, hey, reaching out on the phone, sending out, you know, a very curated, highly personalized email, reaching out and connecting and/or taking forward a sequence on LinkedIn, and then integrating kind of the web channel, as well as advertising and other, you know, forward looking technologies like video and chat, and texting for that matter, into the approach in a sophisticated way that both values the persona that we’re reaching out to on behalf of an organization, our client, and at the same time, has some aspects of scale built in.

Christian Klepp  13:16

Right, right. You know, you brought up so many interesting points. And, you know, a lot of them lead back to also, if I understood you correctly, like enhanced technology. So I’d be curious to know, because I think we had this some discussion in our previous conversation. But clearly, you know, things like artificial intelligence, I mean, they clearly play a significant role in your field, don’t they?

Eric Quanstrom  13:41

They sure do. And it’s only going to become more so I like to think of a lot of the AI technologies, including the ones that we use, as really being not replacements for humans, but almost like prosthetics, oftentimes human or mental based prosthetics that will help us, you know, actually be more human, in many cases. Help us do our job better. Going forward. And, and really, that’s what it comes down to and leveraging, you know, kind of the amount of data that we have at our disposal. For each one of the outreach campaigns we run on behalf of every client, to me is a real opportunity.

Christian Klepp  14:23

Yeah, no, that’s undoubtedly, undoubtedly. And I suppose it’s also a matter of like the, you know, the AI helping you and your business to scale more efficiently to right?

Eric Quanstrom  14:34

It is, it is, especially on the research side, for us, you know, determining who you should be targeting or talking to, yes, is not a discussion for, you know, just kind of thumb in the wind. You know, what, to anybody or we could, you know, have a sales cycle with virtually any company. That’s not good use of… it’s not strategic.

Christian Klepp  15:03

And it’s probably not sustainable. I was gonna say it’s probably not sustainable for the long term either.

Eric Quanstrom  15:12

No, it’s definitely not. And I think that, you know, what’s really interesting is that’s probably one of the bigger trends that I see going forward is more hyper targeting, and not less. And I think that that that change is a welcome one from every aspect of the value chain when you think about it.

Christian Klepp  15:32

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Talk to us about and, you know, I think we had a fun discussion about this last time, but um, like, talk to us about some of the top misconceptions that you’ve seen that people have about lead generation and B2B?

Eric Quanstrom  15:51

Well, there’s a ton. But my favorite is very counterintuitive. And I’m going to say it’s my favorite because I’m a marketer. And I’m talking to, you know, your audience of marketers. One of the biggest misconceptions about lead gen and b2b is that what got you here will get you there. What I mean by that is that most marketers look at lead gen, they look at outbound as being yet another marketing activity, where push is the name of the game. We’re talking about their brands, you know, features and benefits ad nauseum will get the job done. Because I won’t. And I gotta tell you, like, you know, just putting it in the most simple context that I can, from reaching out cold to any prospect, the number one thing that people have their guard up around, and their antennas kind of like, or their filters. I’m picturing people with their arms up and in a very guarded stance, is the push, push, push, the me, me, me, the I can’t wait to tell you all the great things about my stuff.

Christian Klepp  17:05

All right, yes, of course.

Eric Quanstrom  17:07

And do it in a relentlessly monotonous fashion.

Christian Klepp  17:14

Absolutely. I mean, you know, it’s stuff that we see on, for example, on LinkedIn on a daily basis. Right. So it’s a, it’s the cold outreach, it’s the DMs, it’s the well, let me tell you about what I’ve got in store for you today.

Eric Quanstrom  17:29

That’s exactly right. And, you know, I want to cut us a little slack as marketers, because that’s the kind of stuff that we do do on our website, in terms of collateral. Often times in, you know, company overviews, or the kinds of marketing materials that we are very used to producing, where if we didn’t tell people about the features and benefits and make it all about us, we would actually be derelict in our duty, and not good at our jobs.

Christian Klepp  17:59

Absolutely.

Eric Quanstrom  18:00

But the difference is in lead generation scenarios, nobody cares yet. And that’s the big, you know, kind of thing to get over with that misconception is there’s a rhythm and a cadence and a flow to any business relationship. Those that start cold, are oftentimes best started with, you know, as Dale Carnegie said, way back when interested is interesting. Right? Being interested in the prospects that, you know, people we are reaching out to. Having a reason for starting the conversation that’s largely frayed, framed, or kind of forged in the language of the prospect, the kind of authentic understanding of their problem space, their goals, their aspirations, their hopes, their dreams, their kind of shit they want to get done, or their discomfort are really the areas where successful lead generation campaigns are born.

