I’ve worked with some of the big names for B2B lead generation in different verticals. My experience of B2B lead generation was slightly different then what I’ve expected and what I’ve been told earlier from the company itself.
After spending more than half a million on various digital advertising campaigns (targeted for B2B) and more than 100 working hours, we generated good number of leads. But I knew that we can significantly improve these numbers and this curiosity helped me learn two key things:
1- Almost 80% of decision makers in the B2B space don’t really want to be sold to.
2- Most of them are savvy to different sales tactics and therefore it’s difficult to grab their attention.
Then I did a reverse thinking and learned another two lessons.
- We have a kick-ass product in the targeted market and our competitors are far behind us.
- Those B2B decision makers don’t want to be sold to, but they definitely still need to buy.
- We need to give everything (at the right time and right place) to help them make a right decision.
After extensive research in PPC Ads, Social Media Marketing and SEO Activities, I’ve realized that none of these marketing channels work in one vacuum or give the same long-term benefits as a proven B2B lead generation strategy.
B2B Lead Generation strategy that worked for me:
1 – Blogging Consistently- We started a blog and start creating informative, problem solving and sharable content.
2 – The Skyscraper Technique – Heard about this? No? This is one of the best ways to make your content viral. You just need to follow three simple steps to execute this –
- Find link worthy content in your industry
- Create something even better, much better
- Serve your content in front of the right people
3 – Using LinkedIn from top to bottom – If you are in B2B market space, I assume you are already using LinkedIn, here are some ways to get more out of it 🙂
- Search and join groups where ideal customer and clients hang around. https://www.linkedin.com/directory/groups/
- Post your content in these groups shamelessly, Re-share 1-2 month old content in groups with different CTA.
- In those same groups, do a search for job titles of decisions makers. This could be CEOs, Marketing Managers etc. – whoever you want to talk to in the company about business.
- Since you’re in the same group, LinkedIn allows you to connect with these individuals without needing a 1st degree connection.
- Once connected with potential decision maker, send them an InMail presenting yourself and what you can do for them. (Be little smart by crafting your pitch message)
- Now If they don’t connect with you, go and look for contact information on their LinkedIn profile. If they don’t have contact info, go to their website and look for it.
- Use tools like Rapportive, AeroLeads to get contact details of prospects from LinkedIn(Doesn’t matter if you are connected or not).
4 – Buying Leads from Different Sources – Buying potential and “hot” leads from lead generation companies and classified listing websites like Yellow Pages, Sulekha or Just Dial etc.
Sometimes these networks can do wonders because cost per valid lead is relatively very low compare to other channels. Because the steps of lead nurturing and converting raw lead to valid lead is not involved most of the time (however this is different on business to business).
5 – Optimizing Online Repositories for Lead Generation – So we can simply optimize blog and website to make sure we start nurturing potential leads.
- Adding Social Media Buttons – Add social media buttons on your blog and encourage readers to share the same within their own network.
- Provide free downloadable content like EBooks, webinars, demos etc.
- Add blog subscription buttons so that people can get access to your content.
- Sharing informative videos and conducting a webinar can add more value to overall effort.
6 – Paid Marketing – Paid Ads (PPC , Facebook and LinkedIn Ads) can instantly generate high quality B2B leads for your business because they function to capture market demand.
I’ve added paid ads in last because I believe everyone who even tried paid search for B2B lead generation will continue doing it. The only critical part is “improvisation”, there is a huge scope to improve and optimize your paid ads by testing on multiple variables (I’ll cover specifically this topic in my next blog).
Conclusion – To generate the most qualified leads, you need to have things in place like lead scoring, lead nurturing, and someone trained who can actively convert the leads before they leave. There are so many ways to generate high quality leads B2B Leads by using various online marketing activities and trigger them to drive sales. There are tons of tools available today to save our time and easily connect us with the closest touchpoint of the potential lead.