We have discussed the 8 proven ways to nurture leads and increase sales to help you convert those leads in your sales funnel to paying customers.
Additionally, we have walked you through the 7 best practices to optimize your conversion forms to get more leads, which leaves us with yet one of the most important topic about leads: how to generate more leads to grow your business.
Lead generation, of course, is where the journey of the paying customer starts.
As millions of companies crowd the B2B universe and compete for business, the need to adapt to changing B2B landscape realities has become more crucial. Failing to do so is plain business suicide. Lead generation takes the forefront of such a business mindset, which makes it extremely important to stay up to date on the latest lead generation trends, technological advances and your customer base.
As a B2B organization, there is one thing you just cannot live without: sales. To hit your sales target numbers, you need to focus on quality lead generation, on prospects who are most like to engage with your business, ultimately resulting in more closed deals. You may want to read our guide on SaaS lead generation best practices to learn how to get more sales in SaaS.
But quality lead generation is easier said than done. If you were among the 85% of B2B marketers who believe that lead generation is the most important content marketing goal, you could easily be faced with the sobering fact that only 5–10% of qualified leads successfully convert to actual sales.
What this means: any sales funnel is only as strong as the leads that flow through it. How then do you get those quality leads? Lets break down some of the strategies to generate more quality leads.
Lead generation strategies come in various creative and logical digital channels via the internet. What it is ultimately about is intelligent business positioning—placing your business where the audience is with an eye for the best return on investment.
The road to the most effective strategy entails some measure of work on your part. Once you start with the right footing in terms of solid research, planning, techniques and tools, however, you can achieve the volume and quality of leads required to improve your sales results, meet your targets and grow as a business.
With so many possible lead generation options available for you to experiment with, it is important to distinguish which one is the best route for your business to take.
Depending on which one you consult, the lead generation channel that works best is either SEO or email marketing. This Hubspot’s study sides with SEO:
while this study by Chief Marketer goes with the latter:
What to do with this variance? Differences aside, the online strategies that consistently come out on top are email marketing, search/SEO marketing, social marketing and content marketing.
Since you will most likely use one or a combination of two or all these strategies during the life of your lead generation campaigns, it goes without saying you need a reliable CRM tool. You have plenty of choices here in our database of top CRM providers. Or you can go for a top solution.
Rounding up their reviews of dozens of CRM tools, our team of experts cited Salesforce Sales Cloud features as one of the most robust and reliable sets in the market today. You can, in fact, use it for free when you sign up for Salesforce Sales Cloud free trial here. Once you have it set up it will act as the core system when you perform the following lead generation activities with various tools.
Email marketing is 24 years old today and yet it remains one of few online marketing channels that has stood the test of time, even managing to stay at the top of many B2B marketing lead generation strategy options.
The secret to its persistence is how email marketing lends itself to riding technological innovations. For example, one of the biggest trends in email marketing at the moment, one that has generated great results for many B2B businesses, is marketing automation.
Put simply, marketing automation tools are about hybrid email marketing tools that connect with your CRM to enable you to automatically send highly targeted, personalized emails to leads.
What the new ways of doing email marketing means is that while traditional newsletters and email marketing are still important, the ability to capture more data on users and use behavioral triggers has enabled B2B marketers to get a lot smarter with how they target users in the inbox.
Email marketing is all about structured communication and establishing a relationship with clients. Here are a few tips to manage email marketing effectively:
Organic search marketing is arguably one of the most valuable long-term strategies for generating B2B leads.
You typically use Search Engine Optimization in conjunction with your content strategy to rank higher in search engines, driving not only large volumes of sessions to your website but also pre-qualified visitors with high conversion potential.
SEO is the most logical and powerful inbound marketing technique, capable of supercharging your lead generation when implemented accordingly.
Here are a few important pointers to keep in mind while doing SEO marketing:
As the very lifeblood of SEO, keyword research is a fascinating procedure. Since it is the first thing you must do when planning your SEO strategy, you have to take into account everything closely related to your business and all the information pages around it.
