It’s hard to grow your business without sales leads to reach out to. The problem is that these days, people are overstimulated by the abundance of marketing material on the horizon and tend to shut down before you’ve even made your pitch.
This is as true in the B2B space as it is in any other. Competition is fierce, and your customers think that they have heard it all before. The trick is to generate qualified B2B sales leads and to use tactics that are attention-grabbing and generate demand.
So… what does it mean for B2B sales leads to be qualified, and what type of fresh generation tactics can you employ?
Carry on reading to find out a little more about what tactics you can use to grow your sales network and generate demand for your service or product.
A qualified B2B sales lead is a lead that has been identified as ready to be reached out to. It is the difference between cold calling and contacting someone that wants to hear from you. When your sales team reaches out to a qualified B2B sales lead, the potential client ought to be excited to hear from you and eager to hear your pitch, because they are in need of what you offer.
Generating sales in the B2B world has its pros and cons. You’re dealing with potential customers who are themselves, savvy professionals, meaning they’re a lot less likely to tolerate mediocrity. They are, however, more likely to identify a good value proposition when it comes their way, meaning that it should be easier to pull them through your sales funnel (provided they actually need what you’re offering).
There are some instances where cold calling and bulk emailing can also be effective, but it largely depends on the service or product that your company provides.
Let’s take a look at the type of tactics that are typically effective for generating B2B sales leads and how you can use them to prospect for new clients and grow your business.
The following tactics have been recognized as best practice in the B2B sales leads space.
Personalised emails are a great way to get the attention of your prospective clients. You need to ensure that the content in the email is relevant to the business you are targeting. This is only relevant if your business has more than one type of service or one type of client.
The key to personalized emails is that they must include merge tags. Merge tags are a tool that allows you to replace the name of the person or company that you’re reaching out to. This creates a totally personalised image for each of your B2B sales leads. Targeted and personalised emails are far more likely to get a response from your target audience.
You can go deeper with your personalization efforts and include not only the merge tags (so that every recipient reads his own name) but also dynamic images or even landing pages! This way, every recipient receives a whole unique email according to their interest. Imagine every business you reach out to, to see an image in the email with their own company logo and a special offer tailored to their needs. While you still keep the automation turned on, and therefore you have one general message to be send out in a campaign to many different leads, THAT same message can include certain dynamic parts in the form of text, image, video etc, that will change depending on who will receive it. And truth be told, the industry reports a 45% increase in the respond rate to personalization. That's what we call the power of hyper-personalization in email marketing. Of course, in order to apply this, first you need to have all that information about your recipients. Data plays a big role here. So start collecting it!
Producing content that is valuable to your customers is a great way to generate B2B sales leads. When you produce website and blog content, include keywords. These keywords are linked to search engine results. Essentially what this means is, when you publish a blog with a certain keyword, that blog becomes visible to search engines when that phrase is searched.
Take this blog for example. We have used the keyword B2B sales leads. If you typed this phrase into your search engine, our bog should have appeared.
This means that when someone wants to look up something related to what you do, your website will be close to the top of their search results. The better your SEO, the bigger your advantage against your competitors.
When done right, webinars are a great way to produce B2B sales leads, as they position you as an authority in your field of expertise. This helps you to stand head and shoulders above your competitors.
Webinars also give you the chance to interact with your audience, meaning you have the opportunity to win them over with your personality. During a webinar you have the opportunity to build rapport, and also to answer queries in real-time. Sometimes, webinars even expose queries that have remained unaddressed on your website.
Webinars also tend to fetch higher quality leads. This is because someone who goes through the trouble of registering for a webinar tends to be more hungry for the information and more ready to take action based on the information they learn from you. You also have an opportunity to gather more information about your potential customers during the webinar registration process. You can create QR codes to efficiently capture lead details, and even direct them to resource pages and other landing pages while tracking their journeys. This means that you can target these potential customers in different ways in the future.
If hosting online webinars works for you, it is a good idea to also include guest speakers. You can also appear as a guest speaker for another company’s webinars or other types of events.
Being a guest speaker or appearing as a guest speaker is an excellent networking exercise. It allows you to either diversify your audience or appear in front of a new audience. When you invite a guest speaker to your webinar, that guest will advertise their appearance to their existing audience. This may include people who are not a part of your audience. Similarly, if you’re appearing as a guest at someone else’s event, you will talk in front of new audiences that may have never heard of you before.
Either option is a fantastic way to generate new B2B sales leads, as you’re extending your network to people who already have an interest in your area of expertise.
