In a world where customers fear and no longer need to arrive at the doorstep of a B2B or a B2C business model to buy products and services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and digitization, lead generation has changed forever, and this change is here to stay.
COVID-19 pandemic and the new digital era has changed B2B sales forever. It has forced B2B business models to digitize their business and learn digital marketing for generating leads.
Even the buyers now prefer online transactions! More than 80% of buyers and sellers say they now prefer digital transactions instead of going to the market and engaging in physical business deals even after the lockdowns ended.
COVID-19 pandemic has changed marketing forever.
Therefore, lead generation methods have changed drastically and it has become somewhat difficult for B2B businesses who prefer traditional methods of lead generation or the new and upcoming players to adapt to this dynamic digital era.
This guide will teach you everything about lead generation techniques for B2B business.
Lead means a person or individual who is interested in your product or service and can be converted into a potential customer of your business.
Lead Generation is the process of converting a lead to a potential buyer of your product or service.
In B2B lead generation, that potential buyer is a business (wholesaler or retailer) or a government organization.
For B2B, a lead is something you procure from a third-party lead generation company or something you procure yourselves.
The best method of procuring leads nowadays is to look for users who download free articles or visit your website multiple times and show interest, contact and convert them into potential customers.
Like every other business, B2B businesses will struggle to expand and grow without lead generation. You cannot expect your old customers to fulfill your sales target ever.
A business should grow every day and a B2B business should work on constant lead generation to grow their business.
Many businesses today are heavily dependent on lead generation tactics as it is easier to convert leads which they procure from their websites. Making websites generates traffic to their websites from their targeted audience and generates constant leads 24/7.
Google has made the process of connecting businesses to other businesses easier, and by using search engine optimization techniques you can reach a wider audience in a particular geographical area.
It allows you to generate website traffic from your targeted audience that is interested in your product or service. And taking the lead directly to your website increases the chance of the lead purchasing from your business.
In this digital era, lead generation can become constant if you have an engaging website and if it is search engine optimized. If your website has relevant content and if the potential leads find what they are looking for, lead generation will become a piece of cake for your B2B business.
It will lead to the generation of more qualified leads than before.
No more cold calling without knowing if the lead is interested or not!
Lead Generation can be very costly, but in this digital era, it can be cost-effective as well.
Earlier, lead generation was mainly through word-of-mouth references and through listing various Ads in newspapers, billboards, etc. Some B2B businesses also used to enlist third-party lead generation companies to get qualified leads.
The qualified leads are much easier to convert than those that are not qualified.
Third-party lead generation companies do not qualify the leads they sell to you which can lead to your business losing money and valuable time in converting unqualified leads.
Now, there are alternate ways of generating leads like building a website and search engine optimizing your website for a particular local area where you can find qualified leads or by purchasing Google Ads to market your website and your business.
By putting money and time into generating leads yourself, you can ensure that no money is wasted. It ensures you are contacting the people that are interested in your product.
Therefore, Lead generation can be cost-effective. Using digital methods of marketing is not only cost-effective but also is the best way of growing a B2B business as the generation of leads will remain constant due to the number of people that are now relying on the internet for various products and services.
The above chart is a basic model of how B2B lead generation works also known as the sales funnel.
The first basic step is to deploy proper acquisition channels to generate leads.
Search Engine Traffic, Websites, listing Ads on newspapers, billboards, Google Ads, conducting various webinars, etc. are some examples of the acquisition channels you can work on.
You can also hire various third-party lead generation companies but it is costly and does not provide qualified leads.
Search Engine Traffic and making an engaging website focused on content marketing (blogs, articles, etc.) are the most cost-effective acquisition channels and the most effective in terms of lead generation.
Email marketing is also an effective way of marketing your business and generating leads.
After working on proper acquisition channels, it is time to find the leads. Convert the traffic into inquiries/prospects.
Look for those potential leads who are regularly visiting your website multiple times and downloading free articles from your website, or those potential businesses that have replied to your emails.
Now, the next step is to find the potential lead’s contact information. Create a database of the potential leads and save it on your computer.
You can use Google Analytics to monitor your website’s traffic. Analytics is built to work with Google’s advertising and publisher products so you can use your analytics insights to reach the right customers.
After you have built a database, analyze your leads and focus on lead scoring.
