B2B LEAD GENERATION HOW TO GUIDE

Learn how to generate new leads for your marketing and sales funnel

in a process that is repeatable and scalable.

WHY YOU NEED A B2B LEAD GENERATION STRATEGY

Imagine that you own a compass that leads your company into the right direction. The key points would be South for Operations, East for Finance, West for Talent, and North for Lead Generation. North is the axis from which the others rotate. If North is weak or inaccurate, it does not matter how strong you are at the other points, they all are going to be inaccurate. Even if you have a great and efficient operation managed by talented people, the finances and company will be weak with the possibility of not surviving if you do not have enough clients. Having a formula to generate leads in a consistent way using a clear process that is measurable, scalable, and repeatable should be the most important objective of any company.

There is a lot of confusion on which is the best approach. We know there are sales and marketing strategies. But they should work together just as the beginning, when both were part of the same team called the commercial team. If you don't have a clear strategy through a well-defined process, you might get confused and use some tactics that are part of a puzzle, as if they were the real strategy, and you would start investing in campaigns with no results. This will lead the company to waste vast amounts of money and time with a low return on your investment. You will not be able to see your complete marketing funnel and forecast become a real outcome. Utilizing undefined marketing tactics will become a strategy based on hope and illusion rather than facts and data.


This is extremely dangerous because you will end up believing that marketing and digital marketing campaigns do not work for your company. After that point, you will continue repeating the same pattern which will yield the same results. As a result, your company will not progress, and with time, it will become obsolete. Therefore, you need a plan with a methodology and a process. We have found in our experience that the process that brings the most success in relation to new marketing and digital tactics for B2B lead generation is the Inbound Methodology.

At Databranding we took the Inbound Marketing Methodology and adapt it to our own Methodology based on the tactics that has brought the best results to our clients.
B2B lead generation methodologyIt is a process that makes you understand how leads discover that they need to solve a problem. Start looking for the solution and then get into a buying decision process that will end up in a purchase that will solve the issue. The process also helps marketing and salespeople to understand how to help a lead advance and make the next step, rather than be forced into a sales process that has nothing to do with the need of a prospective customer, but with your internal sales processes.

When you force them into your process and not in the way they want to buy or the way they decide, then the sales cycle becomes lengthy, uncertain, and obscure.

This guide has the intention to help you make wise decisions that will propel you to the right strategy, make educated choices about which tactic you should use, and show you how to start with a team that will reach your goals.The unprecedented times during 2020 have taught everyone that a digital strategy is more important than ever for all businesses. The strategy should not be complicated and should be a sum of choices aligned with your potential customers’ needs.

Remember that every marketing and sales process tries to uncover if you, your solution, and the customer are a FIT, an acronym for Finding Impact Together. Understanding how your solution impacts your customers will help you grasp what you are doing. And finding the customer that has more impact will help you get a laser target focus.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 Strategy.-What you do for whom? Align your message, media and solution to maximize your revenue.
2 ROI.-Understand your funnel. How much you are going to invest and what amount comes back.
3 Tactics.-Identify actions that will move the needle so that you can reach your goal.
4 Analytics.-Measure the data and correct the path through optimization.
5 Technology.-Determine the tools you will need to improve the process.
6 Implementation.-Gather the right team, training, and coaching.
7 Conclusion.-Finalize the plan and put it into action.
In a hurry? Download the ebook with all the information.
B2B-LEAD-GENERATION-HOW-TO-GUIDE

1 Lead Generation Strategy

I will discuss mainly digital strategies due to the restrictions that the pandemic has brought to traditional strategies like networking, trade shows and point of purchase messages and advertising. People are staying at home and this will be the new reality that will remain for a while. So you need to adapt to reach your audience in new ways.

There are 3 main activities you need to perform if you want to attract strangers that will get to know and need your solution.

1 Prospecting

This is performed mostly by your sales team. Prospecting is to gather a list of people that have a similar profile and demographics. This profile is your target group. You start making cold calls or cold emails. Unless you make a really good investigation on the person through social media and you detect that the person has the problem you solve you can become SPAM. This technique is not very effective. You know it, think when you receive a cold email or call. It is expensive, needs a lot of effort, time and it is not very effective.

2 Reach

This is what traditional advertising does. You build trust in your audience through a message that repeats all the time and in all the media channels your wallet allows you. This way you produce familiarity and trust. You want all people to recognize your solution, even though they don't need it right away or they are not your target. This is very expensive, invasive and people don't expose themselves as they use to in traditional media. Don´t be fooled by new media like Facebook, the principle is the same, repetition, familiarity and trust.

