What is B2B Lead Generation?

Let’s begin with defining a lead. After that, we’ll go through what online lead generation is, why you need it, how to qualify someone as a lead, how to label lead categories — such as sales qualified leads — how to produce leads, and why inbound lead generation marketing is far more successful than simply purchasing leads.

What is a lead?

A lead is defined as someone who expresses an interest in a company’s product or service in any manner, shape, or form.

Leads are more likely to hear from a company or organisation after initiating contact (by providing personal information for an offer, trial, or subscription) than receiving a cold call from someone who acquired their contact information.

Assume you complete an online survey to learn more about life insurance. A few days later, you receive an email from the insurance company that developed the survey, asking how they might assist you with life insurance. This procedure would be a lot less intrusive than if they had contacted you out of the blue with no idea whether you really cared about life insurance, right?

And, from a business standpoint, the information the insurance company gathers about you from your survey replies allows them to customise that initial contact to target your existing problems — rather than wasting time phoning prospects who aren’t interested in insurance products.

Leads are part of the larger lifecycle that consumers go through as they go from visitor to customer. All leads are not created equal (nor are they qualified the same). There are several sorts of leads dependent on how they are qualified and where they are in the life cycle.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

Marketing qualified leads are those who have interacted with your marketing team but aren’t ready to get a sales call. An MQL is a contact who completes a landing page form for an offer (like in the lead generation process scenario below).

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

Sales qualified leads are contacts who have expressed an explicit interest in becoming a paying customer. A contact who fills out a form to ask a question about your product or service is an example of a SQL.

Product Qualified Lead (PQL)

Product qualified leads are those who have used your product and demonstrated an interest in becoming a paying customer. PQLs are generally used by businesses who provide a product trial or a free or restricted version of their product with the opportunity to upgrade, which is where your sales staff comes in. A PQL is a customer who uses your free version but communicates with or enquires about features that require purchase.

Service Qualified Lead

Service qualified leads are contacts or customers who have expressed an interest in becoming a paying client to your team. A customer who notifies their customer service representative that they want to increase their product subscription is an example of a service qualified lead. At this point, the customer service professional would up-level this customer to the appropriate sales team or representative.

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is the process of drawing prospects to your company. Then, piquing their interest via nurturing, with the ultimate objective of converting them into customers. Job applications, blog articles, discounts, live events, and online material are all ways to create leads.

Why do you need lead generation?

The move from stranger to customer is far more natural when a stranger establishes a relationship with you by displaying an organic interest in your business.

The second stage of the inbound marketing process is lead creation. It happens when you’ve gathered an audience and are ready to turn them into leads for your sales staff (namely sales-qualified leads).

As seen in the picture below, generating leads is a critical step in a person’s journey to becoming a satisfied client.

Lead Generation Process

Let’s move through the lead generation process now that we understand how it fits into the inbound marketing strategy.

First, a visitor discovers your business by visiting one of your marketing channels. Such as, your website, blog, or social media page.

That visitor then clicks on your call-to-action (CTA). For instance, a picture, button, or message that nudges website visitors to take action.

This CTA directs your visitor to a landing page. This web page is meant to collect lead information in return for an offer.

Remember that an offer is the content or anything of value that is “offered” on the landing page. Such as, an ebook, a course, or a template. The offer must be enticing enough or offer enough value to make the visitor enter their personal information in return for access to it.

In return for the offer, your visitor fills out a form on the landing page (or anywhere else on your website) Voila! You’ve got a new lead. That is, as long as you adhere to standard practices for lead-capture forms.

It’s all one big well-oiled machine.

To summarise, a visitor clicks a CTA, which directs them to a landing page where they fill out a form to receive an offer, at which point they become a lead.

Lead Generation Marketing

Once you’ve seamlessly implemented all of these stages, you can use your different advertising channels to bring people to your landing page and begin producing leads.

What is B2B lead generation?

B2B lead generation is the act of detecting and piquing the attention of potential customers in marketing. In other words, it is the first step that any business must take before making a sale. Identifying potential consumers entails locating businesses that may be interested in the product or service that your company provides (your target audience). Capturing information from these connections and sending it into your sales funnel is the goal of initiating interest.

B2B organisations will often have varying criteria for what is deemed sales qualified leads (SQL). It is dependant on the specific region or specialty in which the business operates.

