Each lead has the potential to become a customer with proper nurturing. But, as every B2B marketer and salesperson knows, there is more to this than meets the eye. Building relationships with leads and generating actual sales can be challenging.
So how does one go about this? Read our article to find out.
Lead generation is a core process for any B2B sales team. A lead is a contact who has the potential to become a client.
Because B2B purchases typically require a lengthier research process compared to other purchases, B2B companies need to stay in touch with potential customers as they move through the different phases of the customer journey. Successful B2B marketers have processes in place to continuously generate new leads and connect with new potential customers.
Lead generation strategies are an effective tool for meeting sales goals and achieving sustainable growth.
The lead generation process can look different from one B2B organization to another. A wide range of strategies is available for connecting with B2B buyers at the beginning of their buying journey, from cold calling to inbound marketing.
While most B2B organizations have a lead generation process in place, not all marketers are getting the results they’re hoping for because few prospects end up making purchases. There are a few reasons why the conversion rate remains low:
The biggest challenge B2B marketers are facing is that prospects prefer to conduct independent research and want to interact with a salesperson later in the buying journey. Potential solutions include building a stronger online presence and delivering a hybrid experience that allows leads to consume digital content and connect with business-to-business sales representatives via their preferred channel.
Applying the following tips will help you build a more robust lead generation process, deliver a better experience, and boost your conversion rate.
Scoring your leads allows you to identify the prospects most likely to make a purchase. With lead scoring, you’re assessing the sales readiness of each lead.
You can adjust your nurturing strategy based on a lead’s score. A prospect who is closer to making a purchase will be receptive to a conversation about pricing, while a lead with a lower score will need broader information to learn more about your product.
Below is a visual depicting the main purpose of lead scoring & nurturing:
Image source: MarketSplash
Connecting with prospects in person can make B2B businesses feel more human and personable. Establishing this initial connection can be difficult since prospects tend to engage in independent research, resulting in the sales rep having only 5% of the prospect’s time during the buying process.
You can stand out by introducing in-person meetings or video calls early in the process, for instance, by adopting prescriptive selling and having your sales team interact with prospects to build customized packages.
A marketing funnel corresponds to the different steps qualified leads take before purchasing. While each prospect’s journey is unique, you can use analytics to uncover trends and pivots that help a lead move on to the next stage of the funnel.
Here is how you can structure your marketing funnel:
Web forms are a powerful tool for connecting with prospects and gathering data that will help you deliver a personalized experience. You’ll get more out of web forms if they’re easy to use.
Remember that prospects might fill these forms out on mobile, which means you need to optimize these pages to load quickly. Consider allowing autofill to help prospects save time.
You should also limit the information you ask prospects to share or make some fields optional. It’s important to build trust and make prospects feel comfortable. A form builder tool, like forms.app, can help you create multi-functional web forms that will get you leads and turn them into customers.
Calls to action are crucial for closing deals. Your marketing team needs to craft strong calls to action that are eye-catching and compelling to get a prospect to move to the next step in their journey after consuming a piece of content. Here is how you can write better calls to action:
Image source: MarketSplash
Getting feedback from current customers can help you improve your lead generation and nurturing process. You can use surveys to get a better idea of the kind of experience customers had during their first purchase and whether or not your sales team met their expectations.
It is important during these conversations to not only be listening actively to what they are saying but to also employ empathic listening. You want your customers to know you care and that this is about more than just closing another deal to you. It is about forming a long-lasting relationship.
Your marketing team needs to give prospects a reason to progress in their buying journey and eventually make an actual purchase. There are different ways of creating an incentive for your audience:
With omnichannel B2B sales being the new standard, your marketing and sales teams need to work closely together. You need to offer a seamless experience as prospects move from independent online research to interacting with a salesperson.
Using a CRM platform is a great way to provide your sales team with insights into the marketing content that a prospect has consumed, or it can provide your marketing team with important sales insights. You also need to achieve consistency with the information you share or the branding you use.
Buying processes are becoming more complex. On average, a B2B buying decision involves six to ten people. You might see a low conversion rate when sales pitching because you’re not interacting with the right people. You should ask prospects if they’re responsible for making the buying decision and get the contact information of other decision-makers involved early in the nurturing process.
Prospects typically compare different vendors as part of their buying journey. If you wait too long before engaging with a lead, the chances are that a competitor will beat you and schedule a sales call before you reach out to a prospect.
Build a flexible sales funnel where prospects have multiple opportunities to interact with your sales team. A tool like an online chat channel can be a great way to establish an initial contact without pressuring prospects.
Social proof can be a powerful argument. You can present social proof via reviews, testimonies, user-generated content, referrals, and case studies. Case studies are a great way to help prospects learn more about your solutions while delivering concrete numbers that show the kind of results they can expect.
User-generated content (UGC) can be a great way to increase sales. Nowadays, people are more likely to believe your customers than they are you. So get your already loyal customers talking and sharing content surrounding your business.
A great sales pitch should present your product or service as a solution that makes sense for the prospect’s needs. Here’s how you can use sales pitches to close deals:
When pitching to customers it is important to keep in mind that your end goal is to close the deal. You have to think about the various factors that may make this deal not go through and how to solve those.
Making improvements to your lead generation and nurturing process will help you get more sales. It’s also important to keep looking for ways to improve your strategies as things evolve.
Some of the top challenges B2B marketers faceSum today include complex decision-making processes for customers, information overload, and prospects with high expectations when it comes to personalization.
Following the tips and tricks we have outlined above will help your B2B business to overcome these challenges and meet their sales goals (maybe even ahead of time).