How to generate more leads & deals in B2B
There are various strategies for B2B lead generation. You may see that there are numerous lead generation channels and platforms available in the market as well.
One of the reasons there are so many different channels for lead generation is to enable sales people to be able to reach their sales targets by having more leads to follow up on. This article goes through some common problems connected to lead generation and how to get around them. We also discuss what are the best ways to generate leads in B2B.
Common problems identified within sales departments
From our deep analyses, arrived after interviewing hundreds of sales departments around the world, we saw similar patterns in them, regardless of the country they operate in.
Sales reps have in fact had very few leads to work on every day.
As a result of this many sales reps have spent a large portion of their valuable time researching whom to reach out to than on effective lead generation.
This clearly has not been an efficient practice and it is definitely costly, both in terms of value of Sales rep’s time and more importantly the cost of potential sales lost.
Sales reps are usually talented and experienced in qualifying leads and closing deals than in research. As in any other profession focusing in the right tasks is a vital part of delivering great results.
Therefore, its pretty natural that the sales results are minimized if the sales reps are forced to find leads by themselves.
How to get more deals into your pocket?
Winning more deals and having an increased sales value is fairly simple in theory. Just get more leads, more activity and boom, you will have more deals won.
This goes for all sales reps despite their starting position. If you get more leads and increase your activity level compared to what you have today, you will get more deals, despite all other parameters.
How to get up to 50 % higher activity levels?
The key parameter to get a higher sales activity level is focus. Anything that will disturb your sales reps from talking to or meeting your potential or existing customers, will lower their activity levels. Its about making it easy for sales reps to stay focused.
Since most Sales reps belong to the same category of style as movie actors, musicians and artists they share the same behavior.
One thing they have in common is that they can be easily distracted. If you force your reps to find their own leads or even such a simple thing as that they need to look into different systems while working with lead qualification might distract them enough to lower their activity levels.
If you force them to spend time on social media, which possibly has cool things to read about will distract them as well. This is just natural if you belong to the behavior group that most sales reps do, so we can’t change that.
We can however change the context and help them stay away from environments or situations that might cause distraction.
If you as a sales department want to get away from this and really help your sales reps, you need to provide them with
- Offer a clear segmentation of what customers to search for on e.g. LinkedIn
- Enough new leads to qualify every day
- Have leads added automatically to their CRM
- A solution that makes it possible to call/email the leads directly from their CRM
- Possibility to track how many of the leads have they convert to opportunities and have won the deals
This way they will be more focused, triggered and also more productive. On Salesbox we have seen that companies that work like this increase their activity levels up to 50 %.
How to find more B2B leads?
There are many ways to find more leads. Some have been around for a long time and some are based on new technology.
Finding which one of them works for you depends on what industry you work in. There are no rights and wrongs, and no silver bullets that works for all. You need to find your way. Its most likely a combination of several lead generating activities that gives you your secret recipe for success.
The important thing is to actually focus on getting a structured lead generation process in place, that does not force your sales reps to spend time on lead generation.
However, if you want to get the best results you must have done your homework. You will get much better results if you have a clear segmentation of what type of customer you want to target. Here are a few tips
- What type of company
- What needs should they have
- What phase should they be in
- What size
- What roles do you target
- How should these roles act
The better you know your dream customer, the easier it becomes in terms of both lead generation and lead qualification. Its all about focus.
If most of the generated leads belong to this grouping, then the qualification becomes more effective.
The actual lead qualification will also be more accurate and generate less noise in your pipeline in the later stages of your sales cycle.
So what lead generation options do you have? There are plenty and we will be listing a few later.
The classic way of finding leads is simple. All you need is a list of people and a phone. If you have a list of people based on your segmentation this can be quite effective.
This old timer is still valid in 2016. Since you can email many people at the same time this becomes an effective way of finding leads.
We highly recommend you create campaigns with 3-5 steps over 2-3 weeks so you can interact with your list.
There are plenty of tools to automatically manage your email send outs. Mailchimp is one of them. Read our article about how to work with Salesbox and Mailchimp together.
LinkedIn is probably the best information source to find the right people. If you search LinkedIn based on your segmentation it can be a wonderful source of leads. Find the people, connect and then reach out. This new strategy is very effective. Read our article about how to effectively do the prospecting on LinkedIn.
