The business to business marketing revolution is in full swing. Gone are the days when the process simply involved producing a glossy sales brochure and mailing it out to prospective purchasers. Marketers that were under constant cost-cutting pressure to produce more prospects for less cost have been given not just a reprieve, but a new lease of life. The goal of any lead generation campaign is to produce high-quality prospects from a targeted audience. Offline methods are still valid, but over the last 10 years they have been increasingly supplemented by online marketing. New leads generate more sales and greater profits. The key to success is for a business to be implementing a number of strategies to attract new customers. Here we cover 5 of the best ways for a company to generate business to business sales leads.
Lead Generating Services
For small businesses where time and perhaps the marketing skills to undertake lead generation campaigns are limited, using a lead generating service may well be the ideal solution. Using such a service is effectively putting the generation of sales leads on autopilot. It requires very little effort to produce maximum results. A lead generating service will operate in much the same way as having your own in house marketing department, but without requiring the same level of commitment. In most cases they are specialists and generating leads is what they do. From the outset they will work with you to identify your target market and at what stage in the buying process they can best be attracted. The campaigns might take the form of business to business telemarketing; data mining from business orientated social networks like LinkedIn, and other appropriate methods of generating highly qualified sales leads.
Networking is a very important way of generating leads for any business. There are many ways to do this including attending trade shows and exhibitions. A big part of this is networking with the other business people because this is the way that you can generate business to business sales leads. Always remember that businesses are also consumers. Joining a Trade Association and registering a profile on online networking sites like LinkedIn or also very useful networking tools.
Direct mail is still one of the most targeted and effective forms of business to business lead generation. Being able to put tangible marketing material containing your marketing message directly into the hand of a potential prospect is a very effective marketing tool. The quality of the address database is all important and once again you might be able to purchase a relevant address list as well as utilise your own database of existing customers and previous enquiries.
Buying Leads from Search Engines
Pay per Click campaigns are a very effective way of generating sales leads because they are delivered at the moment that a prospect is searching for information and are relevant to the search terms they have used to bring up your ad. PPC users have, in effect, asked to see your ads as they search for information. As a result, PPC users are already well into the buying cycle. You set your budget, set the price you are willing to pay for each sales lead, and pay only when your customers click through to your web site. The more you bid for a search term, the more targeted and relevant the results that feature your ad become. As a result the leads that are generated are highly qualified and can be considered “hot prospects” and top priority for follow up campaigns designed to close a sale.
Website Sales Lead Generation
In addition to using other campaigns to drive traffic to your website, the site itself can also be a very effective way of generating quality leads. In order to do this your website must feature highly in search engine rankings. This is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is invaluable. SEO uses on and off page techniques to drive your site further up in the search results. In many ways your site is invisible unless it features on the first page of results for the keywords you target.
Having driven targeted prospects to your website, the contents of the site should be designed to move them further through the buying cycle and encourage them to make direct contact with you. Contact forms, direct telephone numbers, surveys and forums work alongside your marketing material to get the customer to “stick” and move them through the buying process.
These are just some of the ways of delivering highly qualified sales leads. They work for any business large or small and need not consume a huge amount of time and resources. This allows a business to dedicate more time to following through and converting leads to sales. Every day that a lead is not followed up drives the prospect of a sale further into the distance.
David writes for McDowall who create profitable sales leads for major UK consumer brands.