Alex Field, LeadSift’s Head of Growth spoke with Fernando Nicolić Director of Demand Generation at Xeneta (a crowdsourced freight rate platform catering to the ocean and air freight industry) and asked him how he built a highly effective automated outbound prospecting engine – at scale – that feels personalized. 

Fernando leads a small, newly formed, team of highly talented marketers, account development managers, and demand generation specialists.  He is the BEST of BEST in the “outbound game” so we couldn’t wait to hear how he created Xeneta’s outbound engine.

Here he shares how his Demand Generation team came up with the fully automated strategy and how they identified their key prospects.

Alex: Thank you for joining us today Fernando. Walk us through your initial goal when you started out with the campaign 

Fernando: We focused on how, as a small team, we could make our impact felt as if we were a larger team. Our thoughts naturally turned to automation. So,  we created a plan around how to leverage different channels to automate every single step of the campaign. This was the first time that we used automation operationally rather than for data analysis.

Alex: What criteria did you use in order to determine who to target? 

Fernando: Demand Generation and Sales got together to identify our top 100 accounts. Demand Generation then identified five to six key decision-makers within each account that fitted our ICP. This created a list of 500-600 prospects.

Our strategy went beyond a pure ‘ABM’ ‘harpooning strategy’ with the running of a parallel ‘netting strategy’ at the foundation of the automations. The netting strategy was set around the following three strict criteria:

  1. Job titles
  2. Vertical market 
  3. Geolocation 

Using our LinkedIn Sales Navigator list as a starting point, we automated the process of identifying only prospects who fitted the ICP.  Being so strict on the criteria maximized our ROI. Sending weird messages to the wrong people at a weird time doesn’t equate to good ROI!

Alex: What were the main targeting criteria that you used to determine different messaging?

Fernando:  For each vertical market,  the job titles are all the same, and, from a day-to-day operational standpoint, the pain points for those prospects are also pretty much the same. So, for example, a Procurement Manager in one company will be doing a lot of the same things as any other procurement manager does. The vertical market is really the thing that separates the same job titles. They have different challenges such as seniority, company size, and geolocation. We made sure that we addressed those challenges when we reached out to them.  

Once the Demand Generation team had identified their strategy and created the target list, their automated system then did the hard work for them. We’ll be sharing exactly how they did that in our next post or you can listen to the full podcast audio of this interview on your favourite podcast platform.

Find Fernando at:

Twitter: @fernikolic

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fernandonikolic/

Web: https://mindfold.co/