Lead generation is never easy.
Make it B2B and it’s like navigating a maze with both of your legs tied together.. while you’re blindfolded.
This analogy might be a bit dramatic; I admit. But anyone who has dealt with a barrage of shrewd buyers and merciless competitors knows exactly what difficulties B2B firms face.
And if that’s not enough, there is a plethora of misinformation regarding business-to-business lead generation floating across the web. ‘Experts’ have crafted one-size-fits-all solutions that have little to no practical use.
Like always, there’s no single solution that can help marketers change their fortunes overnight. Any good strategy will involve careful analysis of the industry, buyers, your organization, and the services/products being offered.
Before explaining how organizations should approach generating leads, it’s important to understand how this process differs in B2B as compared to the B2C environment.
Difference Between B2B and B2C Lead Generation
Business sales are expensive and require enterprises to invest a significant amount of time and resources. B2B purchases take months to complete while B2C ones almost never take this long.
Another big difference is the scope of the audience. When one is targeting customers, the market is extremely large. This is both a good and a bad thing. Good because there are more potential buyers, bad because it’s hard to get attention in an oversaturated market.
Meanwhile, B2B marketers know exactly who they should be targeting. The sample size is small, and the promotional efforts are much more focused and personalized.
Businesses assess risks, evaluate options and single out the possible solutions. B2C decisions, in contrast, could be dictated more by feelings rather than relevant market research.
In short, businesses operate differently than individual customers and demand a lead generation strategy that’s distinctive and tailored around their specific needs.
Optimize Your Website for Lead Generation
Disclaimer: Different industries function...well, differently. As I mentioned before, there’s no magical solution that could help you generate millions of leads in no time. The below lead generation strategies is what I and many other professionals have found to be most effective for B2B enterprises.
Curate Content for Different Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
A sales funnel is divided into top, middle and bottom parts. Alternately, these are also called awareness, consideration and conversion stages of the journey. Creating unique and informative content for all of these stages would mean you keep the customers engaged throughout the whole process.
Here’s how you can go about it:
- Awareness Stage
In the top of awareness part of the journey, B2B buyers are generally beginning their research on different solutions that might fit their brand’s needs. This is where organizations should craft content that is easily accessible i.e; articles and blog posts.
- Consideration Stage
The prospect is now well-aware of its business challenges and starts to evaluate all the solutions available. You need to create content to explain just how your product or service solves its need. For instance, if you provide employee recruitment service, an eBook on ‘how to attract the best talent’ that includes relevant case studies would capture a prospect’s attention.
- Conversion Stage
Finally, the conversion stage is where your buyer now has a purchase intent. Here, you should give them a final push. Describe your product’s value, don’t be shy of boasting about your previous successes through customer stories and testimonials. Let them know you’re the best option.
Drive Your Conversion Rate through Strategic FOMO Marketing
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful factor. According to a survey by MyLife.com, 56% of social media users say they regularly open their feeds just so they won’t miss out on important events, news and status updates.
People don’t want to miss out on something they deem interesting, and this reflects in how they manage businesses. Limited times offers don’t just work on fashion-savvy customers looking to buy designer shoes, they are also effective for enterprises seeking solutions.
However, you have to get it right. Make sure you avoid the following mistakes:
- Don’t Be Overzealous With the FOMO Offers
Make sure to not go haywire and start a countdown on every page. B2B clients are much more skeptical and won’t have any trouble spotting false offers. Even if they don’t find out initially, clients who see ‘limited’ time offers still running after their expiration date won’t ever come back. This won’t bode well for your chances of establishing long-term relations.
- Don’t Market Offers that Don’t Exist
If you create limited offers, make sure to stick by them. Utilize these promotions for products that are going out of stock. There should be a solid reason behind any discounts you offer. Use FOMO and other discount offers strategically and they will do wonders for B2B lead generation. Otherwise, they would only damage your brand image.
Research Your Audience to Find the Best Prospects
It’s the age of information and customer information is available basically everywhere. Businesses shouldn’t have trouble identifying their audience and understanding their specific motivations and pain points.
Not only regular customers but enterprises too expect a personal experience these days. Personalized marketing is the key to increasing the value of your product and in turn, generating good leads.
- Study Your Current Customer Base Through Surveys
Your current customers could provide an authentic insight into your target market. Learn about their experience before reaching out to new clients. By regularly sending out email surveys, you can identify gaps in UI/UX and plot a course from there. Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook are good channels to engage social media-savvy businesses.
- Use Google Analytics and Salesforce Data
Data from Google Analytics and Salesforce plays a big role in conversion optimization audit and helps you pick out prospects that provide greater profitability and the highest conversions. These insights will help you develop tailored messaging that will go a long way in generating leads.
- Keep Pace with Industry Trends
Change is the only constant across industries. So, join communities of interest and groups on LinkedIn and Reddit that are related to your work. Learn what other B2B players are doing in your sector and what technologies are being leveraged to design superior experiences. Knowing industry trends will help you better grasp customer expectation.
- A/B Test Landing Page Content
There’s no better way to optimize your website than A/B testing. This process includes comparing two or more variants of a page to determine which will be better for conversion goals. You’d tweak one item, such as the heading to determine what’s your best option. This helps in driving engagement and decreasing bounce rates.
What makes B2B lead generation difficult is that a strategy for one business doesn’t necessarily work for another. One has to craft a strategy that works for your particular sales model.
Understanding your client's expectations and how they interact with your businesses is the key for B2B enterprises. The three website optimization principles work across industries and could provide a good base to build an effective lead generation strategy.