As a B2B supplier, it’s a competitive world. There are a limited number of good customers, and often it can feel like there is an increasing number of suppliers chasing them.
Even companies with a great proposition need to generate those initial conversations with interested Buyers, and that isn’t always easy.
Here are 4 easy-to-adopt steps to make sure your lead generation gives you the opportunity to tell your story to Buyers who want to listen.
1. Invest in Marketing and Lead Generation
Developing a sales and marketing plan will enable you to take a strategic approach to achieve growth.
There will be a number of elements you’ll need to invest in, from your website, content to enable you to nurture prospects, sales people and/or lead generation.
A great looking website that your prospects don’t know about or visit won’t generate sales leads. Equally, lead generation and sales activity without a good website that backs up your sales message may struggle.
The reality is that most businesses don’t change supplier or adopt new solutions very often. This means that at any given time the majority of Buyers in your target market won’t be looking for a new supplier.
But when they are, it will be the combination of your marketing and lead generation that will drive growth – not one or the other in isolation.
2. Develop A Contact-level Database of Your Potential Customers
Often low returns from lead generation activity are a result of your message simply not reaching enough of the right people.
Bought lists are a good way of sourcing the companies that you’d like as customers. However, they are unlikely to contain many names and email contact details of the right Buyers and Decision Makers.
If you can build up the intelligence of who the key contacts are in your target market your lead generation activity – whatever channel you use – will become far more effective.
3. Raise Awareness Through Lead Nurturing
Once you have developed a comprehensive contact-level database of your potential customers, maintaining awareness of your business need not be complicated or expensive.
Sharing some news, articles or content via email and social media once or twice a month will ensure you are front of mind when the Buyer is in the market.
Lead nurturing won’t immediately make the phone ring off the hook.
However, over time it will increase the number of inbound enquiries you receive. And importantly, it will make outbound lead generation such as telemarketing much more effective, as Buyers will be more receptive to taking a call and striking up a conversation.
4. Manage What You’re Good at In-house. Outsource What You’re Not So Good At
Nobody understands your business like you. The question is whether you’re able to convey just how great you are to your target audience effectively?
With more marketing channels than ever, the range of skills, knowledge and expertise required to succeed in today’s competitive world is huge!
They will be some elements of sales and marketing you enjoy and are good at, which you should run in-house.
However, if for example, you’d like to run an AdWords campaign, unless you understand Google’s broad match modifier, how quality score influences your cost-per-click and to how to build an effective list of negative keywords there is probably a case for some external expertise to set-up and manage your AdWords account.
This doesn’t mean losing control. To the contrary, wading through reports and analysing data that you don’t fully understand takes time and won’t necessarily provide a clear picture of what is going on. Whereas specialist agencies will know what to look for and be able to focus on what really matters to drive continual improvement.
Remember, it’s a competitive world. So, to give yourself an edge:
- Develop a plan that includes lead nurturing and lead generation
- Find the best possible people to deliver each strand of your marketing
- Test, measure and refine on a continual cycle
Do this, and you’ll have a roadmap for developing a sales and marketing function that will be the envy of your peers.