Many SMEs Business struggle in generating qualified B2B Leads to generate sales conversations. They base much of their sales activity on referrals, networking, and some pay per lead models, on email outreach or LI sales messages but without solid results or without generating enough sustainable business on a regular basis to growth their business.
This challenge is made even worst in a middle of a pandemic that has changed the way that we work, do business, and engage with customers. Before the pandemic, generating sales conversations was all about meeting in person, building solid relationships by networking or doing outreach over the phone, etc. Everything has changed. How can we call someone if they are working from home and not at the office? The difficulty in generating B2B qualified leads across sectors has significantly increased in past months.
Understanding that, what is the solution to our problems? How can SMEs without significant budgets, and dependent on generating monthly sales to pay their bills, generate qualified B2B leads in a sustainable and regular way? And I mean by leads, real leads, not emails, not a phone number, not a random message that someone left on a site without even knowing the name of the company (yes unfortunately, this happens in a pay per lead model, which is spoiling the market).
A Lead needs to have a need, urgency and a budget. So, what is the solution?
1: Understand that Lead Generation and Sales should be a priority. Without Sales there is no business! That’s it! So, it means, carefully choosing the channels, strategies, methodologies that should be applied in a consistent way. It means following up the leads as a matter of priority. It means presenting proposals as fast as possible, it means, using experience sales teams that understand their roles, from prospecting to closing. It means, preparing the sales collaterals, it means understanding value propositions, USPs, Compelling Messages etc. All of that is important when you do Lead Generation. In the end you are engaging in customers in different ways.
2: Research what problems are you trying to solve. It’s not about you, it’s about the problems that you are trying to solve for your customers and the benefits of using your company, services or products. In a competitive environment, why should they choose you? Apply this approach to your Lead Generation strategy and messaging.
3: Define your Compelling Messages based on the problems that you are trying to solve, your value proposition and your USPs, and please don’t think that you are wasting your time doing this analysis. What are you going to say to a customer over the phone? What messages are you going to use on your emails, LI outreach or Lead Gen Ads? What are you going to say that makes a customer to say, yes, I want to know more, and get in touch?
4: Apply an integrated omni-channel strategy. Different people, react to different things. Some will not like cold calling, some will not respond to emails from unknown people, some will spend their time on social media and the best way to engage is through a lead gen ad, etc. A combination between outbound and inbound in the B2B space is crucial to generate solid and qualified leads.
5: Understand your audiences, understand their decision makers, focus on your priority sectors, focus on audiences that are more likely to convert. To whom do you sell? Do not think, ‘oh, everyone needs my product or service’, wrong!!!
6: Maxime your strategy. Use the channels that are going to target your buyer, use all the available targeting capabilities to reach out to your decision makers in a personalised and effective way.
7: Reduce media waste, analyse KPIs, track and measure performance and please apply at least 3 months lead generation strategy. Do not think that you are going to generate 30 qualified leads in the first month of a lead generation campaign! Are you talking about enquires or leads? If you are talking about enquires, you need to develop a strategy that is based on data, insights, performance analysis. Don’t base your decisions on 1 month’s lead generation campaign and then assume that didn’t work. Have a sustained campaign over several months. How long did you take to create your product or service? Why should lead gen and sales be different?
8: Measure and invest a solid budget on Lead Generation. If it’s a priority, as it should be, (without leads, there are no sales, and without sales there is no business) analyse your Cost Per Lead, your Cost Per Acquisition, and improve your lead generation strategy and campaigns/activities. Optimising and maximising through testing & learning is part of a successful lead generation campaign.
9: Think about the Sales Cycle. Don’t stop your lead generation campaign because leads are not generated in a few days. There is always a sales cycle to be aware of in the B2B space. Don’t assume that your lead generation campaign is not working because you take 2 or 3 months to make the sale. Improve your sales cycle if necessary, but do not stop the Lead Generation campaigns.
10: Choose your Lead Generation provider wisely. Please don’t trust in easy solutions like: I can give you 20 leads per month, and you only pay per lead and only if you accept those leads, and only if you have as meeting with those leads. Don’t forget a Lead is about need, urgency and budget.
Many other points could be added that will make a difference on a lead generation campaign to get successful results and to generate qualified leads in a sustainable way to grow your pipeline and business. If you want to know more how we have been doing this for 17 over years, please do get in touch