B2B lead generation is different. Why? Because of the way the decision is made.
Let me explain. If you buy groceries at your local store it is a rather straight forward process. You have a budget. You have a list. You get in your car. When you get to the store you get a trolley. You stroll up and down the aisles and pick what you want. You put it into your trolley. When you are done you go to a cashier. You pay and you are done.
For a business it is different. There might be a couple of people who need to decide on every item. For example, if you buy butter for the house you decide what you want. In business 5 people will have 10 different opinions on which one to buy. More people makes the decision process longer.
Some might feel that it is not important for them to make a decision right now. I was talking to a guy who deals with big property deals. One such deal was for land valued at R20 000 000. The guy just needed to sign the paperwork. It took 5 months just to get the signature.
Finally the guy signed. A week later they sold the property for R40 000 000. See; they had other plans!
When you are thinking of b2b lead generation you really have 2 big options:
- In-bound lead generation: They call you. The goal here is creating content people want. They find it and contact you.
- Out-bound lead generation: You call them. You have a sales team reaching out to prospective clients.
We have noticed that a combination of the two is usually ideal. The reason is markets move. People move. You need to stay in touch.
People get busy. If you only rely on inbound you might miss the opportunity of talking to a good prospect.
For both; in-bound and out-bound lead generation you must have a process. A system to help and guide activities. Random acts of doing stuff will not create a sales machine for your business.
It takes work. It is effort to get the sales machine running. There is always place for improvement. Do not let that discourage you.
Get to work. The trick is really breaking it down into smaller manageable pieces.
Most of the time we start with a blue print. A blue print is a schematic of how we think the process should be. This helps define the manageable pieces.
Once we have this; we can get to work on the details. Some systems allows you to run detailed analysis on this schematic.
Here are a couple of inbound marketing techniques:
- Organic Search: People find you using a search engine. Your website and pages are optimized for specific keywords.
- Landing pages: These form part of a sales funnel. You may call it a lead magnet (something of interest for your audience you are giving away in return for their contact details)
- Content Marketing: Creating content to attract the right type of client to your business.
- Social Media: There are many social media sites where you can reach your ideal client. Some of it might be free others you have to pay. LinkedIn is the #1 b2b professional networking site (interested in knowing how to use LinkedIn as a business and networking and sales tool? Have a look at this course; LinkedIn Made Easy.
- Email Marketing: You can build a list of potential clients and contact them from time to time using an email newsletter.
Where to start? Create your blue print first. This defines what must be done. From there decide on where you will get the fastest and best results first. Many times it is not where you might have thought. Review and improve on a weekly basis. What gets measured gets done; what gets reported improves. Improve it consistently. Small improvements leads to major breakthroughs.