What is B2B Lead Generation, And How to Generate B2B Leads?

To generate a lead for a B2B product, there are special considerations. Such deals are typically far bigger than consumer purchases. In typical scenario, a B2B product is more costlier and has longer sales cycles also has multiple stakeholders for the purchase decision. In such case, how do you keep in touch with your prospects, so you’re on their radar until they buy? You’re in the right place. Read on.

What is lead generation anyway?

It’s the act of identifying qualified buyers who will be led to a sales opportunity. Right now, your lead generation is ad hoc. It’s currently hard to replicate or scale. You can only meet so many people in person.

You also want to be sure that you are attracting qualified leads. They should likely move forward as prospects and sales opportunities. According to HubSpot’s Inbound Methodology, a stranger converts into a lead after they opt-in. As leads, they’re ready to be converted by the sales team.

B2B Leads are motivated by ROI

If we’re talking about consumer products, the goals are different. A beauty product appeals to social acceptance. An entertainment product can appeal to a person’s recreational desires. However a B2B product has to convince more people in the sales cycle that typically includes CXOs. Their goals are driven by their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at work. It’s not about beauty. It’s not about recreation.

It’s about how your products will support their careers and the company’s revenue. So the primary target of B2B marketing is to make a case for producing ROI and how to achieve these goals.
Through content marketing, keep showing up to your potential leads, showcasing why your products would contribute to business results.

How to qualify a lead?

Salespeople use a qualification framework to determine if a prospect is likely to become a successful customer. What’s the point of generating traffic or sign ups if you’re talking to people who wouldn’t ultimately purchase? Getting the buyers persona and their requirements is the core of B2B marketing. Qualification process is a crucial step but most brands tend to take it as a low priority. A variety of companies use BANT, one of the old sales qualification frameworks, originally developed by IBM:

B – Budget: The importance of the purchase, its priority and if resource is allocated for it.
A – Authority to buy: Where the budget came from and who is involved in the purchasing decision.
N – Need for your solution: The challenges and pain points and the solution that you think can solve them.
T – Timeline: The time sensitivity of the purchase and the capability of delivering the product quickly.
The more your lead matches these criteria, the higher your chances of closing the deal with them. You want to focus on generating traffic and sign ups from leads that meet these factors.

How to generate leads?

Your potential customers need to be aware that you exist. There are different methods to make sure that they know of your existence, each with their own pros and cons. Let’s explore the usual prospects in terms of generating awareness. From there, we’ll discuss how content marketing works in the mix.

Here’s a rundown of popular awareness methods that generate leads.

Offline Methods:

a. Events

• Conferences and meetups related to your niche is where you should find yourself at.
• Pros: It is during events that you can have face to face interaction with potential customers. Studies show that there is a 40% chance of conversion for face-to-face prospects. You will miss out on getting good leads if you do not include joining events in your marketing strategy.
• Cons: You always have to be updated what event is happening and where it is happening. They can sometimes be too far away from you or might be in conflict with your preferred schedule.

b. Referrals

• Your friends will always have your back, even in supporting your business. They can be your most avid and loyal customers.
• Pros: Your friends can easily tell other people about your product. They are your personal source of good feedback and recommendation.
• Cons: While this is a great source of prospects and customers, your personal network quickly runs of opportunities. You need to expand your target audience.

c. Billboards

• The old-time favourite billboard is still being utilized by businesses with the budget.
• Pros: There’s a sense of pride if your business can afford these physical advertisements. Yep, that helps your team and somehow contributes to the public’s perception of how serious you are.
• Cons: On top of being expensive, the public is developing blindness towards print media. We’re too busy with our phones to pay attention.

d. TV Commercials

• People still spend time on television, watching their favorite shows or just to entertain on the background.
• Pros: TV commercials still have an impact on the buying decision of most people today.
• Cons: Just like billboards, TV commercials can also be pricey. After spending six figures, a majority of your audience will easily ignore your interruption of their favourite show. They’re simply more interested in checking their social media feeds instead of patiently waiting for the advertisement to end.

Online Methods:

a. SEO

• Showing up on Google is widely understood in terms of ROI, whether for consumers or business buyers. Check out these statistics about the value of SEO for business.
• Pros: Using SEO tools and strategies, you get to match your content with your potential clients. If SEO is done right, your site can be ranked up high on the search results, where your highly qualified search engine users can instantly find you.
• Cons: SEO results are not instantaneous. It easily takes months or years to rank high for certain keywords or content. Aside from that, you have to adhere to sometimes unpredictable rules.

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b. Social Media

• Social media dominates attention. Top websites and apps are typically characterized as social networks. In other words, this is a major source of distribution and awareness.
• Pros: Businesses are active on social media now more than ever. This is the reason why social media is now a very useful tool for B2B lead generation.
• Cons: While it’s a significant part of your marketing strategy, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. A social network can easily change their rules or shut down. If you depend on them too heavily, your business is at the mercy of someone else.

c. Paid Advertising

• There’s a major advertising platform popping almost every year. This gives marketers the chance to experiment with some of them to find out which ones have greater lead acquisition potential.
• Pros: Advertising provides quick and massive results. Provided that you have the budget and right ad campaign, you can optimize your acquisition costs to match the ROI.
• Cons: First of all, paid acquisition channels like AdWords and Facebook Ads cost you money. On top of that, sales results aren’t guaranteed. You better have great creative materials first, before you invest too much in a paid campaign.

d. Marketing Automation:

• From sending personalised emails to lead generation, marketing automation helps marketers and sales reps to connect the dots between attracting the visitor and closing lead.
• Pros: Getting grip on marketing automation can save you a lot of time by scheduling tasks and automated emails. With the right data and content automation makes the lead nurturing easier.
• Cons: Need to invest on a tool and technology, skilled manpower to for the implementation and maintenance.

Online and offline marketing should work together. Both online and offline marketing can generate leads for you. You just have to know how to combine them in your marketing campaigns.

Takeaway: Generate B2B leads online and offline

The old ways of generating leads for your B2B business can still work. But digital marketing can help generate leads and nurture them is a new and creative ways. This old and new combined way is the need of the hour. One thing still remains. There is no such thing as too much content to get out there to your social sites and other advertising channels.

For more tips and tricks on generating and converting great leads, read our blog How to Generate B2B Leads that Convert or Download our free eBook: The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas

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