B2B Lead Generation: 8 Tactics to Transform Your Approach
Once upon a time, sales was predictable. You had a product — it might have been the only one on the market — and you sold it to the people that needed or wanted it. But times have changed.
Now, your product probably has at least two major competitors and a ton of others offering something similar. With such a saturated market, standing out is imperative, especially when it comes to capturing the attention of potential leads — the folks who barely know you and are getting inundated with sales emails from you, your competitors, and the tons of other tools on the market trying to get noticed.
Luckily for you, we've got some tips on creative ways to connect with B2B sales leads and move them through the funnel fast.
Use your support team
Support channels are often an untapped resource for connecting with leads. For instance, if a lead asks about a feature or has a simple question, your support team can answer, then send them over to you for more in-depth, one-on-one guidance. Perhaps on a phone or video call.
Outreach to your support team is a good sign the lead is engaged and interested in learning more about your product. Joining in with a high-touch assist can help you show even more value and kick-start your sales relationship.
You can also leverage customer support to find leads by responding to inquiries on sites like Quora. According to a Forrester report, 59% of buyers prefer to do research online instead of interacting with a sales rep because reps generally push a sales agenda rather than offer any actual help. When you answer questions or provide support, you gain the trust of your leads and make the sales process much smoother.
Scan your marketing content
Before making a purchase, B2B buyers spend 27% of their time doing research. A majority of them (77%) also identify their purchase experiences as "complex or difficult.” Your marketing content has the power to solve both of these for your B2B sales leads.
Pay attention to what’s happening on any of your marketing materials. Watch for blog comments and Twitter responses just as you did with your support inbox. Even better: consider adding a chatbox to your marketing pages, and invite users with questions to reach out there.
These personalized touches let the sales leads come to you, rather than you seeking them out. They're already going to be on your site researching your product, so help them save time in their purchasing process by making it easy for them to get started.
Create evergreen content
Misalignment between sales and marketing teams costs companies 10% or more of revenue per year. On the other hand, 56% of companies with both teams aligned met their revenue goals, and 19% exceeded them. One surefire way for sales and marketing to collaborate is on content.
Marketing can produce content that attracts new users and kickstarts a relationship of trust by providing immediate value. Your sales team has key insights on customer needs that help make that content truly meaningful. When both teams contribute, the result is more value for readers and more leads.
A great example of the benefits of sales and marketing working together is this case study of SnackNation. SnackNation, as a company that sold snacks to offices, really struggled with getting inbound leads. Their SEO wasn't compelling, and their market for B2B sales leads was pretty slim.
They decided to go after a bigger target audience and created a massive post about "employee wellness." Their marketing team knew that this was an attractive search term for a more substantial audience. They worked to make the post even more extensive than any of their competitors, including more information and more in-depth research.
Creating the post ended up being the best strategy that they could have used for lead generation. The post skyrocketed and, despite being extremely old, continues to generate tons of traffic and leads for them to this day.
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Give them something free
We're not talking about socks or notebooks or pens, either, although those things can often be appreciated. Offer your new B2B sales lead a free tool, like a more lightweight version of your main product, or something that works well in tandem.
This strategy lets your leads take your product for a test drive before they have to commit. It also gives you a robust opt-in offer that drives high-quality leads into your sales funnel.
For everyone that signs up for your trial or lightweight product, you'll have contact information and data about their in-product habits. You can customize your pitches and reach out strategy to make sure that their buying experience fits them like a glove.
Score your leads
Have you ever heard the saying, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink?" It's the same way with B2B sales leads. No matter how ready you are to sell to them, if they don't want to buy, it's just not going to work.
When it comes down to it, 73% of leads are not ready for a sales pitch. Some need nurturing, others need to try your product out, and some might even be comparison shopping.
Research the habits and score your leads accordingly. With this information in your back pocket, you can better prioritize who you’re spending time on and dedicate your efforts to those who are most likely to actually become customers.
You might also cut down the number of emails your team needs to send before hearing back. Trust us, those repetitive cold emails are annoying for both your team and your customers.
Experiment with content
On average, B2B sales leads encounter 13 content pieces from your brand before they’re ready to purchase. Research from LiveHive also found that leads are much more responsive when sales reps include case studies and other useful, well-researched content in their outreach.
The time to experiment with your content is now.
Consider trying something that your company hasn't done before, like video, or joining a new social platform. 88% of marketers report a positive ROI from using videos and other forms of interactive content.
Instead of just leaving it up to chance, if you gate your content or give readers the option to embed and share it quickly, you boost your opportunity to get leads and a broader social reach.
Speak at or sponsor events
Did you know that only 29% of buyers want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product? All of the rest would rather do some form of self-guided learning, either by reading blog posts, watching demos, or hearing their colleagues talking about it.
Speaking at, and sponsoring, events is a great way to open your brand up to those self-guided learners. If you're giving a talk, you can talk tangentially about your product and any testing you're doing. If you're sponsoring, you can do demos for people that want it — otherwise, people can learn from any materials that you have at your booth or on vendor tables.
Events are a great passive way to gain additional B2B sales leads you might not have touched otherwise.
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There are so many creative ways your team can find quality B2B sales leads. So, don’t be afraid to get experimental with it. If something doesn't work, you can quickly pivot. If you stumble upon something awesome, maybe you can turn it into a conference talk or evergreen content and keep the flywheel going.
Have any unique lead generation techniques you and your team have used? Feel free to share them in the comments below.