Christian Klepp  19:00

Wow. I mean, that insight in itself, I think was gold. And, you know, you brought up, you brought up such an interesting point, which more often than not, tends to be well overlooked or dismissed. And it’s this authentic understanding of the actual pain points or problems that the target audience is having. versus this versus this laundry list of services, features and benefits. But I mean, those are all those, those are all really like, super insights.

Eric Quanstrom  19:31

Well, you know, one of the most acute ways to understand this, and we have the luxury, I guess you could call it, although we have to describe it as anything but luxurious. We have the luxury of looking through the lens at a lot of our different client companies’ businesses. And one of the things that I can tell you is that there’s probably a majority actually of our clients that operate in what I would call red ocean businesses. In other words, there’s generally of the prospects in the target account or ideal customer profile lists, that we reaching out to, a very high probability that those prospects or those accounts are already using a product or service or solution, very similar to the one we’re reaching out on behalf of.

Christian Klepp  20:23

Right.

Eric Quanstrom  20:25

So if you think about it, and this is why it’s so acute, conversation that starts me, me, me, very vendor centric, telling you all about the features and benefits or something that, frankly, is a base you’ve already got covered, leaves very little oxygen or room to move. In fact that one objections with most of these campaigns are “Yeah, already. Already got this cover. Yeah, thanks. We’re good.” And so not anticipating that objection, first out of the gate is actually like a lot of wasted effort. So instead, what we find is the ability to open up a conversation first by exploring the pain of the space, the pain of the incumbent, right, like, pop quiz? How often is it that your product, or tools or services or solutions that you’re currently using in your day to day, you are such a raving fan of that you would like, only part with them upon the cold kiss of death? Very few. Right? Very few products or services or solutions rise to that level of loyalty.

Christian Klepp  21:41

Yeah, no, Indeed, indeed. And, you know, and I’m glad you, I’m glad you explained that a bit more. Because, you know, that would have been my next question, because, like, you know, seeing that you’re obviously in an extremely competitive space. I mean, you know, what steps do you guys take with prospects to, you know, stand out from the crowd, so to speak, right?

Eric Quanstrom  22:04

Well, I think it’s really important to start the conversation around, even learning where to differentiate. So, you know, here’s the interesting thing, like, and I may get into a lot of hot water going down this path. Maybe it’s helpful to think about things in terms of relationship, right? Like, if you’ve ever wanted to get into a relationship with somebody that’s already in a relationship, you know, that first relationship has to either fizzle or become in the eyes of the target of your affection, less important, less dynamic, less than, before the guard drops, and you know, and the entry point is actually achievable. It’s really not that much different in kind of B2B, again, product or services, sales. And yet, so often, and this is the most common kind of like trap to get into. We don’t think about that sequencing, we don’t think about, hey, how am I going to push the incumbent out of favor in order to start the conversation in the right place? You know, because here’s the other thing. When you do get two points of dissatisfaction with the current scenario, a product that’s not measuring up, a service provider that’s not giving you what you deserve. Something that doesn’t quite work the way you thought it did. The immediate response, if you can get to that place, is actually always almost the exact same thing. Oh, well, what could you do better? How would you solve that problem? What have you got? And that’s the exact right conversation that you want to be in to start a sales cycle going forward.

Christian Klepp  24:04

Yup. Absolutely.

Hey, it’s Christian Klepp here. We’ll get back to the episode in a second. But first, is your brand struggling to cut through the noise? Are you trying to find more effective ways to reach your target audience and boost sales? Are you trying to pivot your business? If so, book a call with EINBLICK Consulting. Our experienced consultants will work with you to help your b2b business to succeed and scale. Go to www.einblick.co for more information.

Wow, my friend you know what, that comparison I think you certainly rock the boat.

Eric Quanstrom  24:40

A lot of hot water there.

