All businesses need sales in order to survive and expand, and for those in the B2B sector, these will normally start with an enquiry, a lead that could result in a sale.
This blog covers the topic of B2B Lead Generation and contains a lot of interesting information and guidance. However, if you’d rather take an easier route to success, please do check out the ‘Collate Systems’ approach. We don’t just offer consultancy, we actually run your lead generation programme for you, it all requiring minimal intervention by yourself. We really do ‘Walk the Walk’, but not only that, we carry you all the way too.
The Lead Generation Process
For the large sales, the process of making that sale is likely to be an extended one. For inbound enquiries, it can start with the potential customer landing on a website, or for example, a LinkedIn profile. It is vital that both are created and maintained in a manner that will increase the likelihood of that customer moving down the sales funnel.
Landing Page Optimisation
Optimisation in this context is nothing to do with a Search Engine, rather it is ensuring that a visitor is quickly able to tell that the needs they have can be met. At the same time, providing enough information to foster trust, to show that any further time invested in conversing with the website’s operator will not be wasted, is paramount.
A badly constructed form can lose huge number of sales for that business. Simple things like asking too many questions from the start can cause people to leave the process – being too intrusive at this early stage can be really off putting to some.
Besides such simple matters, leads can be optimised and even made interactive by using systems as provided by companies like Leadformly.
Optimising your Sales Funnel Maximises Leads
Whatever lead generation methodology used, it is vital that as few as possible are ‘lost’ during the journey, to when the lead arrives with your sales department.
The maths are simple. For example, if your LinkedIn lead generation programme was costing you £1000 a month and had a conversion rate of 1%, producing 10 leads, each of the 10 leads would have cost £100. However, if you can boost the conversion rate to 3%, you would get 30 leads, each one in that instance costing just £33.
At Collate Systems we understand that it is vital to create the right environment in your sales funnel before starting to boost the number of leads.
Which Source Brings In the Highest Number of Leads
There is a lot of conflicting data here, some sources stating that SEO is the most efficient, others that Email marketing or Live Events and Exhibitions are the best. However, if you look at this data very closely, you will see that many of these data sources have a classification labelled ‘Other’. In some cases this section can be quite large. Whatever source you review, you will notice one thing. None of them agree with each other.
This tends to support the view that few businesses really know where their leads and sales come from, it is never as simple as it looks.
However, it is fair to say, that the most effective strategies are:-
- Email marketing
- Search marketing
- Social marketing
What the statistics don’t show is that it is important to correctly use whichever channel you select.
The Three Top Lead Generation Strategies
Email marketing and Marketing Automation
Email marketing has been used for over 20 years now and can be very effective. The keys to success being automation and using the right email contact data / list. Automation is vital to ensure that contact is maintained until a lead is received or the process ‘times out’. It is also obvious that the right people in an organisation must be contacted in the first place.
Giving Away Freebies
This process used to work well, but nowadays, people are a bit tired of being offered something that turns out to be worthless. However, if you can provide something of real value, Freebies can be a great way of ensuring the ‘conversation’ continues.
It is no surprise that Search Marketing, both via Organic and Paid clicks can generate a huge amount of sales and leads. However, obtaining a useful Organic position in Google in 2020 is not easy, requiring both useful, detailed content and a number of incoming links. Adwords (the pay for click environment) is becoming increasingly competitive, resulting in a steep rise in acquisition costs.
Create Great Content
There are three advantages to creating high quality content. The first is that good content will attract links from other sites, ticking an important box for Google. The second is that such content is far more likely to obtain a good rank in its own right. The third point is however the most important, as correctly written and sprinkled with the right sort of Call to Actions (CTA’s), this content should result in leads, enquiries and sales.
In Depth Guides and Content Marketing Strategy
The best way of ensuring that you produce great content is to create a plan, detailing what you are going to write about over the next few months.
One way of putting this into action is to turn your blogs into ‘In Depth Guides’, packing them with sharable content and lots of data and third party references from trusted sources. Such content is likely to be shared on Social Media and will be liked by Google, as it can verify the accuracy and reliability of your content more easily.
There is a lot of evidence to say that correctly used, Social Marketing can actually be the most efficient way of acquiring leads. The problem is that it also has a bad name, because it has been misused, the wrong channel and the wrong messages being used.
It is also a growing market place, statistics showing that by 2017, 83% of B2B marketers were using one Social Channel or another.
Of all the Social Media channels available, LinkedIn is by far the most efficient when it comes to generating B2B leads. This fact is supported by the fact that data from the Content Marketing Institute and MarkingtingProfs shows that more B2B marketers use LinkedIn than any other platform.
The biggest reason that LinkedIn is so effective at generating leads is that it is the place where professionals meet and exchange thoughts and ideas. No other social media channel can match it in terms of the number of professionals and the largest percentage of decision-makers.
Putting it simply, the kind of businesses that have, and want to extend their B2B relationships, are more likely to be found on LinkedIn.
However, as with any other marketing channel, it will not work unless you use it in the correct way and that, without the very best advice, can be difficult.
Some of the things you have to do to make LinkedIn work.
- Be Active and Consistent. It goes without saying that just having an account and doing nothing with it won’t get you very far. You have to get talking, creating content, have conversations, and start connecting with the right people.
- Ensure that you have a well constructed LinkedIn account. The first thing is to make sure that your company profile is fully completed. This is different from your own personal profile, and can be essential for B2B leads.
- Join groups. There are a huge number of groups that you can join and there are bound to be ones that contain professionals who could well become clients. In other words, these LinkedIn groups can be a gold mine for leads.
LinkedIn Research and Automation
Collate Systems are experts in researching the data that resides within LinkedIn to help your business increase the number of leads and sales your company gets. We do this by profiling the professionals in LinkedIn, identifying those that are most likely to produce a lead.
We act as a technical extension to your own sales team, creating data sets that match your own individual requirements.
We then use our specially developed set of marketing tools to engage the professionals we have identified, to ensure that your marketing messages, and the benefits of using your services are fully understood by all of your potential clients.
The result – the maximum possible number of leads are generated for your business.
Other B2B Topics Covered in our Blog
Besides Lead Generation, we also provide assistance and information on a variety of subjects:-
B2B Consulting Services
B2B is a lot different to B2C marketing and a deep understanding of the processes involved could well benefit your business.
Lead Generation Tips
We also offer advice on how to generate leads and sales, providing case studies on previous successful lead generation strategies, all of which will assist in your overall B2B marketing plan.
B2B Marketing Tips
The use of this ‘big data’ is examined and will show you how to target any business that you wish.
Email Lists and Business Contact Data Lists
Email lists, telephone numbers and names, are still used in marketing today and do have a good success rate. This blog discusses this ‘big data’ and how best to use it.