They are the people with ulcers and hypertension, they are the people with worried faces and thinning hairlines, they are the people with the toughest job on earth and the million dollar riddle to solve: how to do B2B lead generation? Generating leads is certainly not like strolling in the park or taking a joy ride, especially when the world economy still hasn’t recovered from the slump and most companies are operating on shoe-string budgets; it’s very hard to generate new leads, even harder to cultivate them.
However, before you try finding an answer to the question- how to do B2B lead generation– you should try to find out where leads actually come from.
Interestingly, most sales people have little clue where they got their leads from: through social media? Through their friends and contacts? Through a sustained lead generation program? It is important to pinpoint the main sources of your leads before you chalk out your strategies, this will enable you to maximize your potential and grab high-quality leads with minimum effort. However, there are a few basic fundamentals you need to follow if you want your sales pipeline to remain filled with quality leads.
B2B Lead Generation Fundamentals
- Develop an effective business network:
Most studies show that the best sales leads come from the contacts you have developed over the years. You need to develop an effective business networking and then maintain it by keeping in touch regularly with all the people that matter. The most important thing here is that networking is a two-way phenomenon- you should always be ready to return the favors you receive. Remember that mindless networking will not take you anywhere; set your goals, make short and long term strategies and then select your target group accordingly. While it’s important to emphasize more on your own industry peers, never restrict your networking to a very limited group, one often gets leads from other spheres of life as well.
Role of social media:
The role of social media is often overrated in the lead generation business. You can of course get some good leads from the platform and should not discount its use to promote your cause, however, studies show that social media usually doesn’t help you much in this regard. Twitter and Facebook are not particularly helpful, you should look forward to using LinkedIn as it’s a large assortment of professionals from all walks of life.
- A clean database:
Once you are sure about your main source of leads and your networking process is in place, you need to maintain a clean database that is free from dupes, flaws and inconsistencies. If you are trying to find an answer to the all important question- how to do B2B lead generation– you must understand the importance of having a database that contains correct information and a system of data cleansing– both automatically and manually. You should try to standardize the system so that the work is not affected if some executive leaves or another one takes over a lead.
- Work culture:
B2B lead generation, as mentioned earlier, is one of the toughest jobs in the world; you need to convince a stranger about the usefulness of your service or product for their organization. Finding a way to these decision makers is even harder, you must work tirelessly to break through the layers of doorkeepers and call screeners to get in touch with these all important people. Do your sales representatives start cooling off once they complete the quota of calls for a day? Do they strive to call as many people as they can? Do you encourage your staff to find answers to the queries they failed to answer last time? Developing a healthy work culture is very important if you want to run a successful lead generation business.
- The right personality:
Your sales representative is the face of your agency, he/ she is the one to get in touch with a prospective client first. It’s vital to groom them in a way that they don’t sound too dull or too dramatic, too scripted or totally unprepared, too assertive or too uninterested. A sales rep should come forth as a confident, knowledgeable, well researched, yet free flowing and helpful person with a good command over their language. They should be able to go with the flow and focus more on the issues of the customer rather than talking only about themselves or their company.
- An effective script:
It’s mighty important to do your research well before you dial a number. You should know everything about the prospect’s organization and their main issues and pain points. A good script always helps in summarizing all the salient points of your solution for the client’s problems. Your script should be brief and to the point and should contain the customer’s pain points and an outline of your proposed solution. Try not to use an ornate or technical language, focusing more on the real issues will appeal more to the prospect.
- Proper follow-up:
Every customer is not ready when you approach; however, this lack of motivation is often temporary. If you have an effective follow-up program, you can land many good deals in future. Technology can help you in keeping in regular touch with the prospects. Keep them engaged with regular newsletters, email campaigns or send product literature periodically, just keep them on your radar.
There is, honestly, no definite answer to the question: how to do B2B lead generation? However, you can follow certain fundamentals to make your lead generation program more effective. Additionally, adopting latest technologies like CRM etc and devising innovative strategies may help you stay ahead of the competition.