Lead generation continues to be one of B2B marketers’ top goals. In fact, research shows that 67% of B2B marketers want to generate better leads, and 52% are hoping to increase their volume of leads. Although the concept seems clear and simple, it’s easier said than done. Part of the challenge is that marketers are not only charged with the task of attracting more prospects, but also ensuring that these are quality leads that will eventually convert into customers.
Luckily for us marketers working in the B2B realm, there are many individuals out there who share our pain. And, as a result, there is a great amount of research and advice surrounding the topic of how to improve your lead generation efforts. To save you some time and effort from seeking out these resources on your own, I’ve rounded up a few tips based on my findings, that will take your lead generation efforts to the next level:
1. Think quality vs quantity when it comes to lead generation
Not all leads are created equal. Investing time and energy on leads is only worthwhile if they are the right fit and have potential of converting into customers. That is why focusing on the quality of your leads is just as important as attracting them. After all, you don’t want to lose money by having a member of your sales team spend weeks trying to convert a customer who is not interested enough or can’t benefit from your product.
Thankfully, there are a few ways to gather information and assess the potential of prospects converting into leads. Some of the things you can do include:
- Utilize longer forms: Generally, longer forms mean lower conversions. Not always, but most of the time. But with a drive for higher quality leads, you’re going to want to add a few more fields to those forms. The extra information will help your sales team winnow out the weaker leads. And it’s the lead who’s more motivated to solve a problem that will make the investment in that longer form.
- Score your leads: Many B2B marketers are already using lead scoring. When done properly, lead scoring can definitely send your sales team better leads. Want to see exactly what this looks like? MarketingSherpa published an interesting case study about how one SAAS company boosted its leads by 101% with lead scoring.
2. Focus on personalization
There is much talk about the customer journey, but what many marketers fail to see is that it’s not one size fits all. And that means your marketing efforts shouldn’t be either. That is why personalization is key if your goal is to attract the right kind of customers and get them to convert. Whether it’s an email, landing page or blog post, you should aim to create content that addresses each of your prospects individual needs. That may sound impossible, but there a few tactics that you can implement to ensure you provide each prospect with the right message at the right time:
- Practice segmentation: Buyers – and particularly B2B prospects – know we’ve got their information. They expect us to use it, and to their benefit. Using segmentation as part of your marketing strategy allows you to provide prospects with more tailored and useful content, resulting in better engagement and conversions. If you need help getting to know your audience and putting them into segments, try using surveys to gather information.
- Personalize your landing pages: Did you know that 23% of marketers credit organic website traffic with helping them generate their best leads? Landing pages are very important when it comes to creating a unique and personal experience that will engage your prospects and convert them into leads. These create an opportunity for you to present prospective customers with meaningful information that addresses their pain points. A good way to measure what works best is testing different landing pages to analyze what type of content and information motivates your prospects to take action.
- Focus on topics that matter to your audience: Content is a great engagement tool because it provides an opportunity for you to address your customer’s pain points and tell them how your products and services can help alleviate them. When customers seek out these resources, they are already viewing you as an expert that can provide them valuable advice. This is your opportunity to capture their attention and educate them about what you do.
- Tailor your CTAs: Now that you’ve got your prospects attention, it’s important to keep them moving through the sales funnel. Create content and calls to action centered around what your audience cares about – what their fears and aspirations and motivations are. Need help creating a compelling call to action? Here are some tips to get you started!
3. Prioritize lead nurturing
According to Marketing Sherpa, 79% of marketing leads never convert to sales and lack of good lead nurturing is usually to blame. A marketer’s job does not end at just attracting new customers, you and your sales team both have to invest time and effort into cultivating a relationship with your prospects so that they know that you can offer them the best solution.
And the results to support lead nurturing are there. Companies that focus their efforts on lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads than those who don’t, and they save money while doing it. When your prospects feel like you have their best interest in mind and feel engaged throughout the funnel, they are more likely to convert.
Don’t know where to start building your lead nurturing program? Think about what interests your prospects, and what type of information they need from you at every step of the buyer journey. Also consider the best way to deliver this information and at what time.
4. Automation is key for Lead Generation
Using “batch and blast” email marketing as your only tool has its limitations, especially when it comes to getting more leads. These days, segmentation, personalization, and automated messages are all becoming more important for you to improve your lead generation efforts. In fact, 58% of marketers who used marketing automation saw an increase in lead opportunities, including upselling. It makes sense. After all, you’re putting all the data you collect from those long forms into use to create a more engaging experience.
Using marketing automation (versus an email service provider) can make it a simpler process for you to execute your marketing efforts, and produce more powerful results. With the average sales cycle increasing by 22% in the last five years, it’s becoming even more important for marketers to equip themselves with tools that can help them do their job effectively and efficiently. Investing in a marketing automation platform, like Act-On, can help you target your customers in a way and time that best works for them.
Automation can also help you take your lead nurturing efforts to the next level, especially if you implement trigger email campaigns. Trigger email campaigns allow you to strike when your prospect is most engaged, so you can keep them moving through the sales funnel and maximize your ROI. How it works is that your prospects automatically receive emails after completing a meaningful event, such as signing up for an event or filling out a form, keeping you at the top of mind at all times.
5. Test to see what works and what doesn’t
An important part of lead generation through your marketing efforts is analyzing what works and what doesn’t when it comes to engaging your customers, and adjusting your efforts accordingly. Make sure to test wherever you can – and give your testing efforts enough time to deliver. Even a 1% improvement every week racks up massive gains by the end of a year. Plus, over time, all the insights you gather from testing will help you see patterns that will allow you to better invest your time on marketing efforts that drive conversions.