What is B2B marketers’ main challenge? 85% say it’s lead generation according to data gathered earlier this year by SalesIntel, a business intelligence firm. It seems rather ironic that B2B, which is more than twice as large as B2C, is challenged. In the U.S., eCommerce company Trellis reports that B2B eCommerce is currently estimated to be a $780 billion market compared to the $350 billion B2C markets.
The reason why B2B lead generation is more challenging depends on whom you ask. When marketing firm Ervin & Smith took a poll, sales departments blamed it on too few leads, the wrong types of leads, and the lack of truly “new” leads. Marketers said it was due to not enough follow-up, leads that fell into a “black hole,” and too aggressive a follow-up.
Who’s right? They probably all are. Today’s B2B environment and the purchasing process have become more complex. Here are ways to improve the quality of B2B lead generation based on SalesIntel’s data.
Potential customers want their issues and concerns heard before being pitched. Only 13% believe salespeople understand their needs. Question and listen before trying to sell.
Adults spend twice as much time on Quora, a Q & A site than they do on LinkedIn. Do the same about the brand or company to get an idea of what consumer concerns are.
Review the brand’s website with the eyes of the prospect. What could make it more appealing and informative based on findings over concerns and questions? More than 80% of B2B consumers visit a website before making a purchase.
Focus on content marketing. 88% of B2B marketers consider it an asset and use it for lead generation. Invest in marketing automation tools, as 75% of brands use at least one.
Clean data reports increased revenue for 66% of respondents. Ensure the brand has a partner who can provide reliable data to help reach decision-makers.
“Live” interaction and feedback in real-time are important to today’s consumers. Include live chat on the brand’s website as 87% of companies have already adopted this.
One of the most successful lead generation tools is webinars with participant questions and feedback. Employ them as 96% agree.
Also critical to overall marketing efforts is account-based marketing with 92% of respondents already utilizing this. Email continues to be important. Brands must be sure to maintain their email marketing continually and regularly. It’s still identified as the most effective lead generation channel by 42% of respondents.
More powerful and credible than an ad is a positive recommendation from a customer to a business associate. Ask for and leverage customer referrals as 84% said it’s the most influential form of advertising.
Collect positive customer reviews and ratings and use them generously. Like referrals, they’re worth their weight in gold with 72% of consumers waiting until they read reviews before acting on a purchase.
Nearly half (48%) of marketers create landing pages for each campaign. Provide only required information that will generate leads. B2B marketers experienced an 80% reduction in cost per engagement. Regarding video, it was even higher.
Implement buyer intent data to better understand buyer signals and prioritize accounts. Regarding content, use different content types, formats, and platforms based on knowledge of the target audience. Invite guest bloggers with large followings to post and publish links on the brand’s different platforms.
Retarget Ads because up to 50% of visitors who abandoned a brand’s site return to purchase. Budget for Google Ads which has a 75% conversion rate and a 46% average conversion rate on Google Display Network.
Prospecting potential is great. 94% of marketers distribute content on LinkedIn, and it’s the source of 80% of B2B leads. Create and publicize lead magnets to capture email addresses. Leads can be anything from a free case study, tool, recorded webinar, eBook, etc.