Best Practice for B2B Lead Generation – You Can’t Improve What You Don’t Measure
This blog will discuss a competitive advantage and a Best Practice for B2B Lead Generation for 2013. As a qualified sales lead generation company we were surprised how many B2B marketers still had a black box correlating b2b lead generation to sales return on investment. We will let the graphics below demonstrate how easy it could be for your business to gain a leg up on your competition by simply implementing a tool like Pardot in 2013 as a best practice for B2B lead Generation.
According to the 2nd annual Webmarketing123 State of Digital Marketing Survey (of over 500 U.S. marketing professionals) Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC), and Social Media Marketing
(SMM) are increasing in their level of adoption and spend. And spend is forecasted to continue to increase in 2013. The report when on to state:
- For B2B, lead generation is the top objective, and SEO is twice as effective as PPC or SMM for this purpose.
- Budgets: 90% of marketers will increase or maintain spending on SEO, PPC, and SMM.
- Still doing SEO in-house? Marketers using an agency are twice as likely to be highly satisfied with their campaign performance.
What we found surprising in the study are the statistics below:
As an outsourced sales and marketing company we typically implement campaigns designed to generate leads through integrated email, SEO, PPC and cold calling campaigns. We then continue to nurture leads not ready to buy with a marketing automation platform like Pardot. An ancillary benefit of this approach is the transparency and ability to track leads directly through the pipe, for example specifically what tactics (like SEO) are doing for your revenue. Below is best practice for B2B lead generation in the form of two reports we typically leverage for both PPC and SEO on a monthly/weekly/daily basis so we can give your marketing efforts a sales quota tracking directly to the opportunity and then revenue level.
Hopefully a couple of pictures do paint a thousand words here. As we close 2012 and move to 2013 you need to ask yourself three questions around your b2b lead generation efforts.
- How do I improve what I don’t measure?
- If I do measure will it improve my performance?
- How much more revenue will I generate once I focus my marketing dollars on what’s producing?
Gabriel Sales provides b2b lead generation services and builds demand generation engines that integrate both sales reps, b2b lead gen, sales engagement and inbound marketing efforts. To see how we can help accelerate your production in this last quarter of 2012 so you hit the ground running in 2013 please feel free to contact us for a free benchmark review.
For additional info on marketing automation implementations, tips to improve the performance of your telesales team, your b2b lead generation or how to accelerate your content marketing efforts please feel free to check out the links below.
What is a Marketing Automation Platform? – 5 Minute Overview from Pardot
Selling Smarter and Selling Faster White Paper
B2B Lead Generation Requires Content and Reps to Educate Your Buyers and Sales Reps to Engage Your Buyers
In Part 1 of this specific series on B2B lead generation we discussed how you can align your content marketing to educate buyers and your telesales reps to generate qualified leads and create demand for your product. In this blog we will discuss how as part of that process that is supporting your buyer’s needs you can also support your internal sales organization needs by engaging them in your sales process. In this blog we will discuss the questions your inside reps should be asking at specific stages of your B2B lead generation process to support your sales efforts.
In a book way back from 2004 Think Like Your Customer, Bill Stinnett pointed out that “…your customers don’t buy solutions. They buy results.” Ultimately it’s your sales teams’ job to sell your buyer these results. While content marketing and your telesales team are building trust with your buyer your inside reps also need to be getting ready to “sell” results. Or more importantly setting up your closer to sell results. While your inside sales and/or telemarketing reps are helping your buyer become educated they should also be answering the following questions at the following stages:
Stage A of B2B Lead Generation- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
Typically your first touch you should be discovering:
- What is buyer’s urgency for getting educated right now?
- Is there an impending event?
Stage B of B2B Lead Generation – Telesales Accepted Lead
Typically your second live touch discovering:
- Who will be involved in the decision?
- How are decisions made?
- Who ultimately approves budget?
- What’s the real business motive for buying? Replace something? Cut costs? Increase topline?
- Who/what else are you considering?
