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Prabhakar Kaushik Author's Perspective
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3 Minute read

15 B2B Lead Generation Tips to Build Healthy Sales Pipelines

65% of companies have a tough time in lead generation. This becomes even more difficult when it comes to B2B lead generation, because the entire sales process gets a whole lot more complicated with longer sales cycles and more stakeholder involved. In fact, lead generation is a key pain point for 58% of business leaders.

Increasing competition, abundance of options and information online, and difficulty in tracking, reaching and engaging with prospective customers means B2B lead generation will continue to be a tough cookie to crack for companies. However, they must focus on generating high-quality B2B leads anyway, to establish a healthy sales pipeline and boost profits.

Essential Tips to Improve Lead Generation

Here are some tips that companies can use to improve their B2B lead generation for building a healthy sales pipeline:

  1. Develop the Right Content Strategy
  2. The right content strategy is crucial to appeal to the peculiar business-oriented readers. Using content assets like blogs, social media posts, and case studies, and gated content like eBooks can help companies improve lead generation.

    Targeting the right audience with the right content is also equally important for a content strategy to be effective. As the sales funnel is divided into three parts - top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel targeting customers at different funnel stages with relevant content can improve ROI.
    Here's how you can target the customers based on their position in the sales funnel with the right content:

    • Top of the Funnel (ToFu): Blogs, articles, infographics, and videos
    • Middle of the Funnel (MoFu): Free email guides, eBooks, whitepapers, reports, and checklists
    • Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu): Webinars, sales materials, and product demos

  3. Build a Good SEO Strategy
  4. An effective way to improve lead generation for B2B sellers can be by looking at their SEO strategy as a market research process. Start with shortlisting kinds of queries and searches relevant to the business.

    By implementing in-depth SEO and keyword research, you can get a fair idea of what customers are looking for online and what must be included in your content to maximize your reach. Targeting the right customers with the right keyword strategy can be a great place to start. Separate them based on their position in the sales funnel for optimal impact:

    • ToFu: High to mid traffic keywords
    • MoFu: Long-tail information keywords
    • BoFu: Mid to low traffic keywords

  5. Increase Focus on PPC Ad Campaigns
  6. Most companies use pay-per-click ad campaigns to target just top-of-the-funnel customers or to generate new leads. While this is a great way to draw customers to your landing page, website, or other supplemental content, the same strategy can also be used to keep customers engaged at earlier stages of the funnel. For this, marketers must understand that customers use different types of keywords to look for the same product in various sales funnel stages.

    Companies can also create single keyword-focused ad groups to improve lead generation. These ad groups can help companies deliver continuity and consistency to their target customers. With this approach, assigning negative keywords for campaigns can help companies appear in relevant searches. For example, "time management software" would be a negative keyword for a campaign focused on "project management software."

  7. Run LinkedIn Ads
  8. 89% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for high-quality lead generation, while 62% said it helps them generate over 2x more leads than the next-best social media channel. LinkedIn gives sales representatives and marketing teams the benefits of connecting with the right customers and analyzing the results. The scalable targeting filters and in-depth interaction analytics helps companies derive the most from the generated data to increase lead generation.

    Fig. Dashboard View of Analytics for LinkedIn Ads

    As LinkedIn is home to more than 575 million professionals, including 2.8 million decision-makers and 260,000 C-suite executives; leveraging its benefits can help companies expand their reach to a larger audience. Using it for various promotional campaigns by running ads on the website can help companies draw more leads from LinkedIn's broad user base. It can also help B2B marketers target ads as per relevancy to maximize efforts towards lead conversion.

  9. Turn to Email Marketing
  10. Research suggests that over 48% of marketers believe that email marketing is a good strategy for lead generation online. Improving their customer experiences with personalized emails derived from insights into the customer's journey can help companies increase lead generation.

    Fig. Zendesk Promoting Omnichannel Marketing

    Mobile optimized emails help companies draw in high-quality B2B leads by reaching out to more B2B customers who read emails on their smartphones. Using tools like Salesforce's Email Studio can help companies deliver personalized emails with customizable email templates. Salesforce also offers its users email scheduling which helps automate email campaigns to smoothen the lead generation process and save time for marketing and sales reps.

  11. Improve Social Media Presence
  12. Numbers show that a typical B2B buyer looks at approximately seven or more sources before making a purchase. While most life functions have moved online, a customer is bound to look for your company on social media websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or even Twitter.

    Here, use your content to your advantage, and present yourself to prospects not just as a viable option to an option that is highly reviewed and liked. Also engage with them in many ways – ask them questions, talk about their issues, or present solutions to common industry problems. Garner their overall trust by using your social media platforms to give them actual value, something the B2B buyers look forward to. Once happy with what the buyers see on your social media, the leap from a reader to a lead is not too big. For instance, John Deere maintains a regular supply of highly engaging content on all social media channels to keep steady customer retention resulting in constant growth -

    Fig. Impact of Consistent Social Media Engagement on John Deere Numbers

  13. Increase Engagement with Short Videos
  14. Imagine watching a two-minute video instead of reading a ten-page product user manual explaining the same. A B2B customer with limited time and motivation would prefer the latter. In the current fast-paced market, decision-makers can lose hundreds if not thousands of dollars per minute. Keeping this in mind, sales and marketing teams need to give them content that is quick and effortless to consume, in order to increase B2B lead generation.

