Smaller budgets and bigger growth goals call for lead generation, B2B style!
Lead Generation (B2B especially) is a crucial component of any successful marketing and sales strategy, particularly for businesses looking to accelerate revenue growth through account-based marketing. Tactics such as defining buyer personas, analyzing competitors' web pages, and even developing excellent video and written content are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to formulating a winning strategy.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll investigate techniques that have been successful in creating high-quality leads for B2B businesses. We’ll also take a closer look at the best tools for targeting profitable leads and why quality is considerably more important than quantity.
Let’s dive in!
THE IMPORTANCE OF LEAD GENERATION IN B2B MARKETING
Generating leads is essential for B2B marketing teams. How do we know? Check out these top benefits along with the reputable studies that support them:
Lead generation B2B promotes revenue growth 💰
Effective lead generation strategies contribute to business growth, period. According to Demand Gen’s 2023 Benchmark Survey, 59% of B2B marketers said that yes, revenue growth is attributable to marketing-source leads and cited that high-quality leads were most important. Of those surveyed, 30% said that lead generation accounted for 11%-25% of their revenue.
Lead generation makes it easier to discover high-value prospects
Lead generation helps businesses identify potential customers who have shown interest in their products or services. It allows you to target your marketing efforts towards a specific audience, increasing the chances of converting leads into customers.
B2B lead generation achieves proven ROI
Lead generation allows for better tracking and measurement of marketing efforts. That’s probably why it was voted one of the top six most important marketing metrics and KPIs for measuring marketing effectiveness according to a recent HubSpot survey.
By utilizing lead generation tools and analytics, businesses can monitor the performance of different campaigns, identify which channels are driving the most qualified leads, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their marketing strategies.
Laser-focused lead generation targeting converts more leads
With targeted lead generation strategies, you can attract leads who are more likely to convert into customers. This leads to improved conversion rates, as you focus your efforts on individuals or businesses who have already shown interest in your offerings.
B2B lead generation can create a competitive advantage
By identifying and engaging with potential customers before your competitors do, you can establish a relationship with them and position your brand as a preferred solution provider. Instead of casting a wide net, lead generation tactics such as account-based marketing make it possible to personalize and target marketing campaigns toward specific accounts.
The result? More relevant and engaging interactions, increased conversion rates, and a higher likelihood of acquiring valuable customers.
Plus, nurturing relationships with these same personalized communications will help your brand establish trust, credibility, and loyalty, leading to long-term customer relationships. Talk about a win-win.
Lead generation perfects timing for B2B sales
Lead generation allows you to target your marketing efforts towards specific demographics, industries, or job roles. This targeted approach ensures that you are reaching the right audience with the right message, increasing the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
B2B lead generation syncs marketing and sales teams
Lead generation facilitates better alignment between sales and marketing teams. By generating leads and passing them to the sales team, both camps can work together towards the common goal of converting leads into customers, fostering collaboration, and improving funnel efficiency.
ESSENTIAL LEAD GENERATION CHANNELS TO CONSIDER
The channels you choose matter just as much as the content you create for them. There are countless ways to approach selecting, optimizing, and publishing across each potential marketing and sales funnel. But as long as you know these six main categories of lead generation and nurturing channels, you’ll be well on your way to better understanding which is right for your objectives.
HOW TO CREATE FOOLPROOF BUYER PERSONAS
B2B lead generation starts with understanding your target audience. And creating buyer personas is one of the most effective ways to do this.
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on real data and market research. By developing detailed buyer personas, you can tailor your marketing efforts to better resonate with potential leads and improve your overall sales process. Although there’s more than one way to make a buyer persona, these tried and tested steps are a great place to begin:
Step 1: Identify Target Audience Segments
To create accurate buyer personas, begin by identifying the different segments within your target audience. Use tools like Google Analytics, CRM data analysis or social media insights to gather information about these segments.
An even more powerful way to gather data on high ROI leads is to use a platform like RollWorks to gather firmographic data such as company size, industry, and location, as well as technographic data, intent signals, and online behavior all in one place.
RollWorks leverages machine learning and predictive modeling to analyze this data and identify relevant segments based on shared characteristics. This makes it simpler for marketers to target specific accounts or personas with their campaigns.
Step 2: Analyze Behavior Patterns
Once you have identified key audience segments, analyze their behavior patterns online. Look at how they interact with content, what channels they use for communication, and where they spend time researching solutions related to their needs.
Step 3: Segment and Group Data
Analyze the collected data to identify patterns and similarities. Group individuals or accounts based on shared behaviors, preferences, interests, or needs. This segmentation helps in creating distinct buyer personas.
Step 4: Creating the Buyer Persona Profiles
Based on the segmented data, develop comprehensive profiles for each buyer persona. These profiles should include…
Preferred channels of communication
Key decision-making criteria
Step 5: Review and Refine
Regularly review and refine the buyer personas as you gather more data over time. Monitor how different personas respond to your marketing efforts and adjust the personas accordingly.