3 Attraction

This is the best way to do it through digital media. If you need something the first thing you do is ask your phone or computer through Google, Bing, Yahoo or any search engine. This is the most effective way, you have a person that needs to solve a problem that you and your solution solves. They are actively searching you on the internet. So you need to understand how Google works and how your site and your content will be recommended by search engines and attract those potential clients. Of course you can pay to be on those searches but there is a better way in which you don't pay and they search engines have no other option that get you in the first results of a search. It is the most cost effective solution in money and time.

Which of this three methods makes more sense to you? Cold contacts, get every human being to recognize your solution or reach those who are looking right now for your solution? Every time you think of a strategy, choose a media or channel and ask yourself which of these 3 activities you are really doing.

Learn more in this article: "3 approaches to attract new customers with strategies"

You need to concentrate all your efforts, message and budget only on your best customer. This is why your first step is to develop a profile of the best customer you can have. How your solution impacts his life. How important it is to solve that problem for him. Choose the one that has the greatest impact with your solution, because they are willing to pay more for the best result and outcome. Think where they are. How do they search for a solution and what media channels they are spending time on? Make an appealing message through good content. Adapt the content to the media, video, articles and podcasts. Make this content easy to reach and understand and they will come. This is true with content, build it and they will come.

Learn more in this article.

People need information to make a decision. The way they go through questions and they get more deeper in the understanding of their options and solutions is the buyer's journey. You need to understand it so you can boost and connect your messages. There are mainly three stages or three main questions they need to make the decision:

  • Awareness. What does it solve and why do I need it?
  • Consideration. What is the result of choosing a solution? What are my other options?
  • Decision. Why should I buy it from you?

Solving the buyer's journey is very important to solve the way you make your messages and how effective and appealing is your communication with your prospect.

Build your messages with the buyer's journey. All your messages should be centered in the need of your buyer persona. You should talk about them and not about you, mainly at the beginning. If someone has a problem and you start the conversation on how you can solve it you will get their attention right away rather than talking about how big is your company, how many years you have been in business, how big is your footprint. They only care about solving their problem.
Only when they understand what your solution solves, why do they need it and the result of using it, is when you can start talking about why they should do it with you. This is when you need to make a differentiation on how you and your business do things. Why your special sauce is better. Why they can trust you and talk about your warranties.

The best way you can build these remarkable and differentiating stories is through those that have been impacted with your solution. Your actual customers that are happy. This is a great way to show how you helped others. Through third party stories or testimonials you can easily show a problem, why it was important for someone to solve it, show the options they have, show the result, how you did it and the final outcome. It is a complete marketing story and you didn't say it, someone else did. This is the best and most trusted piece of advertising, the testimonial.

Making content comes from questions people ask on how to solve a problem. Who knows all these questions, your sales team or your marketing team? Who has more interaction with real prospects, clients and their problems? Marketing or sales? Of course sales. You should start your journey there. They have all the questions. And Marketing should make appealing content with the answers. And who has all the answers, marketing or sales? The truth is a lot of different people in your company. So sales has the questions, your production and design people have the answers and marketing will make appealing messages that will engage your buyer persona. You need to align your sales, marketing and production teams. We all are marketing. This is the way to make lots of attracting content.

2 Lead Generation ROI.

Understanding the ROI is all about understanding and measuring your funnel. You get leads into your funnel and a big percentage will abandon the process and at the end you will end up with customers. Your questions should be:

  • How many people should I attract into the funnel? Strangers that become visitors.
    Example: You have 10,000 new visitors each month on your website.
  • How many visitors will convert? Visitors that are willing to trade their name and email for valuable information. Visitors that become leads.
    Example: The benchmark of the conversion rate on websites is 1.5% so 10,000 x 1.5% = 150 leads.
  • Of those leads that show a little bit of interest, how many will engage with my solution? Leads that become MQL or Marketing Qualified Leads. People who are engaged.
    Example: 80% will become MQL, 150 X 80%=120 MQL
  • How many MQLs will trust me enough to take a call and start a conversation with a sales rep. MQLs that become SQL or Sales Qualified Leads.
    Example: 15% will be willing to talk to a sales rep. 120 x 15%=18 SQL
  • How many SQLs are well qualified and want to receive a proposal. SQLs that become real opportunities.
    Example: 50% will become opportunities. 18 x 50%= 9 opportunities
  • If your closing rate is 30% you will have 3 new customers.
  • So now you know how much activitity and which tactics you need to perform to get the amount of clients you want.