  15. Host Events Online
  16. A live event strategy has become an essential part of the lead generation process over the last few years. Not having that in place can reduce your opportunity to gather a bunch of leads via your attendees. That being said, sales and marketing teams need to conduct the right kinds of events for the right target audience using relevant content. Without relevance and targeting, the events are essentially useless for lead generation.

    Building attendees' persona is a crucial step to generate the correct type of webinar content. The right kind of follow-up system must be put in place to covert webinar attendees to high-quality B2B leads. Make sure you have the KPIs set in place before the event to understand better the target you are aiming to achieve. Having a well-integrated CRM like Salesforce can help companies smoothen the lead generation and follow-up processes after the event.

    Fig. Email Invite for Webinar by Asana

    Fig. Example of Webinar Landing Page

  17. Get Listed on B2B Marketing Places
  18. Fig. Top Web Development Companies Search Result on Clutch

    B2B marketing places like G2 Crowd, Software Advice, Capterra, GetApp and Clutch give customers a broader view of technology solutions providers in a particular domain and helps them choose the right fit. Being listed on these marketplaces gives companies the leverage to reach a more extensive customer base that is already looking for products and service in the domain. The type of content and features placed in such a place can result in inbound lead generation to build healthy sales pipelines.

  19. Promote Outbound Lead Generation
  20. Outbound marketing is an excellent way for companies to reach out to interested customers directly. Your marketing and sales departments must use outbound marketing to lever the company's growth process. Outbound lead generation is a process of focusing marketing and sales efforts into activities that involve reaching out to people that fit your ideal customer profile.

    The goal for marketers and sales reps in outbound marketing is to generate interest in a product to build a healthy sales pipeline. Your teams can use communication methods like direct email, social selling, and direct mail for effective outbound lead generation.

  21. Use Buyer Intent Data
  22. Using data related to the buyer’s intent helps companies identify active companies in the buying circle. Depending on marketing tools and strategies in place, you can track down vital information like:

    • Clicks on social media posts
    • People visiting your website
    • Frequent website visits
    • Duration of time spent on website
    • Email and newsletter behavior

    An insight into such customer intent can help companies prioritize prospects and focus on effective segmentation. B2B customer intent data is an excellent way for companies to find qualified leads, which the sales department can nurture for lead conversion.

  23. Increase Collaboration Between Sales and Marketing Departments
  24. It is common for marketing and sales departments to work individually. While marketing teams might focus on building the right strategies for effective lead generation, sales departments often invest time calling or following up with prospective customers for lead conversion. But in reality, independent working of these departments can only do so much. They need to join hands to increase the influx of high-quality B2B leads.

    Lead generation requires a dedicated team of marketers and sales representatives to work closely. Companies often turn to effective customer relationship management (CRM) software for this to happen in real-time. Feeding data into a CRM gives both teams access to a full view of the sales funnel to develop better strategies for lead conversion.

  25. Automate Marketing
  26. As customers, today have a plethora of options to pick from, keeping in touch and reminding them about your business even subtly is crucial for companies to grow in business. Companies can do this via marketing automation tools, which help automate email marketing, social media posts, and lead nurturing campaigns.

    Get in touch with your customers, share new product information, and even pitch new upgrades. Reducing the manual effort required for each of these tasks makes them all the more possible. So, use them to stay top-of-mind for the leads, improve lead generation and conversion.

  27. Select the Right CRM
  28. With agility becoming a non-negotiable requirement, selecting the right agile CRM software to suit your business needs has become very important. Ask yourself a few questions – does your company have a long sales cycle? Is it difficult for you to find customer data? Is the amount of data generated becoming overwhelming? Is there inadequate visibility of your sales rep's performance? If your answer to all these questions is yes, you need the right CRM solution to smoothen operations.
    Here are a few features that you can keep in mind while picking the right CRM:

    • Sales pipeline
    • Contact management
    • Reporting
    • Customer support
    • Document management
    • Marketing automation

  29. Improve Lead Nurturing and Follow-Up Strategies
  30. 60% of respondents gave their lead nurturing strategies a failing mark, per a 2019 Lead Nurturing & Acceleration Survey. While companies continue to be focused on improving lead generation through various channels, nurturing these leads is very important for lead conversion. Subtly reminding prospective customers about your product and company can do the trick.

    Using multi-channel marketing strategies can also help you improve lead nurturing and give you more data points on the prospect for follow up. Delve into everything you can use to understand the prospects better and speak to them in a language that they want to hear, while they are still in the decision space.

Leverage the Power of Tech to Build Healthy Sales Pipelines

Adopting above tips can help companies effectively generate high-quality B2B leads.

However, with the growing competition in the market, companies must focus on building differentiating strategies to stay at par and improve profits. Leveraging the power of technology can help them improve customer's digital experiences and expand their customer bases.

Companies need to invest in the right promotional strategies and increase their reach to draw in more customers. While lead generation is the first stage in the sales funnel, using the right lead nurturing strategies is also crucial for effective lead conversion and customer retention.

For more information on building a healthy sales pipeline and increasing marketing and sales ROI, you can connect with our Digital Marketing experts at marketing@altudo.co and have a more detailed discussion.

Prabhakar Kaushik


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