Business to business (B2B) marketing requires entirely different strategies than when you are marketing to a customer. This is primarily because the target audience is so difficult to define – if you’re selling a chair to a customer, the person you are selling to is the target audience but trying to sell chairs to a business is not as simple. You have a buyer or buying team responsible for finding the right chair for hundreds of individuals, and they will be looking at costs, longevity, material etc more than style or colour, like an individual would.
This is why sales leads can be so important in the B2B world. Sales leads are how businesses find their potential clients, but getting hold of them is not as easy as you might think. There isn’t one magic place that all sales leads come from, and there isn’t a magic solution to generating more or increasing your conversion rate. You’re going to have to cast many nets and work hard to turn those leads into clients, so here are some top tips on where to start.
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With the world of work moving increasingly into the digital sphere, more businesses are finding their suppliers online. Cold calling has been replaced by social media, where businesses can interact with their clients through public posts and direct messages. Social media is great at promoting your brand and raising brand awareness; to convert this into leads you need to use it effectively. Link your social media profiles to your website, make it easy for potential customers to redirect from your posts. If you can get them off social media and onto your website, you’re more than halfway there.
Social media is a useful way to reach new audiences, although businesses do rely on people interacting with their posts.
Once potential customers make it to your website, you need a quick and efficient way of capturing their details so that you can add them to your lead database. B2B customers don’t have the time to leisurely browse like private customers do, and they also don’t have to time to fill in form after form, especially if they are visiting multiple websites and suppliers. Make it as easy as possible for prospects to enter their details, using something like a B2B data tool which autofills their data for them from entering a simple detail like an email. Not only does this save time for the user it can also increase conversion rates for your business as you now have a leads data all through an email address.
Another successful way to generate leads is to invest in content marketing. Rather than pushing your product on companies, seek to raise an awareness of the issues that your services can solve. You’re educating customers about why they need you, and that’s a really powerful tool. Use well-written blog posts, record videos and organise webinars. All this will help to elevate your status within the industry and promote you as a company, which will lead to an increased demand for your products and services.
Using content such as blog posts for readers to help educate them and explain why your product or service can benefit them.
Free stuff is hard to resist, so giving away a sample of your product is a great way to get people interested. Whether it’s an eBook guide, an instructional video, free app or browser extension, or any number of other digital products linked to your services, it will promote brand awareness and give you a really easy way of gathering leads. Make sure that whatever you are offering requires customers to enter their email address – straight away you have a quick and simple way of building up a database of leads which you can follow up with further email marketing.
The market in sales engagement technology is booming. Automated processes that sort and evaluate leads for you can help to save businesses time and money, and make sure they focus on nurturing the strongest leads. They can really help to streamline the process, setting reminders for follow-up calls and managing your email marketing. It’s only once a lead becomes a serious prospect that you need to nurture a personal relationship, so having more time to dedicate to this by delegating early stage interactions to a system can be really important.
Leads are the lifeblood of B2B sales and managing them correctly can be the make or break of your company. While there are no 100% certain strategies, employ a well-managed combination of different approaches and you should be able to amass a good collection of leads to work with.