The Mansfield Sales Blog

Guide to Generating B2B Leads

B2B lead generation can be complicated and there are wrong ways to do it. According to a Hubspot report, 61% of marketers find generating traffic as one of their biggest challenges. However, lead generation can be easy and successful if done right. While most marketers tend to believe it's best to secure as many leads as possible, that's not always the case. One of the best tips you can receive in B2B sales is “quality over quantity”. There are tons of different marketing tactics to help generate your business leads. But first, let's start by defining just what a B2B sales lead is. There are three different types of leads: cold, warm, and hot.

Cold lead- A predetermined criteria has found that a company or person is a potentially good fit for the product or service your brand offers but has not yet engaged with you. Rather than your company gathering this list yourself, a third-party lead generation company can provide the contacts. A cold lead is harder to convert. However, if you market the right way, you may capture their attention and turn them into a warm or even hot lead.

Warm lead- Factors such as showing interest in your product or service creates a warm B2B sales lead. This can be through a contact form, downloading content, or constant visits to your website. These actions point to your business getting close to a purchase.

Hot lead- This is also known as a B2B Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). A business is showing a strong intent to purchase something from your business or service, and you should reach out immediately. Targeting hot leads over cold leads is a strong recommendation in the business marketing world as you will save time, resources, and money. There are many different ways to judge when a lead is hot, and in this guide, you'll soon find out how.

We have created this in-depth guide for you to learn the greatest way to generate B2B sales leads and what not to do with them.

Outbound Marketing

There are two specific types of marketing that will help generate leads: outbound and inbound marketing. First, let's discuss outbound. This is often referred to as 'interruption' marketing. It uses methods to get a business message to a large number of people. Whether that be through print, TV, etc., this type of marketing has died down with the times. Blasting one message to multiple people doesn't meet the specific needs marketing calls for in this day and age, it's just too general.

Inbound Marketing

This type of marketing takes a different route than outbound. Instead of targeting a large group with one general message, inbound attracts the best prospects for your product or service. Knowing who your hot or warm leads are, you can send a unique message guiding, educating, and showing them why your product would be a benefit or solution to that individual. In this guide, the majority of the methods to generate B2B sales leads will come from inbound marketing tactics.

 

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How To Find Sales Leads

Unfortunately, leads don't always show up out of the blue. Sometimes you must research and go out of your way to find them. In this guide, you'll find in-depth ways to find these leads and generate a higher conversion rate. Don't waste time looking in the wrong place. Utilize your resources efficiently to find only the best leads for your business. This guide will cover content marketing, social media, human interaction, website optimization methods, in-person events or webinars, free and paid marketing services, and more to bring you the best leads. By the end of this guide, we are confident you will know the right moves to make to receive not only more leads but more money for your business or service.

Qualify Your Leads

The first and most important thing you need to do with any new leads is to qualify them. Lead qualification is the process of using marketing and sales teams together to increase the likelihood of a prospect making a purchase. This step will take place during the inbound marketing stage. Your company's marketing team finds their info through whichever channels, i.e., email subscriptions, social media, or contact forms. From there, the marketing team will decide if this lead is an ideal customer. If the answer is yes, they will move on to the next step: hearing from a sales rep. The information the sales rep hears from the prospect is vital, and they will find out if this lead is genuinely attainable. Qualifying your leads keeps your team from wasting time on leads that may not work out, keeping you away from better and more substantial leads.

Lead Generation Through Content Marketing

Content is king when it comes to lead generation. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 80% of B2B marketers will use content marketing efforts for their lead generation methods. Marketing your content can be done in many ways: campaigns, email marketing, blogs, SEO, video, or photo. The power of the internet is infinite, using this to your advantage and making a human connection that attracts potential customers through communication and content can show you many potential prospects. There are critical things to keep in mind when creating content. As we mentioned in the first paragraph, quality over quantity is essential. Too much information can lead to a prospect feeling too much pressure and overloaded by pointless details. Make your content meaningful, relatable, and timed right. Let's take a look at some of the popular content marketing methods.

Emails:

The average worker begins their day by checking their email. However, it's common for people to skim through emails or skip viewing them all together. An email needs to be appealing to the viewer and requires a call-to-action (CTA). It can be challenging to convert a cold list of contacts to opt-in to receive future campaigns. Purchasing a list can also have some adverse effects. It could get marked as spam and on email, campaign websites could mark you down for going this route. It's best to create a list of contacts that opt-in.

