There are many lead generation strategies in B2B. You will also find many different channels and platforms to generate more leads.
One of the reasons that there are so many different channels and platforms for generating leads is that sellers need more hot leads to qualify to make it easier and more efficient to reach their sales goals.
This article goes through some common problems associated with lead generation and how to get around them. We also discuss the best strategies for generating more leads in B2B.
Common problems in the sales department
From our in-depth analysis, after interviewing hundreds of sales departments around the world, we see a common pattern, regardless of country and culture. Sellers have too few hot leads to work with every day.
As a result, many sellers spend much of their valuable time researching who to contact instead of actually contacting.
This is obviously not an effective way of working and definitely an expensive one as well, both in the form of the seller’s time but above all in lost sales.
Sellers are usually more adept at qualifying leads and closing deals rather than investigating whom to contact. As in any profession, focus is an important part of achieving good results.
Therefore, it is quite natural for salespeople to get worse results when they are forced to produce their own leads. It simply removes focus from sales.
How to get more business efficiently?
Winning more business and increasing sales is relatively simple in theory. Get more leads, increase activity levels and boom, you get more closed deals.
This applies to all sellers regardless of the current situation. If you get more leads and increase the activity level compared to your current situation, you will get more closed business regardless of all other parameters such as experience, skill, time of year etc.
How to increase the activity level by up to 50%
The key to an increased level of activity is spelled out. Anything that disturbs and removes focus from talking to or meeting your potential customers or existing customers will lower the seller’s activity level. Everything is about how to make it as easy as possible for the salespeople to focus.
Since most salespeople belong to the same behavioral profile as artists, actors and musicians, they share the same behavior.
One thing they have in common is that they easily get distracted. If you then force your salespeople to find their own leads or something as simple as having to work in different systems when working with lead qualification, it can distract and cause activity levels to drop.
Forcing sellers to spend time on social media where they can be exposed to “interesting” articles to read will also distract them and they will lose focus on communicating with more customers. This is only natural if you belong to the same behavioral style as the salespeople do and there is nothing to do about it.
On the other hand, we can change the environment and help sellers stay away from environments and situations that can distract.
If you as a sales department want to get away from this and really help your salespeople, provide the salespeople with
- Clear segmentation of is customer-target group
- Enough leads to qualify each day
- Few leads are automatically added to your CRM
- A solution that allows you to call/email directly from your CRM
- Ability to track how many leads convert to business opportunities and win business
- This makes the sellers more focused, engaged and more productive. At Salesbox, we have seen that companies that work in this way can increase their activity level by up to 50%.
How to find more B2B leads?
There are many ways to find leads. Some have been around for a long time and some are based on new technology.
Finding the method that works is likely to depend on the industry in which you work. There are no right or wrongs and there are no patent solutions that work for everyone. You have to find your method. It is likely a combination of several lead generation activities that will give you your winning recipe.
The most important thing is to focus on acquiring a structured way for lead generation that does not force your salespeople to spend time finding their own leads.
However, you will never get away with having to do your homework to get the best results. You will get much better results if you have done your segmentation and know what types of customers you should target. Here are some tips on what your segmentation can be based on
- What kind of company
- What needs the company has
- The silk phase the customer is in
- Size of the company
- Villa roles you want to talk to
- How do the people who have these roles behave
- The better you know your dream customer, the easier it will be to both find more leads and to qualify these leads. Everything is about focus.
If most leads that come out of your lead generation belong to your dream customer group, qualification will also be much more effective.
The actual lead qualification also becomes more accurate and generates less noise in your sales panel/pipeline in later stages of your sales cycle.
So, what lead generation options do you have? There are plenty of suggestions and we list here a number.
LinkedIn is probably the best source of information for finding the right people to talk to. If you are searching on LinkedIn based on your target audience/segmentation, it is a perfect lead source. Find the people, get connected and get in touch. This strategy has proven to be very effective. Read our article on how to effectively prospect on LinkedIn.
This classic for finding leads is simple. All you need is a list of people and a phone. If you have a list based on your dream customer/segmentation this can be a relatively effective method.
This old acquaintance is still as up-to-date in 2016. Since you can reach so many at once, this becomes a very effective way to find more leads.
We strongly recommend creating campaigns consisting of 3 – 5 steps over 2 – 3 weeks so that you can be shown regularly to your selected group of potential customers.
There are many tools for managing and automating mailing. MailChimp is one of these. Read our article on how to work effectively with Salesbox and Mailchimp together.
Networking / Conferences
The classic collection for meeting and talking with people in real life. If you want to meet many people with the same interest in a short time, this can be a good option.
Having a booth at a fair can generate many leads. It can be a good alternative if you have something to show/demonstrate and want to meet many people in reality with the same interest.
Writing good and relevant articles or landing pages can start generating leads that want to know more about what you write about. This requires a well thought out strategy and expertise in the area you are writing about.
Doing this consistently over time can be a good method for lead generation.
Social media posts
Being active on social media makes a difference. It is also an effective method for reaching many people.
If you provide your audience with attractive content, they can help you spread your brand.
Remember to link your posts to your articles or landing pages. It’s all about making it easy to consume your material.
Join relevant social media groups
Act to be part of different groups and both make comments and comment on other people’s posts with links to relevant material from your company can also generate leads.
Track website visitors
Linking a lead generation / tracking tool to your website can also be a good idea. Track how many times a visitor comes back, what parts of your web they visit and how long they stay on different parts of your web etc.
Try to encourage your visitors to sign up for something, a newsletter, a white paper, a test of a software, etc.
As soon as they complete the form, they become a lead. How a lead is prioritized is based on how they acted before they registered.
A good tool for this is LeadBoxer.
Which B2B lead generation strategy is most effective?
We have gone through many studies and reports and added our own experience to this.
If we look at reports from Hubspot for the best lead generation for B2B, we see that SEO for your website is the best.
If we look at Chief Marketer’s report instead, they indicate that email marketing is the best for B2B lead generation.
There are similar studies / reports that indicate that social media or content marketing is the most effective method of lead generation.
However, when you look at a larger number of reports, it becomes clear which are the most effective methods, the ones that consistently come in top are:
- Email marketing
- Search / SEO marketing
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- How can I get started quickly?
The easiest way to get started is actually the old classic telemarketing and email marketing.
As email marketing and consistently ranked as the best and most effective method for B2B lead generation, we highly recommend providing a structured and effective process for this. The trick is to integrate this with your CRM to make the workflow as efficient and easy as possible for your seller.
With an integrated lead generation feed, you will increase both focus and activity level of your salespeople. You will also be able to act on your incoming leads in real time instead of up to a week later.