5 Tips to Reinvigorate Your Lead Generation Efforts

Published: July 26, 2011

1) Establish Your Expertise: Being an “expert” is a very important part of lead generation, because it helps your prospects feel like you’re “in the know” about their executives, company, competitors and industry. Information is power, so use trusted resources during your research to interact on a level playing field with your potential lead. Think about it: would you buy from someone who wasn’t knowledgeable about your company or its industry? Reinforcing how well you understand the prospect/customer could make all the difference between a sale and a dead lead.  

2) Build Relationships:
In 2011 and beyond, traditional sales skills won’t be enough for sales professionals to excel at closing deals – a new level of customer satisfaction will be paramount – for both new and existing customers.   To do this, sales pros should work closely with marketing to prioritize the types of leads they’re going after. Marketing should qualify and flesh out leads, in addition to helping sales understand where the prospect is in the buying cycle.  Once there is a clear understanding of the type of customers you’re targeting and what their needs and wants are, focus on relationship building. Discovering your customers’ preferences and interests will help you more clearly determine what is relevant to them, which puts you well on the path to earning, nurturing and retaining lifetime customer relationships.

3) Engage Through Social Media: For BtoB in particular, this has been a challenge and requires patience.  Studies have shown that LinkedIn and Twitter are among two of the most effective social media platforms to connect with customers, so take some time to really think about who your audience is and how you can get in front of them on major social media channels.  Being consistently present and engaging will help to foster trust with prospects or current customers. Remember, just because they’re not responding doesn’t mean they’re not listening!

4) Create and Optimize Your Content:  Whether prospects visit your web site on their own or they finds their way to your web site through social media, word of mouth, or a cold call, make sure your web site is sending the right message to potential customers. Does it accurately represent your company’s mission statement or is it sending mixed messages? Is your brand consistently depicted across all channels and appropriately leveraged through integrated marketing? Not every lead will be ready to buy when you talk to them, but if they’re interacting with your content (and finding value) and your site is appealing, you just might make it to the top of their list once they’re ready to buy.

5) Get Creative: We’ve all seen the reports that companies are beginning to invest more in lead generation. Use this time to think outside of the box; we don’t do this nearly enough in the BtoB space. If your current lead generating strategies aren’t yielding the kind of results you hoped for, take another approach. What’s a “hot” topic or trend in your prospects’ industry that you could incorporate into your strategy, messaging or conversations? Perhaps you could incorporate multimedia elements, such as video, into your strategy. What about participating in the LinkedIn community and answering one question a week to offer up your content to help people solve their problems? If your white paper helps answer someone’s question in a group forum, provide a link to your white paper to download. LinkedIn users that download your white paper are now in your lead nurturing campaign. A nice example of a creative campaign that translated into new leads for the company is Eloqua’s content series called the Grande Guides.  Launched last year, these guides are aimed at BtoB marketing and sales professionals and are written with speed in mind; a cover-to-cover read should take no longer than the time needed to finish a “grande” cup of coffee.  Every guide educates the market on a hot marketing topic while also generating demand and interest in the company’s marketing automation solutions.

James Rogers is the VP of Marketing of Hoover’s, a D&B company. In this role, he oversees marketing for D&B’s Internet Solutions group, which includes Hoover’s, AllBusiness.com and other digital properties. Prior to joining Hoover’s, Rogers held marketing positions at a number of technology companies, including Blazent, Gravitant and Troux Technologies.
Demand Discussion: What other tips and tricks have you found helpful with your lead generation strategies? 

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