B2B Sales Lead Strategies
If you’re a B2B company that believes lead generation only applies to the consumer industry, you are in for a rude awakening. The truth is every industry is finding shortcuts that allow businesses to get their foot in the door before everyone else.
No matter how good your product or service is, you need to make sure your target audience is aware of it. That doesn’t change when your potential customers are Fortune 500 companies, CEOs and business professionals.
Whether your goal is to get users to fill out contact forms, sign up for newsletters or gain more social media followers, all these strategies covered in this article will work – if executed properly. As in any competitive landscape, every company is fighting for the same goals. And with each lead, there is only one winner.
Committing to your approach, learning from what works and doesn’t work, and being creative are just as important to your success as the strategy you choose. To truly stand out from your competitors, you must put in more work than they currently accomplish or have accomplished in the past.
Business owners and executives are much harder to impress than your average joe looking for an HVAC specialist. They know when shortcuts were taken, and they can sniff out poor quality. A pessimist might argue that meeting those high standards is too much work. We would argue it makes it easier to stand out.
B2C vs. B2B Sales Lead Generation
Before delving into the various strategies, let’s first paint a clearer picture of the difference between B2B and B2C marketing.
B2B lead generation does require a different marketing strategy than that of a B2C company. Instead of targeting how someone thinks in their personal life, you need to target people when they are in their professional persona.
Whether you’re creating an email pitch or a piece of content for your website, keep in mind the type of person that will be reading out. What are you offering to their professional life or workplace? Rarely will people give their personal information without getting something in return.
How to Generate B2B Leads
1. Content Marketing
We’re casting a large net with our first strategy. But it’s simple, without good content, you’re going to struggle to attract and engage with users.
In fact, B2B buyers tend to read up to five pieces of content on the subject before speaking to a sales rep. Remember: be prepared to answer tough questions and understand how their product competes against their competitors.
The Content Marketing Institute reported that B2B companies only allocate about 28 percent of their resources to content marketing. However, the CMI also reported that the most effective B2B businesses allocate about 50 percent of their resources to it.
That is not an anomaly.
The goal with content marketing is to create unique content that attracts users to your site and leads them directly into the sales funnel. There are other aspects that play into this, such as user experience and CTAs on the site, but it all starts with the content.
There are various types of content that will work for your marketing strategy. Some of them include:
- Case Studies
- Service Pages
When looking for how to generate leads for B2B sales, we’ve found that case studies are remarkably effective. It gives businesses insight into your business process and problem solving.
The best part about content marketing: YOU are an expert in your industry. You have information and experience that is valuable and worth sharing.
By producing high-quality copy, you’re accomplishing two things: you establish yourself as a trusted leader in your industry and you increase your rankings on search engines.
Content marketing falls directly under the umbrella of SEO. By researching what your target audience is searching for and then providing informative content about their queries, search engines like Google and Bing will rank you higher.
Depending on your industry and competition, the level of creativity required will change. Certain industries might not have any blogs written about how the industry works or a “Guide to Accomplish X, Y and Z”. Other industries, like SEO, have blogs and articles littered across the internet and therefore require much more creativity and work to be seen.
2. Social Media
While many companies look at social media platforms as a branding tool, they can be very effective for lead generation as well.
The average person has 7.6 active social media accounts and uses them approximately 2 hours a day. It is too big of a market to simply neglect. What makes social media even more of a benefit to sales leads is that you can create highly targeted ads that just aren’t available on other platforms.
You can set up location, age, gender, interests and many other characteristics when you advertise on social media platforms.
Not surprisingly, LinkedIn offers opportunities for the best B2B sales leads as it’s a professional social network.
Fair warning though, succeeding in this landscape once again takes a lot of hard work and creativity. People can sniff out sales-heavy content quicker than ever before. Don’t create a social media account just to pump out ad copy. People will skim right over it.
Add some personality, engage with users, ask questions and provide useful information. We recommend that for every sales or CTA post, you post 3-4 non-sales messages that your target audience will find interesting.
3. Pay-Per-Click Lead Generation Service
Services like Google AdWords, Google Guaranteed, and even Facebook Ads are great for companies that have a larger advertising budget. They provide immediate results and quality leads.
To achieve good conversion rates, you need to do the proper preparation before rolling out your PPC ads.
Make sure you are using the right keywords to target the right audience. Just as important, you must ensure all your landing pages match what your ad is about. If you run an ad for water restoration, but the ad takes them to a fire restoration page, you can bet that you just threw money out the window.
4. Email Marketing
While the younger generations might look at email marketing as a thing of the past, it is still a highly effective tool for free B2B sales leads. The beauty of working with businesses is you can almost guarantee that your email will be seen.
What’s much harder to guarantee is that your email won’t get dismissed as quickly as it was opened. There are a few ways to avoid this happening:
- Avoid sales speak in your email.
- Use lead magnets (free pieces of quality content that users need to sign up to access).
- Make sure you’re offering something of value in return for their reply or information.
- PERSONALIZE EVERY EMAIL.
- Be creative and funny.
- Send follow up emails.
One immensely helpful tool that has made email marketing easier is marketing automation. In essence, it is a database that connects with your CRM to send out highly targeted and personalized emails. When you’re ready to perform email outreach, you create a template that pulls personal information for each email.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the article! Now what?
Each company and each industry will call for different iterations, integrate each of these strategies into your marketing strategy to determine the best way to generate B2B leads consistently for your market.
You need to be willing to relentlessly test different strategies and weight the outcomes against each other.