At Last, The Secrets to Quality Lead Generation Are Revealed.
B2B companies in general and SaaS companies in particular need to continuously generate new leads. Most lead generation is thought of in terms of numbers rather than focusing specifically on the lead quality. With the aim of generating new leads, B2B companies participate in trade shows and exhibitions, manage SEO and PPC online, or publish thought leadership, but there is no singular marketing activity that seems to be solely responsible for bringing in those quality leads on a consistent basis. Thus, we need to understand what is the infrastructure required for a lead generation machine to produce quality leads. What is the way to engineer the process of matching your business profile to your ideal potential clients?
In reality, it’s not relevant to gather leads widely, but instead narrowly. Your business needs to be able to answer questions like: Which type of companies will your sales team go after in which vertical? Who is the buyer? Who is the decision-maker in each of your targeted companies? Your business has to make some clear decisions. Then, your team must deeply get to know clients or potential clients and understand their pain points in order to give them relevant information.
It’s difficult to do so. In the words of Tom Hanks, “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.” So here are few principles to guide you through this maze:
Principle #1: Identify Your Ideal Client Profile
Visualize the client, and be as specific as possible. Think about what type of customers you succeeded with the most in the past. Or consider those who seemed easiest to work with. If your business is a young company i.e. a startup, then you will not have a success record. So instead, consider what type of company you’d like to deal with ideally. Of course, you will verify later if who you set out as ideal customers were the right type. You’re going to list out all the characteristics of an ideal customer for yourself, including geography, company size, and so on.
Principle #2: Lead Generation is About a Dialogue, Not a Campaign
Generating leads is about engaging in a conversation with a human being that’s relevant and sustained. The marketing professional acts as a trusted advisor, coaxing the lead closer to a decision and down the sales funnel. The company must speak the same language as the potential client to really connect. And your marketing advisor must create a dialogue amongst the environment and influencers of your potential clients. Start by mapping out potential influencers such as bloggers or analysts. Begin to create conversations with each of these groups. Then, if all goes according to plan, those influencers will eventually impact on the potential clients, directing people of a similar ilk to your business.
Principle #3: Marketing Content That Wins Customers
This principle encompasses basics on what to cover. First of all, the marketing content needs to answer the questions and problems that the potential client has – to every degree and specificity of his/her problems. Your content must speak directly to the customer to build trust, authority, and rapport. It must solve a problem for a potential or existing customer, something the organization may be struggling with and be able to summarize this in no more than one page. And you’ll need a fail-safe Value Proposition along with evidence as to why the solution is the best. This can come in the form of a case study, testimonial, analyst quotes, or other sources.
Specifically, in regards to marketing content, it’s also important to create an economic explanation to the customer that your solution clearly has better advantages than any other product or service, making the decision very easy for the potential client. In executing the marketing material, it’s generally preferable to have a professional marketing advisor, who can be entirely objective and who is not inside your company, to write about your business solution. This information can be transmitted into different formats – audio, video, written – and then multiplied across your website, your blog, on another company’s site, and more.
The 3 Main Elements in Your Lead Generation Machine
Build a foundation for your B2B sales funnel that allows you to create a lead flow
Choose the tactics to create leads
Decide what to do with the leads after they come into the company, from lead to deal (in marketing to rest of business)
Quality Leads Over Quantity
From an economic perspective, the same man working fast in the short-term can overcome the long-term, slower approach of someone not generating a significant pipeline or high-enough quality leads. So if you’re at a B2B startup, you can come a long way and catch up fast by working with your marketing professionals to establish a lead flow of quality. If you’re at a more established B2B, then move to the front of the pack with your new lead machine.
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