B2B lead generation, the lifeblood of the sales team isn’t the same as B2C lead generation. The revenue per lead, for example, is a lot higher than B2C, while the number of prospects is comparatively lower, the value per lead is high, and the sales cycle is a lot longer than B2C.
All of these differences make B2B marketing exciting, and most importantly- monotonous. It is vital to have clearly defined lead status scores, their associated triggers, and how and when the lead progresses if, at all, it does.
Lead generation is not as easy as it sounds. For better effectiveness, the backend work has to be complete and legible to your sales team. Their understanding of lead status can lead to prospects going in ahead too fast, or too slow. Lead scoring is essential to the mix.
Technology is also a big part of the process today. CRM, marketing software, and lead management systems are all the rage now. The fact is, whatever you do, how much ever technology you pour into the mix, your intuition, knowledge, and foresight are essential, if not crucial- even now.
Why is B2B Lead Generation Tricky?
Just over a few years ago, the lead quantity was of significance or sometimes, even more, important than lead quality. It was because of the fear of the lead pipeline drying up. It caused many issues.
Firstly, you go through leads that never would convert in the first place, hence wasting time, effort, money, and precious sales minutes
on a dead end.
Secondly, lots of leads do not mean business-it never has been for B2B and will never be. It is the issue with the B2B setup. People generally take lead numbers to be the indicator of good health of the business, whereas, in reality, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The chart below is a clear indication of what sales need today:
Getting priorities sorted is half the battle done. Lead quality is a parameter that is essential to ensure that you get good sales and higher revenue.
So, to get good quality leads, you need to have a robust and aggressive lead generation mechanism, one which eliminates the wannabes and clings on to the ones that will convert.
Using The Right Medium
A data-driven approach only matters today. With the use of inbound marketing, traditional means of approaching and converting customers have become less effective.
The market has moved, and its divide between B2B and B2C lead generation has deepened over the decade. What used to work for both the markets does not anymore.
Choosing the right marketing mix with a data-driven approach to your prospects is vital to get that link built up.
This chart outlines the most effective channels of lead generation. It is for B2B. Had it been for B2C, the roles would have reversed, leaving only email marketing still at number one.
The reason is we all know; email is a marketing weapon that is most effective when used by the experts, no matter what the lead landscape looks.
The practicality of a medium is also essential. Just because it looks good, sounds good and everyone is using it, doesn’t mean it will work out for your business. There are many equations to this, and you need to be wary of them. The product/service that you are looking to sell is essential, as is the geographical territory you want to sell.
Not all markets are as developed, matured, and ready for your tech-laden sale pitch as the other. Keep it simple and stupid.
Lead generation: Numbers and their evident pressure
As we said earlier, high lead numbers don’t mean much if they are of low quality. Pressurizing your telemarketing and email marketing team to give you higher numbers does not always work well for your business.
Instead, make sure that you have the right prospects who want to talk to YOU and not you with THEM. It will allow you to decrease the lead quantity and significantly bump up lead quality.
Another critical error that happens with too many leads in the pipeline is not enough time is spent with the prospects and due importance they deserve. It is a serious issue and needs addressing.
Lots of B2B companies have buckled under the pressure of lost leads. It is a travesty and happens daily in companies. Keeping the lead pipeline fresh and stocked with leads is essential, but not at the cost of good leads that may be taking time to convert. They shouldn’t be pushed to the side when newer leads come in; after all, old leads were new at one point of time!
Quality of the leads matters a lot more than we would think. Here’s why:
- High-quality leads give higher revenue-in general.
- They take lesser time to convert.
- Repeat business is always an option.
- Sales pipeline gets defined as leads ask for information.
The Result Matters
What are you looking for in a prospect? A quick buck or an investment in a lifelong client? It is essential because it plays out when you make the deal. If you are clear about what it is you want your prospect to be, then the sales pipeline will work towards achieving it. It’s simple and gives you the liberty to design the lead pipeline.
A deal is a deal, no doubt about it, no matter how big or small it is. The question is how far you will go towards achieving that deal. Short cuts, shortchanging your delivery team, or promising big and delivering small. All these can be issues that affect your lead generation program.
Technology Is to Help Us, Not the Other Way Round
Over-dependence on technology can be an issue today. Everything runs on software, but always remember- you run the software. Lead generation programs, CRM, and management systems should be helping you in achieving your goals.
Most often, we see that they decide what you can or cannot do. Finding the right software today when the market is cluttered is difficult, costly, and time-consuming.
Lead scoring is essential to the entire mix. Your software should be accommodating of changes, and dynamic with the changes. It shouldn’t put limits to your potential, and you should be able to do what it is you need to do to get the prospect hooked.
Analysis reports that allow you to make better decisions are what you need; you do not need to be ok with what they give you.
Create Content That Converts-as Per the Lead Pipeline
Content converts, only when it is designed to convert. It is crucial to the sales pipeline. Content that is suitable for the various stages allows you to lead the prospect ahead. If you don’t have the right content, then you get a bored customer- the most dangerous of the lot.
On the other hand, an interested customer can be a lifelong one, give you referrals, and generate more business for you. Your content is the connecting link.
Creating content for specific areas of the lead pipeline allows you to focus on their needs at that particular point. Have a clear road map of where and what type of content you need to create.
It is the best way to get your prospects through the loop faster, smoother, and earn you some revenue!