Let’s start with leads. What is a lead? In short, a lead is a prospective customer who has shown an interest in your company or service. Lead generation is the practice of using online marketing tools to trigger potential clients’ interest in a product or service.
Lead generation is both an online and offline process. You can solicit leads in numerous ways, from cold calling to social media.
The more leads you have generated, the more customers you will have. Simple as that. Lack of lead generation often leads to a lack of customers and drops the revenue significantly.
B2B lead generation
B2B lead generation is one of the first steps in a typical sales process. It involves collecting potential customer’s information such as name, email, company name, and job title. This information is critical for future sales. These people are then nurtured by marketing automation and passed to sales when they are qualified. The aim is to create a consistent pipeline of high-intent prospects who can become customers sooner.
Do not confuse B2C to B2B. Yes, they do share most of the fundamental goals and strategies. However, a major ingredient in the equation — the target audience — vastly differs between the two. A B2C lead generation focuses more on personal traits. On the contrary, B2B lead generation caters to business enterprises and corporations.
The Importance of Lead Generation
Today, many B2B marketers find that lead generation tactics are a very effective way of directly connecting with leads. Acquiring prospects has long been one of the primary goals of marketers. The beauty of lead generation is the way it helps in locating qualified prospects who demonstrate a direct interest in a product, service, or company.
Lead generation educates and informs people in your defined market regarding your product and its features. According to eMarketer, many recent studies have shown how B2B marketers finally realize the degree to which businesses benefit from lead generation efforts. And they started to see the real results from lead nurturing programs.
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 report, 85 percent of B2B survey respondents revealed that lead generation represented their top priority in content marketing.
Now let’s see what B2B lead generation teaches us.
Not to confuse inbound and outbound lead generation
Lead generation tactics fall into two main categories based on the channels being used. There are inbound and outbound lead generation.
Inbound lead generation involves creating content and carrying out activities that attract prospects toward the company website. The key idea is to offer something valuable to a prospect in exchange for the information you can use to move them down the sales funnel. Inbound channels are websites, SEO, social media, content marketing, etc. Inbound lead generation is where practically all of today’s B2B buyers start their paths to purchase.
When you generate leads by reaching out to your leads using targeted, direct channels, you’re doing outbound lead generation. Outbound channels rely on precision and scale to generate leads. These channels include email, phone calls, direct mail, etc.
A good Website opens closed doors
Living in a digital world, a website is now an absolute necessity for any business.
Websites play an essential role in the sales cycle for B2B companies. They provide a brand’s most prominent source of on-demand information. For any B2B company, being found online is incredibly important. If you do not have a website, interested parties will have difficulties finding and engaging with you.
A website that gives visitors the clear who, what, where, and why behind your company is your best asset. A good website is like your digital business card. Luckily, this lead generation strategy doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming.
The content of your website is important
Content that provides value to the user is very important to B2B lead generation. It builds trust in your visitors, helps move people along through your funnel, and allows you to engage your prospects directly.
Today B2B lead generation relies on generating a lot of good content. Not only will the content help your website rank higher on the search engines, but it will help position your business as a trusted authority. In today’s highly competitive B2B market, many companies recognise the value of content. Creating the right content and using it correctly is a very effective way to warm up your prospects and generate sound sales leads.
Social media is a ready-made B2B lead generation tool
Lead generation through social media is quick, cost-effective, and relatively easy to implement. Let’s look at the numbers.
- 76% of Americans who have internet, use social media (Smart Insights)
- Social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate (Our Social Times)
Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms get millions of visitors every single day. Take advantage of this free traffic by creating some videos or other valuable content for your business.
Customers avoid cold calls
Cold calling is picking a name from a list and calling that person when they do not know you or your business with the intent of converting them into a prospect, and finally, a customer.
It’s interruptive, and it’s annoying to prospects. It doesn’t make them happy. It frustrates them. It certainly doesn’t earn your sales reps any respect or admiration. It starts off relationships on a terrible note.
According to the Canadian Professional Sales Association, only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment. And that’s just an appointment—not even a closed sale.
It costs 60% more per lead than other sales strategies. And more than 80% of decision-makers won’t buy from a cold call, no matter what.
Mobile Marketing is a great tool
People interact differently with SMS than they do with other forms of communication. They prefer to receive promotions via SMS than from another platform, which is why using SMS campaigns for lead generation can be a successful endeavor.
Today, SMS marketing plans are used to manage emergency notifications, handle promotions, streamline assignments, and enhance B2B effectiveness with real-time events. A compelling B2B message will impress a range of people in different roles, from management with their eye on the bottom line right through to the buyer who simply wants a solution.
B2B lead generation is all about the quality of the leads
Businesses do not want just more leads. They want better leads that can quickly become customers. According to MarketingSherpa’s data, generating “high-quality leads” is the B2B marketer’s number one challenge.
So, instead of working on getting more leads, businesses should think of getting high-quality leads. Developing high-quality leads requires work, but it’s worth it. Many companies use lead nurturing strategy to build relationships with qualified prospects.
To grow your sales effectively, you wonʼt have a lot of time to do this. That is why some companies use marketing automation software.
Marketing automation platforms provide invaluable analytics and measurement necessary to improve lead quality. Hence, for better results you should think of the quality, not the quantity of leads.
So what have we learned from B2B lead generation?
Lead generation is a very effective way of directly connecting with leads. However, there is no easy way for successful prospecting. It takes hard work, time, and business intelligence.
For the marketing and sales team, lead generation means enormous growth for the business. Finally, that is what will bring you leads and customers, and push your business higher on the marketplace if you use it the right way.