The classic gathering to meet and interact with people. If you want to meet many people with the same interest/focus this can be a good option.
Having a booth on a convention can generate lots of leads. This can be a good option if you have something to show/demonstrate and want to meet many people with the same interest, face to face.
By writing great and relevant blog articles or landing pages, you can start attracting customers that want to know more. This requires a good strategy and expertise on the topic you write about.
If you are consistent in doing, then it can become a great lead source.
Social media posts
Being active on social media makes a difference. It is also an effective way of reaching many people.
If you provide your audience with relevant and attractive content, they can help in advertising your brand.
Remember to link your posts to those landing pages you want to promote. Its all about creating an easy path to the content you want to display.
Participating in relevant communities in social media
Being part of relevant communities to both post and comment on others’ posts with links to relevant digital media from your own company can also increase your leads.
Tracking website visitors
Connecting a lead tracking / generating tool to your website can be a good idea. Track how many times your visitors come back, which sections of your site they visit, how long they stay in each section etc.
Try to encourage your visitors to register for something, a newsletter, a white paper, a software trial etc.
Once they have filled out the form they become leads. How they are prioritized depends on how they have behaved.
A good tool for this is LeadBoxer. Read more about Salesbox lead generation.
Which B2B lead generation strategy is most effective?
We have gone over many studies and have also added our own experiences into this.
If we look at studies made by Hubspot for the best B2B lead sources, we’d see that SEO is the best lead generation channel they find.
If, on the other hand, we look at Chief Marketer’s report on the same topic, we’d find that email marketing is the most effective channel for B2B lead generation.
There are similar surveys identifying that social media and content marketing are also the most effective forms of B2B lead generation.
Inconsistencies aside, the online strategies that consistently come out at the top are:
- Email marketing
- Search marketing
- Social marketing
- Content marketing
How can I get going quickly?
The easiest way to get going with the least effort are actually the classic old timers telemarketing and email marketing.
Since email marketing has also consistently been the most effective way of generating leads we highly recommend this lead generation channel. The trick is to get this integrated to your crm to make the workflow as effective as possible.
With an integrated lead generation flow you will increase both the focus and activity levels. You will also be able to act on your incoming leads in realtime.
With Salesbox, Mailchimp, a smartphone and an email client you can easily get this lead generation flow automated and completely tracked so you get a clear view of which campaigns have delivered the best results.
All you need to do in Salesbox is the following.
- Link your Mailchimp account to Salesbox
- Export your segmented contact list from Salesbox to Mailchimp
- Create your campaign in Mailchimp
- Click on add a new campaign
- Set the number of steps you want to send out (We recommend the same number as campaigns in Mailchimp)
- Connect/link the Salesbox campaign steps to campaigns in Mailchimp
- Set as Done
- (Optionally also share the same campaign on your LinkedIn and Facebook landing pages)
- Salesbox tracks the interaction and automatically generates leads to the sales reps in real-time (They even get a notification and a qualify lead task for each new lead)
- The sales rep can qualify the leads
- If they are worth proceeding with, then sales reps convert the lead in to an opportunity if you work with long sales cycles or an order if you work with short sales cycles. (For long sales cycles, use any of your sales processes, which process depends on what product/service the sales rep is selling and who the customer is)
- Copy the campaign and do it again or give it to a colleague to run the same campaign.
We highly recommend to start each new week with one campaign to have plenty of leads for the sales reps to work with.
If you don’t want the sales reps to have unique campaigns just add one campaign for the entire company and set the leads to be sent to the delegation list in Salesbox.
Then anyone can grab the leads or the manager can hand them out. We do however recommend that the sales reps get the leads directly in real-time so you don’t get any delays/bottlenecks.
When communicating with the lead in both the qualifying stage and the sales process in the pipeline, all communication is easily done from Salesbox.
Calls are made from Salesbox on the smartphone, emails are sent with Salesbox Outlook email client plugins (Web, desktop, mobile.
This makes it both easy and effective to qualify leads and push the deals forward. As a bonus all communication gets logged (dials, calls and emails).
In Salesbox campaign section you can also easily follow up and see
- How many leads a campaign has generated
- How many of the leads have converted to opportunities
- How many of the opportunities have been won
- How much money the campaign has generated
- What channels (Mailchimp, LinkedIn or Facebook) performs the best.