Ivan Zemzyulin has been working in B2B sales and marketing for almost 10 years. Having joined the Belkins family as SDR, used his communication skills, team working, constant learning, and analysis to grow into a marketing and outreach expert who has worked with clients in 40+ countries. Now, Ivan is an Account Manager designing strategies and leading clients' projects worldwide.
Account Manager of Belkins, Ivan Zemzyulin, encountered a challenging project in the construction industry. He’s sharing his insights on how to find a solution for B2B lead generation for such a client and achieve impressive results.
What was the project you were working on?
Our Client – Svykai, a Lithuanian company that provides metal protection from corrosion service. Its clients are industrial and building companies that order facade painting, fireproofing, and anti-corrosion surfacing. Svykai hired Belkins to do the appointment setting. Considering the complexity of the company’s niche, we understood it was going to be a very difficult yet fascinating project.
As a B2B lead generation agency, our goal was to get a peak in the Western European market and search for new opportunities to decrease seasonality influence on the Client’s business.
What was the biggest challenge?
The Client was providing specialized construction services that required a deeper technical understanding of the Client’s portfolio. Thus the main challenge was to identify the right strategy that would fit the technical peculiarities of the Client.
Firstly, we spent way more than just several days discovering a completely unknown branch of the construction industry. Then, we had to research and understand what the usual clients of Svykai are: who they are, what they order, how they make decisions, and what they pay attention to.
Spending hours studying subtleties of the building process could make us real experts in this branch and rearrange Belkins into a construction company. But we are devoted to our business, lead generation is our vocation, no offense.
What solutions helped you to overcome it?
Additional materials from the Client and quite a few videos from the third-party resources helped to get a better understanding of the services, while the experience in running localized email outreach campaigns in Europe helped to identify the best geographic point of entrance and pick the correct language.
Explain the technical aspects in detail: how to resolve this kind of problem?
When we started to dig into the client's portfolio and work on the Ideal Client Profile, we noticed that lots of services were temperature-dependent, from the speed of concrete drying to the effectiveness of the anti-corrosive paint. All these characteristics narrowed down the pool of potential regions for the outreach in late January.
Generally, the process of developing the ICP for the Client promised to be thrilling, and so it was. Such a niche! One wrong step – and you risk being stuck in concrete! Thanks to our team, it was really fascinating and enlightening.
As we decided on the countries for lead research, we had to add bilingual specialists to the team to look for companies that suited our client best. We focused on the countries where it is relatively warm at the end of January. They are Spain and Italy, so we attracted new people who understand similar languages to our team.
Another issue was that if you search for a construction company via LinkedIn or Google, you miss out on lots of players. Our past experience helped us a lot in solving this, thus we had to expand our research process to local catalogs and tender sites.
The client had an English-speaking sales team who could only use this language for communication, so the localization approach (outreach in the local language) would not work. Initially, we had to stick to those English-friendly regions. But anyway, we included Spanish- and Italian-speaking guys in the research team, and it was worth the cost.
What knowledge helped you in resolving the issue?
During my time with Belkins, I had an opportunity to run outbound campaigns in all major European languages and countries and gather lots of important information on what works and what simply doesn’t. I’ve personally crafted a lot of emails myself and tested them in different variations so I could come up with the ideas template. You can check the examples of the first and the last touch emails below.
Another great approach is to put yourself in the shoes of a client and a prospect who will receive an email to understand their needs and reactions better.
What would you recommend to users facing similar issues?
Before starting any kind of cold outreach for a prospect lead, try to see the bigger picture. To do so, communicate with your client, dig into the client’s materials, browse the internet or talk to a friend who claims to know everything. Go after any tiny bit of information that might provide you with a missing puzzle.
So, for 3 months of our collaboration, we’ve managed to achieve such satisfying results:
- 6,029 emails sent in total;
- Open rate - 41.07%;
- Reply rate - 9.81%;
- This all has helped the client to get 36 appointments!
What did your typical day working on this project look like?
During the first weeks, it was essential to navigate our research process in the right direction, thus checking business leads (especially their websites) and titles was a part of our daily process. Every day, the team approached a tiny part of our lead list to check out the whole direction, and to understand whether our strategy is right.
Once a week, we gathered for the internal call to discuss replies, forwards, and appointments so we could better understand the ICP. Having all the information after testing, we could come up with a new CTA, change the direction of our research, or drastically change the ICP.
Choose a metaphor to describe the project in one sentence.
Little things make big things happen.
Despite this being a pilot for our client and the lack of previous experience in Western Europe, we were able to combine our team’s expertise, curiosity and attention to detail to schedule twice as many B2B appointments as was expected.