Sr. Content Marketing Manager
Every business needs customers, right? And unless you have a 100% customer retention rate, you’re going to need a constant influx of new leads to grow.
85% of marketers say lead generation is their most important goal, but what happens once you get those leads into your sales pipeline? Your sales and content marketing teams are working hard to find new business opportunities. That means you need to invest in a solid lead generation strategy that converts your sales leads into paying customers.
Instead of coming out of the gates and asking a brand-new Facebook lead to buy your stuff, you can learn how to generate leads for business with a little empathy for your audience. The right lead generation approach will show leads the value you provide, gain their trust and build relationships that lead to long-term sales.
What is a B2B lead generation strategy?
A person becomes a lead when they express some kind of interest in your company. They’re aware of your solution but need a little more information to determine if your solution is a fit for their needs. Whether it’s via social media, a landing page, blog post, or cold calling, you’ll experience several touchpoints with new leads before they’ll consider working with you.
Here’s the problem: because only 5 - 10% of these leads will convert into paying customers, your marketing team needs to bring in a steady stream of leads. A lead generation strategy helps your business warm up a potential client so they support your business for the long haul.
Whether you source inbound leads from social media and landing pages or prefer pursuing outbound leads with cold calling and emails, you still need a lead generation strategy.
This strategy will affect everything from your sales calls to your email blasts to your blog content—it’s that powerful. With the right lead generation strategy, you can identify your ideal customers, personalize their experience and transform them into loyal customers with better marketing.
How to generate leads for business with smarter marketing
If you don’t have a marketing plan for lead generation yet, don’t worry. Learn how to generate more leads with the 4 building blocks of an effective lead gen strategy.
1 - Identify your target market and potential customers
Almost everyone on the planet wears shoes, but that doesn’t mean your ecommerce shoe store should target everyone in the world. Or if you’re a B2B company and your marketing speaks to B2C buyers, it just isn’t going to work. Effective lead generation boils down to attracting the right type of person: that’s why it’s so important to identify your target audience before you do anything else.
Create 3 - 5 customer personas for your business. These buyer personas should answer questions like:
- Who are you talking to?
- How do they see the world?
- What is their life like?
- What is their biggest problem?
- How do you solve this problem?
Once you identify your personas, you can start collecting data on the leads coming in through your sales team, emails, landing pages, social media, and in-store visits. You can use a tool like Copper to map each lead in your system to your customer persona, which will make it a cinch to personalize your lead nurturing.
2 - Create a B2B sales funnel
At this point, you know who you’re speaking to, what they expect from your biz and how you can help them. But that’s just the beginning: next, you’ll need to create a sales funnel so you can write hyper-personalized marketing content to nurture the relationship.
The hard truth is that two-thirds of your new leads aren’t ready to buy when you first interact with them. A sales funnel, such as an automated sales funnel, steadily builds a lead’s interest in your business based on what they need right now.
A good B2B sales funnel gives value at every stage. That might mean providing free downloads and how-to guides for the bottom-of-the-funnel folks who are just getting to know you. The top-of-funnel leads you’re nurturing might respond better to a discount code or free demo.
The key is to create content that nurtures every customer persona at every stage of the funnel. Yes, that means you need to create several pieces of content, but that’s what it takes to create a solid lead generation strategy. In practice, this might look like:
- Crafting personalized landing pages for every buyer persona at every funnel stage.
- Fine-tuning your lead generation process to reach out to buyers on their social media platform of choice. That might mean using TikTok for Gen Z and Facebook or Twitter for Gen X.
- DMing new leads on Twitter with a helpful resource on your installation process.
Businesses that nurture leads in a funnel generate 50% more sales for 33% less, so don’t overlook the power of a strong sales funnel.
Keep in mind that every business is different, though. Nobody has the same customers, products and culture as you, so always customize your funnel to what works for your ideal customer.
3 - Define a quality lead
Remember, you aren’t selling to everybody and their mother—you work with a very specific customer. The more traits a lead shares with your ideal customer profile, the better the quality of the lead and the higher the conversion rate.
Most businesses don’t look at lead quality at all: just 56% of companies validate the quality of a lead before passing leads from marketing to the sales team.
Fortunately, you can use lead scoring to figure out which contacts are ready for nurturing. This way, each sales rep only reaches out to qualified leads when they’re ready to hear from you. Use a CRM to score your leads based on:
- Traits they share with your customer persona.
- The content they consume.
- The number of times they interact with your team.
- How frequently the lead converts in your funnel.
Every digital marketing team scores leads differently, but a CRM can help you automate the process with a points-based lead scoring system. When you define what a quality lead means for your marketing team, you’ll always know when a lead is ready to take the next step in your relationship.
4 - Use lead management software
Trying to manage your marketing leads in an email inbox or spreadsheet? Lead generation is hard enough with bulky tools that weigh you down. The right toolkit will help you learn how to generate leads without the hours of digging or painstaking manual work.
The more leads you have, the better your chances of forging relationships that lead to sales. One of the best tools for preserving your sanity is a CRM. 84% of businesses say CRMs help them:
- Determine lead quality.
- Follow up with leads at the right time.
- Send the right messaging to each lead at scale.
- Make the most out of their marketing resources.
A CRM like Copper will help you track your customer relationships at scale so you never have to worry about missing a touchpoint with an interested lead.
Generate leads by building stronger relationships
Transactional business is dead: relationships are the most sustainable way to grow your business with digital marketing. Learn how to generate leads that convert into lifelong customers with a lead generation strategy that humanizes the B2B sales process. These 4 tips will help you build the foundation of a solid lead generation strategy that gives your marketing team more opportunities for real customer connections.
Lead generation is a never-ending process. Inject more authenticity into your customer relationships with a lead generation-friendly CRM like Copper. See how our simple lead generation tool increases revenue through lasting relationships.