We can’t talk about generating leads and not mention sales. These two new business development strategies go hand in hand.
Through a series of tactics, you boost awareness, get prospective customers interested in your offerings, nurture them through their purchase cycle, and convert them.
Many teams struggle to come up with effective lead generation strategies, while others employ techniques that don’t help them close deals at all.
So, today we will look at a mix of tactics that may help you achieve both aka, generate leads, and convert them to paying customers.
1.Create Content that Generates Leads
The content marketing platform allows you to show potential customers you have something awesome to offer, thereby drawing them in.
But to pull in audiences, you’ll need to create content that’s relevant to their needs and stage in the purchase cycle.
Start by identifying their interests and pain points then come up with interesting topics that speak to these needs. The content should provide new information, share actionable takeaways, or showcase surprising results to capture audience interest.
Here are examples of content that help generate leads:
- Blog posts. These create opportunities for prospects to find you organically. Come up with a publishing calendar to help you put out content consistently. Tackle questions audiences seek answers to and offer research-based solutions.
- SlideShares. You can upload reader-friendly, aesthetically pleasing content in presentation formats that audiences can view, clip and even share. To boost brand awareness, you can include your logo on the side to help audiences connect the content to you.
- Ebooks and comprehensive guides. This content expands on topics audiences are interested in and search for. They are perfect for tackling topics and sharing valuable information with your audience.
Once you’ve attracted leads, you can then nurture them towards your goals. The nurturing process depends on your organisation but may involve setting up email campaigns, among other outreach strategies.
2.Use Data to Understand Buyer Intent
Okay, so your website is receiving visitors every month, but do you really know what they are looking for?
Do you know the topics that move them or the problems they are facing and trying to solve?
Data, more specifically intent data that shows information about people’s online behaviour. It allows you to pick up on potential clients’ interests and how high their purchase intention is.
Through intent data, you can recognize your future customer’s motivations, interests, and pain points and position yourself as a worthy solutions provider.
So, rather than push bulk messages targeting just about anyone (or no one), you can narrow down conversations to what prospective customers are interested in.
Purchase intent data, on the other hand, helps you recognize purchase intentions early on.
By identifying B2Bs actively seeking solutions, you tailor solutions that target them during these early stages of their search and way before your competitors do.
Here are some indicators that may help gauge prospect’s interest:
- Consuming your content or subscribing to your newsletter.
- Visiting your product pages
- Commenting on your posts on your social channels.
- Participating in your webinars—they may be looking to understand your products or services better.
There are many tools that can help you collect and use intent data including DemandJump, Google Analytics, Leadfeeder, Leadforensics, PriorityEngine, Bombora, and ZoomInfo.
3.Make Cold Calls
Research by RAIN Group shows that up to 62 percent of B2Bs actively seeking to solve their problems will listen to new vendors. A further 71 percent look forward to hearing from sellers whenever they are looking to drive stronger results.
You’re a solution provider, aren’t you? There’s no reason you shouldn’t include cold calling in your strategy.
Here tips worth considering:
Pre-qualify your leads. Are your solutions likely to benefit their business and to what extent? This will help you separate good fits from bad fits and keep you from wasting valuable resources.
- Know your products/services well. It boosts your confidence, delivery and helps you identify gaps and opportunities to capitalize on.
- Have an opening, middle, and ending for every call. Introduce yourself, state why you’re calling, share your value proposition, and ask for your goal. You’ll want to include open-ended questions in your calling guide to learn more about the prospect.
- Prepare for objections. People object what they don’t understand, so shedding light may help you get through to prospects. Put together general and specific objections you or your team has encountered and turn them into questions. Then come up with honest answers (data-backed where necessary) that you can share with prospects.
- After the call is done, review how the conversation went. Did you attain your goal? What is the next step? If things didn’t go so well, what aspects of the conversation could you have handled differently?
Research shows that up to 63 percent of B2B marketers turn to webinars to nurture leads and reactive existing but dormant leads.
This lead generation tactic is perfect for connecting with audiences and informing or educating them on a slew of industry topics or trends. Over time, audiences perceive you as an in-the-know expert they can trust and turn to.
Best practices include:
- Planning and preparation. Think about the topics you want to handle, webinar dates, best time, presenters, and guests where applicable. Think about the software you’ll use, its capabilities, preferences, and cost implications, and keep a webinar production checklist handy to ensure you cover all elements.
- Develop great content. Why do people register for some webinars and completely ignore others? Content. High-quality content increases your chances of engaging audiences throughout the session and bringing them back for more. Select topics and guest speakers based on audience interests and needs.
- Get the word out. Start promotion at least three to four weeks beforehand to attract audiences. Set up landing pages for information sharing and registration, create images and videos, and talk about the event on social and in your email newsletter.
- Keep time. People are incredibly busy, so it’s best to honour their time. You may find that many attendees arrive late, don’t waste the time of those present waiting for others. Start as scheduled and finalize in the same manner.
- Make follow-ups. Consider creating post-webinar surveys to gauge the effectiveness of the webinar. Did it meet expectations? How good was the content/speaker? Use the feedback, suggestions, ideas shared to improve future webinars.
5.Create Amazing Customer Experiences
We live in the age where B2B customers expect better experiences from sellers. They spend top dollar on solutions and want to make sure it’s worth the investment.
Plus, stiff competition has brands battling fiercely for larger customer bases. If you want to secure your market share and generate more sales, it’s time to adopt a customer-centric approach.
Positive experiences don’t just encourage customers to spend (more), they also convince buyers to stick with you, resulting in repeat purchases.
How can they improve their experiences?
- Ensure all departments share in the vision and receive the relevant training. This is particularly true for back-end staff. If they don’t share your vision, they are unlikely to improve service delivery, dampening whatever efforts you make.
- Prioritize customer retention. It takes plenty of effort to bag B2B clients, so you don’t want to go around losing them. Have a flexible approach, meet expectations reasonably and listen to what your customers are saying about your products/services.
- Put together valuable content. Have a blog section on your website where you share how-to guides, industry news and trends, among other content. Your goal is to help your customers maximize ROI now that they are working with you.
- Anticipate customer behaviour. Use predictive analytics to understand, anticipate, and influence consumer behaviour. You can then better your offerings or customize solutions to match their needs from the onset.
- Automate processes. Automation improves operational efficiency, communication, reliability and performance. All these aspects move customers and prospects to increase engagement with your business.