What did you learn from your 2015 lead generation strategy? Did you try something new, find prospects in unexpected places, or find a particular play didn’t work as well as you had hoped it would?
In a data-driven industry, we are learning more and more about the best ways to connect to our prospects, shifting focus onto more thoughtful sales funnels and away from the cold sell.
As many B2B marketers will attest to, lead generation is no longer a numbers game – the high quality of one single lead compared to ten low-to-medium prospects can be a complete game-changer.
So how do we, as businesses, attract and nurture these high quality leads?
We’ve teamed up with Lead Forensics, creators of the industry’s leading website visitor tracking software, to bring you some strategies to help you fill in the lead gaps for 2016.
Get your team up to speed with Social Selling
Social Selling is EVERYWHERE right now, and it’s not just a passing phase. Yes, Social Selling is set to be engrained into the core of every B2B sales strategy, and it has become increasingly important that sales teams are savvy to this new way of winning new business.
The graph below, taken from Google Trends, shows the extent to which Social Selling has been a recurring search term since 2009, and how much it’s growing.
Put simply, Social Selling is the art of successfully using social media to nurture and engage with your prospects.
If you’re looking for inspiration on how the practice has been put in place in order to increase close rates, look no further than how IBM boosted sales by over 400% using this new approach to sales.
"It isn't social media that creates ROI—it's the sale team," says Douglas Hannan, the Business Unit Executive for inside sales marketing at IBM North America. "But social causes engagement and boosts the number of engagements, helping reps extend their networks to people they might not know."
James Clarke, Partnership Marketing Manager at Lead Forensics, provides further advice: “The changing landscape of engaging new business has been largely influenced by the use of ‘digital social selling’. Being able to track and monitor leads and their buyer behaviour has never been easier.
“Tailoring your pitch and conversation with a lead before you have even started speaking to them makes social selling a very attractive and high converting lead source.”
TIP: Check out this blog post on the four online tools that every sales representative should be using when participating in social selling.
Create a play to generate warmer leads
Creating a personalised experience for your prospect is the difference between winning or losing their custom. Knowing who is visiting your website, how often they are visiting, and exactly which pages they are visiting are all worth their weight in gold when it comes to introducing your business as a solution to their business woes.
“Being able to do this is like a sales representative in a clothes store able to approach a customer who is looking at a certain pair of jeans,” says James.
“They can ask, what size they are looking for or do they have any questions or even if they want to ‘try them’. We all know in the retail industry, huge amount of money is spent on market research and the store layout ensuring that the customer experience drives them to spending money in store.”
Content marketing has been and remains the go-to method of creating personalised experiences for prospects. However, 48% of marketers are not developing customised content for target audiences. Identifying businesses that frequent your website and creating targeted content for their industry or business is a great way to provide real value from the get-go.
TIP: Seeing as the early stages of the relationship are all about awareness, creating eBooks, checklists or cheat sheets which include the name of your target audience’s industry in the title will portray your business as a solution to their issues.
Increasing your landing page conversion rate
Like most businesses, you may have spent a great deal of time tinkering with and tweaking your landing pages in order to gain the most traction from them.
Thinking that your business has one of the most conversion-worthy landing pages out there and then not seeing it live up to expectations can be one of the most frustrating things about doing business online.
As an experienced B2B marketer, you’ll know the fundamentals of a successful landing page, such as placing your call to action above the fold, using contrasting colours for maximum effect and strong customer testimonials, but there are other lesser-known tricks of the trade that can see your conversion rate climb.
“We all know about split testing emails, but what about split testing landing pages? This is possible via almost every medium you would want to use a landing page for (emails, PPC or even just hyperlinks on a website) but this can give you valuable insight into what your prospects like and a formula for success,” advises James.
“You may have won half the battle if they have got to your landing page but getting them to fill out that form can be tricky. Being able to track the visitors that visit your landing page even if they don’t fill out that magic ‘enquire now’ button is gold for nurturing new leads further.”
Are you tapping into the power of event lead generation? From digital to physical, events can become an integral part of your lead generation strategy and place your business at the forefront of your industry.
But what exactly are the benefits? “Being able to explain your services is often easier to do at an event then over email or telephone as people are there to engage and learn. You can also ensure the audience is right for your business by the type of event you are creating or exhibiting at,” says James.
For ‘real-world’ events such as seminars and conferences, successfully convincing someone to leave the office for a number of hours instantly turns them into a warm lead.
Likewise, with digital events such as webinars – signing up to your company webinar shows that the prospects already regard your business as the authority on the matter, someone they feel that they can really learn something from. Have this in mind when nurturing your prospects to build the relationship.
So when is best to get in contact with leads generated after the show?
“Straight after so they remember your name? Or a week later after they have had time to reflect and catch up on the work they missed while attending the show? The answer depends very much on your audience but if you saw them visiting your website after the show you know that your stand, business or staff had the right effect and are ready to engage,” James advises.
TIP: The secret to hosting successful events is defining the types of people you want to attend. Who do you want as customers for your business? What seniority do they have within their business? What industries do they work in? How much influence do they have within their company? Define this customer profile and create an event that is specifically catered to tackling their everyday challenges.
Interested to find out the types of web visitors that your website is attracting, then using the information to create solutions to their problems? Try Lead Forensics for free and see how it can reinvent your lead generation strategy.