The core of B2B marketing is lead generation. This is where you attract potential customers and they get to know you.
In this blog, you will learn more about leads, lead generation, and how to work with them. We review:
Before we get too good at describing B2B lead generation, we’d better start with what it’s all about: leads.
What are leads?
A lead is someone who shows interest in your product or service in one way or another.
You can, for example, get leads by people downloading a content offer or registering for a trial period, where they in return for free content give their name, e-mail, etc., and give consent for you to send them communication, marketing, and .lign.
The key to good leads is that they themselves ask for something from you (eg an e-book, a checklist, or a webinar), after which you establish contact – as opposed to cold canvas, where you call random people who have not asked to be contacted.
A Lead typically has a problem that needs to be solved, and you help them solve it – initially without presenting your products/services. A potential lead for us in Itch Marketing may, for example, be someone who wants to create structure in their marketing efforts. For this, the person in question downloads our marketing plan, after which we have been given a lead.
The value of leads is different and some leads are more right for your business than others.
Marketing Qualified Leads
A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) – a marketing qualified lead – is a lead that has interacted with your marketing efforts – without being ready to buy. An example of an MQL could be a lead that has filled out a form on your landing page and downloaded some of your content.
Sales Qualified Leads
Once an MQL has performed certain actions that signal clear interest in purchasing your product or service, it becomes a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). An SQL has, for example, dived into your prices or booked a meeting or a demo.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is a process that involves attracting potential customers and increasing their interest by nurturing them and warming them up to eventually convert them into customers.
Lead generation is the essence of inbound marketing and consists of 4 parts: Attraction, conversion, sales, and reinforcement.
Why is B2B lead generation important?
If you are in a B2B business (or any other business that sells services or products), you want customers. No customers, no business.
Lead generation helps you get customers without having to make a cold canvas and call out to a lot of companies and offer your help.
The lead generation process first attracts potential customers and makes your potential customers smarter via eg blogs, e-books, and automated flows. You show that you are the expert. Lead generation also helps you, through lead scoring, to identify the leads that are most interested in your business.
We start by attracting visitors to the website.
To generate leads, we must first and foremost have traffic to our site. And those who are going to visit our site need to be relevant.
For this, you need to create relevant content that hits the target audience when they need your knowledge. Does your target audience have special challenges or questions in specific places in the shopping journey? Answer them and help them. With a strong SEO and content strategy, you can rank high in search engine search results when your potential visitors search for knowledge. It requires the right keywords and relevant blogs. And then you can attract visitors through social media marketing. Both organically and through advertising.
B2B Lead Generation Conversion
Now you have visitors to your website. What is to happen then? It is now time to convert your visitors into leads. Content marketing remains a key concept. Should your target audience use a free calculator, e-book, or checklist? Offer them relevant content and give them access via a form. In return, you get contact information that enables you to offer even more relevant content – eg via e-mail marketing.
If your visitors fill out a form on your website and gain access to some gated content, you have been given a lead – more specifically a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL).
What do you do with your leads? It is important to have an effective CRM system where you can manage your leads.
How to make your leads ready to buy
The next part is to lead your leads to customers. Here, the CRM system helps to manage and keep track of what actions your leads have performed and how far they are in the buying process.
B2B Lead Generation: Lead scoring
Lead scoring involves giving your leads points depending on who they are and what actions they perform on your website. If they book a demo or a meeting, they are probably very interested and should have a lot of points while it pulls down if they do not interact with your content.
We have created a template to help you set up lead scoring in your business (Psst … you get 20 points in our CRM HubSpot when you download it). A template is a concrete tool that helps you assess and set up lead scoring, so you know how ready to buy and relevant your leads are.
B2B Lead Generation SalesYou’ve got a number of leads. But of course, your business can not run around on leads alone. Now is the time to start selling your leads to customers.
Is your lead ready to buy? If you have set up lead scoring, you can see from the lead’s points whether he/she has enough points to be a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).
To make leads ready for sale and later customers, you can make use of lead nurturing (relationship care). You can do this, for example, via automated mail flows, where you elaborate on your knowledge and your service.
Depending on your product or service, you can expect your SQLs to contact you or print purchases on your website. If they book a meeting with you, you are very close to a sale. You’ve got a free runner. Now you just have to shoot the ball into the goal yourself.
Lead generation is the core of B2B Marketing
If you sell consulting hours, software, or other expensive and knowledge-intensive services, the relationship between your company and your customers is important. B2B lead generation is all about building relationships through content and automated workflows.
Your B2B marketing efforts benefit from the lead collection and subsequent lead nurturing. Good content shows you as a thought leader in your field, which creates credibility. And with the right B2B lead generation strategy, you can access the right leads and make them ready to buy.
Have fun with the lead generation journey!