For a majority of managed service providers (MSPs), lead generation can be a struggle. As a business owner, you might think you lack the time and resources, but there are a few easy ways to get started. Below, we’ve put together a series of tips to help with lead generation, regardless of your business size.
Create a Lead Generation Plan
The purpose of a lead generation plan is to create a list of potential clients and to determine how many clients you’ll need to meet your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) goals. First, consider your ratio of leads to closed deals. (For example, let’s say on average you close one deal for every 10 prospects.) Next, consider your average deal size. (Let’s say your typical monthly contract is around $2,000.) Now, use this information to calculate the number of leads necessary to meet your MRR goal. For example, imagine that your goal is $20,000 MRR. If your average monthly contract is $2,000, you’ll need to have 10 clients that month. If you close one in every 10 deals, you’ll need a list of 100 leads or more to reach your goal.
Want to focus on growth? Develop a lead generation plan that outlines the percentage of growth you’d like to see month over month. Then use the process above.
Whether it’s for a B2B or B2C business, marketing is all about generating, securing, and converting leads. However, if you’re a B2B marketer, you’ll need to utilize a different assortment of marketing strategies than those employed by B2Cs. And the B2B purchasing landscape isn’t just distinct from B2C—it has evolved from the traditional B2B buying process, which the seller initiated and controlled.
Today’s B2B buying is increasingly digital; buyers are more prepared when they first talk to salespeople; there are more people involved in a single decision; and these stakeholders have high demands for the customer experience. In a nutshell, the buyer is now initiating the process, and they hold much more power.
The Modern B2B Landscape
You’ll need to make sure the strategies you utilize reflect these key elements of the modern B2B purchasing landscape:
Substantial Preliminary Research
Thanks to the power of the internet, B2B buyers usually perform extensive research prior to having their first conversation with one of your representatives. They use multiple channels and multiple forms of media, including websites, social media, online videos, and peer reviews and recommendations.
In our daily lives, we are immersed in constantly changing flows of information and data. Just think of our Facebook wall, the Youtube channels we subscribe to, the news that flows through our TV screen…. As Kevin Kelly well notes in his latest book, “we are constantly immersed in rivers of notifications and updates.”
Our attention-grabbing ability fails to keep pace with technological evolution, which gives us access to an unprecedented amount of information. Disseminated in a variety of channels, and always at hand thanks to the different devices, we access a mass of data in the form of videos, words, and images.
In this changed scenario, even our ability to discern what we are interested in, which areas that we want to deepen our understanding or what we want to buy, is put to the test. How to understand what is valuable or what is not?
According to the classic models of the purchasing process that analyze consumer behavior to determine the basis of the consumer decision journey, the most critical phase is the evaluation of alternatives. In this decisive moment, many variables come into play that each play a fundamental role: from evaluating what motivates a person to buy to how a person perceives a company (which is driven by marketing), to the information that the consumer himself seeks out.
Think about the last time you met someone new. You probably shook their hand and immediately took note of their body language or facial expressions. Typically in these situations, your conversation starts with small talk — perhaps what they do for work, where they’re from or acquaintances you both may know. If you find the relationship mutually beneficial, you may begin to follow each other on social media, or exchange emails or text messages to plan when you’ll get together again to further the relationship. I’d like to argue that it’s time to start thinking about your business to business (B2B) marketing strategy the same way you think about building relationships.
We expect to gain something from our friendships or relationships. Potential customers have the same expectations. You need to prove your value. Tactics like targeted media exposure contributed content, influencer relations, social media, speaking engagements and website downloads invite potential customers into your company story as friends versus onlookers. A strategic B2B marketing approach builds a relationship with the customer by providing valuable, relevant and consistent content.
Lead generation is one of the most cost-effective marketing methods out there, bringing in leads and better profit and sales ratios than other methods may when used alone. Whether you’re utilizing lead generation and appointment setting services or trying it out in-house for yourself, understanding just how it can help your business grow is a crucial starting point. Here’s what you need to know:
What Is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is essentially the act of generating interest for your products or services in potential customers. The goal here is, as you might expect, to generate leads and make a sale or conversion as a result. It’s the start of the sales process in some ways and is the core driving force for a lot of companies when it comes to the customers they attract.
