B2B lead generation: 5 strategies to help pack your pipeline
From increasingly tough competition to savvy buyers, an abundance of (mis)information online, and difficulty in tracking leads, B2B lead generation is tough. Yet as long as businesses exist, teams will need tactics that help them find customers, and there will always be a place for lead generation.
B2B marketers will need to identify evolving strategies and technology to help them reach potential customers.
So, if your lead pipeline is on its legs, or you need to increase sales leads, here are five digital strategies to help pack your pipeline.
Make Cold Calls
So long as phones remain in use, cold calling will be an excellent way of getting one foot in with new leads.
But if you want to have worthwhile conversations with potential customers, you need to be absolutely clear on how you can help them. You need to communicate expressly the business problem your business solves and what it means for the prospect.
Without this, you won’t build value and prospects won’t want to listen to you.
Best practices include:
- Aim to be an industry insider. The more knowledge you have of the industry you’re targeting, the more prospects perceive you as an insider. They are likely to replace the “salesperson” label with “consultant” and listen.
- Introduce cold calling competitions. Inspire your team by turning cold calling sessions into games to see who can beat the numbers you’ve set, for a prize. These competitions may help improve your cold calling metrics.
- Leverage existing assets to earn trust. While most buyers don’t decide on the first call, you can share valuable assets to win their trust and keep you top of mind. You can invite them to attend a highly relevant webinar or share your findings from a study to help demonstrate your value and encourage engagement.
- Don’t badmouth the competition. It works in reverse by drawing attention to your competitors while portraying you in a terrible light. Even when prospects bring up a competitor, be gracious and steer the conversation away from them.
Invest in Case Studies
Unlike B2C purchases that can happen on impulse, B2B decision-makers take their time to understand how the solution works, ROI, and proof of results.
A case study analyzes business problems and demonstrates quantifiable results that come from implementing the solutions you offer.
The quantitative and qualitative outcomes aim to persuade the buyer that your products/services can solve the problem by painting the success of its implementation by other buyers.
Most times, it’s the proof buyers need to determine whether your solutions are better than those of your competitors.
Here are ways to use case studies to generate quality leads:
- As a downloadable asset. Create downloadable case studies that your team can use in email marketing campaigns or in web content. As people shop for solutions, look up recommendations or compare solutions, they can find your case studies useful in reaching purchase decisions.
- Create a dedicated page for case studies. And make them visible too. Consider personalizing the experience by matching site visitors with case studies that speak to their situation. Since people respond to familiarity, think about tailoring case studies by budget, demographics, or industry.
- Create blog posts around the case studies. Now that you’ve published a case study, it’s time to toot it to increase exposure. Let your blog title revolve around the hurdles or challenges you solved rather than saying something like “Company A: Case Study.” Further, focus on illustrating how the challenges were addressed and not your products/services.
Leverage Account-Based Marketing
Most businesses go fishing the traditional way. They cast their nets far, hoping to attract several leads then sort through these leads to separate the ideal from the not-so-ideal customers.
With the distinction made, they now develop niche content for the ideal prospects to move them through the funnel.
Sounds like a ton of work. There has to be a more effective way to obtain leads.
There is. It’s called account-based marketing (ABM).
This strategy starts by zeroing in on specific companies that you consider high-value and personalizing content and campaigns to target specific people within those organizations.
So rather than targeting an entire industry, you go for specific companies in that industry that represent your ideal customer. You research their pressing needs and package your offerings as ideal solutions.
It’s like choosing the exact bait your ideal fish loves and throwing the hook in the water.
The ABM strategy requires syncing of both sales and marketing teams (sometimes all the departments) to develop the leads and close the deal. Savvier businesses go further and employ the account-based salesforce approach.
With this approach, managers allocate entire accounts to sales reps who become solely responsible for these accounts’ progression. This ownership prevents other reps from modifying or getting in touch with accounts that belong to their colleagues.
Research on the effectiveness of video marketing showed that up to 86 percent of marketers surveyed attributed lead generation to video content.
Video content isn’t just engaging and memorable, but also helps boost trust between buyers and vendors. It increases your legitimacy and encourages audiences to connect.
There are several areas you can add videos to your strategy to maximize lead generation including:
- In gated content. Gate webinars, content by subject matter experts, and other highly valuable video content to encourage viewers to share their details for access.
- In landing pages. Embedding a short video about your organization and your solutions improves your visitor’s experience and may help trigger positive action.
- On social platforms. LinkedIn and other platforms relevant to your audiences are perfect for sharing videos that encourage sign-ups. Remember to insert links to your website.
Participate in Question-Based Platforms
Businesses are made of people, and people are naturally inclined toward communal experiences. Question-based platforms and online communities attract people who share passions, motivations, interests, and beliefs.
They are an excellent resource for research since they amplify real-life struggles. By observing questions, emerging issues, and conversations you can learn what potential customers struggle with and create content or solutions to tackle them.
You can also identify influencers and initiate conversations that may lead to a partnership in the future.
So, identify communities and platforms where potential customers hang out, create proper profiles, and regularly participate in the conversations.
Offer expert advice and useful tips to help the audience solve their problems. Readers will most likely recognize your contribution and follow-up discussions privately that may lead to a business deal.