Lead generation is generally associated with advertising. However it is not restricted to paid channels and approaches. Lead generation may be defined as any method that increases interest in your website or business, both online and offline. Event marketing, social media, email marketing, pay-per-click advertising, cold calling, and content marketing are the most often used channels.

A well-designed website that is properly optimised and focused toward creating interest in your services is one of the most crucial parts of modern lead generation marketing.

Related: Specialist Web Design For Manufacturing Companies

How does b2b lead generation work?

Creating leads may be challenging and time-consuming. However, the concept itself is rather simple.

You build a website or landing page that offers a product or service then get it seen by your target audience. Then, using a convincing call to action, you must persuade those visitors to fill out a form or otherwise provide their contact information. This is so that you can follow up with them later.

Making this happen isn’t always simple. The process can be broken down into many parts, each of which will need planning and preparation. As well as, a suitable budget, and effective implementation (with a lot of trial and error involved to get it right).

What is best practice for lead generation?

Maintain Consistency

User attention spans are getting shorter. On average, you’ll only have 3-7 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention.

With such a limited amount of time to get your message across, you must first ensure that you have a well-optimised website. It needs to clearly display what products and services are available and the value they provide to your potential consumer.

Unless they reached there via a direct link or looked for your brand directly, very few people will ever land on your homepage. They are significantly more likely to land on an internal page related to their search query. That’s why it’s imperative that your website is clear and consistent with its message (and design) . If one page appears out of place or fails to convey what you offer effectively, the entire website falls down.

Test Regularly

The key is to test everything and to test on a regular basis. Never presume that one page is superior to another, or that one call-to-action is superior to another without real statistics to back it up.

You may believe you know exactly what messaging will resonate with your target audience. But, even the most experienced marketer can get it wrong. Even if you aren’t, do you know for sure that something else won’t work better? Small modifications, such as changing the colour or position of a CTA or form, can have an impact on page performance. Just keep in mind that you should only test one element of a page at a time, or it will be hard to determine what caused any change in its efficacy.

Analyse the Data

Once you’ve received the results of one test, study the data and make educated updates to your landing pages before testing again.

Be Realistic

Be realistic, especially in terms of time and money. Set a strategy that you can stick to and commit to finishing it completely. If one technique of b2b lead generation isn’t working for you right now, try another until things change.

Define Your Customer

Define your ideal customer, drawing on information obtained from actual consumers when feasible. Create a buyer persona for each, then concentrate on explicitly targeting each persona. This will help you connect with your audience in a variety of ways. This includes knowing what drives and motivates them, the stresses and challenges they experience. In addition, how you might be able to help relieve them.

Address them personally once you’ve determined who you’re addressing and what their primary challenges and ‘pain points’ are. Avoid mentioning yourself or your products. Instead, focus on your consumers’ concerns and how you can help them. Potential customers aren’t interested in reading ten pages about you. They want to know how you can make their lives simpler.

Be Visible

Be present and active on social media. 75 percent of B2B buyers are influenced by information they’ve seen on social media. So, it’s essential that you’re visible on the platforms that make sense to your business. That is how your brand will be recognised and remembered. It is all about engaging with your target audience and gradually creating a relationship with them.

Educate

Lead generation is growing increasingly dependent on content marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), about 90% of marketers now use content marketing due to its success. As well as its’ low cost, in contrast to other similar channels. It is in the best interests of search engines to show customers the most relevant results. Therefore, they are continuously looking for new, interesting material. They are also presenting websites that continually deliver engaging content that answers user searches.

To get started, you’ll need a great content marketing plan that you’re entirely committed to. It should identify your target audience, what they require, and where they can be discovered. The goal is to create the right content, at the right time. In the right places for the right audience. While content marketing is an effective way for generating leads, the effects will not be immediate. It might take months to gain traction. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t notice a significant uptake right away.

Related: SEO For Engineering Companies: 3 Common Q&As

Be Everywhere

Choose a multi-pronged strategy to b2b lead generation that includes a variety of routes and strategies. Every approach has advantages and disadvantages, and no single way can check all the boxes. If you’re operating a long-term content marketing strategy, consider supplementing it with something that produces results quickly, such as a pay-per-click campaign.

AIM Internet is a digital marketing agency specialising in lead generation services. When you’re ready to kickstart an effective b2b lead generation campaign, we can help you increase your revenue faster than your competitors. Contact Sarah today at sarah@aiminternet.co.uk or call her on 07816071112.

Related: Digital Marketing Plan For An Engineering Company

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