My cell phone buzzed. I glanced at it quickly. It was a call from an unknown number. Another of those pesky telemarketing calls I thought. But ‘true caller’ did not mark it as spam. So I decided to take the call –“Hi this is Amol Patnaik from Strasly. I got your reference from Kshitij Prasad. Can we speak right now?”
Kshitij Prasad has been a client for more than 3 years. So my ears immediately plucked when I heard his name. This is definitely going to be another client in my kitty I thought. “Please go ahead. I am all ears.”
“We are a B2B SaaS company. We have been in the market for the last 2 years. Our product is a visitor management system for offices, buildings, commercial complexes. We have been growing consistently for the last 2 years but all our business has primarily come through my contacts .For the last 2 months it seems we have hit a ceiling. No new business is coming in, I don’t have more contacts in my rolodex and we are looking for ways to generate more lead for our business. I was discussing this with Kshitij and he referred me to you saying that you will have the perfect solution for me.”
We had a long conversation and he is now a client and we have implemented a number of B2B lead generation strategies in his business which has led to growth in his business.
Now this is not an isolated incident I keep getting such calls on a regular basis. I am sure there are many such businesses , who are facing this perennial problem of generating more B2B leads but are either running out of options or don’t know how to do it in the first place .
Most of the information available on various websites is either amateur, impractical or very theoretical. That’s why I have decided to write this practical implementation guide for B2B lead generation strategies which any business can implement and see fantastic results – if they implement it consistently and diligently
What is B2B Lead Generation?
Every business needs to sell to generate revenue. It can sell to other businesses or to individual end consumer. A B2B sales happens when one business sells to another business instead of an individual end consumer. For example if a company purchases a software system from another company it is a B2B sales. Here the purchase has been made by the company for its business requirements. On the other hand if an individual purchases Microsoft office for his own laptop it is not a B2B sale but a business to consumer sale (B2C)
Having established the essential difference between a B2B sales and B2C sales, we need to step back one step and figure out how will the business find other businesses who will buy its products. This is where the B2B lead generation process comes into picture. The business has to find other businesses who have an interest / will benefit from the product / service being offered by it. The process of finding such businesses who could have a requirement for its products /services are known as leads and this process is called B2B lead generation process.
How to generate B2B leads
There are a number of ways which a business can use to generate B2B leads. Here I am giving below the most effective and practical ways which a business can use for B2B lead generation.
1. LinkedIn + Email
LinkedIn is the largest online gathering of professionals. Every business professional creates and maintains his updated profile on LinkedIn. You can find the details of any business professional by searching the LinkedIn platform.
Here is how to use this platform extremely effectively for B2B lead generation. Let’s say for example your target businesses are CEOs of SMEs in pharmaceutical companies with 50 to 200 employees in Delhi. You can put this search request in LinkedIn by using the search filters and you will get a list of all such people. Now with this list available use B2B lead generation tools like getprospect.io to find out the emails of the particular individual. Alternatively you can use automation tools like dux-soup to visit all these profiles and collect their information including the email ids.
Once you have the email ids, you can then send them cold emails informing them how your product or service can benefit their business. Those interested will reply back and you have generated a lead.
This is a very effective way to reach out to the target market and generate leads
2. Paid advertising
A number of very effective online platforms are now available to run advertisements, which can be seen by your prospective customers who can then respond to these ads and you get new leads. These online platforms include — Google search, Google display, LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter.
The offline platforms include — trade publications, magazines, newspapers
3.SEO – Website Optimixtion
By creating a SEO optimized website (The process of SEO optimisation is a discussion for another day) you can rank your website high for search terms pertaining to your products/ solutions. By providing useful content on your website, explaining the solutions you provide and the problems you solve in a lucid and easy manner, you get people to respond and therefore generate B2B leads
Content marketing is one of the best ways to generate B2B leads. It means producing various kinds of useful content in different formats which help the potential customers resolve their problems. The content can be various formats – text, audio, video, infographics, by making it available on your website, social media and other platforms, you build expertise, authority and trust in the eyes of potential customers. As a result when they contact you for more information you generate leads.
Social media – be it LinkedIn, Facebook or twitter—are great places to build connections and build authority and confidence. By building connections with business professionals in the target market and sharing information, answering queries/questions, you build your authority in the eyes of the prospective customer. When they feel confident that you can solve their issues, they contact you and voila – you start generating B2B leads.
B2B directory listing is another very effective way to generate B2B leads. Online directories like Indiamart, Trade India, and Sulekha are an excellent source for B2B businesses to list on. Other businesses looking for a product / service visit these directories to search for businesses that can fulfil their requirements. On being discovered in the directory, they contact you and it helps in generating new leads.
7.Tradeshows , conferences
Every industry has its annual tradeshow and conference – both at the national and regional levels. Attend these tradeshows and conferences of your target industry. Any business can generate a number of high quality leads by meeting and discussing the requirements with the potential customers.
Similarly actively participate in your own industry tradeshow and conference. Potential customers Viet these to find out products and services they need
So there you have it. Seven extremely effective and practical B2B lead generation strategies.