Google is the biggest search engine on the planet, and there is a wealth of company information for grabs if you know how to get it. In this article, I would like to explore the concept of using Google Maps to find leads for your business. If you are looking for businesses to sell your products and services to, finding good leads can be a challenge. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to find B2B leads but tends to be focused on larger enterprises. Google is essentially a massive database containing a wealth of business data, and thanks to Google My Business, a lot of structured company data as well. To understand how this works, do the following. Go to Google Maps, and search, for example for “accountants”. You can add a zip code/town name for localization purposes. You should get something like this:
As you can see on the left, Google shows a lot of useful metadata, such as company name, website, telephone number… There is more data available than visible here, and if you know how to extract it you can use it for your benefit. The problem is that going through the results one by one in the Google Maps interface is not very practical. If you are looking for accountants, you might want to sell them accountancy software, or maybe digital marketing services. How do you make the process of qualifying your leads easier?
Using data extraction software
The first approach is to use an extractor tool like Botsol. Botsol’s Google Map Crawler will work together with Google Maps and extract all the available data from Google for the resulting search.
It’s possible to extract the result to Excel, and then you have, basically, your prospect list you can start going through. A limitation of this approach is that the extracted data is often incomplete (missing website, missing telephone number, email address…) so it will require you to enrich the data manually. Moreover, the excel sheet is not comparable to a fully-fledged CMS (customer management system) so for proper follow-up, you will have to (manually) import data into a CMS. Still, if you are looking for inspiration and a headstart into prospecting, this is a good way of getting things going and finding the first companies to target.
Another way of tapping into this potential is by using tools like LeadsGorilla. LeadsGorilla works very similar to Botsol: it uses the Google Maps API to extract data from the Google database. The difference is in the interface. Instead of extracting everything to a hard-to-read excel sheet, it presents the results in a clear interface, enriched with their own data:
LeadsGorilla allows you to do more than find leads. Their app allows you to organize your findings in campaigns and contact them. Their CMS features are basic and for more advanced users, you will need to export your leads to a more mature CMS solution. The system even has built-in email templates that you can customize before using them to contact your leads. If you are a digital marketeer, LeadsGorilla offers you a series of ready-made templates you can use to deliver value to your leads. For example, you can generate an SEO report for your prospect’s website to generate interest for your services and/or products. The basic version costs USD 37 as a one-time payment, and that is a very reasonable price. Some options require an upgrade to the pro version, which costs USD 57. I believe this is a reasonable price for an advanced crawler, but don’t expect it to be your CMS solution forever. Managing your lead funnel can become complex without the right tools, and LeadsGorilla is not great at that. But for the price, it offers an easy way of discovering leads using Google Maps. As an added bonus, LeadsGorilla can also connect to Facebook and scrape for leads there.
Avoid spamming prospect
No matter how you go by finding leads using the tools described above, please keep in mind that prospecting in 2021 is a delicate affair. There is the GDPR regulation that limits the way you can contact leads, but more importantly, spamming prospects is the best way to scare them away. When you contact leads, please do it in a respectful way, and try to deliver them value right from the start. If you do this by cold emailing them, keep it short, to the point, and offer them something to their advantage to get the conversation started. Here is one of the cold emails I use to grab the attention of companies that run websites that could do with vast improvements:
Research and target
Finally, a word on targeting. The lead email that I shared above can only be effective (and believe me, it has proven to work for me) when your prospects are properly targetted. For each prospect that I save through any of the tools discussed in the article, I research their websites, I look at the social media performance, their SEO performance… It takes a while, but it gives me “ammunition” to build a sales pitch when I get them on the phone.
Prospecting is not a natural thing for many entrepreneurs, and being successful at it even less. Tools like LeadsGorilla or Botsol can help you to find entry points into your target market, especially if you are targeting smaller companies. But they won’t deliver you a complete lead funnel management solution, and they will require a lot of additional research to be done by yourself to properly qualify your leads. With a bit of an effort, however, it’s possible to build a prospecting workflow using these tools that is both cheap and effective, as long as you are willing to put in the work or hire a junior sales that can do the prospecting work for you. Want my help setting up a lead funnel using these tools? Get in touch!
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