Lead Generation for B2B Businesses
It's not just a matter of the quantity of leads a company gets...it's the quality that really matters.
As discussed in our previous post about generating more leads, there are some fundamental steps you need to take to improve your lead generation. Those principles remain key to improving the quality of your leads.
Let's dig into this a bit more.
If you talk to everyone, you talk to no one. Don't think titles, though. Rather, think through a typical day of, say, 4-5 of your current clients. What does their family life look like? Are they taking public transportation or stuck in traffic on the highway for hours? Do they manage a large team and budget? Or do they have to solve problems on their own? Do they have a lot of competitors or are they in a niche market? Do they go to trade shows or association meetings?
As part of this exercise, think about not just the purchaser of the product, service or solution. Think about everyone who touches or is touched by the solution. IT departments. Employees. Vendors. End clients.
What do their days look like? The challenges and goals this exercise unearths gives you what you need in order to start preparing better content.
What to talk about online
Most lead generation these days focuses on digital leads, usually through your website, email solicitation, social media, directory and review sites, or researched lists for prospecting calls.
The leads you want are the ones who arrive at your website because something there answered a question they entered into Google. They voiced a problem and your site appeared as an authoritative answer and adviser on how to solve their problem. They've already done some homework, so the tire kicking is over and by the time they submit a form on your website, they are reasonably qualified. Once they read what was on your site and then submit a form requesting contact from your company, they are ready and educated enough for ongoing conversations or, depending on your content structure, for your sales team to reach out.
The only way this process works is to have content that is phrased the way people with a problem phrase the problem themselves. In other words, you need to provide content that talks about their problem and how to solve it, rather than content that talks about your solution. Period.
The subject needs to be the website visitor, not your company, product or solution. Yet few companies truly do this. Those that do quickly see the results.
What to read next
Help people understand how to structure the way to think about their problem, and what are the categories they should consider when evaluating solutions.
When they first realize something isn't working or needs to change, what questions do they ask?
Once they have a handle on the main way to approach their problem (e.g., business process automation, digital marketing, etc.), then how should they break down the types of issues involved (e.g., cloud-based software which integrates with other systems, consultant who advises what to do and manages marketing services, etc.)
Finally, what should they consider when choosing among options?
In other words, you want content that will support the buyer's journey from Awareness to Consideration to Decision.
This isn't linear, but you do want to help people out through the process by making recommendations. Remember - you already know "who done it" - the reader doesn't. Help them learn what they don't know they don't know.
Regularly produce new content
Depending on your target audience, blogs, videos or social media posts may be the best avenue for regularly producing content. The key is to produce it regularly!
Blogs are popular, especially as they continually expand your web presence and can be highly nuanced to your target persona.
In addition, when established correctly, you can leverage marketing automation and an integrated CRM so you know what content people are reviewing, helping the sales team customize their communications when following up on these new, quality leads you'll be getting.
Note - the spirit of this is to serve. Think about when reporting an insurance claim for, say, a cracked windshield. How many times do you usually have to repeat the same information over and over to the different parties involved in getting the windshield fixed? By noting what someone is interested in, you can save time for the prospect by addressing early on the apparent pain points and increasing trust that you can solve their problem effectively.
As part of this non-linear path, multiple formats will likely be used, and the point of introduction and entry to your company could be in a variety of places. Again, think about your audience. You don't have to be everywhere...you want to be where your potential clients are, and where they are when they are thinking about their problems. This means YouTube might be the right place for some "how to" videos, or Facebook Ads to appear when the potential client is taking a break from the problem at hand.
For getting started, though, blogging is the easiest, and can incorporate videos, if appropriate.
Tracking, Reporting, Analyzing
Not all leads are created equal. Make sure your website can log and report what content is viewed by whom, and do those views translate into sales (and, I would argue - profitable sales).
Similar to the quality over quantity focus - you want to ensure that the investment in the pieces of content being produced is being realized in customers whose Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and Lifetime Value per Customer (LPV) meet with your business' target KPIs. This required testing variations as part of your original content strategy.
Many stacked mar-tech solutions don't easily test, track and report, while others greatly facilitate this. The technology doesn't eliminate the human factor (bad data in, bad data out) - but the right technology can minimize the time required inputting data and assembling reports...time that could be used generating more - and better - leads!
Ready to get started?