- What are the consequences of doing nothing?
Moving From Stage B to Stage C of B2B Lead Generation
Typically buyer has stated they are not ready to talk to a senior rep yet. Your inside reps job is to start drilling down on how engagement will occur:
- Is there budget available? Does a case need to be made for budget?
- What is the impact, ROI or payback required?
- What is the risk associated with making a decision?
Content and marketing automation is great for education. It’s great for helping you to score where leads are in the buying cycle. The tactics are great for saving your reps time nurturing your pipe. But don’t confuse content consumption for engagement. Your investment in content marketing and thought leadership is a must but so are sales reps that are skilled in the science and art of making it easy for your buyers to both consume and engage. If you are not using telesales reps to ask these questions to help your buyers engage more deeply in your B2B lead generation process you are missing the boat. And if your buyer has digested 6- 8 pieces of content and they are not willing to engage and answer at least some of these questions then they are still educating and its more than fair for you to flat out ask what they “think the risk is in making the decision” and then feed them some content to help assuage that risk.
For more tips on how to align your sales and content marketing efforts around B2B lead generation feel free to check out our previous blog – B2B Demand Generation Requires Your Lead Gen Team to Pick Up the Phone, or Digital Content to Automate your Sale – A crash course in integrating sales and marketing efforts.
And feel free to contact us for a free benchmark review.
B2B Demand Generation Requires More Than Just Content Marketing
This blog is part of our regular series of posts on what we have learned over the past several years, as an outsourced B2B demand generation company, to help to align sales and marketing. This first post will be part of a short two part series that frames what your content marketers can do to generate demand. And what your sales reps can do to get your buyers to engage.
As an outsourced B2B demand generation company we are committed to marketing automation platforms and content marketing. Over the past year we have seen across clients a typical buyer consume 14 plus pieces of educational or verification content before they purchase. We believe Joe Pulizzi, author of Get Content, Get Customers that “The one who has the more engaging content wins, because frequent and regular contact builds a relationship because done correctly the content you create will position your company not as just a seller of stuff, but as a reliable source of information.” As a source of reliable information you will build trust. However that content and trust will only take you so far. At some point you need to take the buyers that are consuming your content, buyers that are developing trust, and get them to engage to increase that level of trust. And the best way to get them to engage is by picking up the phone and actually engaging them in helpful conversations.
Below is a quick framework of how you can align your content marketing with the efforts of your phone reps to support moving buyers deeper into the pipe.
- When your buyers are early in the buying process they are trying to figure out what their problem is. Your job as a content marketer is to help them define their problem. The job of your inside rep is to help your buyer figure out if your company can even help and then share some additional content to help them define their problem a little more. Your telesales reps should not be ‘selling’ yet. They should be asking “how can we help”.
- At some point your buyer is going to have their problem framed. Ideally with the help of your content. At this point you need to “start engaging”. Don’t start selling yet. But you can start talking more about your solution specifically and move away from pure thought leadership. At this point your content marketers job is to be supplying your telesales engaged leads with content that allows them to share what other companies experience or have experienced with your company. Your content needs to start giving your buyer a sense of what it would be like to “own” your product or solution.
- Finally we move to a Sales Qualfied Lead. Your buyer is engaged and its time for content marketing and inside telesales reps to step out of the way and transition over to the closers.
This blog post has been written from the perspective of what you need to do to support your buyer. However its also important to support your sales effort. In Part 2 of this series we will discuss how you can use these early stages of telesales engagement to provide your closers with the information they need to:
- Understand where the buyer is in their buying cycle
- Capture information that allows your closer to do their job more effectively for your company and your buyer to make the final transaction as seamless and professional as possbile for your buyer and your senior sales executive so everyone wins.
To visit Part that discusses where to integrate your telesales reps CLICK HERE.
To see if Gabriel Sales outsourced B2B demand generation can help you close more business creating a seamless and aligned sales and marketing process that sells to your buyer the way they want to buy please feel free to contact us for a free benchmark review.