B2B lead generation is not at all a hard task today. You can run PPC ads, invest in social media or email campaigns, and that can easily generate B2B sales leads for your business.
But the real work starts when you have to convert those leads into your paying customers. Filtering the low-quality B2B sales leads and focusing on high-converting leads is the main problem for every business today.
According to HubSpot’s marketing report 2021, 61% of marketers consider generating quality leads and traffic as their biggest challenge.
Since marketers spend a lot on B2B sales; thus, it is a huge financial loss for them when they chase a lead for days and get nothing in return. In 2019, US-based businesses spent around $2.6 billion on digital lead generation, which is projected to reach $3.4 billion by 2023.
So, if you don’t want to send your sales team on a useless chase and waste their time on unqualified leads, focus on improving your B2B sales leads quality right now.
In this post, I am going to show you 7 simple ways to improve your sales productivity and lead generation quality. So, let’s hop on the ultimate B2B lead generation ride with me.
Why Focus on Leads Quality Over Quantity?
Traditional sales and marketing teams have a main focus to generate more leads. Most lead generation campaigns have been aligned to generate a higher number of leads. It is a common ideology that the more leads, the higher will be chances to convert them into customers.
But unfortunately, this theory isn’t applicable anymore. A HubSpot research states that 70% of marketing teams fail to reach their revenue goals.
Another study shows that it takes 18 sales calls to connect with a potential buyer. That means B2B sales lead generation is now a resource and time-consuming process.
Thus, focusing on quality leads over quantity will improve your marketing team’s ROI and sales managers’ time. Besides this, quality B2B sales lead generation can help you with:
You need quality leads to grow your business and revenue. When you aren’t wasting your resources on irrelevant leads, it will save your salesperson time, which they can dedicate to better track and nurture relevant leads.
Gain Competitive Edge
Your team can create personalized solutions to reach qualified leads faster than your competitors by reducing the volume of leads. This will boost your confidence as a business owner/marketer and give you the courage to be innovative with your marketing strategies.
Practice Multi-Channel Marketing
Marketers have multiple options to generate leads in digital marketing realms like emails, content syndication, social media marketing, and more. Here when you focus on quality leads only, this will give your marketing partners sufficient time to capture leads from multiple marketing channels and expand your business reach.
Improved Conversion Rate
Suppose your marketing team has shared 1,000 leads with your sales team in a month. But out of which, only 100 were relevant leads. That will make your monthly conversion rate merely 10%.
Now, if your marketing department only shares high-converting 200 leads with salespeople, this will increase your lead conversion rate to 50%. In short, a higher lead number is a double-edged weapon that will harm you more than benefit.
7 Ways to Amplify Your B2B Sales Lead Quality
Usually, the B2B sales cycle includes four phases, including finding, contacting, qualifying, and closing the leads.
Most marketers and salespeople spend half of their resources on finding and contacting leads. But they forget that lead qualification is a final destination to close the leads.
Therefore, if you don’t want to lose your potential customers and waste time on irrelevant leads, we suggest you follow these 7 B2B sales lead generation practices asap.
1. Build Your Buyer’s Persona
A buyer persona is the fundamental component of an effective inbound marketing strategy. If you want to sell, first find out who wants to buy your products or services.
Knowing your buyers will allow you to target the relevant leads using personalized messages.
A buyer persona is a fictional characterization of your ideal customer. Once your marketing team knows who is your targeted audience, they can generate B2B leads targeted content that connects with your buyers.
Here are the steps to create your ideal buyer personas:
Do Market Search
You might already have a pretty good idea about your clients. But it is recommended to look around the market to know who your future customers are.
Segment Your Buyer Personas
This is the most important and time-consuming process. After knowing your customers, start organizing them into different groups to personalize the marketing campaigns for buyers with similar interests.
Create a Background Story For Your Buyers
Every customer has different needs and requirements. For instance, HubSpot offers marketing, sales CRM, CMS, and other inbound marketing services. Therefore, every HubSpot customer has a different story/needs – some want to establish better relationships with customers, and some are interested in lead generation.
If you also sell multiple services/products like HubSpot, create a separate buyer’s persona for each one of your customers.
Define Personal Attributes
You should also define the personal attributes of your buyers like age, gender, income, etc. This will help to know the personal preferences of your customers and build a strong relationship with them.
2. Gather Buyers Intent Data
After creating an ideal buyer’s person, focus on gathering your targeted audience’s real-time preference data. A buyer persona is a fictional information, but you need solid intent data for quality lead generation.