How much should it cost?

You want that all the effort costs less than the price of your transaction per customer. If not you will lose a lot of money. But you need to understand to measure the results in the short and long term.

Short term

Short term is to evaluate your results through the first transaction. In the example if you end up with 3 clients and your average sales is $500 dollars your revenue will be $1,500 dollars. The whole campaign should cost less than that to make a profit, right? This might be true for some business models, but the truth is a client will buy more times from you. Of course if your solution was the right one and you have happy customers.

Long term

To evaluate the same example in the long term you should do it through the lifetime value of a customer. As an example a customer in a supermarket will live around 5 years in the same area. He will spend those $500 dollars per week during 60 months. So let's do the math. $500 x 4 weeks per month = $2,000 x 60 months = $120,000 dollars. This is how much all the effort is worth.

Budget

With this math you can evaluate if the solution will make sense in your business model. Do the math or you will never see your complete funnel.

In a hurry? Download the ebook with all the information.
B2B-LEAD-GENERATION-HOW-TO-GUIDE

3 Lead Generation Tactics and Techniques

You need to choose the tactics that will become the actual activities that will help you move the needle in each stage of the buyer persona and the buyer's journey. Choose the right ones and understand how much you should increase each activity to move the needle to the direction you want.

Prospecting and Awareness Tactics:

These tactics are for creating brand awareness. You want an audience or target group to recognize your brand, product, service or solution. These tactics are more traditional tactics.

  • Search engine paid results.- You pay Google, Bing or Yahoo for keywords that are present in a question a consumer asks. You get into the advertising results and if the person clics you will get charged.
  • Retargeting.- Did you ever have the feeling that an add is following you through all the internet? That is retargeting. If you navigate on the same browser like Chrome or Firefox, Google knows all your navigation history. So you will see those banners across multiple websites and social media sites.
  • Banners.- Your message will display in all the sites that gave permission to Google to use a space in their pages to promote whatever they want.
  • Youtube ads.- Like in TV you can make a video commercial that people can see before the real content they want to see.
Your message will be displayed in the users feed when they match your segmentation criteria, like people who live in x miles around this area and those like Harry Potter.
You can buy lists of emails of people that don't know you, your solution and never gave you the permission to contact them. You can start sending your message that eventually will become spam. We do not recommend this, it is illegal in many states and countries and you can be banned from email servers and your domain can be penalized.
You know what it is and how annoying and ineffective this could be.

Attraction Tactics for B2B Lead Generation:

These tactics are for reaching people who already are looking for your solution online. They might not know you but they are searching how they can solve a problem.

If answers are what people lookon the internet you should make lots of content with those answers. This content can take any format.

  • Written, Video or Audio. And you will need to adapt and put those content in the correct media channel.
  • Written articles in a blog. This is one of the most important channels you should have.
  • Videos in your Youtube Channel.
  • Audio in a streaming channel like Itunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.
  • Product information in an ecommerce catalog.
These are channels where you should promote the content you make in your other channels and redirect them to your website.
Learn why this is important.

Search Engine Optimization is the way you help the search engines to crawl and classify the information of your website. Also you can research the trends of what people are searching and how they are searching so you can match your content strategy with the search statistics.

You should have all your contents concentrated in a Hub where people recognize as the main source and navigate through all your content. Also they will interact with you there.

Conversion Tactics (Educational content):

Once people are attracted to your digital content you need a tactic to gather their name and email to start a conversation.

All the educational content you use to convert leads. You offer special content in exchange for your leads data, you combien this technique with call to actions, landing pages and forms. This content can be ebooks, infographics, whitepapers, checklists, How to content, videos, podcasts, webinars, case studies, demo, etc...

Every time you convert a lead and trade your content in exchange for their data, you need a form with fields like name, email etc... Every time you have a new conversion you have the opportunity to know a little bit more about your lead. This will help you with the segmentation. You should find a balance of how much information you gather each time. If you ask too much at the beginning people won't give you everything, they don't know you and trust you. This might inhibit the conversion. If you ask too little you won't be able to segment, classify and understand what the lead is searching for in your website or what is his intention.

Is the page where the user can fill in their data to get your premium content offer.

Chats in your website stimulates conversations with your leads. You can do this by having a team backing up your website, as if you had a call center where people can call you and ask anything. When you don't have a team available you can program a chatbot that will make these conversations with your leads.