Christian Klepp  24:43

Yeah, no, but it’s such an apt or such an appropriate analogy though. And I think on so many levels, I think the listeners will be able to like you know, relate, for lack of a better description or understand the scenario. And that’s definitely a very interesting way of putting it. (laugh)

Eric Quanstrom  25:04

And very human too. And the other thing that I think about, you know, buyers don’t suddenly check their brains at the door. With behaviors that are deeply ingrained in that, dare I even say evolutionary, you know, how we access the world. You know, it’s not like all of a sudden we become Spock in the workplace, we’re still governed by, you know, all of the same kind of forces. And I like to even think of this as the kind of stuff you learn in, in marketing 101 classes, which is, you know, look dating model is actually really representative and very kind of meaningful. Attention, interest, desire, action, largely because what’s how the human brain processes information. Can’t start with desire. Can’t move to action unless you’ve got interest and awareness. And so how do you kind of move through those four states to an action that you want someone to take? That’s the whole, you know, real point of any b2b lead generation campaign in my opinion.

Christian Klepp  26:06

Amen. Amen. Um, walk us through how you and your team manage clients expectations when it comes to b2b lead gen. So, you know, how should they think about lead gen for their particular area of expertise.

Eric Quanstrom  26:23

One of my favorite things that we do here at Cience, and that I actually think is a pretty darn handy lens for thinking about any motion that you’re going to take from a go to market standpoint, is to have that kind of super boring, super well, or overused, ROI, discussion, return on investment. And the reason why I think it’s still valid and still holds weight, and hasn’t lost any of its luster in 2020 and beyond, I don’t think it’ll go the way the dodo or the square wheel, is the fact that… this is especially true for our business outbound. And it’s especially true because outbound is 100% attributable. In other words, when we’re setting appointments, or qualified meetings, on behalf of a given client that engages Cience, no one ever wonders where that meeting came from. No one ever debates the attribution model of like what’s started this ball rolling. Because we have 100% attribution, we then can also say, okay, well, the monthly price for Cience is X. And number of conversations started or appointments delivered is Y. It’s a very linear equation, of course, we’re gonna hold constant for a bunch of known knowns or what we think to be true in a sales cycle be beyond our footprint. And those things look a lot like average contract value, you know, average close rate from a held discovery appointment, or whatever we’re calling that first discovery meeting, then we’re setting up a profit margin attached to whatever it is we’re selling, and then sales cycle length. But once we have those kind of like variables in the mix, we can actually create a model that will give us an actual number that says, hey, $1 invested in outbound $1 invested in Cience services, returns us back $1.50, or $3, or $4, $10. And that is the lens that I think everyone that engages Cience should, or that runs outbound campaigns should look at everything through. Because then you’ll feel really good at the end of the day about where you’re placing your spend, where you’re placing your bets.

Christian Klepp  28:47

Sure. No, I mean, those are, those are undoubtedly, great insights. And I think, you know, because you’ve laid it out so beautifully. I think it’s fair to say that, like, I mean, that’s where you know, what you measure, or you measure what matters, right? I mean, like, you know, I know, there’s a lot of discussion in the marketing world about, like, you know, well, you can’t you can’t measure everything in marketing. But I mean, like, certainly the way that you’ve broken it down right now. I mean, that totally makes sense. So yes, of course, then it is important to have that ROI discussion, because at the end of the day, you got to know what you’re spending on too, right?

Eric Quanstrom  29:25

You absolutely do. And I also think of, it’s easy to get distracted by, you know, the light, the heat, the buzz of a lot of different shiny new objects. Again, b2b lead generation is a very simple equation. It’s you deciding who to target as representatives or what we like to call ideal customers. And then it’s all the motion that goes in to going direct to them just start an open up sales conversations.

Christian Klepp  29:55

Yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely. Eric, you brought some of the stuff up like, you know, earlier on in the piece. On the topic of future predictions, what are your top three when it comes to b2b lead gen?

Eric Quanstrom  30:11

Well I think hyper targeting is definitely kind of my #1 largely because that’s a prediction that I could have made the last 10 years and I still feel like there’s enough kind of like ammo in that gun or powder left, you know, always be the forecasting that that’s prediction that frankly needs to come true. In fact, I would even say this that, you know, the people that were jumping on the ABM train the account based marketing train, this is only more true for them. So it’s kind of like ABM 2.0, I guess.

Christian Klepp  30:50

Yeah, yeah. Oh, absolutely.

