How B2B startup can massively “cold call” customers

I'm working for a B2B startup and we have already found our product-market fit and we are planning to get to as many potential customers as possible in next month.

We're wondering what strategy should we use to be maximally effective. We have already gathered a database of industry leaders including emails, LI profiles, etc.

We considered:

  • mass mailing
  • engaging on Twitter
  • Google/Facebook ads targeted at those people

What else could we do? Please remember this is a B2B product.

I think the answer to this question highly depends on what you actually try to sell (i.e. how it relates to the different medias, how much it costs, how much customer contact you will have, etc.). But I think even if you say you already have your product-market fit, I would stay in direct contact as long as possible. And in B2B this will maybe even be the whole time.

I don't know if this is a cultural issue, but here in Germany I would recommend doing a real "cold call", that is taking the phone and dial their number and try to talk to them directly. For the mass market this is prohibitive in effort, but for B2B, where the costumer value is usually much higher, this is a viable option. (In Lean Statup speak this is equivalent to "get out of the building").

There are several direct advantages:

  • You get direct feedback. Even if it is negative feedback, at least you know why someone is not interested. This is much better as with Email, Twitter or Ads where your only negative response is no response at all, and it is left to you to figure out what went wrong.

  • You circumvent the "call to action". Even if someone finds your Email, Tweet or Ad remotely interesting, getting them to actually act on it (i.e. only click on the ad) is a tough task. This is why you have such a high drop-out rate in the funnel of customer conversion. When you call them directly, they can stay much more passive and still become your costumer.

  • You get additional feedback. You don't only get the results as in "someone decided to click through to the end" but you can ask questions (which you should do) as in why did they like your product. What terms in your message did they respond to? What key features triggered their interest?

  • You collect valuable experience in talking to customers. Depending on your product or service, but especially in B2B, many clients (at least in Germany) expect some direct contact - which you now can train on making.

  • You can constantly improve your campaign. With most ads/emails/tweets you get a single shot. And if it fails, your will start to irritate possible future customers as you try to pressure on (and get on their nerves e.g. with email). With direct contact you can adjust per person and improve throughout the campaign as you climb the learning curve.