Make a list of every possible search term related to your business and service. Begin prioritizing them by search volume. You will need to gather an understanding of keyword competitiveness and how difficult it will be to rank among the posts on the first page.
There will be some quick win opportunities which you can identify where the volume is high and the competition is lower.
Content quality is the logical partner of SEO, essential if you want to improve your search engine rank. Quality content, which is extensive, detailed and containing valuable features and imagery will certainly have better optimization for capturing the search engine crawlers, giving you a chance of ranking more easily.
It is best to identify the keyword targets for individual pages; do not let them overlap too much so everything is focused on that one page, making it stand out for the purpose.
Include your keyword within the headline, first paragraph of the text, and create a steady density use throughout.
Avoid “keyword stuff” to force the exact term into place where it is not natural.
One thing you have to remember is that search engine crawlers have become insanely intelligent, able to recognize terms that mean the same thing but are presented differently. This means you have to involve a variety of lexis and syntactical structures to account for this and gain the natural rank power.
Do not fall for the hype that “great quality will always find its way to rank naturally.” While your content may eventually get to a strong position over time, the fact remains if you want to start ranking quickly, you need a link-building strategy.
Links are the currency of SEO. They are what contribute to domain authority and connect the networks that deliver the results.
Domain authority is just a digital representation of how trusted your website is as a source.
By having more links to your website and web pages, it increases the value of your online presence and displays activity, relevance and trust.
Reaching a higher domain authority gives you a better platform to rank pages from the starting point. The smart thing to do is to implement a long-term strategy of building this through a range of link-building channels, including:
In general, try to be creative within your niche. It helps to think this way: How can I be cheeky and clever to squeeze a link out of every communication? Keep in mind that every link is a bonus.
Internal linking is also necessary to provide a clear structure to your website. Anchor text is also worth considering and using ‘Do-follow’ links.
Consider using SEO tools to improve your search marketing campaign. Webmaster tools allows you to see the Clicks, Click-Through-Rate, Impressions and Position for all queries and within locations and time frames.
You can manage your campaigns with this data and see the progress in different contexts to highlight progress, areas of potential visibility and where things can be improved.
Leveraging a lead generation and management software can help you increase conversion rates—how many leads turn into opportunities and, ultimately, sales. This is of such importance that you would not want to commit common mistakes when choosing CRM software.
The software can boost the number of opportunities you will have by providing business identification data of companies who have been on your website. With practical information delivered to you in real-time, you get more chance to turn a prospect into a genuine lead.
A company visiting your website doesn’t become a sales lead until it has been acted upon or further contact is made. Website visitor tracking is a catalyst for this to develop in multiple ways by showing you the information of the pages a business has visited, the time spent looking at products or services and by giving you the email contact, office address and telephone number for the company.
This puts you in control with regards to dictating an effective follow-up process specifically designed around their unique journey and particular interest in your business.
The best lead generation software provides accurate customer information, so that you have the most up-to-date data to approach new prospects and new accounts. The best lead generation software programs will help you identify new prospects and evaluate the success of marketing campaigns. Intuitive lead source tracking and scoring should ensure you are spending the most time with the most important leads.
With Salesforce Sales Cloud, you get the following benefits:
The vendor offers a comprehensive free trial to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for the Salesforce Sales Cloud free trial here.
Social media give you unprecedented opportunity to use a number of well-known platforms to launch meaningful lead generation campaigns. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Quora are all over the place and beckon for you to make the most out of them.
The businesses that understand the power of social media in generating both interest and actual sales use it to generate and nurture millions of dollars worth of leads. Their experiences tell us the best way to approach these channels. But there are other ways to boost lead and marketing quality, which can further improve the way you handle campaigns.
Of course, not all channels will be perfectly suitable for your industry and niche, so it is important to divide your time investment to each one accordingly. Understanding the nature of each social community is vital, most often generated by actual field experience and personal use.
Three things stand out when you’re dealing with Social Media for your lead generation activities:
Content marketing simply points to those articles on your website, e-newsletters, blog articles, video materials, or those materials that you post on your social media channels to engage your leads, generate interest and produce real sales.
