Hello and welcome to the Belkins overview of the basic techniques and methods that are a must for you if your goal is to make your B2B sales lead generation more efficient and less time-consuming.
It never hurts to review your methods and see if you can do more, right?
How to find B2B leads
If you want to generate leads for B2B sales, you don’t expect the opportunity to show up at your doorstep (we know that for sure because you won’t be reading this article otherwise).
To build a solid, efficient base of B2B sales leads, you take measures and start searching for the leads that want your product and will be glad to receive your value proposition.
However many companies lose their time and resources by looking for potential clients in the wrong place at the wrong time. Trying one trendy strategy after another, they fail to bring instant results. Also, in their search for the perfect lead generation formula, ignore the opportunities that are in the arm’s reach.
1. Don’t ignore your customers
Your current clients are your way to your B2B sales leads. By analyzing them, you outline the main things they have in common: from their geographical location, their average age, their company size, to their preferred type of enterprise software. Next, you determine the main issue that motivated them to seek your services, or the issue they solved with your services.
By doing this, you gain the data on the pain points of your potential client. These pain points should be the focus of your B2B marketing efforts. They give you an idea of how your solution must look and sound, so your B2B leads would respond and choose your company over other competitors. If you don’t do that, you put yourself at risk of letting your B2B leads solve their issues all by themselves and, logically, decide that they don’t need you.
People don’t like it when somebody tries to sell to them. When thousands of brands attempt to force a generic product on them, they start hating everything even remotely salesy. To them, direct product promotion is synonymous with indifference.
You don’t care about their needs. You have no idea about their goals or relevant pain points.
“The only thing that matters to me is my personal gain. I don’t care how you will be using my product, just buy it.” — that will be their takeaway from a generic sales message.
People don’t like it when somebody tries to sell to them.
To advance your B2B sales lead generation to a more efficient level without invoking the prospects’ wrath, you should move beyond sales and proceed onto the territory of marketing.
We prefer cold emails over the cold calls.
In the world of accessible information, cold calls lost their element of surprise.
Your B2B leads won’t take kindly to wasting 30 minutes of their time on listening to the description of a service that they can look up online. Therefore, they are very likely to hang up on your sales manager. They may not even won’t pick up the phone because the majority of your prospects isn’t going to respond to an unknown caller.
Meanwhile, cold emails are a completely different thing. Not only they are not as intrusive as cold calls, they provide an opportunity for the most productive and efficient strategy to this day: content marketing.
Yes, content rules even in B2B.
Some time ago, being loud and overbearing meant scoring a successful sale. Nowadays, times are different. The modern B2B sales lead generation is about being as interesting as possible.
Many startup owners make the mistake of buying B2B leads from lead generation companies instead of actually taking part in manually generating qualified and relevant leads.
Therefore, they spend their budget on the solutions that won’t work anyways. Such a miscalculation opens a whole can of worms: from failed deadlines and strategies to painful, tiresome crunches and spending a fortune of fixing all the mistakes.
If you want to find B2B leads that will stay with you, don’t try to buy B2B sales leads. Look for the leads that matter. Attract them. Reach out to them. Nurture them with communication and content.
Your creativity should be based on the points that are relatable to your audience. Also, it makes sense to segment your content marketing strategy by the stage of your sales pipeline.
By cleverly presenting articles, books, webinars, and videos at the right moment, to the right audience, you can achieve the result that you won’t get by buying email databases and non-exclusive lead lists — getting your B2B leads to look for you.
If your business doesn’t provide content, start creating it.
How to generate B2B leads with content
What is the first thing your B2B leads do in the beginning of their working day? According to Exact Target research, 58% of them start their routine with checking their inbox and keep doing it throughout the entire day.
They see hundreds of emails every day, so your emails should look particularly outstanding. Attach an article to your signature, follow up your B2B sales leads with an offer to send a guidebook or a case study - be as informative and non-generic as B2B rules allow.
You don’t have to be a YouTube celebrity to make a short and interesting video about your product. If you want to sell a SaaS product or something equally complex, using explainer videos is a must.
Your B2B leads will always appreciate a vendor who goes the extra mile to improve their experience even at the stage of email correspondence.
The easiest way to generate B2B sales leads. Find customers or relevant sources that can put your articles on their blog. Write an article that will touch up the key pain points of your B2B leads and send it to your partners for posting.
If you were a speaker at the event, you have a powerful credibility boost at your disposal. From sharing your presentation in your signature to providing a link to the article outlining the event and mentioning your name, you build trust and authority.
Pay extra attention to this one since most of the B2B businesses treat the forms on their sites lightly. From being very scrupulous and detailed, application forms have changed and became more laconic, so that your sales reps could receive the prospects’ contact data as swiftly as possible.
However, there is a downside:
not all products and services win from minimalism.
Let’s say, you’re launching a new IT-solution that is designed for tackling multiple issues, but your application form doesn’t allow your prospects to indicate the tasks they want your products to accomplish. Therefore, your sales executive receives minimum information, has little idea about the person they’re about to call and gives a mediocre presentation of the product instead of hitting the sweet spot.
The clients are less reluctant to acquire a product if they know everything about it and are convinced that it can help them with their specific problems. At the same time, they won’t share what’s troubling them with the manager because they want to see whether the product they’re interested in is made by the professionals who are well aware of the struggles in their vertical.
To break this vicious circle, you should make the first step by adjusting your application form according to the needs of your B2B leads. Add the fields that you think will be critical for a proper communication: company size, prospect’s title, type of task/issue they need help with, etc. With these additional fields, your sales executives will get more information in every B2B sales lead that reaches out to them, so their value proposition will be more personalized and relevant to your prospects.
