Whether your company is large or small, the ultimate goal of B2B lead generation is to uncover qualified leads, nurture them as appropriate until they are ready for a sale and then smoothly transition them to field sales for closing.
Key tips for marketers on B2B lead generation
1. Create an ideal customer profile – Clearly articulate what this profile looks like and then focus your energy on lead generation opportunities that best fit this ideal customer profile. To uncover the profile, look beyond traditional definitions based on the title, etc. and spend time discovering what separates your best and worst customers? What organizations/associations do they belong to? What are their demographic profiles?
2. Ensure your key messages resolve the pain your prospects are facing – This may seem like a daunting task but it really isn’t. Spend time speaking with current customers to understand why they chose to work with you? How has using your product or service helped their business? Would they refer you to other people? Speak with lost deals to understand what influenced their decision-making process? Why did they choose the direction they did? What was their perception of your company, products or services?
[Note: this is often best done by a 3rd party to really get to the meat of the answers you seek]. Once completed, these interviews will be invaluable in helping shape your key messages for marketing.
3. Develop a marketing plan with activities each month – Spend time outlining an integrated plan and then consistently execute on it each month. Plans should ideally incorporate multiple tactics for lead generation [ideas can include email, online, direct mail, events, outbound calls and more]. Map out your activities for each month and then really follow it! And don’t just make irrelevant pitches more often! Create a plan to ensure that every time you touch your future customers you provide relevant ideas, content, and resources.
4. Rigorously qualify all incoming leads – Once you have a new lead, invest time in uncovering more details about the individual to ensure they are qualified and match your ideal customer profile. Avoid passing any leads to sales unless they meet all of the criteria you have established in advance. This enables sales to focus only on qualified leads and also ensures that when you do pass them a lead, they will invest time in it.
5. Develop a lead nurturing plan – While you may generate leads from your initial campaigns, you will generate even more by following up with additional touches. To do this effectively, tailor the content of those follow-up campaigns to the needs and interests of the recipients. The more relevant they are to a recipient, the better.
Lead Generation Tips Using LinkedIn
The Value of LinkedIn for Lead Generation LinkedIn gives you the ability to have an accurate list of your professional connections, regularly maintained and updated by those connections, instead of requiring you to update their information in whatever online or on-desk address book you use. In addition, LinkedIn allows you to see information on not only your connections, but on your connections’ connections and even your connections’ connections’ connections in real time. Leveraging LinkedIn to support lead generation, you can even use your connections to introduce you, instead of hoping for a chance encounter elsewhere.
Tips for Linked In Something to consider when doing this is, if you don’t want other users to know that you have viewed their profile when you conduct a search: * Click on “Account and Settings” at the top right of the page * On the right side of this page, under “Privacy Settings,” click “Profile Views” * Select your choice and save your changes Note that this “Privacy Settings” section allows you to control many other layers of information on your profile too.
Another great way to meet new like-minded contacts is through the many groups available to join on LinkedIn. These groups are a good place for sharing information and ideas, while keeping within a forum created for such needs. If you do actively participate in a group, it is a best practice to keep the content relevant to the group, provide content of value to group members or pose a question where you can gain valuable information.