The ordinary B2B buyer isn’t excited by being bombarded by salespeople and their marketing messages. Ideally, their shields tend to be up most times and they seem to have heard it all before. Thus, how does one filter their marketing message in order to get a lead to listen? Additionally, most B2B solutions are a tard complex, in comparison to B2C. Furthermore, have a high degree of competition, high transaction value, involve multiple decision-makers, and have steeper consequences for failure. Hence, it’s no surprise why the decision cycle takes quite longer. So how does one acquire B2B sales leads?
What are B2B Sales Leads?
A B2B lead is a firm or organization that’s in your target market and is strong or neutral fit based on your marketing campaign. While a B2B prospect is an organization that is actively looking to solve a problem or an issue. It generally passes the lead stage and can make a buying decision once you’re engaged at a decision maker level. In retrospect, B2B Leads have a limited place in a sales pipeline as a typical B2B pipeline should contain only qualified opportunities. That means the motive of acquiring a lead should be ‘conversion into a prospect’.
Power of information
Carrying out effective acquisition of B2B sales leads requires a wealth of information about your prospects. Furthermore, leveraging this information and connecting with B2B sales leads in the most timely, relevant, and valuable way. In retrospect, the more expensive and sophisticated a solution, more bureaucratic the processes are before a purchase can be made. One of the contingencies to this is speaking directly with decision makers such as owner of an SME. As a result, the complexity is typically much reduced when a lead makes decisions directly since B2B situations are extremely competitive and technical.
Creating a B2B Sales Leads Process.
Processes give workflow, perspective and direction to achieve goals. In a B2B lead pipeline, a process helps you move between stages. Firstly, you need set goals for the number of leads in each of these stages. Secondly, measure and report against these goals on a weekly basis. How does it effectively differentiate my offering? Does my process distill complex messages and make them simple? Your B2B sales leads process should compress long sales cycles and drive faster decision making. Furthermore, creating leads above the sales funnel, hence enough opportunities reaching the pipeline, allowing your organization achieve its revenue target.
Channels to Consider
There several channels you can consider to B2B sales leads acquisition. Firstly, you can start with leveraging partner and network referrals. These can be referrals from allied professionals or sister companies. Specifically, this positions you as an expert and results in good close rates. These referrals aren’t really scalable though and sometimes you’re left to feed on scraps. Secondly you can consider leveraging client Referrals as an endorsement from an existing client can open most doors. Though this isn’t again as scalable or measurable. Additionally, trade Shows can be a great avenue to gain increased exposure and B2B sales leads.
Telemarketing & Appointment setting
Telemarketing done right with appointment setting can be the golden goose you need. Furthermore, it is highly scalable in terms of numbers and geographical location. This typically allows you audience with more leads, which in can increase your chances of prospecting effectively. Like targeted account planning, this can easily supplement your established sales process.
Data mining and analytics is no stranger to B2B pipelines. Some CRMs or comprehensive B2B tools can give you access to extensive databases of companies and B2B contacts. Furthermore, you can create lists of potential B2B sales leads and update the ones you already have with accurate data. Tools like LinkedIn Pay Per Click (PPC) allow you to target ads by industry, role type, company size, and geography. Other tools allow building of a comprehensive network of your connections from a collection of social networks including Facebook. Applying metrics to load the top of the sales B2B funnel!
It’s recommended to consider content like white papers, case studies, analyst research papers, comparisons and implementation guides. Specifically, this material is both educational and can be consumed by your leads. Furthermore, you can score their clicks, downloads and pageviews, then choose the highest scoring leads to prospect. Additionally, this content can provide you meaningful insights about lead behavior, based on their activities and engagement with your content. Similarly, getting promotion for further qualification creating a steady stream of sales-ready leads.
In conclusion, to enhance your acquisition process, consider industry-specific rep training, using marketing automation systems, sales intelligence, and prospect profiling. Stay relevant, informed, better connected as B2B sales leads demand relevance and expecting sales people to know about them. Furthermore, it’s no longer enough having a connection, it’s ‘technical know who’ at times. Remember, a lead is a person that can buy or influence the decision to buy. So, always remember to set sales goals and targets, build a process, fill the funnel then execute and measure.