The world never stands still, as we all perfectly know. What used to be alright years ago now might seem awkward or old-fashioned. The same principle works for the marketing industry. You can’t just extend your presence the way it was mandatory even a couple of years before. Belkins knows how to implement cutting-edge solutions when it comes to b2b online lead generation, and we are ready to discuss the changes which have lately happened to the industry.
These days, salespeople spend less time on the road and in face-to-face meetings, regardless of their business area. Online events are becoming more popular. Instead of chatting with clients at trade shows, salespeople can now slide into their DMs via social media platforms.
We all know why there has been a major shift in online selling and lead generation for B2B sales:
- The evolution of technology
- The onset of the COVID-19 epidemic;
- The development of social media, and social selling.
Although social media and new technologies have been around for more than a decade, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that forced sales professionals to rethink their preferred tools and workflows. Many salespeople working in digital environments have found social selling a reality. Cold selling is not only time-consuming, it’s no longer effective as it used to be. Now, salespeople only start to pitch leads after building rapport. Social media is great for building rapport. It’s easier to make connections through Twitter and Instagram. Facebook is also an option. LinkedIn is another great way to reach out. There are endless options for personalization through social media. Even appointment setting may no longer need direct physical contact since online meetings via Zoom are becoming more and more widespread.
New realities have created new requirements for B2B sales reps. They must understand the needs of prospects in order to sell in a buyer-centric environment. They also need well-structured, easily accessible content to nurture leads and close deals.
Let’s look at what has remained the same and what is new in B2B lead generation for 2021 to help us reorient in this shifting landscape of marketing and sales.
Good Old Means for Lead Generation
The industry and the organization in which they work will have a significant impact on how salespeople react to the new reality of post-pandemic. The technology sector can streamline workflows and develop strategies faster than the traditional industry. Business owners and CEOs must be open to new methods. While your business may not have much in common with technologically advanced businesses, a tech-savvy CEO or CCO can help you choose the right tech stack and increase your B2B sales.
These are the top three things that have been around for a while. Every b2b lead generation company does that to reach the goals it has set.
- Research is first. It is not an exaggeration to say that most SDRs conduct research on business-to-business leads before contacting them. It’s a smart move to conduct lead research because (1) it evaluates leads’ suitability to your ICP, and (2) allows for you to customize your communication to their preferences and needs. Check out the contact information and registration records of your business contacts, as well as the LinkedIn profiles of decision-makers and other social media activity. Later this information can be used for performing email outreach or getting to know them through discovery q’s on a call. You can find more about other benefits of warm emailing in our blogpost.
- Apply account-based marketing strategies. Account-based marketing supports multiple verticals by targeting different roles and functions within the target account. You can mention the name of an employee or customer in the target company’s first cold email/cold phone call. Or at the very least, ask them questions about the right people. A “warm-up“, is a good idea to get new business leads. Although this is not a lead generation strategy, it can help you move toward the ultimate decision-makers.
- Take care of your leads. SDRs are no longer able to simply grab any list of leads or business contacts. A lot of sales teams follow strict pre-qualification procedures and will not buy business leads from B2B lead generator companies if they feel that quantity is more important than quality. Pre-qualifying is essential for effective B2B lead generation. This includes lead research and inbound calls. Ask questions like “What problems does your current solution not address?” “Can your revenue be increased if these problems are solved?” “Does your company have deadlines to find a solution?” You will receive more qualified leads.
Improved B2B lead generation strategies
Some of these improvements are not new. It’s common sense to build a strong team and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. These suggestions are part of a series of B2B lead generation strategies that were recently developed.
- Create a dream team. It is easy to see that business-to-business lead generation is a complicated process. Each step must have a specific role. Companies need to align their marketing and sales efforts, not only do they need growth hackers, lead researchers, or SDRs to nurture and manage leads. B2B lead generation relies heavily on email marketing and content marketing. Many people are involved in content creation, even for regional businesses. Companies are constantly streamlining their content and optimizing it based on feedback.