However, when you're trying to generate leads, this can be difficult to find new potential customers. There are different email campaign platforms to choose from that could end up being cost-effective to scale B2B lead generation efforts for your business. Research online the other choices and choose the best tool that works for your business and specific lists. For example, ClickBack takes your purchased list and runs it through various health and anti-spam risk checks. Using software will clean your list to improve bounce rates.

Try creating a personalized email campaign. To do this, find the profiles and behaviors of your prospects and then target what they may want or need. Instead of using a template, create your design and make it unique. Identify the key features of your product and service and how they will benefit the recipient. Personalization is essential if you have no prior relationship with your target.

If you are creating an email campaign that target contacts you already have, do not be shy. Show them what's new with your product or service and how it can continue to help. Never forget your call-to-action, this will make it clear to potential customers what action they need to take next, and if they follow this action, it will generate a warm or hot lead.

Blogs:

There is no better way to get your business's information and knowledge out than an informative blog. Don't believe us? Demand Metric found that companies with blogs have an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that do not blog. It's a fantastic selling strategy, and it won't cost you much. It proves to potential customers that you want them to learn about your product, business, or service. It can be challenging to have a human connection with a customer only online. However, if you create meaningful blogs that give insight, it provides customers that 'human interaction' feeling back. Try not to write blogs only to get a certain amount out there. You want your blogs to be educational and show why someone would benefit from your product or service. Being too general can lose your potential leads and even turn away warm or hot ones.

SEO:

Search Engine Optimization can go hand-in-hand with blogging. Creating a website or blog needs to be SEO-friendly. SEO means using keywords that visitors will likely use when searching for information on a search engine. Let's dive into SEO strategy and the best way to do it.

1.     Keyword Research

To develop good keywords, you need to do your research and have a brainstorming session with other people from your business. Figure out the best and most popular ways to describe your business and how someone would search that up. You can even use Google to figure out the best keywords that will result in organic traffic to your website.

2.     Prioritize Keywords

After you finish your keyword research, you must prioritize them. Which words are the most important, and how many times should you use them? If you stuff a keyword in too often, it can knock you down in the search engine rankings or even cause your content to be removed entirely. Find out how competitive a keyword is online before you invest too much time trying to rank for that. There are times you'll want to choose a lower search volume keyword that would be easier to rank.

3.     Create Quality Content

Now that you found your keywords and prioritize them, it's time to make content using them. Combine your content and keywords with solid optimization and internal linking to get a higher rank on Google (or other search engines)

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Get Lead Generation Through Social Media

The power of social media is strong, and you should use it to your advantage. New trends in social media happen every day. If utilized correctly, you can change cold leads into hot instantly. The number of people worldwide who use social media gives your business a higher chance of getting your message across to a large audience. Let's look at the different social media channels and how you can use each one to your advantage.

LinkedIn: A platform designed for more than people and businesses to connect to find future business opportunities. It's a great tool to generate B2B sales leads. With more than 760 million active members, you can use its tools to find target customers with filters like their company, location, industry, and more. These tools make it easy for you to shift through who would be good leads and who wouldn't be. It's also super easy to connect with someone and send a message!

Twitter: Another social media channel that allows you to find potential customers. On Twitter, you can find 'less business' and more 'personal' information about a lead. If you have any potential leads, try checking out their Twitter account to see what can be useful to reach out to them and grab their attention. Also, using your company to post to Twitter and using hashtags can help people looking for information.

TikTok: A new app that has gained so much traction, with more than 689 million users. The app is a great way to get your business or service out there by using trends, hashtags and connecting with people who have your business motives in common. They're even helping businesses out with their Lead Generation ad option. It allows brands to capture user data directly from their video ads. To do it, fill out a Lead Generation form. From there, the information will be stored on TikTok and downloaded at the time you choose; data can be integrated into your CRM (customer relationship management).

Facebook: Another great social media tool to utilize that is often overlooked for B2B sales. One of the most popular uses of Facebook has come from Facebook groups. With over 1 billion people using groups to communicate, you can find one tailored to your business and find other companies to offer your services.