Eric Quanstrom  30:53

I would say more of my predictions that also reference things that we talked about a little earlier in the pod here would also be around how to use the most modern of technologies to frankly get more human. How do I use AI to get to higher quality conversations? to learn more about kind of like, again, that pain space, the personas that I’m talking to, the language that works best, that’s actually the province of what a lot of AI will give you. And so that’s not a hard prediction to make. And it kind of leads into what I would say is prediction number three, but it’s, I don’t know, this is a mealy mouth one, so forgive me. Okay. But I really do think that bringing the human back is kind of like, where it’s at. You know, I’m somewhat of a fan of the, the way that a guy like Gary Vaynerchuk talks about attention economy, largely is I believe that attention is scarce. It’s a resource that, you know, is ultimately very fleeting, and should be recognized as such. And I think that what wins out in the in an attention economy, are the most human aspects of any of our marketing that we do, any of our sales, any of our kind of like, again, go to market motions.

Christian Klepp  32:29

Yeah. Yeah. Well, those are, those are some awesome points. And, you know, obviously, like, you know, with point number three, bringing the human back, obviously, you’re referring to things like, you know, as you’ve alluded to, adding a bit of a personal touch, or there’s a touch of personalization in the outreach, or the interaction with customers. Something to that effect.

Eric Quanstrom  32:54

Yeah, I think that’s exactly right. And, you know, I’ll even add to that, with one little vignette that also comes full circle. If you think about, like, the fact that we’ve gone a year for the most part, without any kind of events. At the end of the day, like what was everyone kind of, like, all synced to the same story on when it came to events, we all were pretty much like, starved for a reason to get into the same place at the same time, so that I can have these kind of like me to you face to face conversations. That’s what most events are really good at is bringing people together to have a very human experience. Now we’ve been kind of apart for the better part of a year, and it’ll probably go on to, you know, being longer than a year, when all is said and done. I actually think that there’s probably going to be this very strong human reaction towards wanting a lot of that back. Wanting to connect, wanting to like, you know, just talk wanting to, like, get face to face and just learn, you know, from other people. And a lot of people, you know, especially sales gets a bad rep a lot of times, but this is one of those things that I just think is going to be really almost next to impossible to strip out of the human condition. We’re not moving to a transactional world for every type of sale ever tomorrow. It’s just not gonna work.

Christian Klepp  34:33

No, especially not in B2B.

Eric Quanstrom  34:36

Yeah. And we need people. It’s actually very, so I guess this is prediction 3a or maybe prediction 4. And maybe it’s not a prediction at all, because I’m just very anxious to see like, what kinds of reformatted norms do we come to, where do you know, we look to find that connection going forward. Some tied to buying experiences, some tied to professional development experiences, others tied to well, we used to have an industry convention once a year in March in Las Vegas, but now we don’t. Like, you know, what it looked like, going forward?

Christian Klepp  35:18

Yeah. Do you suppose that it’s going to be something of a, like a hybrid model? Or I don’t know, like, there’s another term for it too like, you know, they keep using this, like phygital. So it’s like, the physical and the digital aspect of it.

Eric Quanstrom  35:35

I suppose the answer is an unquestioned yes. Largely, as we’re already kind of there. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have zoom fatigue. Nowadays. It is the new normal that everything’s virtual, especially in the knowledge working space. Maybe a little less so in some of the older line industries that, you know, still require kind of like the making of stuff. But I do believe that, again, there’s going to be some kind of like new reformations, new recalibration, new ways that we’re going to just find to spend our time going forward.

Christian Klepp  36:21

Right. Right. No exactly. Eric, you know, we’ve reached the, I would say, one of my favorite parts. My favorite part, at least of the interview. There’s this thing you know, you can call what you want, like, conventional wisdom, commonly held beliefs. And you know, without a doubt, lead gen for B2B is no exception. Right? So, talk to us about one of these commonly held beliefs in your area of expertise that you strongly disagree with and why.

Eric Quanstrom  36:57

One of the commonly held beliefs, especially in outbound or sales development circles is that more is always better. More and more, more, more and more and more… pounding the rock. Hey, you need to make more calls. Hey, you need to send more emails. You need to do more of anything. That commonly held belief is one that is really frustrating, especially if more is attached to a lack of success, a lack of provable conversion rate, like formulas. Hell, like if I don’t have my messaging, right. If I’m not good at landing appointments, doing more what I’m bad at, is actually, it’s super, super bad.

Christian Klepp  37:47

Oh, yeah, clearly.

Eric Quanstrom  37:49

And that commonly held belief is it’s one I see very, very, very, very much all over the place. Largely, because people just assume that if you do more of anything, you’re going to get better results on the other side.

Christian Klepp  38:03

Right. So it’s the numbers game, the theory of probability, if I hit up like 5000 companies, I’m gonna get like 200 appointments, something to that effect?

