An effective B2B lead generation strategy is essential for small to medium-sized companies that want to maintain business and generate predictable growth. But where do you start? There are different lead generation tactics you can use, but without knowing the difference between outbound and inbound lead generation, you won’t know what is truly best for your business. If you’re stuck deciding between the two, here’s everything you need to know:
- What Is B2B Lead Generation?
- What Is an Outbound Lead Generation Strategy?
- What Is an Inbound Lead Generation Strategy?
- What Are the Basic Concepts of B2B Lead Generation for Outbound Sales?
- What Are the Basic Concepts of B2B Lead Generation for Inbound Marketing?
- Which Lead Generation Strategy Is Best for Your Industry?
B2B lead generation is short for business-to-business lead generation, which is the process of a business selling their product or service to, as you could assume, other businesses. Lead generation strategies involve collecting potential client information such as their name, email address, company name, and job title and target them with customized sales and marketing campaigns. Generally speaking, the goal of a B2B lead generation strategy is to convert cold leads into customers.
Why Is B2B Lead Generation Important?
B2B lead generation encourages small to medium-sized businesses to generate leads and accumulate more revenue. Without leads, your business lacks the opportunity for growth and risks losing business from existing customers. Developing more B2B sales opportunities gives your business a higher chance of long-term success.
Your outbound lead generation strategy is a plan for your business to engage with potential customers and inform them about your company’s product or service. Outbound lead generation is performed by sales development representatives (SDRs) who identify and filter prospects through a sales pipeline.
An outbound lead generation strategy uses direct sales and marketing tactics to reach potential customers. These strategies include cold calling, direct mail, email blasts, and direct messaging on LinkedIn.
- Reaches a wide range of people in different industries
- More control over target leads and strategies
- Generate leads ahead of your competitors
- Disruptive to a prospect’s daily tasks
- Limited by one-way communication
- Leads may not be ready to convert business
B2B appointment setting helps you generate high-quality leads for your business. Learn how an appointment setting program can accomplish your lead generation goals.
The goal of an inbound lead generation strategy is to collect leads indirectly through your website, social media profiles, and other digital platforms. These leads approach you when they are ready to make a change to their business’s current day-to-day operations. Inbound leads are generated when the user signs up for your product or service that was promoted on a blog post or landing page.
When individuals visit your digital platforms, they have the opportunity to learn more about your business’s brand and engage with the inbound sales team. This method attracts qualified leads because it addresses their wants, needs, and pain points.
- Greater longevity than outbound approaches
- Establishes a brand voice and expertise
- Eases prospects into a conversation; less invasive
- Strategy development is time consuming
- Requires digital marketing specialist knowledge
- Can be more difficult to stand out among competitors
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Every company has its own approach to generating inbound leads. Here are the primary strategies that your business could implement to optimize your inbound lead generation efforts:
A fully optimized website is the foundation of a successful inbound lead generation strategy. Your company’s website should strike a balance between user-friendly design and engaging copy to successfully convert leads into customers.
How can targeted users find your website easily? Without high-quality SEO, they can’t. SEO services target your ideal customers and enable your company to rank at the top of their search engine results. Inbound SEO services include adding high-ranking keywords to your copy and internal linking from one site page to another.
While social media is a great place to connect with friends and family, it’s also an efficient tool that your B2B company can use to generate new business opportunities. LinkedIn business profiles can be optimized and curated to distribute engaging posts and targeted ads. Targeted conversation ads allow you to promote your business to your ideal customer, enhancing your likelihood of closing the deals you want.
Social media marketing is a unique lead generation strategy because it can fall under both outbound and inbound categories. When your company uses its social media profiles to post thought leadership content, it’s considered an inbound lead gen strategy. However, if you use your business’s social media platform to connect with prospects on LinkedIn and send an InMail message, this would be considered an outbound lead gen strategy because you are directly reaching out to the prospect.
Whether you’re focusing on outbound or inbound lead generation, marketing collateral is a great addition to implement. Marketing collateral involves a wide variety of content marketing assets, including:
- Sell sheets
- Case studies
- Pitch decks
- Promotional videos
- And more
One of the most significant reasons you need marketing collateral is that it can be printed for in-person use or distributed digitally. Many businesses bring marketing collateral assets to business meetings and embed them into their website or email marketing campaigns for easy accessibility.
As user attention spans shorten, videos are becoming a more powerful inbound marketing tool. Company videos have the opportunity to improve the SEO value of your website, build relationships with leads in the sales pipeline, and expand your brand’s voice. These videos can also be implemented into your outbound strategy for email campaigns and LinkedIn Inmail messaging.
Abstrakt Marketing Group supports businesses across the nation with an all-inclusive lead generation solution to help them generate and sustain business growth. Contact us today to learn how we could do the same for you!
