Need for lead generation in B2B marketing

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Need for lead generation in B2B marketing
Are you generating enough leads to your CEO’s satisfaction? Do you consider your lead generation techniques as good as your nearest competitor or peer? What processes have you developed for your lead generation? Marketers in the B2B sector are increasingly asked of more quality lead generation techniques. Specially in these times of sluggish growth, every qualified lead is a blessing for sales team. Marketers are also being questioned on their lead generation strategies as every rupee counts in these times.

Time is now for marketers to adapt to the best practices of lead generation processes. Mediocre processes will only lead to mediocre results, as the service quality expert from University of Miami, Parsu Parasuraman famously said. It is always better to learn from peers and top performers the best practices, but unfortunately, in India there is no formal peer group interaction to facilitate such focused discussions.

I am going to provide a few best practices adopted by B2B marketers across the world as a direction for marketers in India.

Use content marketing for brand awareness, which will lead to lead generation and customer retention. All marketers are familiar with content marketing, as I have already discussed this in an earlier column. What is important to note is that your potential customers also seek out information during non-office hours. In fact, more than 46 per cent of business decision makers access content after work hours and 30 per cent do so on weekends.

Develop content that urges prospects to act quickly. There must be a call for action. It is therefore best to vary the types of content you are putting together in order to engage your customers and prospects. It is also a good practice to have more resources built into the content. For example, you may want to include a video, or power point presentation or even a live chat into it.

Many marketers get their agencies or subject matter experts to write blogs and publish articles in trade journals. This will help build traction with prospects that you do not know at all and helps improve reputation amongst prospects you know.

When creating call to action content, marketers need to be careful. Do not overload it with links or information than what is necessary. You cannot possibly convey everything about your product or service in one go. Similarly, do not put in trivial content for call to action. For example, you do not want to offer any freebies to them for calling you as it may backfire. Marketers make sure that there is clear learning and a few pointers that can stick in their prospects’ minds.

Good marketers have created specific ways to engage prospects by offering them additional ideas that enhances their work or ways of improving processes. And they ensure that they do not overwhelm them with choices or complexity of offerings. It is like choosing ice cream these days. There are so many choices and you are left confused as to what to order and most of the time you end up ordering the wrong one.

The best marketers experiment with more types of marketing programmes than their peers. It is found that those who regularly employed five or more types of programmes achieved higher performance for almost all the programmes. Clearly, doing more and different programmes enhances performance.

The most popular marketing programme amongst best markers is still the email campaign. It is also by far the most effective in terms of costs and return. It takes only 10 per cent of total budgets on an average for marketers but give more than 20 per cent of total leads from it. Although most marketers do not tie each lead and revenue to marketing budget, the CEOs more often than not ask for this data.

The best marketers actually have much more sales leads in the pipeline than the laggards. For instance, one survey indicated that more than 130 per cent hot leads than the laggards and more than 40 per cent more than the average marketer.

Successful marketers use lead-scoring models almost double than the laggards. They actually have more scoring criteria than others. For instance, they use lead behavioral data in lead scoring much more than the average marketer or laggard. The best marketers also use follow up campaigns 120 per cent more than laggards. Best marketers also align follow up campaign content with prospect persona and buying cycle stages much more than their peers who are lagging behind. Such alignment of content is a critical factor in their success in lead generation.

Interestingly, it is not the head of marketing that commands the power with senior management, but the head of sales. And if this is the case with best marketers, imagine what will be the credibility levels of marketing among the top management of laggards!

(M Muneer is the CEO and MD of CustomerLab)

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