In this article we discover what really works when it comes to B2B lead generation.
Table of contents:
What is B2B Lead Generation?
Generally speaking, B2B lead generation is the term given to people who are potential customers for your business. B2B is short for business to business. So your customers are other businesses who can use your product to help theirs.
For example, a bakery which uses a wholesaler to provide goods. Or a farm that produces dairy and meat for several butchers and shops. Or an office with several floors that needs the service of a window cleaner or regular internal cleaning service. How do they choose which cleaning service gets the contract?
You can categorise potential customers as people who are likely to find value from using your product or service.
A lead is anyone who has shown interest in your business product or service, but isn’t yet a buyer. So the next step is to encourage them to make that decision, and to buy from your business, rather than a competitor.
Why Your Business Needs New Leads
Perhaps your business has been established for a while and runs along nicely thank you very much. Alternatively, it may have stagnated, and you haven’t seen any new customers lately.
Are you looking for a client who could really take your business to the next level. Or is one of your goals to grow your business over a period of time?
The main aim of B2B lead generation is to gain and qualify potential leads that turn into customers. Hence if you are hoping to grow your business further or attract new customers, then you need successful B2B lead generation.
B2B Lead Generation Sales v Marketing
B2B lead generation can be further split into two teams, marketing and sales. Although, successful lead generation has these two groups working closely together to achieve the main goal of attracting new leads.
The marketing team includes experts in content, campaigns and data analysis. They create the methods and the content which raises awareness of your business and draws people in to read, watch or learn more about you.
This can be across many marketing platforms, from social media, to broadcast, newspaper adverts, email marketing and targeted advertising. A marketing team brings it altogether to analyse what is and isn’t working to create new leads.
Whereas the sales team are there by definition to deliver the sale. Once the marketing team have attracted attention and interest in your business, the sales team need to close that sale. To convince the lead that they really do want to choose you and become a paying customer.
So, if you like, the marketing team deliver high quality leads to the sales team to finish the task.
B2B Lead Generation – What Really Works
There are many successful methods you can use for B2B lead generation through both digital and traditional marketing. In the online world of social media, emails and instant communication, don’t write off traditional methods just yet. Some of the statistics may surprise you.
Email marketing means that your lead gets the information they need at the right time. So how does this work with a potential B2B customer? Perhaps your lead has shown an interest in your business by downloading a free e-book or discount voucher. Or they have filled in a form asking for more information or contact.
The next step is to get in touch via email in a timely manner and build on this relationship until the lead converts to a sale. Email marketing is great for re-engagement with previous clients and customers, or just to touch base with those who may be signed up to your email list.
- Once you have an email contact, you can continue to send information via email as long as its necessary and relevant to the lead. This could be through a regular email newsletter or when you are launching a new product. Perhaps you can offer a discount to people who choose to buy with you.
- With email marketing you can build up a good rapport with potential customers. They should know what information to expect from you and when. Therefore this should be part of your strategy.
- By 2023, it’s expected that 4.3 billion people will be using email. Hence you really need to utilise this marketing opportunity to create leads.
- Getting you email marketing right can be a balancing process. You don’t want to send a barrage of emails to start with or fill up an inbox. Potential customers will get annoyed and unsubscribe from your information quickly.
- You also need to get your design, heading and email content spot on. Emails can bounce back or not get delivered at all, depending on how they are put together. If it’s not interesting, people won’t even bother opening it. Or they might think its spam and delete immediately.
- Standing out with email marketing can sometimes be hard. There are a lot of competitors out there. But make sure you have something that will engage people and get them interested.
Content marketing is a term which covers blogs, social media, videos, podcasts, webinars and words! A good content marketing strategy is created to build trust and interest in your business.
- You can use content marketing to attract a potential customer and then to build a rapport with them. For example, a really interesting blog can attract people to your business. Perhaps someone would like to read more? If you can keep writing interesting blog posts, they will keep reading. You can then use the blog to drive traffic to your website or to direct leads to where you want them to be.
- Consistent and relevant posting on social media will help you to build trust with your potential customers. Especially in B2B marketing. If you are using platforms to comment on industry news or to post informative articles and white papers, then you could become a respected name in that field. People will start to become aware of your business.
- Using video marketing can boost your lead generation even further. Research shows that more people are willing to click on a video and learn from it than read a lengthy article. If you think of the way social media works, a comment is fine, but an image and a comment will attract more attention, whereas a video is the next step. For B2B marketing, a video, even a short one, can make a difference to your lead generation.
- A great content marketing strategy requires time and effort. You will notice results in the longer term. Therefore you need to be patient with content marketing.
- You need to be engaged with content on a daily basis, particularly if you are using social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. That’s because you may need to respond to a customer query or negative feedback if you have opened up this avenue for people to use.
Pay Per Click
Generally speaking, the purpose of a pay per click advert is to drive traffic to your website. An advertiser pays a publisher when the ad is clicked on. The key factor is that you still have to pay for every click whether or not it converts to a lead.
Hence, it’s important to keep on top of your analytics to see whether this is worth the investment or not.
- Pay per click or PPC advertising is very targeted. This means you can get your advert in front of your ideal client directly.
- You have full editorial control over your advert. There’s no middle man. You create an ad campaign and then post it.
- When your campaign is over, you can measure the analytics to see how well it has done. Has it achieved the goals you set? Is it driving more traffic to your website and how much by?