Lead nurturing tactics:

When a lead shows a little bit of interest in your solution they are not ready to buy. Only 3 % will take immediate action. You need to remember them to continue with their search and help them advance in their buyers journey. If you know your buyer persona, you know all their questions, make it easy to access those questions and answers one at a time through nurturing tactics.

Email marketing can be used as a cold email campaign without any context trying to fish. Or it can be a powerful tool that you can use for nurturing campaigns with valuable information and in context with your leads.

Is the process of assigning values or points based on the activity of your lead. As an example if the lead downloaded an ebook you can assign 2o points, if he entered a specific page like price you add 10 points. Also you can assign negative numbers, as an example if he fills up and forms a student you can subtract 50 points, or if he is from a country you don't give service you can subtract another 50 points. This way is easy to measure how good and qualified a lead is.

Based on your lead activities you trigger actions like notifications, emails, change in status, etc... These changes are made automatically so you can segment your database and adapt your messages with the lead's intention. This way you can be more helpful and deliver more value.

Close tactics:

When a lead has engaged with your content is time to take action and make a person to person interaction. By this moment you must have built enough familiarity, context and value. You shouldn't be a stranger anymore. This makes it much easier that the prospect is willing to take a call from you or schedule an appointment if he has not done it by himself before you reach him. After that you are going to address all the tough questions about price, warranties, legal stuff, etc...

A sales process is a repeatable set of steps that a sales team makes to move leads forward from an evaluation and exploring stage to the customer. Your team needs a process that has 4 stages. Identify who can be your customer and who can not. Connect with the customer through email, phone call, social media or MSN. Have an exploration meeting and an internal evaluation process. Advice and send a proposal and at the end close the deal.

Your sales team needs an evaluation process to assess if a lead is a fit for your company and solution. Not having a well designed process will make you get involved with bad leads and long sales processes with no defined timelines and bad closing rates. You have several methodologies like GPCT, BANT or the one that I like the most Issue, Impact and Importance.

Content should be all along your process. At the bottom of the funnel is the same. You need presentations, brochures, emails, etc... If you follow the buyer's journey at the bottom your content should concentrate on why it is important to do business with you. Is the right moment to talk about your company and how you do things differently.

You need to be effective when you communicate with your leads. You should track this communication in a CRM and help your sales teams to have great conversations with your prospects. Also you need templates so the communication is aligned through all your sales reps.

You will end up delivering a proposal where you show them the solution with the specific product or services that will provide the resolution of their problem. New people are going to get involved and they will try to negotiate the terms. Remember if you talk about results, the conversation will move away from focusing on price.

Delight Tactics:

You should deliver results for the solution you sold. Your target is to build a long lasting relationship with your client that will bring more sales. If you can you should exceed customer's expectations to create a positive customer experience to improve loyalty.

You need to have a program where happy clients talk about their experience with your company and solution. This will help lead to take decisions based on others' experiences.

You should ask for referrals only when the client is completely satisfied. Instead of asking if they know someone that you can stalk you should ask them if they know someone who has the same issue you help them with.

You should find a way to continue generating value through new content on how they can use in a better way your solution. You can send these messages through email and social media.

Try to solve every problem and align your solution with their individual wishes and needs. You can track the progress also in a CRM and make follow up tickets, surveys and track all the customers feedback and communication with your teams.

You can make campaigns focused on how the customer can expand their experience and your solution with add ons.

Remember all of these tactics can be used along all the stages. You should adapt the message within the buyer's journey to make effective communication.

4 Lead Generation Analytics

You can't optimize what is not measured. Measuring the performance of every tactic, event, activity and campaign is crucial to improve and repeat what is working and forget the ideas that didn't engage with your leads. Each stage has different KPIs that are crucial to understand, follow and track. Optimizing each step is very important to hit your goals.

  • Website visitors
  • Source of visitors
  • Social Reach
  • Keywords
  • External links
  • Number of new pages published
  • New leads added on database
  • Conversion rate from visitors to leads
  • Engagement
  • Blog subscribers, Blog, podcast, youtube
  • Social media fans
  • CTA button conversion rate
  • Webinar registration and attendees
  • Email open rate
  • Click on emails
  • New page visits from leads
  • Landing pages conversion
  • Email open rate and clics
  • Number of MQL's
  • Downloads of premium content
  • Number of SQL's
  • Sales opportunities
  • Downloads of premium content
  • # Deals
  • Ammoun of Deals
  • Downloads of premium content
  • # of proposals
  • Proposal views
  • Days from proposal to decision

Dashboards

You should have information dashboards where you can track all this metrics in real time. Filter the information with variables like selected date range and properties filters. If you have a graphic interface it is much easier to view the information. The goal is to find insights that are meaningful for optimizing changes that will increase your revenue.

