Every CEO and Sales Director has faced, at some point in their career, the inevitable questions of “Where are all the potential clients”, “Who else could I sell to?”. Trying to find sales qualified leads can be a challenge for any company, in any industry and any country. When it comes to B2B sectors, this task can often be even more challenging and complex. Creative ads don’t do the trick here – nor do influencer campaigns.
In a B2B company within a niche market, discovering new clients to sell to is arguably the hardest. There are only so many companies that fit your target audience and even less who will listen to your sales pitch. That said, a single sale is usually of far greater value than sales in more commercial markets.
Good news is, there is a way of generating new leads that are ready to be sold to. B2B companies in niche markets have been utilising modern marketing and sales techniques to promote their brand and start conversations with potential clients.
Antenova case study
Antenova is a UK based antenna provider, manufacturing chip antennas for IoT and m2m markets. The company used Inbound Marketing to differentiate themselves from the competition. To start the campaign off, a customer-centric resources section was created on their website. It featured articles, guides, and other content marketing material. The results from their Inbound Marketing efforts yielded powerful results; 5400 engineers were reached worldwide and important introductions took place which would’ve been near impossible using old methods. Search engine traffic to the website increased by 82% and they are now receiving 15-20 qualified leads every month. Pretty impressive right?
Inbound Marketing is not a new technique but how can you go about trying to achieve similar results?
Know your ideal customer and direct every move towards them
In order to get sales qualified leads that are worth investing your time and money, you need to know what type of client is most valuable to you. Make a list of your favorite and most valuable clients and identify their key common characteristics. Make sure that every move you make is tailored specifically for them. Consider:
- questions your ideal customer might be asking,
- when and where they might be exposed to your messages,
- even which font they might prefer.
All these might seem like details but can in fact be the difference between closing a client or loosing one.
Create unique, personalised content with the purpose of helping customers and solving their problems
Content is king; we all know that by now. Producing content is the most sure way to establish your brand as an expert in your field and encourage your ideal customer to contact you. It’s also a great leverage tool to offer to potential customers in return for their contact details (and permission to use them – can’t forget about GDPR!).
In 2018 however, it’s all about stellar, personalised content. Due to the surplus of content being produced and the rapid pace in which it’s being consumed, consumers are now trained and can identify blogs or articles written just for the sake of grabbing personal details – and so can search engines. Try producing content only when you have something important to say. Content that is based upon your own knowledge and experience is more likely to resonate with your audience in a unique and valuable way. Put that content out there and let Google’s algorithms do the rest.
Content that feels personal has a significantly higher chance of being opened, or rather content that feels too generic to your reader has a significantly lower chance of being opened. Due to the extensive volume of material available to each user, they are likely to skip over most until they find the one that best describes their questions. So don’t be afraid of being specific because ultimately, the person interested in your very specific article is the person that you can help the most and therefore has the highest chance of becoming your client.
Only ask for details that are necessary
Gathering leads is one thing, but making sure they are qualified is an entirely different one. Not every person that clicks on your blog post is ready to be your client nor will they all be worthy investments. In order to determine if a person is worth your investment or not, all you have to do is ask.
It might seem obvious, but not everyone remembers to ask all the details. Notice the word all in italics, it’s important. Details you might need to ask to qualify a lead could include job title, company revenue, company name, location, budget etc. Some questions work better at different points of the buyer’s journey. Still, all that make the difference between a qualified and an unqualified lead should be asked. If all parameters match those of your ideal customer, then chances are nurturing that lead will be a smart investment.
But you might not have to do all of that
It’s important to remember that generating leads is not a sales problem; it’s a marketing problem. The sales department’s job would be to then convert those leads into customers. If you don’t have an in-house marketing department, consider hiring an outside partner to do that job for you – and only worry about closing the leads that they will provide.
Ideally, within any organisation, the sales and marketing departments should work together. However, according to HubSpot’s 2017 State of Inbound report, 59% of marketers say they provide salespeople with very high-quality leads, but only 25% of salespeople agree. If you are part of that 75% and feel like your marketing department is not providing you with good enough leads, work more closely with them and make sure they have the right parameters to work with. Some of the responsibility might be lying on your shoulders without you realising it.
So start writing, personalising, adjust your forms and work closely with you marketing department until you come up with the magic formula. It takes trial and error and there are no shortcuts but once you find the recipe, all your investment will be returned.
What are your methods of generating leads? How do you qualify them? Let us know.