All Sales Engines must be fed with lead generation. Lead Generation is the art of generating new quality conversations with prospective customers, whether that means cold calling, trade shows, content marketing, or other methods. Which lead generation method is right for your business?
All Sales Engines must be fed with lead generation. Lead Generation is the art of generating new quality conversations with prospective customers.
B2B Lead Generation Methods
In the B2B world, the most commonly practiced methods of lead generation are the following:
- Cold Calling
- Content Marketing
- Trade Shows
- Search Marketing (PPC & SEO)
- Print Advertising
- Email Marketing
Lead Generation Do's
As you consider which lead generation methods offer the biggest bang for the buck, here are a few dos and don’ts with the supporting logic. The dos and don’ts assume your business has finite resources and would benefit by investing in an optimal set of lead generation activities.
- Do invest in search marketing and advancing your web presence. Why? Because 70%+ of B2B decision makers are under 45 years old. Search marketing is relevant because prospects are conducting their pre-purchase research autonomously on search engines using very specific search queries with the intent of sourcing their requirement. The objective of B2B marketers is to be found precisely as the pre-purchase process is taking place. The key takeaway? Today’s B2B marketers are dealing with a digital consumer and late adopters will get left behind. Period.
- Do invest in content marketing. The objective of content marketing is to:
- Attract the right audience
- Reinforce your specialized knowledge
- Drive profitable action
Content marketing is a concept that all B2B marketers need to accept, understand and commit to on a serious level. See my previous blog post which illustrates and explains Content Marketing 101.
The key takeaway on content marketing is that once themes and strategies are established to fit your company’s vertical, competitive advantage and target market, the content produced can be published through multiple channels and mediums. Content marketing is powerful and the price of admission for today’s B2B marketing strategists.
- Do cold call. Cold calling encompasses both contacting prospects through introductory phone calls and emails. This method is not necessarily efficient but necessary. The key to successful cold calling is deploying an effective methodology that’s repeatable. As a successful hunter I’ve outlined a process that’s worked well for me and I’ve explained it in a prior blog post titled “Break Down the Door!”
Lead Generation Dont's
Don’t invest in trade shows, print advertising or list-based email marketing. Why?
- Trade shows are extremely expensive, offer low ROI and are an outdated institution. Exceptions likely exist but, for the most part, marketing budgets are better invested elsewhere.
- Print advertising is dead. Don’t believe me? Why is it that all print directories, newspapers and other print-based media companies are frantically shifting to digital platforms? Because they know they’ll go the route of the local video store if they don’t adapt. Don’t waste your resources in an outdated medium like print unless you have a compelling reason to do so.
- Email marketing may have its place if you have an opt-in database of prospects or customers. However, if you’re purchasing a list segmented by SIC codes or other demographics with the intent of email marketing to them, save your money. The endeavor will be costly and provide low conversion rates.
A strong lead generation strategy ensures you’re feeding The Sales Engine℠ with new, high quality conversations supported by a repeatable process. When lead generation is implemented correctly, sales pipelines are full and new business gets booked because The Sales Engine℠ is running on rocket fuel!