Though content marketing is often associated with B2C, content marketing can be easily transitioned to the B2B industry with shift in approach, essentially following the same intentions but adapting the concepts to the needs of the B2B industry and the people in it.
B2B Content Marketing is best aligned with your SEO strategy, with the end view of dominating search engine results in order to place yourself where your potential clients are looking.
Content marketing is king in the digital age, the perfect inbound solution. Its impact may not be as direct as a physical store, but its effect simply plays out longer than you could imagine while producing astounding results.
Not only will prospects discover you with absolute ease, but they will also come to trust your advice as you gain authority and start that all-important customer-client relationship process.
To make an effective content, you shouldn’t lose sight of why you are generating content in the first place, which is to generate actual paying customers. In terms of the sales funnel model, you are going to guide your content the same way you want to guide your content consumers: down the paths of top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, down to the bottom of the funnel.
This is content designed around broad topics, your foothold to visibility and gaining awareness of your business and brand. These could entail attachment to articles, infographics, even videos all showcasing the framework of your brand identity.
This wide area net approach will give you the greatest number of traffic but the lowest direct conversions. This unfiltered phase takes in such volume of people though many of whom are far away from producing your ideal customer profile.
Outside of this immediate funnel concern, you must remember time and resources put into this style of content impact your branded search terms, build your domain authority and give you email subscribers and a social media following—all of which contribute to the overall funnel and for retargeting parameters, a way to disregard and qualify information about the audience you want to be driving towards.
The second stage of your content marketing plan should focus on your industry specifically. The middle funnel is a place to give away advice and tips to become the hub for legitimate industry information. If your advice is trusted, then your product and service will follow.
A well-implemented industry funnel should push you as a genuine thought leader among the decision-makers in your industry. This can be extremely powerful: a quality blog or publication releasing frequent content that is in demand gives your business a massive opportunity to grow with effective exposure levels.
Your last content category involves you dealing out short-term, hard selling material. You are finally dealing with those who don’t want information about generics, or industry “tips and tricks.” This batch want to know why and how you can help their business get results in different ways which they can relate to. Specifically, they would be asking for:
You could take advantage of the low-volume, high conversion, SEO conversion pockets directly related to your product or service. As well, you may create landing pages for the specifications of each element with craft and engaging features.
All stages of the funnel have their own purpose, with the potential to generate leads for your business—but some will be more direct than others. Practice patience and trust in the process of the effects of good quality content and a funnel that ticks all of the boxes.
After doing all the hard work in order to extract the most promising candidate of your funnel, you don’t want to leave them to chance with any of your salespeople: instead, you have to make sure those leads get assigned to the best salesperson to work each deal.
Lead routing is the process of distributing leads to the right people in your sales organization, the best-suited rep who would guide the buyer through a final, successful transaction. That could mean distributing leads by geographic territory, by customer or deal size, or by which product(s) the lead is interested in.
You also may want to consider internal factors, like making sure all of your sales reps have hot leads to work, rewarding top-performing reps with the most promising leads, or other strategies that work for your business and culture. Different sales organizations distribute leads differently, however, you choose to handle it, lead management tools can help.
Nothing beats the success of others who have previously gone similar road to give you an idea about which way to go in your lead generation campaigns.
A $37 billion company that generates a 5,100% return on investment on a million-dollar marketing campaign could be that success story.
From a $1 million investment in an integrated marketing campaign that included display ads, email marketing, campaign websites and content marketing, the healthcare technology company Optum generated $52 million in new business.
What did it do?
In terms of exceptional lead generation, Optum’s results came about as a result of relentless willingness to experiment with different tactics and to combine these tactics across multiple channels.
Only by experimenting can you truly know what does and doesn’t work. Accept this and use your time and budget more effectively to generate higher returns on your investment. When you have ticked all the right boxes and executed all the dirty works, better lead generation and business growth should inevitably follow.
There are several top CRM systems designed to help you grow your business with lead generation. It is vital that you equip your business with the right tools starting with a robust and reliable CRM software.
Sign up for a Salesforce Sales Cloud free trial here to get started.
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