How B2B Leaders Succeed at Online Lead Generation
In a live interview with James Rostance, Linus Gregoriadis, Director of London Research delivered the lowdown on what businesses need to know about online lead generation, including what B2B leaders are doing differently to their peers, the challenges they face, and what's working well.
In the first episode of The 414 in 2020, Linus Gregoriadis discussed the findings of The State of B2B Lead Generation Report 2019, looking at the strategies of industry leaders, as well as online lead generation best practices. So without further ado, just what is it that sets the leading companies apart from their peers?
What are lead generation leaders doing differently?
When it comes to online lead generation, the leading companies are more likely to exhibit best practices, including having an overall strategy in place, with tactical elements feeding into a joined-up plan. In addition, B2B leaders have a deep understanding of who their customers are, the different personas within the business, and where leads are in the buying cycle.
In addition, leaders have good technology and processes in place to make sure high quality leads are collected. Furthermore, leaders are better at nurturing leads effectively, before handing them over to the sales department.
What are some key best practices?
One of the key best practices for businesses is to have a collaborative company culture where sales and marketing are working together harmoniously to derive the most value from quality leads. In practice, this can mean having a senior employee or director in charge who can oversee both the sales and marketing departments to ensure alignment between the two functions.
It is also important for marketing teams to not only acquire leads, but also spend time nurturing them to ensure that leads are high quality. This means making sure those leads have met certain criteria and that they have reached a particular benchmark in terms of quality, before the handover to sales occurs. For example, ensuring leads have adequate budgets in place and have decision-making authority.
What are the key challenges in B2B lead generation?
One of the key challenges for businesses is to not only acquire a high volume of leads, but also ensure that leads are high quality in the first place. To overcome this, businesses need to have a clear idea of who they are targeting. They also need to have good quality content to target leads at different parts of the buying funnel.
Another key challenge is around measurement and tracking return-on-investment. Companies need to have the ability to work backwards from a sale and attribute the lead to marketing efforts. Having appropriate measurement and tracking in place will enable businesses to understand which campaigns were most effective, and develop an understanding of what works and what doesn't.
What types of content can prove to be most effective for generating quality leads?
Physical events can be useful for generating leads, but in terms of online, virtual events and webinars are highly effective in generating and converting high quality leads. This is because the audience has by default, opted-in to receive knowledge about a particular subject, so marketers are working with a pool of highly engaged leads.
White papers, buyer's guides and case studies are also useful in allowing leads to become closer to converting, as this allows the sales and marketing teams to contribute to the decision-making process.
Research about trends can help to educate sales leads who are at top of the funnel. These leads may not yet be ready to convert, but may need information about particular topics. Content marketing can raise awareness among these leads, who may be new to a particular area or taking their first steps into the buying cycle.
There are clear and demonstrable benefits for leading companies; B2B leaders generate almost half of their sales from online leads, compared to less than a quarter for their peers. It's clear that aligning sales and marketing teams is essential for success. Lead generation leaders need to ensure they optimise their sales process at every stage of the funnel to extract the maximum value.
For more exciting tips, best practices, research and statistics around online lead generation, download The State of B2B Lead Generation Report, produced by London Research in partnership with ON24.
A recording of the live interview with Linus can be viewed in full here.