Ways to Optimize B2B Sales & Marketing with Effective Lead Generation Tactics
So, you’ve built a robust database of business contacts. Now what? Obtaining, managing and closing sales leads is an all hands on deck process. Your company’s sales and marketing teams must align its efforts for the most successful engagement, conversion and revenue results. Effective lead conversion in the digital era also requires mobile tools such as a digital CRM system, marketing automation and mobile invoicing management in order to fortuitously coordinate engagement and conversion opportunities. Here are a few of the best, metrics-driven tactics to close and manage B2B leads!
Lead them to where you can engage with them
Online marketing can be very effective at lead generation IF the strategy is consistent and managed properly. Drive web traffic to your company website and owned media sources with engaging, informative blog content, downloadable white papers, and links to live seminars. The content must be concise and relevant to the business’s needs and the solutions your company’s services or products offer. Remember that today’s tech savvy business leaders do their homework. They engage in extensive online research by comparison shopping for the product or service features they need, weigh them against the pricing structure, and consider what other businesses have to say in testimonials and reviews. Have your sales team discuss the content of their conversations with prospects to find out what the most common concerns, pains, and challenges are so that the content can address them head on. Have your marketing team inform the sales professionals of what tactics competitors appear to be doing that may be helpful in their attempts to push leads through the sales funnel.
In addition to website and social media content, SEO matters greatly. Find out what keywords (product features, buzz words, etc.) are trending in your industry and use them liberally in prospect-facing content. This makes your internet search ranking rise, which generates more eyeballs on your website that can lead to more quality leads. Once on the website be sure to have visible CTAs (calls to action) such as a demonstration, trial or newsletter sign up. After their contact information has been captured, the sales team can jump in for further engagement.
Now stay engaged!
Compelling content that is personalized, consistent and relevant wins over leads. It’s important to employ multiple content sources to increase lead connections and conversions. According to Oracle’s State of B2B Lead Nurturing Survey, 4 out of 5 marketers report that their email open rates do not exceed 20%. This means that to push a prospect along the sales funnel requires engagement on a combination of platforms and sources. Another study conducted by Genuis.com reported that 66% of purchasers indicated that “consistent and relevant communication provided by both sales and marketing organizations” was a key influence in their buying decision-making.
Lead nurturing informs the prospect of the amazing product or service your firm offers. You can entice them with promotions, company news, or invitations to learn more by scheduling a seminar or call. Remember that personalized emails receive 4-10x more responses than generic email blasts. Companies that successfully nurture leads generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost (Forrester, 2014).
Adopt a Marketing Automation System
A marketing automation system enables your marketing and sales team to work together to provide the right information to the right contact at the right time and in the right environment. Website visitor behaviors such as where the contact goes on the website, how long they stay on a page, what they download. The marketing analytics can inform your firm about the click through and email open response rates as well. Armed with this kind of data, you can improve upon your communications efforts over time, shifting your strategy to offer the most valued information in the proper context, location and format.
Adopt a lead scoring system in which your sales team assigns a numeric value (points) based on profile characteristics such as job title, industry, company size. Combined with marketing automation, online behaviors can be tracked in order to understand purchase readiness so that the planned engagement is most effective. Send triggered emails following a specific action such as white paper download, a comment responding to a blog post or extended time reading a particular page on the website.
Follow up…and fast!
Timely follow up is crucial to lead conversion success. According to the Harvard Business Review only 37% of companies responded to leads within an hour. In fact, a lead entering the funnel is 21x more likely to convert to a buying customer when contacted in 5 minutes vs. 30 minutes after an inbound lead converts on the website. Be sure to have your sales representatives make a follow up as personal as possible with a quick phone call or personalized email that mentions their specific concern and how your product or service can help.