Lead scoring is a popular methodology used by marketing and sales teams to determine how likely their leads are to buy and the value they represent to your business. It is a process where you assign a score (often 1-100) to your leads.
This is the step where you separate the qualified leads from the unqualified ones. This helps in saving a lot of time as qualified leads as discussed before are easy to convert.
Lead scores are determined by various attributes such as your lead’s job title, industry, creditworthiness, etc.
You can use various lead scoring software like Active Campaign, Vanilla Soft, etc.
According to the lead scoring, the next step is to break down the types of B2B leads in the database.
Cold leads are generally those leads referred by a third-party lead generation company or those leads which you have procured by yourself. These leads have a very low conversion rate.
These leads are kept just for trying your luck and trying to nurture or persuade them to convert them into warm leads.
Cold leads are ones with a Lead Score below 30.
This may include filling out a contact form, visiting your website multiple times, downloading free articles, replying to your emails, etc. Any action that shows they are getting closer to the point of purchase and may be ready to be contacted by the sales team.
The leads will have actively shown an interest in the product or service you are offering and you can work towards converting them into hot leads.
Warm leads are ones with a score anywhere between 30-70.
This lead may have come either through paid advertising or by nurturing a warm lead into a hot one. They may have filled out various forms showing their interest in buying your product or service.
You should prioritize hot leads and send them to the sales team immediately.
Hot leads have a Lead Score of 71 and above.
Make sure to prioritize the hot leads that have the highest lead scores and then work your way down to the cold leads with the lowest scores.
Here are the most important strategies and tips that you should consider for generating leads.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and develop the content according to that. Content marketing is still a very good way to generate leads. Nowadays, most businesses research everything about a company and its product or service before deciding to purchase.
Make sure your content has good readability and is relevant for the potential businesses checking out your website.
To make the most out of your content, start repurposing it. It means using your top-performing content, reformating that, and reusing it across multiple channels.
Your content should be the best out there and should stand out against your competitors. If you have relevant content with appropriate keywords, it will also boost your ranking on an organic search result, leading to an increase in the visibility and organic traffic from your targeted audience on your website.
If your website’s content is gold, it will attract constant leads 24/7.
Nowadays, visualizing your content grabs more attention than just simply writing 100s of paragraphs describing your product or service.
No one has the time to read all the details and not including images, videos, etc. in the content of your website results in a bad user experience.
Needless to say, the bad user experience will put a halt in the lead-generation process as your customers are just one click away from going to a different website if they do not like what they see, and also, it negatively affects your website’s ranking in search engine results.
If your customers do not find a single picture of the product you are selling, would they still be interested in your product?
Infographics are the best way to visualize your website. So, you can easily summarize your best-performing content with infographics.
These are not only the best to generate leads but great to connect with your audience as well.
These are an easier alternative to guides or eBooks to generate leads. As these take less time and can attract more people with ease.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then undoubtedly, a video is worth a thousand pictures as well. Incorporating a video in your content can be great as 87% of marketers prefer to use videos in their content.
Overall, you can use any of your preferred visual formats to attract more leads easily.
So, after having a perfect piece of content and knowing your audience well, it is time to focus on a promotional strategy.
Make sure you have the perfect digital marketing strategies to promote your website and business. Create a compelling page that will link to the Advertisements you have listed and social media posts.
Ensuring you have good digital marketing strategies in place will lead to constant lead generation for your business as using platforms like social media for promotion attracts a larger audience than simple word-to-mouth references.
You can also work on generating high-quality backlinks which will increase the credibility and trust of your website and help in boosting your website’s ranking in search engine results and have increased visibility to your target audience.
In this strategy, you will develop a positive relationship with your customers at each stage of your journey. Here you will let your leads know how your services or products are effective for them. Don’t bombard them with emails enlisting your product features, rather:
Developing a nurturing strategy to convert cold and warm leads to hot leads will help in the conversion of leads.
Traditionally, marketing was about reaching out to people and introducing your product to them, but the growth in digital marketing has been a game-changer. To be successful in the digital age, companies need to adapt to a change in buyer behavior.
Lead Generation techniques have changed drastically due to the new digital era and the COVID-19 pandemic speeding up the process of digitization. It has become very important to learn digital techniques of generating leads as they are much cheaper and effective than the old techniques of generating leads.