There are many challenges, pressures and constraints put on small, growing and start up companies when it comes to sales lead generation.  However, this article sets out a simple 7 Step B2B Lead Generation Process to help your business focus on the key issues.

 

1. Define who your customers are (a written profile), what they really want (tangible benefits) and how they go about buying in general.

  • It might seem obvious but time spent here will impact on results, save time and money later on.
  • Look at existing customers, where they came from and even ask why they chose you in the first place.

2. Build a database of targets, acquire prospect lists and sort them into groups. This data will over time become a valuable asset and allow you to focus your efforts, spot gaps and identify new opportunities.

  • Your customer profile will define the targets.
  • This list will be used in the next step.

3. Attract attention using Outbound Marketing techniques. Broadcast to prospects that you exist using a range of methods in line with the volume and places your buyers go source new suppliers.

  • Email, Trade shows, Telemarketing, Direct Mail, Networking, Advertising…

4. Drive them all to your website – it’s the easiest place for them to understand and compare your products and services with others. It’s where you can identify and track everything to gain more control of the buying process.

  1. Use your Outbound to drive traffic to your website.
  2. Use Inbound techniques to drive traffic to your website
    1. PPC, SEO, Social Media, Listings, Content (Whitepapers), Video …

5. Optimise for a response – which means make the pages on your website relevant to whatever link brought them there and offer information/advice/ free stuff in exchange for their contact details.

  • Dedicated landing pages, considered ‘call to action’ buttons. Offers that give useful information to them as they go through the buying cycle.
  • Optimise for inbound calls too. Buyers may prefer a quick call to understand more without reading brochures and to get a better feel for how your business operates.

6. Capture & Convert Into leads – for most businesses this is the bit where you pick up the phone, correspond and nurture the identified expressions of interest through to quote and sale.

  • What’s important is timing, knowing what they might want and how much interest they have shown in over time. A Lead score helps along with a single timeline of interactions.
  • Marketing automation is great in concept here however it is generally for large companies with a high volume of interest. The cost, content and dedicated resource rarely make it a practical option for small business.

7. Repeat the process but this time use the information acquired to improve, re invest more in marketing that does work and cut out wasteful activities.