Leads are the fuel for the business machine and basically, there are two ways to get them: by inbound or outbound marketing. The second one is more suitable for startups and SMBs since you can get clients immediately after launch when no one even heard the name of your company.
Let's take a closer look!
What is lead generation?
It is a process of finding people who're likely to become your customers immediately or in the future. Leads could be found with inbound or outbound marketing, manually or automatically, with highly-targeted campaigns or with bulk emails.
What is the process of lead generation?
It is a "push" process where marketers reach directly to likely leads, who're selected according to the characteristics of the target audience. Usually it is used for higher-ticket sales with long purchase cycle, for example, B2B sales.
How to generate leads?
To start the process of lead generation, you need to define your ideal customer profiles and buyer personas, create a place for collecting leads and work with them - a CRM system, after which you can start the process of creating and launching campaigns. You can generate leads via email, calls, social media, mailing or other convenient channels.
That's a general description of the process, let's see how you can do B2B lead generation.
How to do B2B lead generation
Creating an Ideal Customer Profile and Buyer Persona
Knowing your customer is the key to good sales. You should describe in detail the people who will be most interested in buying your product or service. The more details you include, the better.Pay attention to two things:
First, you must describe not only "business interests" - niche, department, position, role in decision-making, but also interests, hobbies, and behavioral characteristics. Perhaps they will be decisive in the preparation of the campaign.
Second, remember that business often involves group decision making. To do this, you need to know the structure of decision-making in the company.
The integration of marketing and sales should be frictionless.
Make sure your marketing efforts aren't wasted. Leads should come across a convenient landing page, where they can learn more about your company and a unique offer, leave their applications in the form and discuss the conditions in detail with a sales representative.
Tuning up your CRM
CRM is where the whole process takes place from getting a lead to turning it into a regular customer. Therefore, the whole process should work perfectly. Make sure that sales managers are comfortable using the system and routine actions are well automated.
Look at your marketing funnel and think about what will happen at each stage of the buyer's journey - every step must be foreseen.
Launching a lead generation campaign
So you've come to the most crucial part of starting lead generation. At this stage, it is important to choose whether you will do it in-house or outsource.
If you are going to do lead generation yourself with the help of your marketing department, then here are articles on the most promising channels, you may wanna use:
But most of the companies choose the outsource, so here is 6 things you know about your lead generation partner:
- Level of expertise - the expertise of marketers and sales reps directly affect the efficiency of work, the impression of your company and the time frame. Obviously, with more experienced companies, the most successful technologies will be applied and the number of qualified leads will be higher.
- Management service - the ability to manage the process and communicate with the company directly is very important if you don't want the campaign to go in the wrong direction
- Fee - no comments, the less is better
- Technology - all the services used for lead generation should be flexible and easy to use
- Account management - the account management from experts will significantly optimize the sales process and it's definitely worth choosing companies who can do this for you
- Transparency - if you can't see all the details of the process, then it will be impossible to manage it
Here is a short comparison between lead generation made by freelancers, Prospectly, in-house marketers and agencies. Now you can choose wisely!