Intent data showcases that a lead is in your sales cycle and it is interested in your services. Further, businesses can manipulate intent data to know the exact position of a lead in the funnel. This way, you can target high and low convertible leads using separate marketing strategies.
Mostly, leads walk through four stages before becoming customers—
Based on the leads position in your sales funnel, you can customize your marketing strategies. For example, in the first Awareness stage, leads are gathering generic information about your brand or services. Thus, use non-promotional and knowledge base resources to aware leads about your business.
In contrast, Purchase is the last stage in a B2B buyer’s journey. At this stage, the lead is ready to convert, so use a direct marketing approach here.
But how can I collect buyer’s intent data?
Well, you are running a business in the digital age where 85% of consumers search online before buying a product. Therefore, you can use website data, social media analysis, and off-site activities to collect intent data.
Mainly, intent data comes from external and internet resources. Let’s take a look at both:
Internal Intent Data or First-Party Data
This data is collected from the direct activities of visitors on your site, social media posts, etc. The internal intent data also means the lead is aware of your business. All you need to do is walk it to your sales funnel.
External Intent Data or Third-Party Data
As the name suggests, this intent data comes from the actions taken by users on other sites. For example, external intent data is sourced via IP lookups and cookies on specific sites.
This data indicates that the lead has the potential to become your customers, but it is not yet there. So, you should make some efforts to nurture those leads.
3. Practice Account-Based Marketing
Why do you want to improve your B2B sales lead quality? Obviously, to increase revenue and sustain revenue growth.
So, when revenue is your end lead generation goal, why waste time on generating new customers?
Yes, when your pre-existing customers can easily improve your revenue growth, there’s no need to generate new leads.
In fact, research shows that top-performing companies are getting 20% of their revenue from repeat customers. Also, repeat customers spend 300 times more.
Therefore, I recommend B2B marketers adopt account-based marketing to improve their lead quality and revenue.
ABM is a modern marketing style where resources are channeled to existing customers to strengthen relationships and generate more revenue.
If you think carefully, your existing customers are already your valuable leads. They are familiar with your services and have used them before. Thus, there’s a high chance they will buy from you once again.
As per the benchmark survey organized by ITSMA and the ABM Leadership Alliance, 87% of account-based marketers confirmed that the ABM approach had outperformed all other marketing strategies.
But ABM marketing seems complicated?
Well, not exactly. In fact, practicing ABM is less complicated and time-consuming than conventional marketing strategies. Here you simply have to follow three steps to cultivate account-based marketing:
Find Your High-Value Accounts
First of all, put your marketing and sales teams on the task of identifying your high-value customer accounts.
Once you recognize the high-value customers fitting your company goals, target them using personalized content. You can here use different content marketing solutions like ebooks, whitepapers, blogs, or personalized email marketing campaigns to target accounts.
Focus on Retaining Customers
Sales and marketing departments should focus on keeping customers happy by offering them competent customer support services.
4. Automate Your Marketing Process
Marketing automation is the foundation of quality lead generation. It helps B2B marketers and salespeople to track, measure, and interact with high-quality leads.
Therefore, the marketing automation software market is flourishing nowadays. It is anticipated to reach $10,418.6 million by 2025.
Today, there are so many different marketing automation tools available to grow your business, such as:
- Social media marketing tools
- Customer relationship marketing tools
- Analytical tools
- Email marketing tools
- Data integration tools, etc.
Some of the popular marketing automation brands are Prospect.io, SAP SE, Adobe Systems Inc., Autopilot, Teradata Corporation, etc.
Marketing automation is vital for quality B2B sales lead generation; thus, automating the right marketing operations in your organization.
Here are a few marketing operations that you must automate:
- First of all, automate your email marketing campaigns to better segment your subscribers, send a personalized email and track ROI.
- Automate your paid search advertising to target the right keywords, adjust ad budget and optimize your ads for search engines.
- Automate your social media posts to reduce your workload and save time. Further, scheduled social media posts help you better engage and convert leads.
- Use data-informed design technology while designing the PPC ads that will help you add CTAs, images, and other graphic elements in the ads based on the viewer’s perspective.
- Automate the lead management process to know the exact position of high-value leads in your sales cycle.
- Automate web chats to interact quickly with your customers and collect relevant information. Webchat automation will increase your ability to reach out to quality leads on time. Plus, it will save salespeople time for making calls to individual customers.
