Tactics and Strategies for B2B Lead Generation
⏱ Reading Time: 12 minutes
The conventional methods of marketing are barricading lead generation for several B2B businesses. Activities like fabricating exaggerated ad copies and power word spamming were useful back when the digital era was still in its nascent age. They fail to engrave the same results in the modern world where marketing is guided by principles like intent-based personalization, automation technology integration, and extreme level data collection (also referred to as big data).
Furthermore, the increased competition in marketing and consumer’s ability to effectively filter out superfluous information call for an indispensable need to be precise in your lead generation approach. The elimination includes a clear understanding of the target audience and its purchasing behavior!
In this blog, we have covered the top characteristics of B2B lead generation. Based on these characteristics, we formulated seven lead generation strategies below that can help you out in 2021.
Fundamental Characteristics of B2B Leads
Businesses follow a complex approach to make purchase decisions. Avoiding the important fundamental characteristics of B2B leads in this approach results in a cumbersome lead generation process that overlooks the primary interests of the target audience. To be clear, we are referring to the following characteristics:
Multiple Decision Makers
Multiple business officials influence the decision-making process in B2B transactions. This is due to several reasons like business hierarchy, varying subject matter expertise, and budget control operations. Thus, a sales executive has to consider the perspectives of several individuals before reaching out to the firm.
Strong Focus on Efficiency and ROI
The purchasing behavior in businesses is pivoted around finding products with a higher ROI. Thus, there is a clear focus on the quality, efficiency, and maintenance of a product in comparison to individual preference.
Longer Decision-Making Process
Multiple decision-makers and strict comparative analysis infer a longer decision-making process in B2B purchase operations.
Picture 1. Leads need to be handled differently when doing B2B
Varying Pricing Factor
How pricing affects the overall buying decision of a business varies on the utility of the product:
- Pricing is an essential factor when placing bulk orders of daily-use items like stationery and sanitization products.
- It is a little insignificant when purchasing products meant to last for years such as utensils and furniture
- Pricing is not an important factor when purchasing goods impacting the work performance and quality, like workstations, projectors, and printers.
Also, businesses are better at evaluating product pricing and thus are aware when they are being overcharged.
Lower Consideration of the Brand Value
Excluding made-to-order products, brand value is not an important factor as ROI to businesses. As long as the product meets the requirements and is more convenient to a business, it will be preferred more than a high-branded alternative.
Loss aversion persists in B2B decisions. Businesses do not want to lose money even on basic investments.
B2B Lead Generation Strategies
The strategies devised or readjusted for the aforementioned characteristics are projected to do a better job in securing you a higher number of leads. The question is how you can adapt them for maximum benefit? See our suggestions below:
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is an old lead generation strategy that is proven to bring impressive results for B2B lead generation. Those who are unsure about the type of content they should market can check out the following tips. These will also help you in ameliorating your existing content marketing strategy.
Focus on Delivering your USPs
Be clear and concise about your value proposition and unique selling points. You want to convey to visitors why they should purchase from your brand. As businesses are already good at evaluating pricing and brand value isn’t a significantly strong factor, impressive USPs and value proposition are more than enough to simulate a purchase decision in your content.
Desirable results via content marketing require consistency. This does not imply the repetition of the same content over and over again, but to keep providing constant value to your audience. Doing so will highlight your industrial expertise and position you as a reliable brand.
Repurpose Content: Some pieces of content are masterpieces and too valuable. They provide value that is not easy to find nor reproduce in new articles. The rhetoric of such content is impressive and unquestionable to keep your visitors reading till the very end. You may not prefer rewriting the same but can always repurpose in other ways:
- Republish after a decent period of time
- Share on different channels
- Share in newsletters
- Convert into different media like videos and infographics
- Use the facts and information in related content, even provide a backlink
Picture 2. Check out B2B social media tips!
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is more valuable than just a channel to share your content. The modern social media platforms come with advanced analytics to provide you with accurate insights into your followers. You can use them for micro-segmentation purposes and effectively target your potential customers. For example, you can select a specific geographic location, age, gender, and qualification to display your advertisements and place a ‘call’ or ‘shop’ button.
The choice of social media channels is another important factor to consider when using social media marketing for B2B lead generation. Websites like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Slideshare are important B2B lead generation channels.
- For cross-border operations, LinkedIn is your best option with 722 million active users spread across 200 countries.
- Local customers on the other hand can be targeted using channels like Instagram and Facebook
- For knowledge sharing, the top platforms for B2B lead generation are YouTube (for explanatory videos) and SlideShare (for sharing presentation guides).
According to IDG, social media impacts the purchase decisions of 84% of C-level and VP-level professionals, which is a strong indication of its reliability for lead generation in the B2B niche. However, entrepreneurs also prefer to ignore hard selling and cold marketing strategies. Instead, what can help you is purposeful usage of content and publishing in different media forms. According to experts at Google, business activities on social media platforms should focus on increasing engagement, which in turn will implicitly assist in improving leads and conversion rate.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is prominent in B2B sectors. It is a professional form of communication that can be personalized for generating high-quality leads. For result-driven email marketing, you can draft custom email templates for your various consumer segments based on their purchasing behavior.
Some useful purchase behaviors that you can cover in your emails:
This segment of customers looks for a specific set of benefits. For example, some consumers falling under this category may look for SSD-type storage in workstations, while others look for faster processors. With the help of consumer feedback and surveys, you can collect information regarding the benefits that customers look for in your products and replace them as your value proposition in the cold-calling emails.
Although loss aversion is high in B2B leads, it is way higher in some corporations. The loss-aversion B2B consumer segment is intuitively determined to prevent loss and looks for assurance in every purchase. To effectively target this consumer group, prefer including product warranties and cashback offers in your email campaigns. Social proofings and customer testimonials are equally reliable.
