When business owners decide that they need a lead generation strategy to grow their business, they usually focus their efforts on outbound marketing—reaching out to potential customers in hopes of making a deal. And why wouldn’t they? Outbound lead generation works.
As effective as outbound lead generation is, it’s not the only way to grow your business. The most well-rounded B2B lead generation programs use outbound and inbound marketing strategies to find prospects and convert them into clients. Strategic inbound marketing tools bring qualified leads straight to your company—no cold calling necessary—and support your outbound lead generation efforts.
Last year, a Midwest-based transportation and logistics company did what most companies do when they want to grow their business: they decided to invest in our B2B appointment setting program. Then, six months later, they realized that they were losing out on potential leads because of their lackluster website and nonexistent social media presence.
Here’s how we expanded our transportation client’s pipeline and boosted their overall lead generation strategy by adding inbound marketing into the B2B lead generation mix.
Successful sales pipelines aren’t built in a day. Even if our Pipeline Outbound partner immediately signs up for our inbound services, it takes time to get a B2B appointment setting program off the ground, and it takes even longer to bring a 30-page website live. However, once both pieces of the puzzle are in working order, they build on one another to create a seamless sales strategy.
Like most of our lead generation partners, our transportation client chose to build their pipeline in phases, beginning with B2B appointment setting.
Back in May of 2020, when the economy was suffering and lockdowns were in full swing, our transportation client signed on as an outbound lead generation partner. Like most companies, they were having a hard time generating leads during the pandemic, and their current opportunities were less than ideal. They wanted to grow their business and ensure future success by building a network of leads.
During our month of implementation, we got to know our client by asking these questions:
- What are your outbound sales goals? Some clients wish to set as many appointments as possible, regardless of quality; others have strict parameters for potential customers. This client chose to take a “quality over quantity” approach.
- What does your ideal lead look like? No two clients are exactly alike, even if they’re in the same industry. Every business has a preferred client base that they aim to target. Our transportation client wanted to target leads at large companies with a minimum of 50 employees and around $20 million in revenue. Their target industries included food and beverage, chemical, and consumer product manufacturers. Despite our client’s strict criteria for business size, they were open to opportunities throughout the country.
- How should we represent your company to potential clients? When our sales development representatives (SDRs) communicate with prospects, they act as the voice of our client’s business. Because of this, we work hard to get to know our clients and understand their values. This particular client stressed the importance of transparent communication, and they wanted us to build trust with leads.
When we went live on June 1, 2020, we immediately started calling leads and determining which ones were viable opportunities. If they were qualified, we guided leads through the sales pipeline by maintaining consistent contact and sending over eye-catching marketing collateral. After a few months of lead nurturing, we were able to set appointments with several qualified leads and help our client perfect their virtual sales pitch.
In September, our client decided to take their sales strategy to the next level by joining forces with our video production team.
Many business owners think that marketing collateral is a thing of the past, but it’s still a critical component of every successful sales program. Well-crafted brochures, pitch decks, infographics, and case studies show leads that you’re a credible, professional company worthy of their business. Video collateral is even more impactful—it only requires a few minutes of your lead’s time, but it leaves a lasting impression of your business.
Our transportation client wanted a custom video showcasing their company culture, values, and team, so they got in touch with our video production team. Following our custom video creation process, we planned a company profile video, filmed at our client’s office, and edited the footage. The custom video not only blew away our client but also seriously impressed their leads.
Looking for more qualified transportation leads? Book an appointment to learn more about our award-winning outbound and inbound lead generation programs.
As 2020 came to a close, things were going well on the B2B appointment setting front, but our transportation client noticed that their website wasn’t pulling in half as many leads as they wanted. They had previously hired a different content marketing team to create a lead-generating company website, but it was missing an essential component: SEO value.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, increases website traffic by enhancing a site’s features and content. Without it, sites are essentially static digital brochures—they sit on the web, but they don’t pull in much traffic or persuade users to get in touch. Once you add the following items to your site, it transforms into a digital salesperson:
- Keywords: Your potential customers search for some words more often than others. The words they use most in their search queries are the keywords you should incorporate into your site. Keyword-laden web pages rank well in search results and drive traffic to your site.
- Meta titles and meta descriptions: When you search the web for a product or service, Google displays the meta title and meta description of relevant web pages. Well-written meta titles and descriptions prompt users to click on your page instead of a competitor’s.
- Strategic headers: When search engines scan your site for information, they read titles first. By incorporating keywords into your headers, you can increase your site’s ranking and SEO value.
- Internal and external links: Google displays sites that it deems credible on the first page of search results. Adding links to other internal site pages and trustworthy external sites increases your credibility, thus improving your visibility.
- User-friendly navigation: Website navigation is a crucial component of a high-ranking website. When users and search engines can easily click through your site, you’ll end up with more site traffic and conversions.
When our transportation client signed on as a website development partner, our digital strategist immediately began researching keywords and creating a new sitemap. Once we completed our SEO research, one of our experienced copywriters crafted 30 pages of personalized content designed to rank well in search results.
We killed two inbound birds with one stone during the first few months of 2021—while our web development team was cooking up a brand new site, our social media marketing team introduced our client to the world of LinkedIn lead generation. We connected with key decision-makers from their target audience, crafted a professional company profile, and regularly posted curated content. Before we launched our client’s website, we were able to get the inbound ball rolling by using social media posts as a lead generation tactic.
After a few rounds of edits, we went live with our client’s site in early June. Our virtual marketing manager monitored the site for SEO value and found that it ranked exceptionally well in search results. More importantly, our client loved the site and felt confident that it would boost their lead generation strategy. Less than a week later, it did—an inbound lead reached out after finding their site, and our client is in the process of making a deal.
How did we create a successful site so quickly? We asked the right questions and used our B2B marketing expertise to combine our client’s vision with proven SEO principles. Instead of spending months adding unnecessary bells and whistles to our client’s site, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work doing what we do best—creating pages that rank.
As of June 2021, our transportation client has signed a brokerage deal with the potential to turn into a long-term partnership. Plus, they have dozens of appointments with qualified leads, and their new website is already starting to bring in more inbound leads than ever before. So far, we’ve posted two lead-generating blog posts to their site, and more are on the way. Because we added inbound marketing to our client’s existing outbound program, we now have an entirely new lead generation source and new marketing collateral for our sales reps to use.
As our transportation client proves, sales pipelines function best when using inbound and outbound marketing strategies in tandem. Inbound lead generation acts as both a supporting tool for our appointment setting program and a separate revenue generator. If outbound leads are curious about our client, they can easily find valuable information on site pages and social media profiles. Additionally, potential clients can enter our pipeline organically by searching for logistics services on Google or social media. Our transportation client is quickly learning the value of a complete sales program, and we only launched their site a week ago.
Want to grow your transportation and logistics business by finding as many qualified leads as possible? Don’t overlook the value of inbound marketing. Though our outbound B2B appointment setting program produces predictable and consistent results on its own, it reaches its full potential when paired with inbound marketing. Learn more about our innovative lead generation strategies and take the first step in becoming an Abstrakt lead generation partner.