Have you wondered what the best way to get the most of your marketing efforts for your B2B company is?
The answer is simple: Lead Generation
Generating leads is essential for the growth and success of any business, especially in the B2B industry. However, the process of lead generation can be challenging, especially when it comes to targeting the right audience and converting them into paying customers.
In this blog post, we will explore the best practices and strategies for effective B2B lead generation. From identifying your target market to utilizing the latest technology, we will cover everything you need to know to generate quality leads that convert into sales. By the end of this post, you will have a solid understanding of how to effectively generate leads for your B2B business.
Let’s see what makes an effective B2B lead generation strategy.
What Is B2B Lead Generation?
B2B lead generation is the process of identifying, attracting, and nurturing potential business customers (leads) who are interested in the products or services that a company offers. The goal of B2B lead generation is to convert these leads into paying customers, ultimately driving revenue growth for the company.
Business-to-business (B2B) lead generation involves selling goods or services to companies rather than directly to individual buyers. Both B2C and B2B companies find their leads in various ways. You probably won’t be as successful if you’re trying to find potential clients using the same methods as a B2C business.
How Is B2B Lead Generation Different from B2C Lead Generation?
The main difference between B2B and B2C leads is that in the former it is never an impulsive decision to buy. The main reason is that the stakes are much higher and therefore a lead takes longer to go through the funnel.
Because B2B stakeholders intend their purchases to be made in the long term, they usually conduct extensive research before sharing their contact details with you. They won’t become your qualified lead unless they see that you offer them something valuable.
Stakeholders often require others within their companies to approve certain actions before they take place. You will want to earn the stakeholders’ trust by building connections and getting yourself known in the field. This will also help you get testimonials and recommendations from current and past clients.
Here are few more distinctions between B2B and B2C lead generation:
- B2B companies value long-term relationships more than B2C as they rely more on referral business. This is the most important part of any B2B marketing strategy as this is what gives good results in the long run.
- Ethics, values and morals are more important for B2B companies.
- B2B marketers focus on qualifying their target market before generating new business opportunities. Once a lead is qualified, the marketing team generates MQLs (marketing qualified leads) and SQls (sales qualified leads)
An MQL is the last stage in a lead’s customer journey before it becomes an SQL. This means that they have expressed an interest in your product or service but haven’t revealed their pain points or provided in-depth information.
An MQL becomes an SQL in the next stage in your sales funnel. Classifying a lead as an SQL means your sales team has already assessed these leads as warranting a direct follow-up.
The 3 Steps to Successful Online B2B Lead Generation
As mentioned, the most effective way to generate B2B leads is through business partnerships. There are three important steps that you should take after you’ve gotten a lead to make sure it ends in a sale. Let’s look into them.
Step 1: Finding B2B Leads
The process of B2B lead generation typically starts with identifying the target market, which includes businesses that are most likely to be interested in the company’s products or services. This can be done through market research, analyzing customer data, and identifying trends in the industry. Once the target market is identified, the next step is to attract potential leads through various marketing efforts such as online advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and more.
Step 2: Qualifying Leads (Prospecting)
The next step is nurturing the leads, which involves building relationships with potential customers through targeted communication, such as email campaigns, webinars, and personalized offers. This helps to establish trust and credibility with the lead, and to educate them about the company’s products or services.
Step 3: Reaching Out to Leads
Once the leads are sufficiently nurtured, they are then passed on to the sales team to be converted into paying customers. This process is often referred to as “lead nurturing” or “lead management” and is a critical step in B2B lead generation, as it helps to increase the chances of converting leads into customers.
8 Tips for Effective Online B2B Lead Generation
Effective B2B lead generation requires a combination of different tactics, technologies, and tools, such as lead capture forms, marketing automation, and CRM software. It’s also important to continuously measure and analyze the results of lead generation efforts to identify what works and what doesn’t, so that the strategy can be refined and improved over time.
1. Form Good B2B Partnerships
Business partnerships are a must in the B2B world. By partnering up with another company, you create an extra sales channel that recommends you to their audience. A partnership can help both you and your partner reach goals that are difficult to accomplish on your own, so the other party will also be interested in it. This partnership can be made with an individual or another company.
Not forming business partnerships in the B2B world is like not listing your services. You’d be missing out on tons of potential leads and profits.
The best ways to start business partnerships are:
- Agree with an agency or brokerage firm to connect you with relevant business opportunities. This is the best solution for most business owners as these agencies have a wide network of business and will be able to reach many more companies than you would.
- Partner up with another company where you both agree to refer clients to one another.
- Formalize referral partnerships with companies or individuals who have already established relationships with your target market.
2. Create Useful Content
Content marketing is vital for establishing your expertise in a particular niche, but it’s even more important for generating qualified business prospects. According to Marketing Blender, 80% of B2B decision makers choose to learn about companies through the content found online, not advertising.
