If you want to grow your business and compete in the evermore competitive business landscape that is today’s marketplace, you need to have the right customer sourcing strategies in your bag of tricks. Many businesses with compelling product or service offerings fail to get off the ground because their lead generation efforts don’t drive enough sales to remain competitive.
If you want to enhance your sales and marketing capabilities, you’re going to need to employ lead generation best practices and continuously test and improve your current strategies to ensure that you’re making the most of what technology has to offer. Neglect this aspect of your business’ operations and you will surely be unable to compete with the ever-changing landscape that is the business marketplace.
So What Makes Up Lead Generation?
Lead Generation is basically finding new customers and directing them towards your sales funnel through the provision of a value proposition. Traditionally, sourcing new customers used a combination of methods like phone calls and direct mail as well as some form of broadcast advertising like TV or radio.
These days, or since the advent of the internet, new channels are emerging all the time. The emergence of these channels has lead to the increasing complexity of the marketing function in general. Though the internet makes it easier for your business to reach out to its target audience, it also makes it easier for every other business to do the same. That’s why a new phenomenon has come into play: clutter.
In order to compete with all the promotional clutter on and offline, businesses have to be strategic in the way that they target new prospects. In the age of data and information, businesses need to know more about their prospective customers in order to effectively target them with marketing messages. Things like what habits your audience has and what their consumption behaviors are can significantly effect the best ways to reach out to them.
Proven B2B Lead Generation Strategies
There is an astonishing amount of content available circling this subject. The undeniable truth is that most of it isn’t great. Now that everyone has the ability to create content, the natural progression of things is that relatively great content becomes harder to find.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of proven lead generation strategies for businesses to adopt:
Align your sales and marketing teams.
There is usually a disconnect between sales and marketing departments in that because their functions are so specialized, they no longer see eye to eye in terms of immediate objectives. When these departments are properly aligned, businesses can realize a much more effective lead generation process due to the mutual support and common goal setting.
Make your lead generation campaign persona-driven.
Before any marketing can take place, a business needs to properly define their target audience. If not, how do you know what message will work best? The more you know about your customers, the better your business can create offerings that they find attractive. Take this one step further by developing buyer personas for your main targeted customer groups. Personas are semi-fictional representations of who your target customers are. With an appropriate buyer persona, making decisions about channels and materials becomes a lot easier.
Score and nurture your leads to make the most of your opportunities
Consider what your business considers to be a qualified lead. Is it based on demographic, company type or size, stage in the buying process or historical interactions with the brand? Different businesses define these characteristics differently and attribute quality according to which ones make a prospect more attractive. Develop a scoring system and nurture your best prospects to increase your sales conversion rates.
Leverage social media
Social media has become such a prevalent phenomenon that it has become hard to ignore. Since your target audience is most likely active on a social media platform, doesn’t it make sense to leverage it to acquire more customers? Not only can social media be used to reach out to prospects and instantly deliver marketing messages, it can also be used to gain insights into the needs, behaviors and motivations of your target audience. Remember that the more you know, the more effective you can make your campaign.
Supplement inbound tactics with outbound
Inbound marketing has become a buzzword and is pretty much all anyone talks about online these days. It basically involves a “pull” method of marketing whereby businesses attract prospects to their websites by providing something of value in return, usually in the form of content marketing. Whereas outbound marketing involves reaching out to customers through whatever media channel they habitually use. What most people forget is that outbound tactics still work and that the best lead generation campaigns consist of both inbound and outbound methodologies.
Wrapping Things Up
If you’re looking to enhance the abilities of your sales and marketing teams, then you should probably make sure that you’re addressing each one of these strategies. A holistic campaign means that you’re maximizing the use of technology but not too dependent on a single channel, just in case things happen to change, and they’ve been known to change quite a lot.
To maximize the results of your customer acquisition strategies, make sure that you continually test and improve your techniques in the long run. This will ensure that you’re always up to date with the behaviors of your target audience and you won’t come across any nasty surprises. Properly targeting your lead generation efforts will make your overall sales and marketing activities more efficient, saving time and effort while improving conversion rates.
May your prospects be plentiful and your leads highly qualified!