Business Advice Blog

4 Tips for More Effective B2B Lead Generation

In the perennial search for B2B sales leads, the equation always seems to come down to quantity versus quality. Any campaign that generates a ton of sales leads is well worth the effort, isn’t it? Or is it more effective to analyze and isolate those elements that lead to more qualified sales leads, even if it takes more work and time to come up with those leads?

Whatever the answer, a majority of those engaged in B2B marketing and sales report that “lead generation remains the top challenge” in their companies.

If this holds true for your organization, here are four tips to generate more effective and qualified B2B sales leads:

Keep faith with email campaigns. Sales experts seem to go back and forth about the overall effectiveness of email campaigns to generate leads. But if you haven’t embarked on such a campaign for a while, it may be worth trying again. The following steps can lead to more achievable results:

  • Resurrect an old or neglected existing email list.
  • Assemble a new email list from your social media contacts, particularly those on LinkedIn.
  • Focus on a concise, compelling email message that answers the prospect’s key question, “What’s in it for me?”
  • Closely monitor who clicks on and opens your email message and target them accordingly.

Expand your social media efforts. Speaking of LinkedIn, how much time and effort does your sales team put into making new connections and developing relationships within your target audience? The process demands time and patience, but building a solid relationship paves the way to setting in-person appointments and/or sharing product demos with the right individual in the right organization.

Make a renewed commitment to quality content. Social media, in general, remains a fertile landscape for B2B sales leads. A key component of social media sales strategies is providing content of quality to prospects—as a means of demonstrating your specific industry knowledge and a willingness to share that knowledge with others.

“Content” doesn’t mean written text only, not by any means. Today’s buyers are drawn to images, video, infographics and other interactive content that gives them a kind of “hands-on” feel for what you have to say. As we’ve noted before, however, valuable content comes free of the typical hard sell. Instead, the goal is establishing you and your business as thought leaders who offer the kind of insights and information your prospective customers want in order to succeed in their own endeavors.

Host virtual events. Increasingly, B2B and other businesses are exploring the potential of “virtual event platforms” in the realm of sales and marketing. These carefully planned and orchestrated online events can produce, with the right attention to detail, generate new sales leads. Sales strategist Hurera Sheikh offers these virtual event planning tips:

  • Create a simple, easy-to-navigate registration page and don’t skimp on intriguing content and crisp imagery.
  • During a live event, staff virtual booths and help desks to “maximize the contacts exchanged over the booths.”
  • Leverage high-quality live or pre-recorded webinars to get participants engaged in the event.
  • Offer a seamless online transaction process. If sales opportunities arise during the live event, make sure your PayPal or debit/credit card integration process is fully operational to meet any kind of demand.

By renewing dormant lead-generation tools and exploring new, high-tech options, you can see a spike in B2B sales in 2017 and beyond.

Want more advice on sales and lead generation? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

 

The CEO and Sales Leadership

CEO and sales leadership

 

A CEO or business owner wears many hats, from “chief inspiration officer” to overseeing complex operations and development of new growth strategies. Not least among his or her primary responsibilities, however, is ensuring that the team responsible for selling the company’s products or services is motivated, efficient, productive and forward-thinking.

For most successful organizations, this means doing more than expecting a sales manager to “handle” sales and turning their own attention elsewhere.

Just like all other departmental constituencies, your sales team craves leadership. This doesn’t mean you have to get down in the trenches with them—though an occasional ride-along to a sales meeting with a key client wouldn’t hurt—but they need to know you support their efforts and endeavor to do all you can to make their jobs more effective and successful.

Here are ways to provide the kind of leadership that gets the best sales results:

Make objective data a top priority. We all know of individual salespeople who operate by their gut when it comes to sales, but time and again, the primacy of objective sales data wins out. This includes verifiable, real-time information relating to:

• The status of the sales pipeline
• Identification of qualified leads
• Level of engagement with prospects
• Closed deals

Only with confirmed data can intelligent choices be made about sales strategies. That’s why, as business consultant Larry Alton points out, CEOs and business leaders “must make solid data a bigger priority at the foundational level of their organization.” If not, “creeping levels of subjectivity near the ground level can muddy the waters” and negatively affect future decision-making.

Insist on alignment between sales and marketing. As we’ve noted before, it’s essential that your marketing and sales teams work closely together, since a lack of alignment “can mean the difference between closing a deal or losing the prospect to another, more closely aligned competitor.”

As CEO, you can promote collaboration by:

• Meeting regularly with individuals from each department and making sure everyone’s on the same page with respect to strategy, new initiatives, etc.
• Ensuring that the marketing message on your website and in collateral materials is emphasized as part of the sales team’s prospecting efforts
• Devising a system of metrics that both sales and marketing teams adhere to, and encouraging collaborative analysis that can avert any decline in sales

Encourage leadership growth at the managerial level. Among salespeople, there’s always a story about a rock-star salesperson who got promoted to sales manager and failed to meet the challenge of leadership. It often makes sense to promote from within, particularly when an individual has demonstrated a high level of sales acumen—but without proper support and training, this person may lack the leadership abilities needed to get the job done.

Spend time with the team. The favorable effect of a company CEO or business owner actually taking time out of his or her day to “hang” with the sales team is incalculable. Remember, these hard-working individuals are out there on their own most of the time. Consider occasionally participating in a sales meeting (or not participating, but showing support by your presence alone). Solicit the sales team’s input on what’s going well and what other resources you might provide to make them better at their jobs. Recognize their contributions at all-staff meetings and elsewhere. The uptick in morale is potentially through the roof.

As the leader of your company, you’re uniquely positioned to inspire, motivate and demand that the sales team give their all to the organization. The time spent on your part to achieve this goal is well worth the effort.

Want to learn more about sales and leadership? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!