Without adequate lead generation, businesses and salespeople can find themselves losing motivation and, in some cases, may even see drops in traffic and customer numbers. Without customers and sales, businesses lack the resources to grow and expand efficiently.
A few days ago, Mantis Research and BuzzSumo published the results of their latest survey regarding the use of original research in marketing. The State of Original Research for Marketing 2019 survey was fielded in May and June of this year and produced 644 responses from global marketers. Forty-seven percent of the respondents were from the United States, and 70% were affiliated with B2B companies.
Both Michele Linn with Mantis Research and Chris McCormick with BuzzSumo have written excellent summaries of the research results. You can find Michele’s summary here and Chris’ summary here. If you’re a B2B marketer, I encourage you to read both of these articles, and even better, take the time to review the full survey report.
In the 2019 survey, 39% of the respondents said they had published the results of original research within the 12 months preceding the survey. The comparable percentage in the 2018 version of the survey was 47%. Chris McCormick believes this drop is primarily due to a shift in the demographics of the survey pool rather than a decline in research use, and I tend to agree with his view.
Lead generation is an expensive task for any B2B marketer, but it’s not cost alone that keeps them up at night. Understanding the nuances of each lead and how to replicate some level of success is as much art as it is science. Once you pay for leads, do they convert? And if they do, how do they stack up against your other sources? Perhaps most importantly, how can those leads successfully transition out of marketing to sales?
The pressure to both create and convert isn’t slowing down. According to a 2018 HubSpot survey, 75% of companies say closing more deals is their top sales priority. But, Econsultancy found that just 22 percent of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.
For many B2B organizations, balancing the demand for conversion and the importance of building meaningful customer relationships—and long-tail deal opportunities—is an ongoing battle. The insistence to prioritize today’s growth is at odds with the long-term growth of the business. In short, thinking about leads only for today starves the business for tomorrow.
Direct mail has greatly progressed beyond its humble origins. Thankfully, we no longer have to rely on animal transportation or handwritten copies when it comes to delivering the latest news or deals on a product or service.
But what about generating leads? Ideally, you want to reach customers the sales department can clear, and who will become qualified leads that will close deals or buy your wares. If you want your business to grow, you need to obtain these customers. You must also do all you can, within reasonable and ethical parameters, to get them to buy.
That connection — when potential customers learn about your products and services and want to purchase more — is key. Mail has a personal, tactile sensation that email marketing cannot replicate. While using the two strategies in tandem can work well, it’s important to have clear goals in mind.
Are you looking for new ways to beef up your digital marketing strategy?
While B2C strategies get significant focus, through the latest new feature releases and consumer tools, B2B brands need to implement more specific processes which will help guide their target consumers through the lead generation and sales process.
There are a range of considerations to within this – but what’s the best approach for B2B organizations to take when implementing an effective digital strategy?
That’s what this infographic from Imaginasium is about, showcasing an array of key stats and insights to help you construct a more effective approach.
And while a couple of the points are easier said than done (“Build a content marketing juggernaut”), the overall strategic guidance will help direct you on the path to developing a more effective, beneficial, strategy.
When you’re an entrepreneur or you’re in the business to business (B2B) industry, content marketing can be the ultimate tool to drive quality leads. I’ve been using it to establish my credibility and showcase my expertise in digital marketing for the past few years. As a result, I’ve landed contracts with several reputable clients and been invited to both national and international speaking events.
With the right approach, content marketing could work for you too. Here are a few tips to help you improve lead generation using content marketing.
Create Content That Attracts The Right People — And Helps Them
Keyword research has always been a crucial part of content marketing because you want your content to be visible in search results so that the right people can find it. So, determine which keywords your audience members are likely to use in their search queries, and create relevant content based on them.
With over 20 years of business, sales, and consulting experience SMS is capable of serving many market sectors. We provide the field level support needed to generate results and grow your business. Other companies may provide appointment setting services; whereas SMS will partner with you to grow revenue.
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