LinkedIn has gained a tremendous amount of momentum over the past few years. In fact, the social network boasts over 500 million regular users as of 2017.
Digital marketing and generating B2B sales leads on LinkedIn is exceptionally rewarding. You’re able to be very specific with your targeting, meaning that you can make sure the people you want to see your content are the ones that are actually going to see it. This is because of how specific LinkedIn lets you be with your targeting. You can use geographic location, current company, past company, industry, profile language, interests, non-profit interests, school, and more to create filters for your marketing campaigns.
This is why the network is so effective. You can generate highly qualified B2B sales leads as you’re targeting very specific demographics. This is why the platform offers such an excellent opportunity for high conversion rates.
Native Advertising is the process of paying for content placement ads to engage with and develop trust with your targeted audience. Simply put, it is when you use paid content ads that blend in with the look and feel of the media format that they are being published on.
When it is done well, Native ads are informative, entertaining, and most importantly, highly targeted. They are placed where their ideal audience is most likely to see and benefit from them. By using well placed native ads, you can allure your target audience and drive traffic to your B2B lead generating landing pages.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, native advertising is one of the most effective ways to pull in target audiences and generate B2B sales leads.
Landing pages are sales tools that are designed to generate leads and drive conversions. By optimizing your landing pages, you will essentially be increasing your B2B sales leads generation.
Landing page design example of a recruitment online solution
When your potential customers land on your landing pages, your CTA needs to be compelling and drive people into your sales funnel. This is an opportune moment to gather further information on these potential leads, such as email addresses, names or personalization, and even industry-specific details. You can even offer a free gift, such as an ebook, in exchange for this information. The gift will further entice your potential customers to give you their information, thus generation solid qualified B2B sales leads.
Use multi-step lead forms for B2B lead generation, e.g. in lead qualification and contact forms to maximise lead conversions. Also, you can use custom-branded single-step forms, e.g. if you are just capturing very few details like name and email address.
Multi-step contact form for B2B website, available as template here
Email course access form to capture B2B sales leads in blog content marketing
Chat window on LeadGen App homepage
Live customer support on your website gives you the opportunity to interact directly with your website visitors. Perhaps you can solve a query in real-time or provide valuable supplementary information. If you’re dealing with potential customers in an efficient manner, you may impress them with your service, which will go a long way towards building trust and credibility.
As your interaction with the potential customer draws to a close you can request further information and thus, you may potentially be able to generate B2B sales leads.
In the bottom right section of this page, you'll see we also use a chatbot. Depending on the page inside our app and on the website it personalized its behaviour and can show relevant content, chatbots or open message fields to share your question.
Interacting with people from relevant social media groups, such as groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, you will be engaging with more potential leads. Start by commenting on posts that are relevant to your business, and try to provide potential leads with intriguing insights by scheduling your own LinkedIn posts.
Through continuously interacting with these groups, you will be able to drive traffic to your own social media pages. Keep posting your content and automate your posts from social media schedulers. This will help you to build up a community of followers on these platforms. Once people follow you on the various platforms, you will be able to drive this traffic towards your B2B website, and also gather their information which you can add to your marketing databases. This is an excellent way to generate B2B sales leads.
While chasing up a qualified warm sales lead undoubtedly has the highest potential for conversion, there is still very much a place for traditional cold calling in B2B sales leads generation. You have probably heard from numerous sources that this is not the case; that this style of B2B sales leads generation is archaic and ineffective. But this is incorrect.
The problem comes in when you cold call using archaic techniques. Marketing as a whole has evolved significantly over the last three decades, and that means our techniques need to evolve too.
Just because you are cold calling, does not mean you should not do your research beforehand. You need to gather as much information as you can on your prospective leads before you pick up the phone. Go back to your ideal customer profile and work from there. You need to identify which companies need your product or services and develop a script that speaks to their needs. By mapping out your conversation with your potential B2B sales leads before you reach out to them, you will be able to anticipate any barriers to your sales pitch.
By using online data to colour in your knowledge of the companies you’re going to be reaching out to, you will be able to develop a script that is attention-grabbing and compelling.
Even the most basic B2B sales lead generation tactics can develop and grow your business.
At the end of the day, whichever of these B2B sales leads generation tactics you choose to employ, you need to be intimately familiar with potential customer’s pain points if you want to take leads generation, and ultimately, your conversions, to the next level.
You may need to adjust your strategy depending on your market and company size. One of the most important aspects of leads generations, and the entire sales process, is customizing the pitch to suit the customer and their specific pain points.
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