All in all, we suggest B2B businesses automate those marketing or sales operations, which are repetitive and time-consuming in nature.
5. Build a Lead scoring system
So, you need to chase high-quality B2B sales leads to grow your business. But the main question is, who are your quality leads?
How do you know which leads are sales-ready? Which leads require further nurturing? Which leads can you pass?
The best solution to find quality leads is to build a lead scoring system. Instead of chasing all leads in your CRM, the lead scoring system will filter out high-priority leads. This, in return, will build a healthy sales pipeline to close deals quickly.
To build a lead scoring system, you have to determine the criteria of your lead qualification. For this, you need to focus on a lead’s interaction with your company.
For example, if a user clicks on your PPC ad, it counts for a lead score. Further, if a user downloads an ebook on your website or interacts with your chatbot, it can be counted as two lead scores and so on.
The lead scoring system should be designed systematically to identify high-value leads. These are a few mistakes that you should avoid while scoring your leads:
Every Action Isn’t Counted as a Lead Score
If a subscriber has opened your email, don’t consider him/her as your potential customer. A person could have clicked on your email by mistake. Instead, when a user clicks on your email’s content, it is an indication that the person is interested in your services.
Never Set the Same Lead Score For Every Page
A lead who has visited your pricing or product pages is more valuable than who has visited your career or about us page.
Leads Are Always Time-Bound
If a lead has attended the webinar hosted by your company two months back, it isn’t valuable enough for you today. Therefore, you should consider the time factor while scoring your leads.
6. StreamlineSales And MarketingOperations
If your sales department often complains that the marketing department shares unqualified leads with them. On the contrary, the marketing department complains that the salespeople don’t properly follow their suggested leads, you aren’t the only one here.
Considering the fact that merely 10% to 15% of sales leads actually convert. It is a problem for every business executive today to establish a correlation between marketing and sales operations.
Thus, I suggest business owners build a proper feedback loop between sales and marketing departments to streamline their operations.
It is important to structure a proper communication line between marketers and salespeople to improve B2B sales lead quality.
If the marketing department is getting leads for the sales department, later must check back to know how the action is taken on the shared lead data. Further, both departments should frequently communicate while deciding the lead scoring system, sales funnel and performing other lead generation-related tasks.
Business leaders should always work on building a harmonious relationship between sales and marketing departments. They need to train sales and marketing reps to work as a team and achieve a company’s goal.
There are some basic team bonding activities that business executives can perform to streamline marketing and sales operations like:
- Joint team meetings
- The transparent lead generation system
- Clear communication pipeline
- Constant feedback, etc.
7. Take a Look at Social Networks
While chasing quality B2B sales leads, don’t forget to look at social networks. Your business social media pages are the best place to connect with your leads and improve their quality. You can know a lot about your sales leads through regular posting and direct DMs than any other medium.
All social media networks today allow you to attract leads via paid ads and organic methods. But for B2B lead generation, LinkedIn is a perfect lead generation platform. According to HubSpot, LinkedIn can generate 277x more leads than Facebook or Twitter.
Additionally, there are numerous ways to improve lead quality on LinkedIn, such as:
- You can share posts on LinkedIn and interact with your potential leads.
- LinkedIn also allows users to publish long-form blogs to target relevant keywords and links for better SEO optimization.
- Businesses can send bulk messages and newsletters on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn also provides an option to run paid targeting your ideal buyer’s persona to generate quality leads.
- You can publish your achievements, certificates, testimonials, and other professional details on LinkedIn to social proof your business.
LinkedIn might be a leading B2B lead generation social media platform, but that doesn’t mean other social networks can’t help you improve your lead’s quality. In fact, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are highly effective social lead generation platforms.
In my opinion, you should target all the leading social media platforms to generate high-quality B2B leads. Take Salesforce for an example; the brand has a significant social presence on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.
Ready to Improve Your B2B Sales Lead Quality?
Improving lead quality is a long and constant process. You need to experiment with different marketing strategies, tactics, and approaches to improve your B2B sales lead quality.
Initially, it is going to take some time to improve your lead quality. But once you find a correct formula to nurture your leads, things will get easier.
Thus, you should try different strategies like account-based marketing, social media networks, lead scoring, and others to increase your conversion rate. Also, analyze which method has worked the best for lead quality improvement for your brand. And then constantly work around it to improve your B2B lead quality.
That’s it from my side! But if you have any special lead quality improvement strategy, do jot down below.