B2B Lead Generation: How a good strategy leads to business success.

The main goal of every business is to gain profit. Every marketer already knows the importance of leads when it comes to sales.

A lead is a person or company that has shown some interest in products your company provides. It can also be a company or person who fits a target group for what you are providing.

If you do business with other businesses, thats B2B or business-to-business. A good funnel from leads to business is essential. And that leads to business success.

Why Do You Need to Get More Leads?

You need to learn about B2B lead generation in order for your business to survive and that process is not as easy as it was in the past. The internet has changed the world in many ways. From a world of information scarcity to one of information abundance.

In fact, according to Eric Schmidt, former Executive Chairman of Google: “There was 5 Exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization and 2003, but that much information is now created every two days and the pace is rapidly increasing”.

This abundance of information has transformed the entire buying process.

Consumers have become so overwhelmed with all the noise that they get better at ignoring messages from businesses.

Instead, they prefer to do their own research on what they want to learn about. They can find a variety of educational resources online and through these, they can learn a great deal about a product or service before ever having to even speak to a salesperson.

Because of this, a new marketing strategy arose and it is called B2B lead generation.

B2B lead generation vs B2BLead Sourcing

Many people think that lead generation and lead sourcing are the same thing when in fact, they are not.

B2B Lead generation is the method of finding people who are interested in the product or service your business is offering. And it has proven to be an important marketing strategy for companies big or small. “Finding” people means finding information about people, like their name, email address or organization’s name, all of which you can use to initiate a business relationship with them. Through lead generation, businesses capture leads through different types of marketing campaigns. This process leads to business success but it is slightly expensive considering that promotional campaigns are paid services.

Offer more than you take to generate leads

A visitor will come across your business through one of your marketing channels, such as your blog or social media page. That person clicks on your call-to-action or CTA which will then lead them to a landing page, a web page that is designed to capture lead information in exchange for an offer.

HubSpot defined an “offer” as content or something of value that is being offered on the landing page, like an eBook, a course, or a template. The offer must be valuable enough to the visitor so they provide their personal information in exchange for access to it. Always make sure you give the customer more content than you take. Especially when using email signups.

Your landing page contains a form, which is a series of fields that collect information in exchange for the offer. Once the visitor fills this out, you have a new lead!

Find potential customers to source leads

On the other hand, lead sourcing is a strategy that also captures leads but in a different manner. Unlike B2B lead generation, lead sourcing is an organic process which means leads are captured without any marketing activities. This also leads to business success when done right. Lead sourcing is based on finding the source of targeted leads and build a list of leads who are valuable to your business. Leads can originate from different sources. The number of leads is defined and limited by the source, but finding a good source is not that hard so getting a lot of names, email addresses, and even phone numbers shouldn’t be a problem.

Lead sourcing is also considered to be a lot cheaper than b2b lead generation since you don’t necessarily have to invest a lot of money in marketing campaigns. Lead sourcing can also provide you a bigger list of leads if you are able to find a good source or if you use a lead sourcing automation tool. Also, by automating this process, you are able to scale it more effectively since a lot of automation platforms has a built-in analytics system that allows you to keep track of your lead sourcing efforts.

Lead Sourcing Methods

There are a lot of ways that you can source leads  but according to Snovian.Space, those methods can be categorized into three main classifications: manual, automated and paid lead sourcing.

Manual lead sourcing

This method costs the least. All you have to do is find an online source and manually go through the listings and extract all the necessary information into a spreadsheet. However, this method is limited by human resources. The more employees you have, the more leads you can source. But if you are a small business owner who has a limited number of staff, the number of leads you get is, of course, going to be lesser. If you want to capture a lot of leads in a short span of time, the only thing you can do is add more employees to do scale up the process.

Automated lead sourcing

This is the most popular lead sourcing methods today because it’s faster, easier and a lot more flexible compared to the other two methods.  Automated lead sourcing is based on a lead sourcing software that can extract lead information from various sources. A good lead sourcing automation tool extracts more than just emails, but also names, positions, phones companies and more. The tools will cost from around $10 to few thousand a month. The more advanced lead tool is, the more sources it can extract. Keep in mind that tools will only capture leads not convert them. It is still up to you on how you can drive your leads down the sales funnel to convert them to paying customers. But regardless of how many leads you are currently getting per month, lead sourcing automation tools will surely take you to the next level.

Lead purchasing

Out of all the lead sourcing methods, this is the most expensive one. Instead of implementing lead sourcing strategies in your business, you just buy them from vendors. When choosing your supplier, aim for ones that are already trusted and established in your industry as they provide leads of high quality that comes with additional information such as company size, social profiles, and contact information.

Things to keep in mind when using a lead sourcing service

Always determine how each service acquire its leads. Does it gather information from visitors to a certain website or does it get data from credit bureaus? Knowing the source of the information will help you evaluate whether the leads are valuable. Usually, reputable services has a “Data Quality” page in order to inform their customer about their data collection methods.

Another important thing is for you to decide how many leads you want to purchase based on your budget and the number of conversions you’re hoping to achieve in advance before you actually look a service to buy leads from. For example, if you want to achieve a one percent conversion rate from the leads you bought and want to sell your product or service to at least 100 customers, you will need to purchase 10,000 leads. Knowing these numbers in advance would help you budget your money better and will also give your purchase an end goal.

Keep in mind that both B2B lead generation and lead sourcing are living, breathing and dynamic. You can’t just set it and then forget about it. You must measure activity and adjust your strategy on a regular basis to ensure that you get the best results from your efforts and that in the end leads to business success.

What Happens Next?

Lead sourcing does not end after lead acquisition. Getting leads is just the beginning of that sales process.

Once you have them in your database, don’t forget about nurturing your leads to move them down your sales funnel. Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel.  It focuses marketing and communication efforts on listening to the needs of prospects and providing the information and answers they need.

If you don’t nurture your potential buyers, then your lead sourcing efforts were all useless. Keep nurturing leads, use B2B lead generation. That is the path which leads to business success in the end.

About the Author
Arne is the co-founder of Leadpro. He is a developer and entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience. Arne has also founder https://fullservice.co a digital marketing agency for successful startups and Fortune 500 level companies.

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