This article is a comprehensive guide to B2B lead generation. It takes you through the lead generation life cycle. It explains in-depth how to get started if you are still new to lead generation. If you have been generating leads for your business. The article will show you new ways to generate leads. Also, you will learn strategies to optimize your lead magnets to lead to higher conversion.
Why B2B Lead Generation
The biggest challenge of B2B marketing has always been getting leads. The more the leads, the more the chance of getting sales. It is as simple as that. The sales process in a B2B framework begins with getting leads. Not just any leads, but quality leads that have been optimized for sales conversion.
The goal of every B2B marketer is to look for an avenue to get more leads. As simple and logical as this sounds. It is quite elusive for most marketers. With 61% of them saying that getting quality leads is their biggest challenge according to a recent study. For a novice, you might think this should not be a problem when you are at the cutting-edge of social media trends. Plus, your website is optimized for search engines. Your mobile applications have good reviews on the app store. Until you find out that it is people that buy products and services not technologies.
What is B2B Lead Generation
B2B lead generation can be defined as the activities involved in getting businesses acquainted with your product and services in other to make a decision. It is taking someone – who knows nothing about your business – through a systematic process to get them interested in doing business with you. As the name implies B2B means commerce between one business and the other. Which is quite different from B2C. Which means transactions from business to customer. For example, an eCommerce store selling different kinds of women’s clothing is operating a B2C business model. Because they are selling directly to the customers. On the other hand, Amazon AWS operates a B2B business model because they sell IT infrastructure services to other businesses.
Types of B2B Lead generation
Outbound Lead Generation
Outbound lead generation involves reaching out to businesses to drum up some interest. Regardless if they express interest in your content or campaigns. It could be either by mass emailing, or cold calls, or direct mail. One thing is common, which is cold. You are reaching someone “cold”. This means you are reaching out to a prospect who doesn’t know who you are.
Inbound Lead Generation
Inbound lead generation is a philosophy change in the way leads are acquired. Instead of sending cold emails, you focus on building a relationship with the prospect by offering assistance in form of webinars, blog articles, feature posts, and such. Then find a way to capture leads to further reinforce the relationship and offer your product too. With inbound lead generation, your leads are already “warmed up” depending on your lead generation process. As a result, you have a better chance of closing sales compared to outbound marketing. Where you send interrupting messages to prospects. Rather you empower buyers to make a better decision.
Some people categorize this as inbound marketing but we are going to put it as a third pillar. Because when you are doing advertising is not like people are coming to you. You have to prospect and find these people who have no idea who you are. Instead of sending them a cold email. You are kind of making them watch a video, YouTube ad, or Facebook ad, or sales copy to get them to copy the link and go to your website.
So, paid advertisements can be anything from Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google ads, and such. In fact, anywhere you can display your ads. That is a way of prospecting to generate leads. The whole goal is to get them to your website, capture their email address, and put them through your sales process. The whole goal of lead generation is to book a meeting and continue them through your sales process.
Lead Generation Process
1. Create an offer
Every inbound lead generation starts with an offer. Something perceived to be of value. it could be an ebook, or, whitepapers, or free consultation, or webinars. It is anything that would arouse the interest of your prospect. If you don’t have one already. you need to start working on creating it. Do some research to know what people are searching for. You could use Google trends and keyword tools to have an idea of what people are interested in. Then create quality content around it.
Call to action
A call-to-action simply tells the prospects what they need to do. Most often, it is usually a text or image that links to the landing page. Where your prospects can download the offer, or take any other action you want them to.
A landing page is usually a web page. Designed specifically to give information about an offer. As a result, you may not find other web page features save information on the offer. And how to get access to it.
Forms allow you to capture leads. There is no way you can capture leads without forms. With the form, you can specify the important information you will like to capture in your leads. Such as email, phone number, company, etc.
Tips to creating an irresistible offer
Creating an irresistible offer is important because customers have different options. As a result, they have to measure their option before making a decision. Different parameters go into making the decision. I will share some important criteria to create an irresistible offer.
Easy to understand
The first thing to be clear as possible. The online environment is very busy. With many things clamoring for the prospect’s attention. Therefore, avoid being vague in what you have to offer. So, prospects can see your offer at first sight. For example, a headline like “Drive traffic to your blog”. The latter headline is not clear enough. There are many ways to drive traffic to your blog. As a result, the headline may not be convincing enough. Now compare it to this headline: “Drive traffic to your blog with Pinterest”. You can see that this new headline offers a simple proposition that is easy to understand and easy to make a decision.
It is shocking to find out that people don’t buy what they need. They buy what they want. So, we either buy to satisfy our pleasure or ease our pain. Therefore, your offer, at first sight, should have a problem it solves. And prospects should be able to see it at first sight.
After having a clear and high desirable offer. The next thing is to make your offer easily accessible. The call to action should be a simple step. Nobody is ready to go through various hurdles to get an offer. Except if you are the only person giving that offer. Unfortunately, you are not the only person. Work towards making your offer highly accessible. By removing hurdles such as filling long forms, and such. For example, if you need to harvest leads for the sales team. The email is enough. There is no need to have long forms that contain fields you don’t need. This can reduce your opt-in rate.
Believable and Credible
Your offer should be credible and believable. When you are creating an irresistible offer in b2b lead generation. If you are sharing a free report or inviting people for a free webinar. Whatever is the offer. It should be believable. Since most offers in b2b lead generation are free. The is giving in exchange for leads. You should let them know the reason behind the offer. That way you will sound credible and believable.
High converting landing page tips
Keep it simple
One of the main strategies of creating a high-converting landing page is to keep it simple. A landing page becomes less converting when it promotes more than one offer. Therefore, to get the most out of the landing page you need to adhere to the rule of one. One message, one offer, and one call-to-action per page. Your landing page is different from every other page on your website. It is not for sharing information about your company. Neither is it for showing various services you offer. It is a simple page that is designed to convey a simple message. As well as, prompt a call-to-action.
Usually, your landing page will not have a navigation bar. Although navigation bars are an important component of a web page. However, when it comes to landing pages, it becomes counter-productive. This is because you don’t want to encourage visitors to leave your landing page until they have been converted. In this case, complete a lead capture form.
Have a clear headline
Your landing page should be able to convey the message in the first five minutes. This is because online users have a limited attention span. Also, our brain is wired only to pay attention to information that benefits us. We tend to gravitate to message we can comprehend easily without much effort. As a result, your landing page should be able to communicate your offer, and why they need it. All this has to been done in the first five seconds. It must happen at the top of the page without them scrolling down. Until you can capture your visitor’s attention at the top of the page, they won’t scroll down to see the rest.
Benefit instead of features
Yes. Talk about benefits instead of features. For example, if your offer helps to get traffic at a cheaper rate. The benefit will be saving cost on traffic generation. Another example is the Apple iPad. One of its profound features was the storage capacity. Instead of focusing on the storage and other technical specs. Rather they framed it as, a thousand songs in your pocket. This gave the customer a benefit they can visualize and easier to comprehend. So, first of all, think of the features that you provide your customer that your customer doesn’t. Or maybe they do and are not talking about it. Think of those features and think of the benefit the customer will gain from the features.
A good landing page needs either a testimonial or a case study. Featuring somebody who has already gone through the process you are talking about. Now video tends to work best here. Because they connect better than anything else. You can also use a text-based testimonial. Just ensure you include the real photo of the subject. It shouldn’t be too long. Just a few sentences max. Again, people don’t take the time to read these things. They just skim through. So, it should be a few sentences long and should be able to tell that story in those few sentences. Of where they were before they met you. Finding you, and then what their result looks like after they found you.