B2B Lead Generation Services Beyond Digital Marketing
We’re going to keep this one straight to the point, B2B companies are always looking for leads because more leads = more sales (pretty insightful stuff, thank you Momentum Data). However, with the wide array of marketing and sales approaches available, it can be difficult for a salesperson to keep a clear picture of all the B2B lead generation services they have in front of them. Most of these can be done at a company level, although there are many B2B lead generation services providers worth looking into.
Moreover, with differences in GDPR regulations in Europe meaning that cold calling and cold emailing are technically (technically) not allowed, it is necessary for salespeople to consider all potential outreach alternatives they have at their disposal. Even in other continents, cold calling is becoming more and more ineffective, and continuous shifts in approach mean that sales teams everywhere are always looking for new methodologies to gain more clients.
As more changes are expected in 2020, we’ve compiled a list of approaches that will be relevant for the coming year to increase sales and win more business.
Social selling involves developing relationships through the sales process by interacting directly or sharing content with potential customers through channels such as social media. A number of strategies exist within Social Selling as a B2B lead generation service. Namely, joining groups on Linkedin or Facebook that are specialised in something relevant to your target customers can be useful places to engage with new leads. Answering questions from others using your experience, passion and expertise from within the business is a good way to generate interest which can then be followed up with a sales-focused interaction later on in a less forced manner. Hosting webinars is also a good method to share knowledge to people that might be interested in your solution and creating connections to them.
Writing a blog and other relevant content can also be used to portray the overlap between the value you can provide and the pain and opportunities that your prospects are facing. Even sharing relevant blog posts or articles found from other sources that highlight these factors can be successful in building credibility and engagement. Additionally, using social listening through tools such as Google alerts or Sales Navigator, one can set up notifications to be alerted when a prospect posts something relevant or experiences a pertinent change.
As aforementioned, Linkedin is one of the most effective B2B lead generation services, and it can be a great way to create a personal connection to a buyer, However, it is also extremely effective at growing a network audience. Tools such as Linkedin Sales Navigator are very efficient at finding leads that fit your ideal customer profile and maximising your mutual connections to gain access to high-level decision makers. A recent statistic found that 90% of B2B decision makers don’t respond to cold calls anymore, however, our research indicates that response rates from messages on Linkedin are upwards of 50%, with follow up messages increasing this value. In addition, these messages give space to personalisation from research on the prospect and their company, information which often gets lost in a shaky cold call.
Linkedin message and connect request (our research indicates a 40% acceptance rate) can be a very efficient use of sales team time. Content sharing can also be done on Linkedin either to generate inbound leads or to create organic interactions with your target leads that are already part of your network. This type of “thought leadership” is an increasingly common methodology for salespeople to prospect new leads.
Can you remember the last time you opened or let alone sent a letter? Maybe not, either way, there are some examples of successful campaigns that involve direct letters or “snail mail”. A benefit of this approach is the space for personalisation that it enables. Moreover, a small cheap gift added alongside the letter can actually be worth the cost if adjusted to the current lead and customer acquisition costs.
Email campaigns which provide relevant information to your inbound that doesn ́t centre around your product or service can be a great way to engage prospects. Furthermore, providing email content that is not simply a meeting request or a sales pitch is an effective way to generate engagement from your leads that might be inactive or difficult to reach otherwise. Moreover, tracking your web visitors behaviour can help to understand when is the right time to contact an inbound lead with a target message or outreach. However, it is important to note that in Europe, opt-in is necessary from your prospects due to GDPR regulations.
84% of B2B leaders start their individual buying journeys through referrals, and nearly 3 out of 4 business executives have said that they prefer to work with sales professionals that have been referred by a network connection. Asking your most loyal customers for referrals to people they know might benefit from your solution can be very successful. These types of channel partners and multipliers can be essential, especially for smaller companies, to scale effectively. Once again this is something that can be capitalised upon with Linkedin due to the capability of observing the mutual connections of your networks to your target leads. Direct requests for referrals are also efficiently sent through email or Linkedin. Not only can referrals be found in the existing customer base, but leads can be generated through coaches, consultants and even through the clients of a company’s IT service providers.
Apart from networking through social media, there are a myriad of networking events happening for almost any industry and region where there are significant opportunities to prospect for decision makers. These may be fairs, exhibitions or conferences as well as events particularly oriented towards networking. The admission costs of such events are often worth the amount of leads a salesperson can generate at them if the right event is chosen.
Warm calling involves making a network connection with a prospect before calling them. This historically occurs through a personal referral but is increasingly effective over social media communication such as Linkedin. If one looks at the 1% success rate of cold calling versus the 30% success rate of warm calling, it is clear that it is a more efficient methodology for your SDR ́s to be using. The fact that sales development representatives are 4.2X more likely to gain an appointment if they already have a personal connection with the buyer, could be one of many other reasons for why warm calling is far more effective. Warm calling can also occur after engaging with a piece of content that a prospect has posted or shared.