As the year comes to an end and we reflect back on everything, we can all agree on one thing—2020 was a year that no one saw coming. No single person or business was prepared for what this year would bring. In early March, COVID-19 became serious, and businesses everywhere suffered the consequences, some more than others. Layoffs and losses became an unfortunate reality for many. The smartest businesses out there will start developing a plan now to ensure success going into 2021. The best way to do this? With B2B lead generation.
Just because your business took a hit due to unforeseen events in the past year doesn’t mean 2021 has to follow suit. If you start preparing for a year of success now, there’s nothing stopping you from hitting your sales targets and revenue goals in 2021.
If you’re ready to develop a business plan for the coming year, but you’re not sure where to start, these tips will help.
Something you need to start doing NOW if you want to be successful in 2021 is reaching out to people in your market. Outreach is the single most important thing you can do to start building a pipeline and stay top-of-mind. Start the conversation! It doesn’t matter if people aren’t ready to buy right now; lead qualification and lead nurturing are just as important as closing the deal.
Here are a few things you’ll need to do before starting an outbound lead generation program:
- Build a list of high-quality prospects. Define your ideal customer; what type of businesses do you want to go after? What size? What geographic area are you targeting? Strategic prospecting is a great starting point for any sales program, but you’ll also need to qualify leads to ensure they’re a good fit.
- Create messaging for your sales program. Before you begin reaching out to prospects, make sure you’ve nailed down your messaging. Sales development representatives (SDRs) should have talk tracks and other sales development resources to help guide their sales conversations. Additionally, professional writers can be writing email campaigns to assist sales reps in the sales process.
If you have the two above components of your sales process nailed down (you have the right targets and the right message), the only other thing you need is the right timing. When the right timing, the right target, and the right message all intersect, an opportunity is born. You take care of the target and message, and your lead nurture process will take care of the timing component (nurturing keeps leads in your pipeline until it’s the right time for them to buy).
Also, use this new year as a chance to reconnect with cold leads. Just because you’re revamping your sales process doesn’t mean you can’t continue working older leads in your pipeline. In fact, these are the people who you should want to work in your sales pipeline. Companies that excel at lead nurturing make 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost.
Customer outreach is important, but without a process in place, it won’t do you any good. This is why it’s so crucial to have a solid B2B appointment setting process going into 2021. Before the pandemic, things might have been going well for your business. During those times, perfecting your sales process probably didn’t seem like a priority. Now, it’s more important than ever.
Figure out a solid sales process before you begin outreach. This means knowing how you will guide customers through every step of the buying journey. Steps might look something like this:
- Introduction and discovery phase. During this stage, you’re either going to qualify the lead and move them along on the sales process; or, you’ll have to disqualify the lead because they aren’t a fit. Whether you reach the prospect via a phone call or email, make sure you’re asking discovery questions to learn as much as you can about them (are they the key decision-maker? Will they be evaluating new partners soon?) Also, if they don’t agree to an appointment right away, ask when you can follow up.
- Nurture or schedule an appointment. The next step is to nurture the lead or schedule an appointment. Very rarely will you schedule an appointment on the first phone call or email, so, more often than not, expect to move a prospect into the nurture phase. During this stage, you should have a process outlined for how often you’ll reach out and what messaging you’ll use. Also, make sure you’re utilizing a CRM to track prospect info.
- Schedule appointments and close deals. The purpose of having a solid sales process and lead nurture program is to close more deals. Once leads are ready to have a buying conversation, they can then go to a closing sales rep who delivers a more detailed sales pitch using a B2B sales presentation.
Not every company will have the same sales process. Choose a sales process that makes the most sense for the way your business operates.
Let’s discuss your business growth strategy for 2021.
While we’ve been talking about outbound lead generation and the importance of outreach, let’s not forget about the other end of the spectrum. Inbound lead generation is just as important, and when you give it enough focused attention, it can be a game-changer for your business. A lead generating website can attract warm leads to your business that are easier to close.
Inbound leads are considered warmer than outbound leads because they were already looking for the products or services you offer. When people search for something in a search engine, for example, “commercial roofing companies,” would you want your website to show up first? Or your competitor’s website down the street? Obviously, you want to show up first! This is exactly what SEO content writing can do for your business. Content writing helps you rank higher in search engines, thus driving more traffic to your website.
It’s critical right now that companies adapt to today’s ever-changing environment. The reason companies needed your service a year ago might not be the same reason they need it today. For example, if you’re a commercial cleaning company, a lot of your customers a year ago might have been from ongoing cleaning/building maintenance services. Companies were probably growing, and as a result, they needed to hire more cleaning staff.
This year, however, a professional cleaning company looking for commercial cleaning leads might need to change their value proposition. Now, your big selling point might be that you offer deep cleaning services for companies getting ready to re-enter the office. Not only do companies have flu season to worry about, but there’s also a brand new virus out there that many companies are having to take precautions for. If you offer deep office cleaning services, this could be a huge selling point for companies right now. Every company needs to be thinking, “what value can you offer right now in such a unique and unknown environment?”
Starting your very own B2B lead generation program may sound like a daunting task, but if you want to grow your business in the coming year, it’s something that you’ll have to focus on. Fortunately, you don’t have to take on the initiative alone. Abstrakt Marketing Group is a professional B2B lead generation company offering B2B appointment setting, website design and development, SEO services, and more.
We build robust sales pipelines that generate consistent, high-quality leads for our exclusive partners. And our marketing services help companies build an online presence and drive inbound leads. Set yourself up to WIN in 2021 → schedule an appointment with us today.