Small businesses and startups are no longer the only ones who need to focus on lead generation.
Lead generation is critical for nearly every business (yes, you too!), regardless of whether it caters to B2B or B2C customers.
Why? Because without leads, a company won't have the chance to turn potential customers into paying clients.
In fact, B2B companies with mature lead generation processes enjoy 133% more revenue than average companies.
The increasing competition from smaller rivals means that corporations and larger businesses must find new customers to meet their growth and profitability goals.
The good news is that there are now more ways to generate leads thanks to the growth of digital marketing channels and distribution.
In this blog, we will go through:
- Why effective lead generation is essential for your business
- 6 significant benefits of quality lead generation
- Challenges you might face in the process
Without further ado, let's get into what you came here for!
What is B2B Leads?
Simply put, a lead is an individual or organisation with an interest in what you sell. A lead's interest is expressed by sharing contact information like their email ID, phone number, or social media handle.
In B2B (Business-to-Business) lead generation, we're talking about lead generation focused on leads from other businesses.
B2B lead generation is the process of identifying potential customers who are interested in your product or service.
It starts with marketing activities that help a targeted audience of potential buyers generate interest, which converts into "leads" that are qualified according to predetermined criteria.
What are the Types of B2B Leads?
Typically, the lead generation process is segmented into two different categories:
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
Marketing qualified leads are leads that fit your buyer persona due to their participation in your marketing activities. These leads are likely to become paying customers and are assessed based on their engagement with your business's marketing efforts.
Marketing departments in charge of generating and qualifying leads are typically in charge of MQLs.
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
Sales teams use the term "Sales qualified leads" (SQLs) to refer to MQLs who have shown a high level of purchase intent.
It allows the sales team to prioritise and focus on leads that are most likely to convert by generating SQLs. This strategy is beneficial for products with longer sales cycles because of the impact on conversion rates that wrongly nurtured leads can have on them.
Did you get all of that? Cool. This brings us to the next question.
Why is Lead Generation Important for Your Business?
Lead generation involves gaining a targeted audience's attention, confidence, and trust (potential leads). It is possible to increase the volume of traffic coming from high-quality sources by concentrating on lead generation.
High-quality leads bring high-value customers and vice versa.
Your sales development heavily relies on B2B lead generation to help create and then convert demand for a product. Without a lead generation process in place, your sales pipeline would be empty.
This means your sales reps wouldn't have leads to contact, nurture, and close (not a good thing!)
If you're a new company, you should put a lot of effort into generating leads and building a solid brand. Regardless of how good your products or services are, you'll have difficulty competing in any market if you don't have enough money coming in from these conversions.
Now, this probably wasn't enough to convince you to partake in lead generation.
Fortunately, I've come prepared.
6 Benefits of Effective Lead Generation
Leads are essential for the sustainability of your business. You get it!
Here's how they benefit you to make sure you get into it right after this blog.
- Increases brand awareness
Say you're a startup that hasn't received a lot of attention. Or perhaps you're a well-established company that has been operating in the shadows for many years.
You're now trying to get more people's attention (and money) to your business.
If you don't get your name out there, you won't win. The best way to do this is by creating and distributing content that your audience cares about.
Create visibility and awareness.
Brand awareness measures how many people in your target market know your brand.
80% of people prefer to buy from brands whose actions align with their values. The better your brand's reputation, profit potential, and overall brand value, the more people will know about it.
If you want your customers to think of you the first time they need to buy something related to what you sell, you need an online lead generation campaign.
- Generates qualified leads
Every business relies on high-quality leads. Without attracting customers who are willing to buy your product, you will struggle to profit from your online business, no matter how much traffic you receive.
One of lead generation's main advantages is that it allows you to target specific customers. You get to target customers solely relevant to your business and no one else.
It's a win-win situation when these people respond to your campaign and engage in some way with your brand. Once you have them under your control, you can use all of your available tools to influence them and increase your conversion rate.
- Boosts revenue
Proper lead generation can increase your brand's ability to reach prospective customers. This requires the use of targeted messaging, offers, and content to pique the interest of your target audience.
You'll be able to attract more qualified leads this way, and sales will have an easier time closing them. The potential for revenue growth is enormous, mainly if you target the interests and problems of your target audience.
Digital Marketing can be a very cost-effective way to generate new customer leads. You have the power to manage your spending and direct it to the people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
The higher the difficulty of acquiring a lead, the higher the cost per lead. The price drops in direct proportion to the ease of obtaining it. High-quality leads typically lead to higher conversions.
