What is your greatest challenge as a B2B marketer? Let me guess—I bet I know the answer.
That was actually a fairly sure bet, because 85 percent of B2B marketers cite lead generation as their primary challenge. If that was your answer as well, you are not alone.
So how can you improve your lead generation and provide more qualified leads for your company? Start by picking just a few of the strategies outlined below in this infographic from SalesIntel.
I think their first point speaks to another statistic that too many marketers and salespeople forget: 9 out of 10 leads aren’t yet ready to buy when they first reach your contact list. They need to be nurtured and qualified first.
Read on for strategies that touch on all steps, from awareness to lead capture to nurturing and qualifying leads so that when they reach sales, the successful closure rate justifies the effort.
I want to draw your attention to a few of these strategies that I believe deserve extra focus.
First, more than 80 percent of B2B buyers visit a website before making a purchase decision. That is huge. What is your website telling prospective buyers? Is it providing useful information? Is it offering them valuable content and capturing contact information to allow you to enroll them in a lead nurturing workflow?
Secondly, if you’re familiar with our approach to marketing from reading this blog on a regular basis, you know that we agree wholeheartedly with the statement “Quality content is an asset.” In fact, I dedicated one of my 15 Lessons From 15 Years of Marketing series posts specifically to the five characteristics of great content and how to create it. (Read the post here: Successful Marketing Relies On Great Content.)
This third strategy fits perfectly with the first two: Create landing pages for your campaigns. Landing pages are where you capture lead or contact information so that you can establish communication with your leads. When you use smart progressive forms that start out by asking for only the minimal amount of information, then self-populate that information and ask for something more each time a lead accesses a new offer, you can collect valuable information about the lead to be used in qualifying and passing on a complete customer profile to sales.
And, fourth, those landing pages should be the gates providing access to what this infographic calls “lead magnets” or “freemium” content. Throughout our blog, you will see us refer to these content pieces as “offers.” They could include everything from a downloadable report to templates, webinars, ebooks or blog subscriptions. As you create offers, plan how they fit into complete, full-funnel campaigns that can take a lead from awareness through consideration to decision-making. These posts provide ideas for offers or lead magnets for each stage of the sales funnel:
- 10 Top Formats For Awareness Content
- Consideration Stage Marketing Content Sets The Stage For a Sales Win
- What Inbound Leads Need To See In The Decision Stage
- 3 Offers To Use For Each Stage Of the Sales Funnel
But as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, lead generation is only the beginning of the process—your lead generation efforts should be planned in conjunction with the lead nurturing and lead qualification processes that refine your list of leads to provide the best possible outcomes once the sales team takes over. You don’t want to simply send every lead straight to sales, no matter how strong your lead generation game is.
Instead, focus on sending them QUALIFIED leads. Here’s how: 5 Ways Lead Qualification Can Improve Sales Conversion Rates.
You can also download our Lead Qualification Checklist to share with your teams as you define your specific criteria for a marketing-qualified lead. I’d be glad to chat about how your lead generation, lead nurturing and lead qualification efforts can work together to improve your marketing and sales ROI—just choose a time on my calendar that works best for you.