As Zig Ziglar once said: You’re out of business if you don’t have a prospect. It’s one of the most important factors in your business’s growth, and one of the most challenging: Nearly 70% of businesses report struggling with lead generation.
A key reason for that struggle is how much the sales landscape has changed over the last three to five years. Lead generation and nurturing look very different in today’s digital world, but that transition brings with it new opportunities, especially for B2B companies. We’re highlighting three of those opportunities that we’ve road-tested for lead gen success. If you haven’t tried these strategies yet, this is a great time to take advantage of new funnels to generate higher volumes of higher quality leads:
#1 Lead Gen Automation
How fast you follow up with leads plays a critical role in their conversion into new business. One recent study found that leads are nine times more likely to convert when companies follow up within five minutes.** Unless you have a massive sales team, that level of response isn’t feasible or sustainable. Automated marketing programs (AMPs) help fill the gap between a lead coming in and your team’s outreach, providing an immediate touchpoint while also moving prospects further down the sales funnel. AMPs make the most of captured leads – whether they’re through your website, a prospect list or a tradeshow – by providing:
- Sales follow up
- Service line/Product education
- Industry thought leadership
- Lead qualification
The complexity of your AMP depends on your growth goals, your sales strategy, your new business capacity and, often, your industry – some sectors have a lengthier new customer journey than others. An AMP helps nurture your leads throughout that journey, ultimately making the sales process easier and more successful. Interested in seeing how an AMP works? Learn more.
#2 Content Marketing & Thought Leadership
The concept of thought leadership is far from new, but there are more opportunities than ever now for leveraging it as a B2B lead generation tool, especially working in tandem with an automated marketing program. It’s remarkably effective at reaching higher-level business decision-makers. In a recent Edleman survey of those decision-makers, 58% of respondents indicated they spend one or more hours every week engaging with industry thought leadership. And that engagement can lead directly to sales. In the same study, 60% of business decision-makers said thought leadership directly led to their awarding new business to an organization. This kind of content can take many forms, including:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- White Papers
- Online Assessments/Quizzes
- Virtual Tradeshows
And a whole lot more – all tied to the goals of lead generation and lead qualification through online signups, registrations, requests and submissions. Need ideas for creating or leveraging thought leadership to bring in sales? Let us know.
#3 B2B Social Media Targeting
It’s been darn near 20 years (yeah, really) since Zuckerberg launched Facebook, and by now everyone understands the social platform’s potential to reach large audiences of consumers. But for B2B, targeting parameters are significantly more limited. There are ways to reach company decision-makers through Facebook targeting, but there are even more options with business-oriented platforms like LinkedIn, where you can target by:
- Employees at specific companies
- Job role/job title
- Company size
- Company growth rate
- User age/gender
- Education factors, such as field of study or degree
- User interests and behaviors
LinkedIn targeting can be effective at driving prospects into your automated marketing program, using thought leadership content to further refine and qualify leads and giving your sales team a significant advantage. It’s also a useful tool in lead nurturing, thanks to the platform’s retargeting parameters which allow your business to target prospects who have already visited your website or interacted with your brand.
All three of these strategies – automated marketing programs, thought leadership and LinkedIn targeting – can work hand-in-hand to create a highly effective lead generation and lead nurturing program and freeing your sales and management teams to do what they do best. Interested in learning more about lead generation support or sales outreach strategies? Schedule a discovery meeting.