Your leads are high-quality because you can target specific potential customers who are relevant. These prospects have a high probability of becoming customers.
In the long run, online lead generation campaigns cost significantly less per lead than traditional methods.
- Generate business opportunities
Lead generation isn't just for finding new customers. Business opportunities may also arise.
For instance, non-competitive brands may reach out to you to host a webinar. In turn, the benefit of collaborating with another organisation is that you gain access to their market (and vice versa).
It's a win-win situation that could lead to, you guessed it, more leads!
- Can be automated
Automated lead generation and management processes are now possible thanks to software tools.
Using automation tools like email marketing software, CRMs, and customer data platforms (CDPs) in your lead generation strategy will help you streamline and speed up the process.
Your CDP, for example, records data about potential customers. Once the leads have been segmented, your email marketing tool will run a nurturing campaign for them. CRM then records all correspondence between prospects and your company. With the help of these tools, you can synchronise data and initiatives across all of your departments.
A bird's-eye view of customers and their habits is essential to improving marketing and sales campaigns.
There you go! Effective lead generation is vital. Period.
However, there are challenges to the entire process, as we'll see now.
Challenges You Might Face When Generating Leads
Even the most successful companies have a difficult time acquiring high-quality leads. It is a critical step that no business leader should take for granted.
The marketing and sales development teams must learn how to generate high-quality leads while overcoming all of the difficulties consistently.
Here are some of the challenges you may face when generating quality leads.
- Finding the right strategy
If you're trying to generate leads, the most common problem you'll face is coming up with an effective strategy or plan.
Everybody would do it if it were easy, but getting the job done effectively requires more than just showing up and doing it.
When it comes to generating B2B leads, "Where do we start?" is a question that many businesses have asked themselves from the start. B2B lead generation strategies are numerous and varied. It's not always easy to figure out which ones are best for your company or even which ones to give a shot at first.
A couple of options include:
- Email marketing,
- Content marketing,
- Organic traffic with SEO,
- Social media marketing, etc.
Of course, there are many more options, but choosing the right fit requires extensive demographic research that you HAVE to spend time on (we'll get to that in a bit)!
- Getting to the right people
It's not just about people. It's about the right people.
To ensure that your content reaches the right people, you must first figure out your strategy and plan.
Make sure you do not waste your time and money on the wrong audience.
Determine which customers are most likely to purchase your products or services. It is almost certain that if you have many potential customers, you will have a better chance of turning a lead into a customer.
- Requires a lot of time and effort
The lead generation process is highly time-consuming and resource-intensive.
Additional research can take up to 30 minutes, writing a follow-up can take 30 minutes, and it can take up to eight dials to get a prospect. If your lead isn't a good match, your time and effort will be in vain.
One of the biggest challenges for business leaders is to avoid this situation.
- Providing relevant content
Among the most common questions people ask when they're looking at your content are "What's in it for me?" or "What am I getting out of it?" and that's fine. Nobody will do anything unless they are rewarded for their efforts.
Your content and offer must be of value to the reader for them to engage with you. While putting together your message, keep this in mind. Your readers will stop returning if you only make self-serving offers that do not provide any value to them.
- Unsuccessful efforts may lead to emotional burnout
Even for the best sales reps, the feeling of rejection becomes more challenging to avoid when their hard work yields no results.
A seasoned sales representative will undoubtedly realise that a potential customer isn't qualified at some point.
However, just because they've suddenly realised something doesn't mean they'll perform better or enjoy themselves more due to completing the task at hand.
Their job is to make sales. It makes sense that they might feel dissatisfied when they do not achieve their goals.
Employee dissatisfaction has a significant negative impact on the entire organisation's productivity. As a result, a robust lead generation strategy is essential.
That's a Wrap!
Analyse your lead generation process thoroughly to improve it and overcome the main challenges. Identify your ideal customer and conduct a targeted search for high-quality contacts.
In the later stages of the sales process, your sales reps must have the knowledge and skills to weed out leads who aren't qualified.
Because lead generation is a long and intensive process, outsourcing your sales development is a wise and efficient way to reduce lead generation costs. Still, it is entirely possible to do it yourself as well.
If you're looking to outsource your sales development, don't hesitate to contact us. We do this because we love it!
If you're interested to know more about lead generation or digital marketing, feel free to check out our other blogs!