You may find that new personas crystallize or ones you’ve used before are continuing to stand out. Regardless of the results, this process will ensure that you maximize the potential of your lead generation investment.
TOP LEAD GENERATION COMMUNICATION TOOLS FOR B2B
Businesses must purposefully adapt their lead generation strategies to stay ahead of the curve. The best way to do this is to implement automated communication tools and personalize interactions with potential leads. Here are some highly effective examples:
Automate email marketing. Email automation platforms like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign allow you to create targeted workflows that send out customized messages at specific touchpoints in the buyer's journey.
Create segmented lists. Group prospects based on factors such as industry type, company size, job title or past behavior.
A/B test subject lines. Experiment with different phrasings to determine which combinations yield the highest open rates.
Monitor and optimize. Regularly review your campaign analytics to identify areas for improvement.
Offer incentives and exclusive deals. Offering incentives like discounts or exclusive access to premium features through website popup forms and SMS texting can boost subscription numbers and generate leads.
11 PRO TIPS FOR BOOSTING ENGAGEMENT NUMBERS ACROSS ALL PLATFORMS
When generating leads, you have to consider how you’ll both get and keep their attention. 👀
Here are some tried and true strategies B2B marketers can use to stand out…
And here are some tips for how to keep leads engaged after they’ve taken the bait 🎣
Even if your budget is smaller than usual, you can use these three core B2B lead generation practices to improve results without taking on new channels:
*Bonus: Incorporating social media marketing and adapting your content to each outlet can also cater to the growing number of mobile users in the B2B space.
EFFICIENT LEAD GENERATION STRATEGIES: TEMPLATES, REVIEW DIRECTORIES & QUALITY LEADS
One of the best-kept secrets for how to save time and generate high-quality leads is templating. By using templates, marketers can have new, brand-approved, and ready-to-use resources catering to various industry needs at their fingertips. Here’s why we love them:
Consistency. Templates ensure a consistent look and feel across all your marketing materials, strengthening brand identity.
Ease of use. Pre-designed layouts make it easy for non-designers to create visually appealing content without needing extensive design skills.
Time-saving. With templates at hand, marketers can quickly produce new content or update existing materials as needed.
The other best-kept secret for B2B lead generation success is review directories. Participating in B2B review directories (think G2, Clutch, etc.) is another effective strategy for attracting potential leads actively seeking solutions within your niche market segment. Not sure if it’s worth investing in? Here are the main benefits:
Credibility. Being listed on reputable review sites enhances trust among potential customers researching their options online.
Inbound traffic. A well-placed listing with positive reviews drives organic traffic from interested prospects directly searching for solutions like yours. Bonus points if organic user screenshots and videos are included!
User-generated content (UGC). Reviews serve as authentic UGC that boosts SEO rankings while providing valuable insights into customer satisfaction levels and areas requiring improvement. We also love that UGC can be repurposed into quotes for website product pages, case studies, and even social media content.
By incorporating templates and review directories into your lead generation strategies, you can streamline marketing efforts while attracting high-quality leads more likely to convert into customers.
MAINTAINING B2B LEAD GENERATION GROWTH = CLEAN LISTS + FRESH CONTENT
Keep your lead generation strategies on track by maintaining clean lists and regularly posting fresh, engaging content.
Keeping CRM Databases Up-to-Date
Regularly update your CRM database to ensure marketing teams are reaching out to potential leads who are still interested in your products or services. Your regular checklist should include…
Remove or combine duplicates
Delete unsubscribed contacts
Update outdated information
Grade leads based on your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) Fit and engagement levels
Automate the process of discovering new accounts that haven’t yet been added to your CRM by filtering through firmographic and intent data
The Importance of Regular Content Updates
Attract new prospects and improve search engine rankings by consistently posting fresh content. Although this process can go very deep and detailed, this overview can form the skeleton of your own custom in-house process:
Create a detailed editorial calendar outlining topics related to your business niche.
Use lead magnets, lead capture forms, and Facebook lead ads to capture potential leads.
Maximize your social media strategy by using it as a marketing tool to promote your content and capture leads.
Improve conversion rates by using email marketing to nurture leads and guide them through the sales process.
GUIDE PROSPECTS THROUGH THE FUNNEL AT LIGHTNING SPEEDS
Bottom line: lead generation is one of the most essential and rewarding forms of marketing for B2B brands. Effective lead generation in the B2B space requires a strategic approach that combines buyer personas, competitor analysis, and content marketing. After choosing your channels and communication tools, you’ll need to develop rock-solid buyer personas to maximize engagement. Then, all that’s left to do is optimize your process and regularly update your CRM and content.
With the information from this guide in mind, you’re ready to take that strategic next step toward growing revenue!