This approach is particularly important for the companies that work in a highly specialized industry and have to be very certain they’re getting the right consumers.
2. Go after a higher value
Many B2B business owners believe in strength in numbers, and therefore make getting as many B2B sales as possible their priority. Due to this, they wonder how to buy B2B leads at low cost while they should be thinking about the quality of each B2B sales lead they get.
If you decide to buy B2B sales leads, you shouldn’t expect neither quality or productivity for more than one reason.
If the B2B sales lead generation agency you’re working with has ready lists of B2B sales leads, there is a high chance of your competitors having purchased these lists as well. Logically, once you launch your outreach campaigns, you will find out that at least 85% of your B2B leads have a vendor already and don’t need your services. That means 85% of your time will be wasted.
To change is human. Your leads are human. They change locations, sunset their products, go out of business, switch industries. Therefore, if you base your outreach on a list of leads that was gathered two years ago, up to 25% bounce rate and wasted time.
Quantity, not quality
What’s the point of purchasing and processing 10,000 low-cost leads if only 20 of them will (hopefully) become your customers?
Don’t be afraid to reduce the number of leads and launch personalized campaigns. You’re not losing prospective buyers, you’re separating them from the people who were never going to buy from you anyways.
Don’t be afraid to pay more — B2B sales leads for a minimum cost won’t bring you anything of value. Meanwhile, even a dozen of pre-qualified B2B leads can make a difference and, therefore, worth their money.
Don’t be afraid to pay more
Working with fewer B2B sales leads makes things easier for your sales teams since they have a more accurate image of their prospects and know exactly what to say. You also regain control over your time and workflow — no more getting sidetracked by invalid emails and wasting your working hours on figuring out why your recipients don’t respond.
3. Socialize more
Regardless of what digital age adversaries say, people don’t stare into their gadgets all the time. Gadgets free their users from being confined to the PC or office, allowing them to be more dynamic. Therefore, your prospects no longer stay in their offices from nine to five.
They are out there, networking, attending events, communicating with fellow experts and being social. If you want to get their attention and make them their customers, you should keep up with their activity.
It’s not that hard. Industry-related events are common nowadays. Not only do they vary greatly in their type and format, but also they provide lots of great opportunities for creating unique, authentic content and presenting your brand.
Earlier, we gave a few tips on how to generate B2B leads by becoming speakers at the event. However, this is not the only way to find B2B sales leads. Sometimes, sharing your experiences is more than enough to catch your prospects’ interest and make them more disposed towards receiving your message after the event.
How to generate B2B leads at events
If you have no experience as a speaker, but want to know how to generate B2B sales leads through event marketing, webinars are a viable option. If your colleagues have a couple of fancy case studies to explore, let them do it — everyone appreciates an expert willing to share some insights. Gather your teams, ask them if they would like to lend their expertise to the audience — and start preparing for the webinar.
If you’re confident in your organizational skills, you arrange the Open House at your company. With the right approach, planning and speaking skills, it’s a solid method of B2B sales leads generation that can deliver many types of content: social media posts, articles, and videos.
That goes without saying. Trade shows are your #1 opportunity to meet qualified prospects and convert your B2B sales leads into loyal buyers. While you shouldn’t expect from your sales reps to close the deal instantly, it never hurts to keep an eye on the upcoming events and have an engagement strategy prepared.
Conclusion on B2B leads
So, what do we take from these tips for B2B sales lead generation?
- Use content. Build an entire ecosystem around your brand using various content distribution channels. Experiment with format. Let your experts put their knowledge into words and share these words with your prospects.
- Be human. The ways of doing business are changing. It’s no longer about sitting in the office: it’s about being dynamic, reaching out first and delivering a wholesome, informative experience from the first email.
- Build relationships. Those who know how to attract people with common goals, know how to find B2B leads. The new age of B2B relationships puts understanding first and assertiveness second.
- Review your application forms. Something that could bring you a lot more relevant B2B leads than you’re getting now may be missing.
- Personalize your offers. Value quality and relevance over sheer volume.
- Attend events at least once a week. This is your source of fresh trends, new faces and connections. Whether you’re a speaker or a participant, you will discover many ways to expand your B2B sales lead base.
Bonus: how NOT to generate B2B sales leads
After encountering some wrong ways to generate B2B leads, we think that it never hurts to examine don'ts in addition to exploring dos.
So, let’s talk about the wrong ways to generate B2B leads.
Facebook and Co.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter work well for B2C and brand engagement. However, when we’re talking about business relationships and building B2B connections, you shouldn’t prioritize these social media over LinkedIn. Your B2B sales leads don’t go to Facebook to solve their business issues. They don’t take their work to social media platforms that are meant for entertainment and memes — neither should you.
This channel dominates the top of the most useless channels for B2B generation. Leave printed ads to worldwide brands. Your B2B leads are more likely to find you through the digital means. Additionally, printed advertising is quite expensive, so this is a completely unreasonable waste of your money.
How not to go wrong with B2B sales lead generation?
Whenever you approach the subject “How to find B2B sales leads?”, you should ask yourself “Who are my B2B sales leads? What are they thinking about? Where do they go when they need help?”
Then you should look at your Ideal Customer Profile. This rule applies both to B2C and B2B. Your ICP allows you to see what your target audience looks like, what values drive it and how your prospects prefer to solve their problems. When you sit down and outline the key points of your perfect customers, you are no longer confused about such things as creating content, choosing social media and building a value proposition.
So, if you want to build an efficient B2B lead generation campaign, try on your B2B sales’ lead shoes.