Working on a lead generation strategy for a human behaviour and leadership trainer that works with large companies and specifically their sales teams. Looking for effective ways to reach the right person behind our targeted companies.
My first startup was exactly in this space. We topped out at $500K/year before the 2009 recession trashed our client roster. I'd be happy to discuss what worked for us.
In my experience LinkedIn would be the fastest way to identify who to contact at large companies. You can search the companies you know you want to target and look at the employees and their positions and find the head of Training, or Learning and Development and similar positions usually within HR. Since you want to target sales teams specifically, you could also search the Director/VP of Sales positions. You can also search those positions directly and see what comes up. With LinkedIn Premium you can send InMail directly to them. You can also go directly to their websites and look at the 'about us' and 'meet our team' pages of the companies you want to target. Sometimes contact information is listed for them, other times you can see just a name, but can then go to LinkedIn and search for them there. I have also successfully found email addresses by simply Google searching "John Doe Company Name Email." You can call the main line of the organization and choose the person's name from the automated directory or simply ask the operator to connect you. I was successfully connected with the Global Vice President of Talent for a very large organization simply by knowing her name from the about us page and calling the main line and using the automated directory to connect to her direct phone line. Hope this helps! I would be happy to discuss further on a call.
You need to be very specific in how you clearly convey the value of what you provide and how it can impact their position and company. As written below, LinkedIn will help you identify but then you need to start your outreach. I have a "prospecting" approach that uses email, phone and mailers (yes mailers) along with specific time intervals that has proved to be successful in building awareness and getting in front of decision makers. If you would like to see it, please let me know.
Above all, you need to have some grit and simply just start your conversations. If you believe in yourself and your product, it will come through in your conversations and people will be drawn to speaking with you.
Don't overlook professional and trade associations as sources for potential speaking gigs... there are thousands of meetings around the country every weekend and many are looking for speakers and content providers.
Visit the website for the American Society of Association Executives to network with associations in your hometown and places that are easy to travel to. Likewise, see if you can get in contact with your local convention bureau to see if they'll keep you up to date of who is holding conventions in town (then contact those associations and companies).
If I can be of any service to you in crafting your pitch or your content, let me know (one of my roles is "Chief StoryTeller" at a start-up).
Best of luck!
Coach, consultant and therapist to entrepreneurs
August 2014 I decided I was going to start a large conference in Chicago for entrepreneurs to learn from other successful entrepreneurs.
No money invested and without any real "connections" I hit the phones and used a ton of creative techniques to add over 30 speakers to my line up with names as big as Daymond John from ABC's Shark Tank.
I got ahold of millionaire and billionaire entrepreneurs who professionally speak, as well as tons of professional speakers. I worked with them and still keep in contact with a ton of them.
I used a call/email/linkedin/twitter strategy, but probably not what you'd expect.
I'd love to help and if you or me don't think I helped you out very much, I will refund your money. No questions asked. Free email support until you reach your goal.
See the reviews on my bio. Shoot me a message with questions.
Here are some strategies to reach decision-makers for corporate training programs at large companies:
Research the Learning & Development/Talent department. Find the names of directors and managers who oversee training budgets.
Look up past events and speakers. See who previously led trainings and reach out directly.
Connect on LinkedIn. Look for alumni of your training topic (e.g., sales leadership) and invite them to coffee to learn about their needs.
Contact recruiters and HR business partners. Explain your value and ask for referrals to training decision makers.
Reach out to conference or event organizers. Offer to speak at their events to get face-time with attendees.
Partner with corporate training platforms and providers. They have existing client relationships to introduce you to.
Cold emails targeted companies. Personalize the message for each company or person and focus on value, not just features.
Send personalized mailers. Include client testimonials, agenda samples, and speaker bios; make it easy for them to visualize the training.
Follow up consistently via phone. Be pleasant yet persistent until you reach the right contact.
Leverage your network. Ask trusted contacts if they know anyone at targeted companies who could introduce you.
Patience and relationship building are key. The goal is to learn about their needs and challenges so you can clearly articulate how your training solutions specifically help them.