As a company that generates hundreds of B2B opportunities every day, we are seeing a major shift in prospect behaviour. This blog aims to explain areas in business lead generation that are working and provide thoughts around the type of program businesses should consider when looking to turbocharge B2B lead generation performance.
How to generate new lead enquiries?
There are two ways to generate new business enquiry; inbound and outbound marketing. Over the past few years, advances in digital marketing have seen businesses push budget towards inbound channels; our advice is to be great at digital marketing, but make sure the inbound activity is supported by a well-executed outbound calling program.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing includes activities such as Google AdWords, SEO, social selling, general pay-per-click advertising, re-targeting and the distribution of content that pulls an enquiry through a landing page or web form. The goal is to attract people that are in the market and actively searching for a product or service. By implementing the right inbound strategy, companies can generate enquiries from people saying, ‘I’m interested in understanding more about your company’. But regardless of how good an inbound program is, there are only a finite amount of people searching for any given product or service at any given time.
Considerations for inbound marketing
One of the challenges with inbound marketing is despite getting volumes of enquiry, very few are considered ‘sweet-spot’ prospects. Companies can easily spend lot of their marketing and sales budgets attracting people that take considerable time, effort and resource to qualify out. And at the end of that funnel, very few of the enquiries end up becoming a client and/or producing the right amount of revenue to justify the marketing spend.
As an example, inbound leads that have originated through Google often attract prospects that have reached out to 3 or more companies to check the market. As the competitive battle ensues, the need to lower prices or provide additional services is often required to stay in the opportunity.
Therefore, when looking at the total cost of an inbound lead funnel, many companies discover that the actual amount spent on inbound marketing is substantially more than what may have considered. We often see marketing departments inadvertently reporting up the line on a cost per inbound lead metric or possibly a cost per acquisition, without accounting for the total cost of opportunities that haven’t been a right fit for the business and/or haven’t made their way through the sales pipeline and/or that haven’t been closed at the right margins. It is worth keeping these additional costs in mind to ensure a total lead cost is calculated towards return on investment (ROI).
Outbound lead generation
Outbound lead generation is generally effective if the activity being completed is well executed. Over years, we’ve seen thousands of businesses grow exponentially on the back of outbound marketing, which is one of the reasons why we encourage every B2B company to complement their inbound activity with a structured outbound program.
These days, it is relatively easy to identify a target list of businesses and decision makers that meet a ‘sweet-spot’. Smart marketing executives know the types of companies that are a good for their business and will invariably wash target lists against their own client data to ensure they’re only going after the right decision makers and business types. They know their teams will benefit greatly from getting in front of these businesses and will avoid waiting for them to somehow come through an orchestrated inbound funnel.
Considerations for outbound lead generation
Yes, there is a cost to go out and qualify a target market in the right way and to determine whether there’s immediate interest, future interest or no interest. However, if the outbound program is well thought out and executed, a sales team can get in front of a lot of decision-makers in the right target market. From there, careful distribution of content will nurture your target audience in ways that will almost eliminate them going into an inbound marketing funnel in the future. This leads to higher close rates, more ‘sweet-spot’ clients and greater margins.
If you would like to understand more ways to really build the right overall lead generation strategy for your business, please get in touch for a confidential discussion. We specialise in generating sales qualified opportunities through inbound marketing, outbound marketing, marketing automation and developing customised business target lists.