What is Lead Generation?
Nowadays lead generation is a must-have for any B2B businesses that works with account executives. The principle is easy to understand: instead of paying your account managers to spend hours irritating prospects on the phone, you upload content that is relevant to your audience onto a website and by doing so attract new prospects, who in order to view more content, have to fill out their contact details. These prospects then receive e-mails with relevant content on a regular basis and every time they take action, they accumulate points. By the time they have accumulated a certain number of points, their contact details are transferred to the account team and an appointment arranged.
Thanks to Zoom, Skype and other video communication tools, it is not necessary to be in the same region or even continent as your customers to do business with them and this helps expand your reach.
It sounds appealing, but it’s not that easy to get right. The two main ingredients are a lead generation system and content. Choosing the right system, writing the right content and offering the right support can make a huge difference.
The 3 main blocks of Lead Generation
A software system will manage your lead from the first registration to the moment it is transferred to the CRM and sales teams, following the scenarios you have set-up in advance. If it is a marketing automation software, it will also manage the relationship with your client during all his/her time with your company even after he has left.
Here are some of the criteria to take into account when choosing a lead generation software system :
- How many customers do you already have?
- Do you already have a CRM system?
- Do you already have a website?
- How big is your marketing team?
- How big is your IT team?
- How much are you ready to invest?
- Does the tool have to be integrated with your office package or your phone system?
Depending on the answers to the questions above, you will be able to choose from some of the following, well-known systems: HubSpot, Pardot, Salesforce, Marketo, Adobe, Eloqua and Oracle.
The first step is to identify for whom you are creating content. This is what we call the personas. Focus groups with your internal stakeholders will pinpoint a number of these. It is important though to narrow this selection down to a maximum of five personas.
Once the personas are identified, it’s time to start with the content plan which will be different to the one used for B2C e-Commerce purpose.
In the content plan, the four following stages should be addressed for each persona:
- Interest & Trigger
- Research & Learn
- Evaluate & Assess
- Justify & Purchase
Depending on the persona and what stage they are at, it might be appropriate to provide reports, infographics, videos, and other alternative content.
All the content will then need to be distributed. It’s at this stage that Digital Marketing plays a huge role. When launching your lead Generation Activity, SEA will be required, in order to bridge the three-month period required for SEO to come into effect and bring in necessary traffic. Content can also be recycled on social media, for example by posting small extracts from reports or infographics that have already been published.