Optimize Your Website

Now that you know how important content is on your website and social media, it's essential to optimize it. Specific keywords or advertisements should take a potential lead to a landing page created from that CTA, but make sure it offers the solution that the person was looking for when clicking the advertisement. They want more information on the product, now give it to them! Have your visitors fill out a contact form, subscribe to E-blasts, and even offer a gift or coupon for signing up. Make sure to use the SEO strategy we mentioned above to rank higher in search engines as well.

Direct Mail and Human Interaction

Mainly, we have discussed the ways internet marketing strategies can boost B2B sale leads. However, don't forget about the impact of human interaction, like direct mail. Creating a well-executed direct mail campaign can bring in revenue. An 'in-person' campaign can make you different from competitors as you're giving hot and warm leads information in hand with maybe a free brochure, stickers, a t-shirt, or anything to make you stand out. It's different from an email, and many businesses left this strategy behind as technology advanced.

Another way you can incorporate human interaction is through live events.

Webinars: This is a great way to generate leads. Having your team for your company put together case studies, statistics, and data to show new potential customers will show trust and quality in your business or service. Plus, speaking to a live audience gives that level of human interaction the online world can't always provide. Keep in mind, those who show up to this webinar in person are most likely a warm or hot lead as they took time out of their day to come and learn more.

Trade Shows: In person trade shows all you to physically show your product or service to potential leads. Look at any upcoming events near your location to find where you can showcase what you can offer. Those visiting and taking the time to hear you out are great leads that you can incorporate into future marketing campaigns.

Open House: Depending on the service or product you offer, allowing people to come into your company and see it with their own eyes is a great strategy to implement when wanting to generate new leads.

Publish Research and Case Studies

Potential B2B buyers will do their research on you, making it essential to publish your research and case studies on your product and or service. Research and studies could include white pages, in-depth reports, and reviews. You can then take the data you find for this to transform your inbound lead generation. It will show you are an authority in your industry and know what you're talking about. It will generate strong SEO backlinks.

For case studies, think about how analytical B2B buyers usually are. They need proof and make ROI-minded decisions before purchasing. Case studies are your chance as a business to prove their purchase or investment is worth it. Case studies are used best during the middle-to-end stages of the lead generation process. Make sure to share and promote your case studies and are also easy to locate on your website.

Free Marketing Services or Paid Work

Did you know there are tons of free online marketing services that can help you generate leads? You want to be listed on online software directories. It can increase potential prospects and leave valuable information on your company. If you're going to go big and help generate new sales leads, you can pay for a service to help you. If you're a smaller company and don't have the time or resources, it's a significant investment to see an ROI. Generating sales leads is key to making more money for your business. So please, spend the time and money to make it happen!

Why Quality Over Quantity Is Important

Throughout our guide, we've mentioned quality over quantity. We want to explain that a little further so you're not making this mistake of overproducing content that could ultimately lead to fewer and cold leads. It's important to note both are essential assets to have, but it's best when they are balanced. Older methods used to believe that overproducing content would help.

However, it was chasing dead leads that did nothing for them. Taking your time to produce quality content for real prospects has a higher chance of increasing and generating leads. To test both, make sure you monitor your progress and analyze what method is working and not working. However, it is more likely that a qualified lead will result in a higher ROI, but the ultimate goal would be to have a healthy balance of both. 

General Content Marketing Pitfalls

Don't worry; we aren't trying to confuse you. We've mentioned above how content marketing can be exceptional at driving up potential prospects. We are specifically talking about 'general content marketing.' It tends to be misused in the business-to-business world. Content marketing only works when you have a plan implemented, researched, designed, and found the appropriate audiences you need to reach out to. It can't just be 'general.' Ensure you have a designated message for certain audiences. Otherwise, that message could get lost, leaving you with cold or lost leads.

 

 

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Conclusion

We know this can be information overload, but we hope our ultimate guide helps you generate more B2B leads than you could imagine. Try all of the tactics above, find what works for your business, get a plan together, and make a move. You have the tools and power to generate leads. Just make sure to create quality content, call-to-actions, unique landing pages, and meaningful email campaigns! Don't give up if you have a product or service to sell. Don’t forget to create a unique message that will show the benefits they'll receive from it. We guarantee you will see an increase in leads and a higher conversion rate.

Topics: Sales Strategy

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