5 Lead Generation Technology and platforms

You need to choose the technology that helps you make all the work easier. There are so many options of tools that you can choose from. There is no one tool that has everything, this is why you should invest in having big platforms that have a lot of tools and can be integrated with other platforms.

Content Management System is a software platform that allows to build and manage a website and the content published in it. You can create, manage and modify website pages, landing pages, call to actions and forms. Depending on the platform the user experience is more intuitive or technical. The ideal platform are those that are friendly user and less knowledge of coding in HTML, CSS and JavaScript is required.

The integration of every CMS with other collaborative tools is very important so the workflow is easier with bloggers, copywriters, photographers, graphic designers and social media managers.

CMS PLATFORMS
The most popular CMS platforms in order of capabilities and user friendly experience are:
HUBSPOT, WORDPRESS, MAGENTO,WEBFLOW, GHOST, JOOMLA, DRUPAL.

The one that we consider a more friendly user is Hubspot. Almost all of our clients use Hubspot as the main tool.

A CRM or Customer relationship management is a system for managing relationships with your customers. Is a system that should be connected to your CMS, automation software and analytics. The true power of this system is when you segment your leads through their activity and the software helps your marketing and sales teams take action to start campaigns, communications and messages that are important and with relevance to your leads and customers.

The most popular CRMs are:

Hubspot, Salesforce, Zoho, Cloudmine, CrowdFlower.

The SEO tools will help you understand what keywords have the most volume searches and the grade of difficulty to target those keywords. It also helps you to track if you are hitting the first results in a certain location. They also assess the best SEO practices in your website pages and notify if there are any errors or improvements you can optimize. They can also give you the rank of your pages and see the level of authority of your website. You can measure your competitors in terms of ranking and understand the way they build their keyword strategy.

Our favorites are:

SemRush, MOZ y Kewordtool.Io

Ecommerce platforms allow you to have an advanced system catalog of products. They make easy to manage product features, prices, inventory, promotions and transactions. You should find a platform that is easy to use and can integrate with a powerful CMS and CRM.

The most popular are:

Shopify, Volusion, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce.

There are tons of platforms and you can choose from a lot of prices, features and integrations. We recommend having the advice of an expert, this will save you lots of time and money. The platform we recommend that can integrate with all the others and is easy to use is Hubspot. Learn more about why you should consider using it.

6 Lead generation Implementation

The most difficult part of a B2B lead generation strategy is the implementation. This is because you have several teams with different perspectives that have to play in the same team. They usually see themselves as different teams with different goals and abilities. This is why you should align their whole vision and train them to understand how the strategy works and how they are part of the everyday tactics.


Same vision

The vision has to come from the C level of your company. You need to align the vision of a sales and marketing team. If you don't do first they will remain doing separate activities and wont see how the results are affected by playing or not playing as a team. We recommend having a workshop where C level, management, marketing and sales teams are trained in the Inbound Methodology in a way everyone can understand.


Sales and marketing Alignment

Sales people need to understand that a question asked by a lead will become into a content that will attract visitors, that convert into leads and they will become into a sales conversation and meeting. This is very difficult for sales teams to see the connection. If they help to provide the questions and the most answers they can, they will get more sales meetings with real prospects.

Marketing teams need to understand that they need sales people to focus on the needs the leads have. This is because they are not in constant contact with leads and clients. They need to focus more on a client centric perspective that will allow the content to engage and bring value to their buyer personas.


Training

Training is going to be a very important part of the implementation of the strategy and tactics. You need to train your teams from the main concepts to the most minimal features of the software they are going to use. If they don't see that this will boost their productivity, save time and money, they won't adopt the new way of doing things.

7 Conclusion.

Learning how to set up and run a new way of attracting, convert and close leads is a huge task. Don't worry this is why agencies like Databranding exist. Our goal is to help you and your team adopt the philosophy, methodology and technology for making a lead generation machine in the easiest way possible. Don't do it yourself, of course you can but you can skip the learning curve, time and the cost of mistakes if you use the help of professionals in the field.

In a hurry? Download the ebook with all the information.
B2B-LEAD-GENERATION-HOW-TO-GUIDE