Generating business leads is a vital survival tool for any B2B company. That’s why in this blog post we’re going to talk you through five effective ways to generate more business leads today!
1. Prioritize your audience
Take this statistic in to consideration: 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to Sales; however, only 27% of those leads are qualified.
This statistic could lead you to believe that 61% of marketers think anyone, or any business, that becomes a lead will automatically slide all of the way through the marketing funnel to become a loyal customer. But, as we all know, this is not the case. In order to generate more effective leads you need to define different target profiles based on collective demographic and firmographic information. Having strong target profiles will help you to prioritize the leads that will make good use of your time and resources, and stop focusing on leads that are never going to commit to what you’re offering.
If you don’t have enough information on your target audience to build a solid profile then do some data collecting. There are a number of data sources that sell this type of information. Some are very expensive, depending on the depth and volume of the data. Alternatively, you can track data by studying the activity of your own marketing funnel. With this information you can create ‘look-a-like’ profiles of the most likely buyers.
2. Don’t be Invisible
So you have a website — that’s great! But, so do millions of other people. It takes hard work and effort to stop yours from falling to the bottom of the pile.
Of course, generating business leads isn’t solely about letting people see you. But, it definitely helps when you consider that companies who blog once or twice per month generate 70% more leads than those with no blog. And, companies with 30 or more landing pages generate 7x more leads than those with fewer than 10.
Marketing has changed. It’s no longer about aggressively chasing leads. It’s about engaging your audience and nurturing your leads. Think in terms of creating awareness and thought leadership for your brand. It may feel like a mid-term effort, but creating awareness of your brand is an essential step that leads businesses into your marketing funnel.
Another way to increase visibility is to create a brand personality on a social media site like LinkedIn. It might not be an obvious choice, because out of all the other social networks out there, LinkedIn receives significantly less traffic. But, the genius of LinkedIn is that it receives the right kind of traffic. Over 80% of leads generated through social media for B2B marketers come directly from LinkedIn.
Business leads tend to come more naturally on LinkedIn than other social networks because that’s what it’s there for. If you have a B2B company, this should definitely be your first choice of social network
3. Be consistent
Your business leads will travel through a lot of different channels: your website, your social media, your sales team, and so on. Throughout all of these channels the same tone and message of your brand must be portrayed. Any fluctuation in your brand voice can lead to confusion and send leads in the direction of a competitor. After all, consistency is what builds a brand. If you think of any brand name, several values and images automatically spring to mind — the public will create an impression of your brand in the same way.
To be consistent you must think of everything from visuals, to your tone and message. No one directly takes their business to a company without doing extensive internet research. To understand what others are seeing when they search for your brand you need to conduct similar research — Don’t leave anything to chance, make sure your brand is portrayed exactly as you want it to be from every angle.
Avoid the appeal to change your brand image. Although it may seem tempting at times, particularly if you are struggling to generate leads, you really should stick to what you have built. It is much easier to maintain and evolve a presence than build one from scratch, and that’s exactly what you must do when you rebrand.
4. Don’t underestimate customer service
Even within a B2B company, it can be easy to become complacent with your current customers and your customer service delivery, because it is one area of your company where you will likely not receive accurate feedback. According to recent studies, only 4% of dissatisfied customers voice their complaints; and 91% of those lost never return to your company! The only way to ensure great customer service is to keep working at it, and never underestimate the value of a loyal customer — particularly within the B2B market, where a few good referrals can be the lifeblood of your business.
Applying simple things to your website such as an automated email, or livechat service are very effective because they allow you to be in touch with potential leads, even when you are physically unavailable. It is also important, with the rise of social media, that you go to your customers rather than waiting for them to engage with you. Sending your customers friendly emails, or joining in with their discussions on social media can really give you the edge above competitors because it shows a more human side of your brand.
If you already give great customer service, and have lots of happy customers to prove it, then make sure you ask them for testimonials that you can display on your site. As touched upon above, no one makes a business decision these days without doing some extensive online research, honest words of praise from your customers will give others a reason to choose you.
5. Tend to your Website
Ask yourself, ‘When was the last time I updated my website?’ If the answer is anything longer than two months ago, it is safe to say that your out-dated website is a main contributor in preventing you from generating the amount of leads you need.
Here at Wheelhouse Advisors, we advise updating your website at least every six weeks, and doing a full ‘clean up’ every six months. It’s far too easy to leave an old phrase such as ‘Coming in 2012’ lingering on your site. Just leaving outdated information, like the year ‘2012’ on your site will reduce your search engine visibility. On the other hand, updating your site regularly will increase your SEO.
Along with updating your website, you should frequently test and asses the call-to-action, and ensure your site contains the adequate amount of information a business would need to become a lead. Within B2B marketing, people tend to forget that including a call-to-action is just as important as it is for B2C. If you want people to download your ebook or sign up to your webinar, then make it clear. However, if webinars are usually your CTA maybe it’s time for a change. Studies have shown that 80% of users would register for a whitepaper/ebook, while only 31% would register for a webinar.
There are many ways to generate more business leads for your company, but the above five are the ones that we feel to be most effective in today’s society. Here at Wheelhouse Advisors, we believe marketing is a science, and so we put in the analysis that this industry truly deserves in order to obtain the most accurate, effective, results. Feel free to contact us for more information on any of the above points, or for general marketing advice — We’re here to help.