My sales team hates making cold calls to prospects…
We don’t have the bandwidth to make 1,000s of prospecting calls every month…
We just don’t have the resources to reach enough people in our industry…
If you’re a business owner who has found yourself saying any of the statements above, you’re not alone. In fact, according to Jumplead, Increasing lead volume is a top priority for 55% of B2B professionals, topped only by increasing lead quality (at 68%.)
Every B2B company wants more well-qualified, warm leads in their pipeline in order to operate at their maximum efficiency and increase their sales conversion or close rate. But how do you achieve it with a sales team who is already working at max capacity?
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The best way to bring in more B2B leads depends on a lot of factors about your individual business — however, there are a few methods that have been proven to work time and time again, across various industries and functions.
The key is finding a strategy that works for you, and in most cases, it all comes down to knowing your audience and how they interact with your business.
In this blog, we’re going to look at five proven ways to help increase qualified leads for B2B companies that you can consider for your own business.
Let’s dive in!
What are the best lead generation strategies for B2B businesses?
The strategies listed below include both inbound and outbound strategies and can be used by SMBs as well as enterprise companies across thousands of industries! Again, the key is thinking about your unique customer’s needs, and what type of approach from this list would best connect with them.
Content marketing refers to the creation and sharing of any online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that are intended to stimulate interest in a company’s product or services. This is an extremely effective B2B lead generation strategy due to the fact that it focuses on qualifying and educating leads before they ever speak with a member of your sales department.
Content marketing really works in two ways when it comes to B2B lead generation:
First, content marketing builds trust with consumers through helpful, educational content that is targeted to each phase of the customer’s buying journey.
As you probably well know, prospects at the very top of your sales funnel have very different questions, concerns, and hesitations than prospects at the bottom. And the way you reach customers in these different phases of the buying process differs as well. Successful content marketing takes all of these factors into account in order to speak directly to prospects about their unique pain points.
For example, let’s say you have a customer at the top of the funnel in the research phase of the buying process. During this phase, your company’s content marketing would aim to get in front of the customer via social media, a blog post, video, or podcast. The content would explain exactly what problems your solution addresses, how it addresses them, and why the customer should consider working with you.
In contrast, you have another customer at the bottom of your funnel. This customer is more concerned with wanting to know why they should work with your business over a competitor, and what the true ROI of your solution is for them. In this phase, your content marketing would answer to this by providing case studies, testimonials, competitor analysis, etc.
Secondly, content marketing promotes search engine optimization (SEO) to help companies be more easily found via an online search.
Here’s an interesting statistic to consider: 93% of online customer experiences begin with a search engine. This means, if your company is not paying attention to where you’re ranking in search engines, you could be missing out on a huge lead generation opportunity.
Content marketing works to help your website get recognized by search engines for common questions or searches your prospects are performing. This is achieved through the use of keywords and keyword phrases within the content of your website. SEO can get a bit complicated, but investing in a dedicated strategy can really help increase your brand awareness and website traffic— and in turn, your conversions.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
Similar to SEO, PPC advertising focuses on capturing website traffic from potential customers based on their online search phrases. Popular PPC platforms include Google Adwords, Bing Ads, and LinkedIn Ads.
PPC works by showing advertisements to potential customers based on what they’re searching for. Companies who use PPC bid on keywords in order to capture traffic and get their ads shown to potential prospects.
There are some upsides and downsides to using PPC to generate leads. It can take quite a lot of work to get your PPC campaigns running efficiently, and depending on your industry, bidding on popular keywords can be quite expensive. You also need to run PPC campaigns in conjunction with some content marketing in order to further qualify leads before they reach your pipeline.
However, if you can dedicate some time and budget to making PPC work, it can be a great way to get your brand in front of potential customers who are searching for your exact product or service.
Email Marketing technically falls into the same bucket as content marketing; however, you can rely on email to be your entire content marketing strategy— whether it’s used for cold outreach or keeping warm leads interested.
The key to generating leads is always to be wherever your leads are. And your leads use and rely on email. On average, professionals check their email 15 times per day! This presents a great opportunity for companies to get their brand in front of prospects.
The key to a successful cold email is making a great first impression. So, do your research, pay attention to your subject lines, and make sure your emails are extremely relevant to the potential customers you’re sending them to. Cold emails can save a lot of time over cold calling if you use a general template that can be easily customized.
With cold outreach via email, it’s also important to follow-up. Many B2B companies swear by the 3×3 rule— following up a maximum of three times, three days apart as a winning formula for getting a response.
Consumers have new expectations when it comes to how and when they get their questions answered by company representatives. Live chat presents an opportunity for your sales teams to speak with prospects in the moment when they’re already interested in learning more about your company.
Live chat is better suited for the B2C environment and can be an incredibly effective way to hook leads while they’re warm, answer their questions and qualify them within minutes, vs. waiting hours or days.
The key to an effective live chat experience is to have someone who is knowledgeable about your business available and responsible for the live chat channel. If you choose to outsource this function, be sure to invest in a company that is actually going to take the time to learn the correct answers to your customer’s common questions. A bad live chat experience will cost you customers. In fact, after just one negative experience with live chat, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again.
Outsourcing your Outbound
No matter what type of inbound marketing you use, nothing can quite replace the power of outbound marketing. Even with all of the strategies above put into place, statistics show that the importance of keeping up with cold calls and appointment setting with potential prospects cannot be overstated:
- According to the Rain Group study, 57% of C-level buyers prefer that salespeople call them
- About half of all directors and managers prefer the call, too
- 69% of buyers accepted a call from new salespeople in the past 12 months
- 82% of buyers accept meetings when salespeople reach out to them
So how do you overcome your bandwidth problem when it comes to cold outreach?
Outsourcing cold prospecting and sales calls to a trusted partner who can increase your outbound calls exponentially, and it is both more efficient and more effective than relying solely on your sales team. Outsourcing outbound calling helps to get qualified leads into your pipeline and allows your talented and knowledgeable sales team to concentrate on doing what they do best – making presentations and closing sales with well-qualified leads!
The Bottom Line: Your Team Doesn’t Have to Struggle with Generating Well-Qualified B2B Leads!
Investing in strategies that will help increase your qualified B2B leads is an investment well worth making. Increasing your inbound and outbound outreach enables your sales team to spend less time prospecting and more time speaking to potential customers and forming personal relationships — and this is where the true value lies.
If you’re looking for a trusted partner who can help increase your outbound sales outreach, check out Leads at Scale. We offer a three-pronged approach to help you get more warm sales appointments, reduce costs, close more sales, and grow faster. Request a demo today.