The ‘Smart’ Buyer
The customers falling under this category fall for rational marketing. They consider the quality and quantity of information, including pros and cons and small details of your product in hindsight. Smart Buyers are extensive researchers who require maximum information to make a purchase decision. Thus to personalize your emails for them, prefer including blogs, guides, manuals, reviews and product specifications in your email template.
These types of leads are genuinely interested in purchasing your products. However, due to their inherent nature of postponing decisions, they tend to endlessly delay the purchasing. Targeting such consumers will require you to offer time-based offers, such as limited-discount periods or low stock warnings.
These are some common purchasing behaviors and you can target multiple of them in a single email. For example, personalize an email for both benefit-sought consumers and procrastinators.
4. Search Engine Marketing
Paid search marketing is a shortcut to get your business ahead of the competition in search engine results. It has been in practice for a long time but now it requires frequent optimizations to be agile. There are three major SEM strategies that can assist businesses in generating B2B leads:
Use Broad Match
Using broad match in your SEM strategy entices broad-level exposure. It helps in displaying ads in more search terms and deliver your content to more business professionals.
Use Negative Keywords
For B2B lead generation, you need to reach out to various kinds of businesses and then filter them. For this reason, we recommend using negative keywords in your ad copies instead of relying on narrow matches and exact matches. Using negative keywords for personalization ensures wise and maximum utilization of the broad match.
Bi-variate testing is a helpful technique for digital marketers but is often overlooked. Its obvious benefit is that it can help you select the most effective version of your ad copies. Some other benefits of using A/B testing for SEM are:
- Increases conversion rates
- Improves copywriting skills
- Increases utilization of resources
- Assists in prioritizing USPs
- Brings agility
- Increases innovation and creativity
For acquiring accurate results from A/B testing, observe the results for a minimum time of four weeks.
Picture 3. Optimize your content to pull more traffic on your website
Retargeting core customer groups is a reliable option to recapture lost B2B leads. This lead generation strategy requires marketers to identify and classify their most potential customers into different groups. Again, you can use behavioral segmentation used under email marketing to draft appropriate retargeting emails. Some other ways of retargeting lost leads and old customers include:
Social Media Retargeting Options
Social media platforms today provide features for custom targeting. Use these features to target people who visit specific web pages like promotions page, product page, or cart. Depending on these options, you can draft personalized ad copies that remind visitors of pending checkouts, lost offers, or new promotions. A highly suggested deal that marketing experts recommend is promoting clearance sales to your retargeting audience.
Multiple Deals and Offers
Brands can grab the attention of consumers who abandon their carts by offering several types of discounts. These can be cashback discounts, product bundling orders, special voucher codes or even discounts for partner websites.
B2B customers benefit a lot from loyalty programs. These programs provide them with special discounts and privileges, which are beneficial in the long run. You can also introduce multi-tier loyalty programs with each tier having specific benefits. One can upgrade his/her tier by reaching a specific sales amount or a specific number of sales in a limited period.
Call Back Programs
The call-back program is not supposed to be directed at sales but at receiving customer feedback. This type of retargeting campaign requires you to collect calling permission beforehand via a form or on your account creation page). Once customers abandon their carts, you can contact them after a week for feedback purposes. Ask why they did not make a purchase and provide solutions, including bespoke orders and discounts
Picture 4. Reidentify potential customers
6. Use a Lead Generation Software
Lead generation software in 2021 brings agility. There are several types of lead generation software available in the market today. Some come with landing page builders with interactive web elements to create a captivating landing page. They also have an A/B testing feature to simplify multivariate testing. Other than these two features, some other important features of lead generation software that can assist you in generating B2B leads are:
These features automate IVR-based callbacks and help in connecting with leads.
Lead generation software also comes with all necessary features required to manage your email marketing campaigns, including various custom templates.
Monitor important statistics like click-through rates, cart abandonment rate, backlinks, and most importantly, lead quality. With the help of lead generation software, you can grade the generated leads and conduct proper analytics for better marketing.
Social Media integration
You can control your all social media operations from lead generation software. It can also help you centralize performance analytics and schedule posts for the future.
Lead generation software enables businesses to carry out all necessary communication from a single platform. This way, it becomes easier to communicate with all your leads and prospects. Some lead generation software also connects the leads with the appropriate marketing team to deliver quick responses.
Although there are several lead generation software available in the market, a custom-made one tailored to your requirements will help you the most.
7. Use the Buy Button as Default
The majority of the B2B businesses are simply dependent on ‘request for quotation’ pages. There’s one major problem with using these. Quotation buttons are nothing more than your regular contact us page. They do not help in generating sales. Moreover, when they are the default option on your website, the ‘default effect’ takes place and decreases your sales potential.
The default effect in consumer psychology refers to the predetermined actions that are bound to take place when there is no other trigger present for your customers. When the predetermined action is to request a quote, there are significant chances that the subconscious mind of genuine leads will leave the funnel after receiving the quote and reach out to your competitors.
Thus, having a ‘Buy’ button along with a custom order quotation in this scenario will benefit you the most.
Picture 4. Call-to-action!
The aforementioned strategies are formulated after deducting the major B2B lead generation challenges. They may keep up with the changing dynamics of 2021, but require strategic deployment and implementation. Also, they have to align with your marketing campaigns to generate the desired results. Regarding software technology, we suggest you opt for a custom-made lead generation solution that is best matched for your requirements and a readymade eCommerce solution to ensure maximum commerce capabilities for your business website.
Umang is an experienced eCommerce business consultant with a demonstrated history of working in custom eCommerce development. He is working with top of the IT companies that develop eCommerce solutions. Umang leverages his skills and expertise to help eCommerce businesses connect with their target audience.
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