Eric Quanstrom  38:13

Yeah, and I don’t think that that’s right, I think that there’s a certain case to be made that says, with any marketing activity you do, and outbound is no different. You have a hypothesis of why something is going to work, and maybe even kind of a rate, if you will test that hypothesis. You need to relentlessly test. And when those tests come back, and they reveal that, you know, kind of, I don’t have it right. I don’t have the right formula. I’m not getting the responses that are even remotely close to the hypothesis that I put forward. doing more without changing the formulation is really a bad idea.

Christian Klepp  38:59

Right. No, that’s definitely true. And so what would you say? Um, what would you say would be the, let’s not call it a remedy, let’s say what would be the better approach instead of playing the numbers game? I mean, would it be better to like, you know, have a more well thought out strategy with a clearer understanding of the target audience and then you have better messaging, and then you do this like, I think, what would you said earlier? Like, just, you know, you, you test and you adjust as you go along?

Eric Quanstrom  39:37

That’s exactly right. And that definitely what I would recommend. You know, everyone’s in search of scale. And yet, premature scaling is probably one of the biggest problems that exists in most sales and marketing teams, the world over. It’s much different when you scale something with known proof points, known, kind of like market motions, known messaging or playbooks, it’s another thing when you’re still trying to find that signal, when you’re still searching, whether it’s a new target audience, a new product, a new service, a new way of going to market, new title clusters that you’re going after, like, all of these things are variables that matter, actually a lot in the success formula. And if you don’t take them into account in kind of like small batches, with the ability to kind of read and react relatively quickly. Now, one of the things that I always also advise is, any kind of market motion you take, you should always be working your way towards statistical significance, right? If you’re going to trap data down on on those activities or tasks performed, you definitely also want to have the ability to measure results. And those measurements should guide your decisions going forward. So data driven decision making does apply here. And so you should also figure out for any experiment, what’s my relevant, like sample size that I need to attain, so that I can have a meaningful measurement? And you know, again, this is the kind of stuff that I think a lot of the growth marketers out there, a lot of the people that kind of live and die by numbers are preaching to the choir. So ultimately, I think that those ingredients are really the, you know, getting back to your question exactly what I would advise.

Christian Klepp  41:32

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So on that note, maybe one thing that you think people should start, and one thing that people should stop doing, when it comes to lead gen for b2b?

Eric Quanstrom  41:48

Well, I think stop doing would be this idea of casting the widest net possible. You know, picking up a phone, in the old days, picking up a phone book, starting with A and ending with Z or, you know, going to my data subscription provider, and kind of pulling the largest list I can get my hands on or buying a list that’s unbelievably large is, again, a really bad idea for 27 different reasons that I don’t have that time. And I don’t know if I want to bore you with this.

Christian Klepp  42:21

Well and it’s an archaic approach, right? So.

Eric Quanstrom  42:23

It’s totally archaic. You know, the phrase “measure twice, cut once.” I mean, I might even put it into a slightly different context, which is a things that b2b marketers should start doing is, you know, measuring five times, and getting really clear on that hypothesis that you’re going to test. And then cutting once.

Christian Klepp  42:44

Yeah, yeah. No, that’s incredible. Eric, this has been such an insightful and engaging session. I hope the listeners were taking notes as you were talking, because I know I was. And, you know, I’ve learned some new things again. So thank you so much for coming on and sharing. What’s the best way for people out there to connect with you? Especially if they want to talk to you about lead gen?

Eric Quanstrom  43:13

Yeah. Luckily, I have a pretty, I guess, somewhat unique last name. And there’s not too many Eric Quanstrom in the world. So you could easily find me on LinkedIn, Twitter without too much effort. You can also find me at Eric@Cience.com. For anyone that wants to come direct. I get plenty of outreach in my own inbox, having been on the buy side for quite a number of years. And I and I, frankly, you know, what the hell put it out there. I welcome the really well written highly personalized, and hyper targeted approaches.

Christian Klepp  43:55

Just to drive that point home, and that’s always important.

Eric Quanstrom  43:59

That’s exactly right.

Christian Klepp  44:00

Yeah. No, Eric, this is, as I said, this session was outstanding on so many levels. So thanks again for your time. Take care. Be safe, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Eric Quanstrom  44:12

Thanks.

Christian Klepp  44:13

Thanks. Bye.

Thank you for joining us on this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. To learn more about what we do here at EINBLICK, please visit our website at www.einblick.co. And be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast player.