Lead generation can be tricky. You have to do meticulous research first. Who is your audience? Why would they need you? You have to test different approaches then determine which one works the best for you. Once you figure this out, the process can be more manageable. Now, B2B lead generation is a whole new situation. It’s another level of difficulty.
From the name itself, B2B businesses seek out other businesses who in turn may be B2C (business-to-consumer) or also B2B. B2B (business-to-business) lead generation is the process of acquiring new leads for the business that markets and sells to another business. For example, a customer relationship management software company will seek out leads for other businesses because only businesses can have customers to manage. Similarly, a retail company for ready-to-wear clothes will generally seek leads for consumers.
So, the level of thinking when it comes to this kind of lead generation also branches out to the audience of your audience. Who is their audience, and why should their audience prefer working with a business like your potential client? This makes it trickier than your standard lead generation.
We understand that the pandemic has made things even harder. Lots of businesses have either closed down or have problems with finding quality B2B leads. Well, in this guide, we can help you with the basics of B2B lead generation. We’ll also help you identify the best B2B lead generations strategies in 2021.
Key channels for B2B lead generation
You can do B2B lead generation, online, offline or both. It can also be inbound, outbound or paid.
Inbound B2B lead generation is when you create blogs, Youtube videos, or use your social media sites such Instagram, Facebook and the like to gather interest for your business. You put out some content, and people are already interested in what you have to offer, so leads are coming into you.
Outbound lead generation is when you use cold email or send a LinkedIn message to a random person on the platform. This when you reach out to another person or company to drum up some interest for your business. You don’t know these people, and they don’t know you. As such, you have to try your best to create a strong impression to generate interest for your products and services.
Paid lead generation is any form of paid advertising to generate leads, such as Youtube Ads or Facebook Ads. It’s sometimes categorised as an inbound lead generation. However, it’s not as if these people know you and are coming to you. It’s also not outbound lead generation because instead of a cold email, you’re making them watch an ad so that they can click the link to go to your website. Paid lead generation is another pillar of B2B lead generation wherein you prospect for leads and then capture these leads to get their contact information and put them through your sales process.
Aligning your lead generation within your sales funnel
It’s important to define your sales funnel first before you can start generating leads. Don’t capture leads when you don’t know where to put them because these leads will end up getting lost and wasted.
Generally speaking, most leads aren’t ready to make a purchase yet after visiting your website for the first time or even after you contact them for the first time. As such, you must establish the sales funnel in the early stages. Leads require a long sales cycle before you can convert them into paying customers. So, instead of being shortsighted and focusing on immediate sales, be patient and build a strong relationship with your leads.
The typical sales funnel is a classic series of “attract → engage → convert.”
So where do you put captured leads in the funnel?
This is the first step in the process. This is when your target audience first visits your website or when you contact them for the first time. This is where you need to make a great impact on your potential client. You need to build trust and awareness first and not go directly to sales. Good relationships start with good first impressions.
Not all leads will be ready to make a purchase yet. In this stage, you need to communicate and strengthen your relationship with your leads. Do your research and find the pain points of your leads. Why do they need you? What benefits will they get?
This is the bottom of the funnel, and this is where you get your leads to purchase and become customers.
All three steps of this sales funnel are integral to the success of your B2B lead generation. You have to know where your leads are to figure out the best strategy to convert them.
We talked about how hard it is to find B2B leads because of the pandemic. Now’s the time to bounce back. What are the best ways for B2B lead generation in 2021?
B2B Lead Generation Strategies in 2021
As with all things in marketing, not all lead generation strategy will work on your business. As such, you need to analyse and test different strategies first and determine which methods work best in driving results for your business.
1. Use SEO for organic lead generation
Actively investing in SEO can improve your numbers. SEO works because it helps bring a large and recurring volume of visitors to your website, which is crucial in the first step of your sales funnel. Moreover, you don’t even have to pay for this amount of traffic. All you need is quality, well-crafted content.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what kind of clients you’re looking for— as long as you have a website, you should invest in SEO. By investing in your SEO, you are also improving your brand’s visibility and profitability.
A lot of factors can affect your search engine positions, but here are some basic steps on how you can generate high-quality B2B leads for your business:
a.) Keyword research- your content should match the search terms that people use. Otherwise, you won’t get any traffic from Google and other search engines.
b.) Create relevant content- you need to create value for your target audience and not the other way around.
c.) Generate leads from your content- you can do this in two ways: 1) by having a newsletter subscription form or 2) by having an attractive lead magnet such as a free ebook or free trial of a service.
2. Use live chat and personalised offers
We’re in the digital age, and it’s time to embrace it and use it to our advantage. Live chat is a great option to boost the B2B lead generation process. It increases customer engagement. It’s also the fastest and easiest way to reach out to your prospects and start a conversation with them and build a relationship in real-time. Customer support should come before sales. Find out how you can help your prospects with the services that you offer so that you can give them the best value possible. By offering timely replies, being transparent and giving personalised offers, you can get ahead of your competitors.
You will also benefit by following up with other prospects who initially showed interest but will be needing more time to think about your offers.
3. Get featured on review websites
Customers don’t want to hear from brands anymore. They’d rather heed the advice of a random stranger on the internet. It’s been found out that 90% of consumers read reviews first before making a purchase or even visiting a website for the first time. As such encouraging reviews on your platform or getting featured on review websites can be a much-needed boost to your website traffic.
4. Build a Facebook community for your brand
Facebook already has over 3 billion users. Imagine that sheer volume and power in one platform? Whether your target business is B2B or B2C, you can communicate with them using Facebook.
In 2018, Facebook has changed their algorithm. Today, the newsfeed prioritises posts from friends and Facebook groups you are a member of. As such, if you want to increase your organic reach and also build long-lasting relationships with your customers, having a Facebook community for your brand can be helpful. This can act as your direct line of communication and engagement with them.
5. Work With A Reliable Lead Generation Company
As we’ve said before, B2B lead generation is tricky, and it might not be something that belongs to your company’s strengths. As such, there is no shame in seeking the help of professionals. Experts in the field can help you reach quality leads so that you can save time and effort and focus on doing what you do best. B2B lead generation companies may require significant investment, but they also provide great ROI (provided that your sales team is also as capable). They have the knowledge, skills, tools, and experience needed to give you the best results possible.
The key takeaway
B2B lead generation can be done in many ways. It’s up to you now to decide what works best for your brand and business. Don’t forget that lead generation is not the end of the journey. Getting great leads is only the start. The next step is converting them into loyal customers.
How will you do it today?
If you would like to discuss how Boom Now can help you with your lead generation strategy please call 0413539700 or email email@example.com