Learning how to develop a list of leads is the first step in the outbound lead generation process. You’ve gathered your list of prospects—now what? Here are the main steps to creating a lead generation system for your outbound program:
As mentioned above, finding leads is the first step in your B2B sales efforts. These leads can be found through your own research or generated by a third-party lead generation service provider.
After prospecting a list of businesses, it’s time to start making contact. Your SDRs reach these prospective businesses by calling them and asking who the best point of contact is for your product or service that they’re pitching.
While talking with prospective businesses, SDRs gather crucial information about the company, such as key decision-maker (KDM) contact information, contract and budget timelines, and their current day-to-day solutions. By collecting this data, SDRs have a better idea of how likely the prospect is to buy or set up an appointment with your business.
Although these instances do happen, it’s doubtful that a prospect will agree to meet the first time an SDR calls them. For the most part, during the strategic prospecting process, KDMs go through the following stages:
- Research and awareness: In this stage, the customer is aware of a potential solution to their pain points. They take time after the call for further individual research.
- Consideration: During this stage, they know what actions need to be taken, but they are not at the point to set up meetings with potential vendors.
- Decision: This stage focuses on finding vendors that best suit their needs and relieve their pain points.
Each stage is dependent on where the leads are in their decision-making timeline. Not every lead will be in the decision stage of the sales cycle, so it’s essential that your SDRs nurture these leads and circle back around when timing makes the most sense for them.
Once an SDR schedules an appointment with a lead that meets your business’s qualifications, you must continue to nurture the relationship for the potential to submit a proposal and close business deals.
Since SDRs are not actively prospecting businesses during inbound lead generation, the process is a bit different. For inbound marketing, the steps for creating a lead generation system are as follows:
More often than not, the digital platform that the user discovers first is the website. However, this isn’t always the case. Visitors can also be introduced to your company via social media or blog posts.
Next, the user is directed to a call to action that encourages them to take a next step, whether it’s learning more about your company or exploring the products or services you have to offer.
The call to action directs the user to a landing page that provides more information about what to expect from your company. The landing page is a web page designed to capture lead information through a form box.
On the landing page, the user inputs their personal contact information. Once they submit their information, you have an inbound lead!
Every industry is unique in its processes, which means every business should have a lead generation strategy that works best for its unique needs. Here are some examples of how companies in various industries optimize their lead generation strategy:
In the automotive industry, most dealerships prioritize inbound marketing services like creative design, social media, and video production services. However, you can also take advantage of outbound lead generation methods such as direct mail marketing.
Commercial cleaning businesses are busy day in and day out to ensure that their operations run smoothly. While these companies focus on their daily tasks, they have a sales team to generate new leads through outbound appointment setting services. With B2B appointment setting, SDRs can directly contact business owners and facility managers to pitch your company’s cleaning services.
In addition to appointment setting services, your commercial cleaning business can implement inbound marketing collateral into your sales strategy. Having a well-designed brochure and sell sheet to bring to meetings set by SDRs allows them to promote your wide range of cleaning services confidently and effectively.
Roofing businesses are highly competitive due to their seasonal peak months and dependency on the weather. With commercial roofing, there’s no such thing as consistency or predictable growth—that’s why many roofing companies integrate outbound appointment setting services into their lead generation strategy. B2B appointment setting allows you to overcome your unique business challenges and generate revenue even during the slow seasons.
Construction business growth is all about finding the right prospects at the right time. With outbound lead generation, your construction business has the opportunity to nurture relationships with prospects and meet them when the timing makes the most sense for them and their project.
Most construction business owners and operators are busy preparing for big projects, which is why you need a reliable sales team to generate leads for you. Outbound lead generation allows you to continue working on current projects while having new business opportunities come in.
HVAC companies are often so focused on nurturing relationships with current customers that they forget about generating new business opportunities. Outsourcing a lead generation strategy is ideal for your HVAC business because you can focus on day-to-day operations while sales teams set you up for new revenue opportunities.
In addition to outbound, many HVAC companies take advantage of inbound lead generation tactics like marketing collateral case studies and SEO services. SEO services are ideal for potential customers who are actively online looking for a unit replacement or repairs.
Wanting to recruit new loan officers for your growing mortgage business? Inbound video production services are great for demonstrating how your mortgage business stands apart from competitors. Company videos can express your company culture and how your employees encourage and support each other through every step of the home loan process.
Managed service providers are known to be thought leaders in all things new in technology. With inbound SEO and social media marketing services, you can prove yourself as a thought leader and provide users with the latest trends in workplace technology.
If you don’t see your industry above but you’re curious about which strategy is best for your business, reach out to our team to learn how we can help you generate new revenue through outbound and inbound lead generation services.
Whether you’re looking into an inbound or outbound lead generation strategy, one strategy is better than no strategy. B2B lead generation enables businesses to sustain and generate business growth opportunities.
Still unsure which lead generation strategy makes the most sense for your business? Reach out to an Abstrakt Marketing Group sales rep today to talk details about your lead generation strategy!