- As more businesses start to use PPC campaigns, it may begin to get expensive for smaller advertisers. However, by choosing your long-tail keywords well, PPC can still be effective.
- Although, as PPC gets more expensive, it might not be cost effective to compete.
- Managing a PPC account can require daily or even hourly checks to stay competitive. PPC campaigns require time and resources to make it work well.
Some marketers think that the era of cold calling is over. Generally speaking, cold calling is when you receive a call from a business randomly who want to sell you their product.
Or if you are the business in question, you are working your way through a series of phone numbers to see if, by chance, anyone will buy from you.
- Most people now have a phone on or near them at all times. You don’t have to schedule in particular times anymore, unless you have data which shows you what the best time is to call your ideal customer.
- When you do get through to someone, you can strike up a conversation immediately in real time. Rather than waiting for an email response. Potential leads could be persuaded over the phone to make that decision to buy after all, if they speak to a super staff member with excellent customer service.
- There is a chance that you can close a sale quickly over the phone. You may find a customer who is ready to buy and you just happen to be the first company in your industry to call them up. Make the most of this.
- It’s very easy to start cold calling! Whereas creating a lead generation strategy using content marketing, social media and different techniques requires time, effort and a budget. So if you’re limited on those things, then keep going with your sales calls.
- Some people just don’t like the fact that a stranger has access to their number.
- Your initial sales chat may put them off immediately, and they cut you off. Make sure your manners are impeccable
- Calling someone without emailing first may seem like you are prioritising your needs over theirs.
In summary, a great sales call can still bring in leads to your business. Particularly with B2B marketing. If you have a list of all the potential clients you would like to work with, by calling through that list and using your best sales chat, you may find your ideal client.
Broadcast, Newspaper and Billboard Advertising
This traditional form of advertising worked well for lead generation because it raised awareness of the brand by directly putting it at the forefront of people’s minds.
However, the digital age has changed the way people view adverts. For example, TV viewing has dropped among younger people because they often choose box sets, streaming channels or YouTube instead.
Meanwhile, newspaper subscriptions have dropped because consumers now get their news elsewhere.
So are there still benefits to use traditional advertising methods?
- An advert which appears in the newspaper or falls out as an additional sheet, still has the chance to generate leads because someone might see it who has never heard of your business before. Hence they pick it up, show an interest, and may even get in touch. Therefore there’s always a chance someone can become a lead and a customer for your business.
- You never know who is going to see your advert, which can work both ways. Perhaps your advert is on the side of a bus and someone walking past happens to see it and decides to find out more. Ideally, they become a loyal customer!
- You can’t make any mistakes with printed material. If you have misspelt something or your website address is wrong, this can’t be changed once its through the door of a prospective customer. What appears on your advert reflects on your brand.
- Traditional advertising is more difficult to measure. With online advertising, you can start measuring the impact of the campaign as soon as it’s posted. How do you know how many people have read your advert? Or how they came to find out about you unless you ask them directly.
We do this all the time on social media, but it’s still an effective traditional method of generating leads too! Whereas social media can sometimes be a bit glib and sporadic in terms of building relationships, a good network event where you meet people face to face can really work.
At first it may be just a potential customer that you meet at a networking event. But if you nurture this relationship, it can reap rewards.
- Often, putting a face to a name really helps. If you’ve made a good first impression on someone, it’s likely that you will spring to mind when it comes to business.
- By nurturing this relationship, you may also be available when people have been let down by other businesses. Hence building your reputation as a reliable person to deal with.
- The only negatives are if you don’t make that good impression for whatever reason. Check you are smart and presentable and come across well in a social setting.
- Perhaps you are not confident about being in a networking environment. You may prefer to network online. However, you will miss the opportunities from face to face business conversation and may lose out to other competitors who were there in person.
B2B Lead Generation: What Doesn’t Work
All of the above methods, even traditional ones, are still valid in the digital age. If it’s bringing in new leads and converting them to customers, then it’s working.
However, what doesn’t work is when you skip past all the effort and planning it takes to create lead generation in the first place.
Of course, you can opt for a newspaper advert campaign, create it, pay for it and then hope that someone might see it. But it’s quite difficult to measure hope in the context of marketing. Whereas a well timed and targeted PPC advert will appear directly in front of your ideal customer on their device, almost literally on their lap.
Meanwhile, you could create a business profile page on every social media platform you can find. But if you’re not regularly engaging in social media, your business could suffer. For example, a potential customer might even stumble across your Facebook business page without realising it when searching for keywords in your industry. But it hasn’t been updated for a long while, so they might think you’re out of business. Or they go to a competitor who looks like they are actively responding to customer queries via social media.
How Lead Genera Can Help You
As you can see, lead generation takes time, effort and resources. Yet when it’s done well, it can really pay off, bringing extra sales revenue to your business and more awareness and trust in your brand.
Hence if you can’t invest time into creating a beneficial lead generation campaign, then let an expert do it for you.
The team pride themselves on generating leads that know who will contact them, when they will be contacted and why. No more random cold calling. These potential customers are ready and waiting to hear from you.
Working with Lead Genera can save you the time and effort it takes to create a good lead generation strategy.
This is their job and they are experts in it. So if you’re wondering what really works with B2B lead generation, then they are ready and willing to hear from you!
Contact leadgenera.com today and you will speak to a friendly and helpful member of the team.