If you want to get people to buy from you, write good quality articles that answer questions they might be asking themselves. Don’t just talk about your business. A single B2B sale may involve several different types of buyers. Each type of buyer has its own set of requirements and expectations, so you will want to address as many of them as possible. The most important ones are:
- Different priorities and values
- Their roles and their pains
- Their desire to learn new things
- The goals they hope they achieve through a purchase
While creating quality content, especially if it’s search engine optimized (SEO) can take a lot of time and effort, there is an easy way to do it – hire an external agency. This way, you won’t have to do your own research, and there will be a lot less weight on your shoulders.
3. Create a Suitable Lead Capture Form on Your Landing Page
A working lead capture form on your landing page is a necessity as this is where a visitor to your website will turn into a lead. There are a few things you need to know:
- Only ask for the information you need to qualify the lead. Typically, you want the person’s first and last names, employer’s business address, job position at the organization, and contact email. You may also want their company phone number, size, and type.
- You may want to include some qualifying information on your forms. For example, you could ask them about their business goals or challenges to see whether your product or service can solve their problem.
- Don’t overwhelm your prospect. Your first concern is to make it simple enough for them to move on to the subsequent steps of your B2B sales funnels.
- Make sure your submit button stands out — use bright colors and bold text that tells visitors exactly what they need to do next.
4. Offer an eBook, Case Study, or Report for Free
One common strategy for B2B lead generation is offering a free resource, such as an ebook, in exchange for contact information from potential leads. This can be done through a lead capture form on a website, where visitors can input their contact information in exchange for instant access to the ebook. The ebook can provide valuable information related to the company’s products or services, and can help to establish the company as a thought leader in its industry.
By gathering leads in this way, the company can build a list of potential customers who have expressed interest in its products or services. This list can then be used for targeted marketing efforts, such as email campaigns and personalized offers, to further nurture the leads and increase the chances of converting them into paying customers. Additionally, the contact information gathered through the lead capture form can be used to segment the leads and tailor the marketing efforts accordingly.
5. Offer a Free Trial or Free Tool
For B2B companies in the SaaS industry, offering a free trial of their product is a great way to get potential clients’ attention. It’s one of the most widely spread lead generation tactics out there and for a good reason. According to Buceit Digital, a free trial can increase conversions by up to 238%.
Additionally, your R&D team will be able to gather valuable information by asking people to register before allowing them to use your software. People can test out some of your software’s features before buying, which may encourage them to buy the full package or tell you what can be improved in your product.
6. Optimize Your Website
Before they decide to contact your actual sales team, your potential leads are repeatedly consulting your first “salesperson” – your website. Therefore, it’s important your website is professional, easy to navigate, and clearly shares your authority and offered benefits. Follow these best practices for a website that generates B2B leads:
- Make sure your website is fast. If your web pages take too long to load, you could lose out on potential sales because people won’t be able to read them before they decide whether to buy from you. A Google study shows that 53% of shoppers will abandon a website if its loading time exceeds 3 seconds.
- Optimize for mobile. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re losing out on countless potential leads who use mobile devices when researching products and services. According to SwiftCloud, more than half of B2B-related online searches are made through smartphone apps.
- Optimize your website for search engines. When someone searches for something related to your products or services, it helps if your web pages show up in the results for the keywords they’re using. Ensure your content is optimized for relevant keywords that accurately represent your company and your products/services. The best way to do that if you can’t afford to do it in-house or simply don’t have the time is to hire an external SEO agency.
- Push people to act by creating clear calls to action and value propositions. If someone doesn’t know why they should become your lead, then they won’t. Anyone visiting your website should be able to easily understand the benefits your products offer and how you are unique compared to other companies offering similar services.
7. Use Social Media
Do not underestimate the power of social networks for lead generation. B2B buyers often check out companies’ LinkedIn pages, and other social sites, before deciding whether to buy those companies’ goods. Social networking can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field, so make sure you post consistently on the sites where your target audience hangs out.
Post links to relevant blog articles to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. You’ll drive in visitors and boost the chances of generating leads. Additionally, LinkedIn is fantastic for starting business partnerships.
8. Add Live Chat to Your Website
A live chat feature can also help generate leads for your sales team. When the live chat feature has a clearly identified human being on the other side, it allows potential buyers to get instant assistance from a real person. This personalized approach demonstrates the quality of service they might expect if they decide to buy from you.
In conclusion, effective B2B lead generation is crucial for driving revenue growth and achieving success in the business world. It involves identifying the target market, attracting potential leads, nurturing relationships with those leads, and converting them into paying customers. To achieve this, companies should use a combination of different tactics, technologies, and tools.
To take the next step in your B2B lead generation journey, we recommend booking a free discovery call with a lead generation expert. During this call, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the best practices and strategies for generating leads and discuss any specific challenges you may be facing with a professional who has the experience and expertise to help you overcome them. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this valuable opportunity to improve your lead generation efforts and drive your business forward.