7 April 2016
Attention all sales professionals, marketers and management; If your company hasn’t implemented or isn’t following a sound lead generation strategy, then you could be stunting your own growth!
This post is the first building block in a series dedicated to lead generation. It is the number one thing that we know B2Bs could do better. And when done well, the results continue to build a steady stream of prospects and incremental revenue for your business.
What is B2B lead generation?
Generating high-quality leads that are embraced by sales teams is an art form. Loosely described as lead generation, this ‘art-form’ generates interest in your company’s product or service in order to drive sales. Lead generation tactics are varied but will often combine digital channels as well as targeted sales calls.
To maximise the effectiveness of your B2B lead generation campaigns you should also factor in a nurture component – additional touches for prospects that are stuck in the lead funnel.
Why lead generation is so important for B2B?
The way businesses buy has changed significantly in the last 5 years. B2B buyers will increasingly look to the web for potential products and services that meet an identified need. Cutting through the constant noise online has never been more important, or more complex, for marketers who need to come up with strategic ways to get attention.
It is no longer enough to find customers with mass advertising and email blasts, now more than ever marketers need to focus on building ongoing relationships with buyers, and getting visibility in all the right places.
We have seen many great marketing initiatives crash and burn because the marketer has forgotten one very important input. What does a good quality lead look like for the sales team? What kind of opportunity will get them ready to jump? The better the prospect, the better the follow-up. One less than ideal lead and the sales team can run off screaming at how marketing got it wrong – again.
What are the core strategies for lead generation?
Marketing strategies that bring the customer to you instead of the other way around including:
- Digital – You need great content, a logical way for the site visitor to find what they need and a reason for them to come back
- Social Media – Social media drives traffic to content and sales pages, and also helps to stimulate product or service centric conversations. It’s not just about #likes or followers – but conversations
- Search Engine Optimisation [SEO – Using keywords and phrases to attract searchers and search engines. Well optimised content, refreshed regularly
Drawing customers in through paid advertising and other efforts including:
- Data – Ignoring your database – let’s call it database denial – can cost you, big time. An up-to-date, profiled database is worth its weight in gold
- Telemarketing – Experienced local telemarketing people are those who can pursue a meaningful conversation up to the C-suite.
- Content Marketing – Using blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, ebooks, webinars and other content to drive leads
- Email & Direct Mail – Including brochures, flyers and other informative and promotional materials
Lead generation is a people business and there are many elements that go into it. If we had to select our top 3 priorities for successful B2B lead generation:
- Digital – Great user experience, regularly updated and relevant content
- Clean data – Profiled including roles, background on stages within the buyers journey, colleagues/influencers
- Telemarketing if you have the right people asking the right questions. They have to be able to think on their feet, build rapport and create value. We don’t believe offshore teleagents are the answer – but not everyone values the same things as our clients do
At MIH, our talented agency people create opportunities for your talented sales people to meet and impress new people. You can read more about what we do on our website, blog or get in touch. We’ll be talking more ‘lead gen’ in the coming weeks… journey with us!