If your business is looking to grow its digital marketing footprint and really use the power of the Internet to generate business, it takes a lot more than just finding the leads to turn them into customers, even if you’ve got a great sales team. After all, the first time a lead hears of your business, they may not be at the point where they want to make a purchasing decision or they may want to do more research and get to know your business first. For these reasons, growth is about more than just generating leads through a B2B lead generation company – it’s also about educating, nurturing, and staying in touch during those early stages of your lead’s buying process.
Finding good leads and qualifying them is the first step. Many marketing services bill themselves as B2B lead generation companies, believing that just getting the leads is the most important step. Finding and qualifying the leads is absolutely a big deal and there are a number of different strategies you can use, from trade shows to quality downloadable guides to pay-per-click advertising to generate those leads. Identifying and qualifying “ideal” leads is a process best done together with sales – they know best when it comes to identifying the leads that are ready to buy. Once the lead is identified as “sales qualified,” it can be turned over to your sales team to work.
It’s rare that you find a lead that’s ready to buy, especially in a B2B setting where the sales cycle can be technically complex and months long. Instead, it’s time to educate leads and remarket to them in order to position your company as the main industry thought leader. In many industries, suppliers are already considered the experts by their buyers – it’s a natural leap for the suppliers to provide technical and compelling industry news. This can be done a number of different ways, but it requires creating high quality educational content that provides value. Figure out what common questions leads have before they reach you and as they interact with your sales team and then create content that addresses those questions in creative ways. You can then post this content on your website for an SEO boost, send the content out in email blasts, or use it to remarket and raise awareness.
As you collect leads, you’ll notice that even leads who seem like ideal buyers – the right companies, the right markets, the right job titles – are not always reaching you at ready to make a buying decision. Some of these leads can turn into great future customers, but they need to be nurtured for a while. Your sales team can certainly reach out on a periodic basis and touch base, but having an email newsletter with compelling content or another marketing campaign that keeps your brand at the top of mind ensures that when they’re ready to make that decision, your company’s name comes up first.
To accomplish your marketing goals, there are a number of different highly effective online marketing strategies your business can use. It’s important to remember, however, that lead generation offers the best ROI when it’s done in an “inbound” way – understanding what makes a quality lead, and understanding how to educate and nurture those leads with valuable content and consistent outreach. Contact the team at StepUp Marketing for a customized B2B marketing strategy session to see how our system could work with your B2B company.