Digital marketing will only result in increased sales if the marketing activities are shaped to attract interested prospects that are ready (or able) to buy. Supporting the sales department and providing sales qualified leads (SQLs) should be every marketing department’s top priority. Despite this, many companies undertake marketing projects that do not contribute directly to sales.
B2B lead generation is closely related to growth since the main focus is to supply the sales force with warm leads ready to do business. The more high-relevance meetings supplied to the sales force, the more potential deals will be closed – increasing growth.
The objective of any marketing activity should be to enable and augment customers into the sales process. Yet, most of the sales and marketing specialists fail to reach this goal due to the lack of insights in the market. Instead of exhausting funds and efforts targeting an audience that you are not sure requires your product, it is important to channel efforts into finding the niche where your services/products are sought after and creates value for customers.
However, there are multiple challenges to generating and qualifying leads. Trends in buying behaviors have shifted lead generation from being focused on data-mining and push strategies, to be more dependent on pull marketing tactics. The new B2B buyer is in charge of their research process and has full control throughout their buying journey. The best way to reach decision-makers is not through cold-calling or blind email blasts, but rather through thorough prospecting and using channels preferred by the receiver.
Some of the best leads are those gained organically through search engine optimization as these individuals have found your business on a search engine when looking to satisfy a need. However, many of these still need to be qualified before the sales process can begin properly. Usually, in digital channels, this is done by the web visitor themselves, as they would go from anonymous traffic to SQL by filling out a contact form. There are however some exceptions, as with outbound communications, where a salesperson needs to manually qualify prospects and start guiding them through the sales process.
This is not to say that outbound marketing is ineffective, but it needs to be preceded by a lot of planning and research to ensure that you are communicating to a relevant audience that wants to buy your product or services. The shift in communications and B2B purchasing has greatly changed how marketing is done: it’s not about selling, but helping customers to buy. This is fundamental to GO MO Group’s B2B lead generation services.
Generating qualified leads can be done either through outbound or inbound tactics. Common for both is that the strategies need to be aligned with the potential customers’ purchasing habits and preferred channels.
Outbound marketing is an effective, albeit comparatively labor-intensive process of generating leads. There are many factors that affect the outcome of an outbound marketing campaign, and even if everything is done “correctly” – there is a large amount of luck involved regarding timing. We have identified some aspects that tend to make campaigns more successful.
As with any marketing campaign, getting a complete understanding of one’s target audience is key. In addition to identifying promising touchpoints and channels for communication, an outbound campaign involves prospecting: collecting contact information. Searching through databases or doing manual research can be an arduous way of finding prospects that fit the profile for a campaign. When deciding the parameters for prospects, it is important to use an “outside-in” approach – not “who do we want to reach”, but rather “who would be interested in our offering”.
A common misconception about outbound campaigns is that they give quick results when, in fact, they are more likely to be successful if the focus is on nurturing a relationship, rather than selling immediately. This long-term approach will mitigate the risk that your campaign fails due to mistiming – if the prospect is not ready to buy at the time you send out emails or call, they might be at a later date.
Inbound leads are the result of sales-focused marketing. By using data on what your target audience wants in building your campaigns, it is possible to create digital assets that generate leads on an ongoing basis. For instance, a website that is continually updated with fresh, high-quality content targeting the correct keywords for your audience will be a strong asset in generating B2B leads online.
Inbound marketing does not have to be through organic channels, however, we have seen that search engine advertising is a great way to complement a digital marketing strategy focused on generating leads. Using data to apply a full pull marketing strategy, it is possible to be part of almost every potential customers’ buying journey, which means optimal exposure to a purchase-inclined audience.
A combination of inbound and outbound digital strategies can greatly help generate leads for your business. Adding digital channels will give the sales organization an online acceleration with SQLs from the web as well as traditional channels. Combining outbound B2B lead generation services with inbound digital marketing makes the strategy very effective and cost-efficient.
In order to capitalize on the leads generated, the sales organization will need to be equipped to process the potential new clients. Digitalization of the sales organization also means involving the sales staff in the planning for marketing activities to ensure that marketing and sales activities generate synergies rather than being independent. Likewise, the goals of the two functions should be aligned and synched. Sales will not notice any difference in changes to web traffic, but will definitely notice if the number of incoming leads increases.
In order for a marketing project to result in new leads, it must be meticulously planned to reach the target audience. A problem that is surprisingly common is that organizations focus on what they want to communicate in their campaigns, instead of focusing on what the target audience wants. Using data, it is possible to understand both who would benefit from your products and services and how these organizations can be approached. This can be beneficial in selecting the most effective channels to generate leads, but also in generating organic SEO leads, as the content strategy needs to target the keywords your target audience uses when they search for companies like your own.
From a marketing perspective, it is important to focus on the KPIs that matter for the organization as a whole – CRO, number of leads, quality of leads. Sales, on the other hand, will need to adapt their methodology to optimally communicate to their prospects. If data shows that Linkedin is a source for lucrative business relationships, the sales staff must adapt and act on this insight and pursue leads on Linkedin.
Online brand awareness
A key metric for generating leads via one’s digital channels is brand awareness. Being a known brand in your industry can greatly contribute to your lead generation and SEO performance. For smaller companies, a well-thought-out SEO strategy will result in greater exposure on search engines, which will directly increase brand awareness.
Accurate prospecting and targeting, combined with utilizing the optimal channels for reaching your target audience will greatly increase the conversion rate of your lead generation efforts. By tweaking aspects of your communication – copy, targeting, or channels used, etc. – it is possible to find the optimal approach to generating leads through digital marketing.
"We needed to develop our business digitally but we didn't really know how. This is where GO MO Group and Henrik helped us in a fantastic way during the journey both as a partner and as an advisor. Their assistance has led to a constant flow of leads and has opened up new opportunities for us as a company that we will continue to develop."
Ted Jokiniemi, Marketing Manager, Säkra Larm