- Develop your reputation as a thought leader. Salesforce leaders should also be considered thought leaders. Your sales team can leverage their social capital to influence leads’ DPs. They can also use social selling as a concept. They can’t do this on their own, and they need support from the organization through well-structured content as well as a well-equipped staff. In this case, your team will work as a living lead generator.
- Create diversified content. Content marketing is the cornerstone of B2B lead generation as well as other strategies. It is not enough to simply duplicate an article or case study on a company’s website, LinkedIn, and in emails. (1)First of all, certain information channels require simpler content while others need more detailed pieces. (2)Make sure you are creating content that is laser-focused to meet the preferences and needs of your target audience. Many startups try to be all things to all industries. But then, they realize that focusing on a specific set of business areas is more effective not only for their revenue but also for their value to their clients.
- Push strategy in Content Marketing. It is one thing to create quality content. But it is quite another to make it available to others. (1) Salespeople must have quick access to the relevant content after it has been created. Sales enablement tools can be helpful in quickly accessing the content. (2) It’s not just up to the marketing department to get the content to market. All your SDRs should post links and full texts to their social media accounts in order to spread the content across all channels. Speaking about traditional means of outreach, email should not be ignored. It can serve as a powerful resource of leads if the mailing is organized properly. To make sure of that, it’s advisable to use special software like Folderly. It provides you with tools for monitoring email deliverability rates and also has an integrated spam-checker as an additional pleasant touch.
- Evaluate and optimize. Every performance should be measured against the desired outcomes. If necessary, adjustments can be made to improve results. After receiving performance metrics, sales and marketing teams review which content was most popular in terms of reach and views. All content with poor performance is removed from the content library.
The Best-Performing Content for Lead Generation
What content is best for B2B lead generation? High-quality content refers to information that addresses the needs and preferences of the target audience. Content marketers need to have access to the lead data in order to create targeted content. But what content is the best one?
- Blog posts. The most well-known source of leads, every blog is capable of attracting a decent number of leads if it’s not abandoned by the owner. Such contact gives excellent opportunities for an organic search of your site. Besides, a good blog has a good schedule. All articles must be published according to it. Finally, your blog must stick to topics that are relevant to the goods or services you offer. The articles must help readers to solve their problems or find answers to puzzling questions.
- E-books. It’s a perfect way to share information with an interested audience. That’s the point concerning e-books. The topic you would like to dwell upon must be absolutely urgent and worth writing about. A good matter to disclose is how your company works and why a potential consumer must opt for your services.
- Slideshares. It’s a convenient tool for holding presentations of all sorts and sharing them with your network. The viewers can clip the slides they particularly like and share them with other people via social media websites. Presentations have always been an undying classics of content creation, allowing us to pack data in a convenient and simple and understandable way.
- Comprehensive guides. There’s so much in this world that needs explanation or has tricky moments to take care of. This is where comprehensive guides can attract hundreds of leads to your content if it truly helps prospects to understand how to deal with this or that situation. Make sure your guides are up-to-date and created in an understandable manner. Pay attention to their structure, use short and informative sentences – in that case, your guides will be appreciated by the readers.
- Podcasts, Youtube channels, Interviews. That type of content is easier perceived than the written one and usually has better rates of conversion. If you are an interviewer, think about questions that might be worth answering, avoid trite topics since everybody knows about them. Youtube channel was popular until streaming platforms took their ground in terms of media coverage. However, it’s still a credible way to promote your services or ideas. The key aspect is to get as many subscribers as possible. An old rule but it still works even with the cutting edge methods of lead generation
We all know that there’s nothing new under the Moon. However, modern methods of lead generation allow you to optimize your outreach campaigns and achieve better results within shorter periods of time. We don’t say that being conservative is bad, but if there’s a chance to extend your online presence in a more effective way – why not doing that? The combination of the old and new methods seems to be the optimal combo you have been looking for.