It’s more important than ever for companies to identify their preferred target audience, and B2B lead generation is proving to be an effective and attractive solution. Whatever the size of your company or whatever business you’re in, finding the right clients for your product or service can mean the difference between success and failure.
What does lead generation mean?
Let’s start with the basics. Generating leads is the process of finding individuals or companies who are likely to want your product or services. Traditionally, a dedicated sales team would find leads, and campaigns such as telemarketing and mail shot advertising were popular for a time. However, as technology has advanced so too has every aspect of modern marketing and finding new customers has taken on a whole new meaning.
In the past, a lot of money was wasted on campaigns that simply targeted the wrong people or approached them in the wrong way. It really doesn’t matter how many leads a marketing team has if they are not good, solid leads that will pay off in terms of orders and profit. Today, marketing automation software such as Eloqua enables B2B companies to analyse how prospective clients react to various approaches such as e mail, video, online demo or webinair, and to act on the results.
Check out this webinair from Salesforce about shortening the sales cycle. Saleforce is mostly used by medium to large companies who have sales people who go on meetings. They have a large app store which enables them to be a versatility company and integrate developments such as marketing automation into their systems.
How to start and generate strong leads
If you’re a company that sells luxury clothing there will be little point in approaching a handyman who is looking for workwear – especially if you call him out of the blue, just as he’s about to sit down to dinner. That’s how sales teams worked in the past, but B2B lead generation today takes a more streamlined and focused approach. Marketing automation software uses your data and business demographic to identify viable prospects. Finding the right target audience is essential and technology offers an exciting new way for companies to select those who already have an interest in their service or product through a unique process of data comparison.
What can a company’s data tell about new leads?
B2B companies can generate viable leads using their existing data. Data conversion means new customers, and in B2B terms that can be as simple as taking a look at your successes. Where is your product or service best received? In which area and by who? What does your data say about your best customers and can you find a new target audience based on their details? Customise your sales strategies to accommodate your target audience and you’ll be rewarded with increased interest in your product.
How do you build a customer profile?
Identifying your ideal customer will ultimately pay dividends – particularly if you take an approach that is appealing and piques their interest. A flexible and useful profile template can be created quickly and easily, and it can be used by B2B companies to give a clear idea of precisely which businesses or individuals are amenable to what they need to say.
Firstly, create a basic picture of your ideal client. Who are they? Why do they want to do business with you, and what do they want from your product or service? Secondly, fill in the blanks. What is their favoured language, what approach is likely to work, and what might affect their decision to purchase from you? Software can help you to decipher the data you have already, and can be used to build customer profiles that identify your target audience more accurately.
Make your prospective client’s differences work for you
Identifying your perfect target audience is not only based on what prospective clients have in common, but also on their differences. The way they react to advertising or approaches by businesses and the way that they buy can make an enormous difference in terms of sales; some people make up their minds and place an order right away while others like to think about it for a short time. Software can decipher the facts and show you which group is likely to buy on the spur of the moment and which likes to take its time.
Put your plan into action
Lead generation software allows B2B companies to accurately pinpoint prospective buyers, and helps to identify the best approach. Create the opportunity to turn those leads into a personal or telephone appointment or into a stepping stone to bookings, orders or quotes. Some of the most successful ways to create leads include video campaigns, social media campaigns and personalized marketing. Up to 65% of a company’s prospective leads will be classed as visual learners, and an inspiring video that keeps their attention can be created inexpensively and easily with modern software.
Successful lead generation campaigns mean higher profits
Companies all over the world have benefited from lead generation campaigns that use data to pinpoint a target audience. For example, shipping giant Maersk successfully used their available data to launch a social media campaign that generated 150 new leads. Maersk included a video of its famous shipping containers as they navigated the frozen seas of the Baltic region during the coldest months of the year – thus appealing to those 65% of prospective clients who are visual learners.
The page contained a link to another site where users could fill out their details on the form provided to download a guide to Maersk’s anti-freeze products and services. Everyone who chooses to download the form was instantly identified as a ‘hot lead’ by the company’s software, and the system alerted local sales staff who took the next logical steps. Maersk had identified a target audience using the data at their disposal to make the most appealing approach – lead generation at it’s greatest.