There comes a point in your business when relying on referrals is not enough and you need to create a B2B lead generation system.
Lead Generation Business Drivers
Perhaps you’ve looked over the fence at your competitor and noticed how they seem to be adding new clients consistently, but you are not. Your rival is growing at a pace you haven’t been able to match.
Perhaps you’ve decided it’s time to focus on growth. Your solutions are competitive, maybe even superior. Your operations and delivery teams are ready. Now is the time to turn your attention to B2B lead generation and see how big your business can get.
Or perhaps you’re just tired of eking by, wondering where the next lead will come from when sales aren’t naturally happening.
Regardless of the situation, you know it’s time to change your B2B lead generation strategy. You want a strategy that will generate consistent leads and help you grow your business.
The Lead Generation Situation
When you develop a customized B2B lead generation strategy, you put in place a strong foundation for business growth. It is one of the 3 core elements of their Revenue Generating System to create new leads.
Relying on referrals is precarious. Yes, you still want referrals. They are an important part of your B2B lead generation system. But as you continue to grow, referrals alone won’t build your business at the pace you desire.
3 Things To Know To Grow Your Business
Once you’ve made the decision to grow your business, there are 3 truths you must embrace.
1. You must grow your sales funnel
All salespeople know they should maintain at least 3 times their target in their sales funnel if they want to hit their quota. As a business owner, you want that same amount in your company forecast at all times. This means consistently feeding the sales funnel with new opportunities. Not every opportunity will close. The more you have in the sales pipeline, the less risk when prospects are slow to make decisions or client attrition strikes.
2. You can’t rely on referrals as your sole B2B lead generation strategy
Referrals will always be your best leads, but they can’t be your only lead source. To outperform your competition and grow to the level you envision for your business, you must build a B2B lead generation machine that uses multiple strategies. If one lead source isn’t performing, another B2B lead generation strategy can pick up the slack.
3. You can’t do it all yourself
Successful B2B lead generation is a complex system with many moving parts. You can’t do it all yourself. You may have worked with lead generation companies in the past that made promises to provide leads but did not produce. Past failures can’t limit you. You need expert resources that can help you develop your system, then work with you to generate leads through closing the sale.
What Is B2B Lead Generation?
Lead generation isn’t something you do a little of, fill the sales funnel, pause, then start again when the pipeline is thin. It also isn’t something you try for 3 months, measure, see no leads, then try something else. That’s a recipe for failure every time.
B2B lead generation is a system
It is one of 3 legs in your Revenue Generating System. It’s a business process, just like the fulfillment side of your business. As such, you have to treat it like a business process. It’s continuous.
You’re going to commit to it, feed it, and watch it produce over time.
Use this system to drive consistent leads, regardless of the market or economic situation, because it is a system, not a point-in-time, one-off activity.
There are 3 stages in the B2B lead generation system
Starting a B2B lead generation system consists of a deep reflection of your business. This is something you do every 6 months to re-evaluate your direction and fine-tune it based on the lead generation results you’re getting.
It’s the shortest but most important stage.
This stage is relatively short in the grand scheme of your system, but it’s critical. This is where you define your target market, personas, messaging, competitive positioning, and more. If you move too quickly, your B2B lead generation strategies will be off, and your disappointing results will reflect it.
It takes brainpower and honest reflection.
You’re working in your business every day but may rarely have the time to step back and analyze it from a sales and marketing perspective. In the evaluation stage, you must be able to objectively examine your business, opportunities, and challenges. From there, you can develop a lead generation system that fits all aspects of your company and targets the right markets.
2. Develop and Do
This is the stage where you’ll spend the majority of your time. It’s the daily implementation of your B2B lead generation strategies.
This is the longest stage of your system.
Your B2B lead generation system includes multiple campaigns using different types of lead generation approaches, each with their own timelines and activities. Campaigns take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, depending on the complexity, desired goal, and target market response. Some campaigns are outbound to your curated list, while others are inbound, attracting new contacts.
While individual campaigns end, you are always running B2B lead generation strategies to identify new active buyers, expand your list of potential future buyers, and build your brand awareness.
The Develop and Do stage is ongoing and can be complex. You will have multiple campaigns running simultaneously, possibly to multiple target markets. There are actions and events during this stage that intertwine, are sequenced, and automated with the purpose of nurturing a prospect to a sale. B2B lead generation companies that do this for you must be skilled in content development, implementation, and critical analysis, as well as marketing strategy, project management, and sales process.
3. Deliver and Adjust
The last stage of your B2B lead generation system includes lead passing and analyzing the results. The metrics and analysis become an important input when you step back and conduct your 6-month evaluation. See how it’s a circular process?
Pass marketing qualified leads (MQL) to the sales team.
During every campaign marketing qualified leads are generated. In this stage, you ensure you are formally passing MQLs to yourself or the sales team for follow-up and conversion to sales qualified leads (SQLs). Even if lead passing is an automated process, you hold the reps accountable for skilled sales follow-up, not just a cursory email.
Analyze campaign results.
Analyzing the results is necessary to assess return on investment and effectiveness of each stage in the B2B lead generation system. This leads to improvements for the next campaign and your overall B2B lead generation strategies.
If you’re frustrated by the results, it only means something needs to be adjusted. You don’t give up. B2B lead generation is a system and it does work. Return to the evaluation step and keep tweaking until you get the results you deserve.
B2B lead generation is a system. It’s a core process in your business and, when implemented consistently, analyzed, adjusted, then evaluated and refined, it will produce.
If creating and implementing your B2B lead generation system feels overwhelming, or you’ve been frustrated that the system you’ve tried to put in place isn’t working, we can help. These are all the things we do because you shouldn’t have to worry about where your next client will come from or when. Contact us and let’s talk about your vision and how we can help.