Business to Business (B2B) lead generation is a whole different animal to Business to Customer (B2C) lead generation. It is tougher and longer and much more difficult for your average sales team to tackle each day. But why is it an assault course of misery?
Well, you are dealing with shrewd buyers and fighting competitors for the same finite client base. Some companies have items that have to go to tender or documentation to be filled out prior to any real lead generation; and these processes require weeks of grueling paperwork to sift through; adding to challenge.
Typically, when you are trying to build more B2B leads you are going to either miss information or too much information of different internal processes for the company that you go dizzy. You may get conflicting information on how to generate leads in a specific company or sector. Every strategy you read up on is supposedly the best thing since sliced bread; yet when you try and apply it you waste your time and realizing the truth that the post was garbage!
These ‘get leads fast’ posts are interesting to read, but don’t give you anything worthwhile. Why? Because even if the story is real, you are not company XYZ, at the time they achieved their success, with their resources. Your approach will need to be unique and will take time to do; manage your expectations based on these noble truths.
The B2B Process
The B2B lead generation process involves getting potential customer’s information such as their name, position and contact details first. Now, the reality is that you actually need more for generating sales later, however the first thing you need to do is identify the ‘champion’ that is looking for a solution to a problem that they or others are facing and will actively engage with you from the external company. The rest of the B2B lead generation process involves qualifying and prospecting the right leads and closing the deal with an opening for additional offerings later. The steps if you didn’t know includes the following;
Step 1: Finding Leads
Step 2: Reaching out
Step 3: Qualifying and Prospecting the right leads
Step 4: Closing
B2B Lead Generation Tools
Now here are some tools to help you do what you need to do.
1. Optimizing Your Site for B2B Leads
When people find your website, most do not enter login or contact details to see what they were looking for. While the site traffic may be good, you need more information to try and assess the viewers suitability as a lead and start getting contact details. The great news is that there is software such as Leadfeeder that you can leverage to collect company details for you. From this top-level information you can then use LinkedIn to start rounding up some ‘champions’ and key players to contact for the reaching out stage.
2. A/B Testing on Key Pages
By running testing on different UX designs of your landing pages, you should be able to determine which design has a better conversion rate for contact details. Sounds like small returns however it can provide conversion rates in orders of magnitudes better; don’t overlook this gem.
3. Sending Leads to Broken Pages – Don’t Do it!
Never send leads to broken pages, it reflects your brand and you will never see that potential client again.
4. B2B Mobile Accessibility
Make sure all your websites and services are mobile compatible. Not just that, but the UX design actually looks great. There is no excuse not to.
5. Optimize for Long-Tail Keywords
These long-tail keywords (generally an SEO technique) are normally three or four words that are very specific, and while it will narrow down the volume of traffic, it doesn’t matter because you are after specific client that are going to buy from you.
6. Run Campaigns using Competitors Keywords
Use your competitors keywords, especially if they are better at marketing than you are. Tools such as Ahrefs and SEMrush can help to do this analysis for you. Also try running a small paid ads campaign to test particular keywords before investing in the time and money changing yours.
7. Improve your Messaging with Microcopy
Optimize your pricing, product and landing page using search words that customers actually use; your product or service will appear higher in their search results.
8. Observer how B2B Buyers Browse your Site
Some people take longer than others browsing you site and progressing through the sales funnel. The longer they spend the more likely you will lose a sale. Make sure that your ‘warm’ lead has no barriers or excessive processes to obey. If you can do something with one button than two, all the better UX design. Again software like Leadfeeder can help visualize the times spent on pages and create heatmaps to tell you what they are doing; so there is no need to guess.
9. Generate Easy Wins from Landing Page Tweaks
Backup your content on landing pages with social proof to aid in trust building. Make a call to action that is more relevant to that site user. Have a click bait headline to entice the buyers down the sales funnel.
Use leadbots to get valuable information for reach out as the client sees an automated process not a person trying to sell to them; the selling comes later. Some companies claim that up to 30% of their income are from such systems; invest in the long game.
11. Rate Leads for instantly increasing sales
Approximately 70% of leads are not ready to buy from you when you want. This is normal, but you need a rating system that can easily show you when they are due a phone call.
12. Frictionless Experiences
Remove logins and other obstructions help keep the user on your site; which may lead to a potential sell or repeat business. Always remove friction like excessive reading, obscure menus and one button solutions.
13. Earning Trust Through Social Trust
As mentioned earlier social trust is required to enhance trust between businesses, without any trust there is never going to be a sale.
14. Personalization of Webpages
Use dynamic webpages that autogenerate content to personalize everything that can be for the user. This customization can include; name, location, industry and company. This aids with building trust and humanizing the system that you are taking them through.
15. Use Guest Posts to widen the net
Guest posts will increase your site traffic and will leverage the guest’s social media circles and affiliates to drive more site visits.
16. Renovate Stale Lead Generation with Novel Campaigns
Recycle older content and campaigns; make sure everything is used at least twice by adding a slight tweak to the content.
17. Publishing Inhouse Research that Brings the Fish to You
Publish inhouse research conducted by the corporation to bring users to your site. The better the research and the more interesting the presentation the better site throughput. If you start down this road make sure there is always more content in the research pipeline.
18. Freeware and Tools Help Generate Interest
Host freeware and useful tools on your site and advertise to the viewers during the download process. You can try and limit the data rate to get more facetime with the viewer; while they wait why not show them a video, popups or just a great call to arms.
Generating actual B2B sales is always possible, the trick to all this working however is making sure you generate the right amount at the right time of the right process. Find out Who your targets turn to for research, where they hang their hat, what is their decision-making process is and what their biggest fears are. Use your tools skillfully as a hunter, stalk your pray, use the bow at a distance and finish it in the end game. Unlike hunting remember also to keep the quality of interaction high and frequent if different mediums to maintain repeat business.