One of the bigger challenges facing B2B marketers today is the generation of new, quality leads. Business-to-business (B2B) marketing efforts should be fully focused on finding prospective customers, validating, and starting meaningful conversations with them. Be mindful that many relationships in the B2B space have a personal touch, and so marketing should be approached with the same care as starting a new relationship.
What are qualified leads?
A marketing qualified lead is a simple name or email address. This prospective lead has engaged with the brand, but the potential for conversion may be low based on the information available. These leads are often generated by competitions, giveaways (sampling), software trials and cold-calling.
A sales qualified lead is when marketing qualified data is verified, and the contact has expressed interest and is eligible.
Sales qualified leads have always been (and will always be) the most sought after kind of lead. It's rich in data, has a higher propensity to convert, but it's also harder to get.
Are all leads useful?
Strange as it sounds, it’s possible to acquire unqualified leads. Sales teams often sit with a set of sales qualified leads, but they will struggle to convert them. The lead is either contractually obligated to another business or has reached a saturation point (they’ve been contacted one too many times). There is no choice but to grow the leads database, and the simplest way to do that is via a digital marketing consulting agency.
A successful one can help you not only in determining a qualified lead but also creating one.
B2C is not B2B
Unfortunately, many digital marketers walk into the B2B space with a business-to-consumer (B2C) mindset. If you want leads, you need reach, and to get reach, you need a broader audience. At the end of the campaign, the report rolls in. There are more leads, and the cost per lead is amazingly low. There are thunderous applause and back pats for all.
While the marketing team congratulates themselves, the sales team quickly finds that they're in an even worse predicament. They have more leads, but they're all terrible leads; completely unqualified. Many teams rinse and repeat this process ad nauseam, but some smart people are driving a better approach to generating leads. Find out more about some of those approaches in our article on digital marketing trends for 2021.
What’s the right way to do it?
Small audience, highly targeted. Forget reach, forget engagement; those are B2C metrics. If you're feeling particularly strong, forget CPL as well. What you want here is quality, and you will have to pay for it. Your CPL will shoot up by 300% in some cases. It's the price you pay for better leads.
The best place to get this kind of granular targeting? LinkedIn. Some marketers have argued that LinkedIn is expensive and that it should be dropped in favour of Facebook.
Let’s say you have a client that got a R10 CPL on Facebook and a R300 CPL on LinkedIn. They’ve complained bitterly about the difference in the number of leads and the cost to get those leads (naturally, Facebook will generate more leads). One month later, they were still sifting through their somewhat useless Facebook leads while ten percent of their LinkedIn leads have already converted. They’ve just wasted a month’s worth of hours trying to qualify leads that are simply not good enough to get a sale.
Prioritise business objectives
Before you begin any campaign (not just a B2B one), always be clear on the business objective. Marketing objectives tend to be a little fluffy at times. Reach? Engagement? These things don't mean much when you want people to buy a product or service that's specifically designed to suit their needs. In the B2B marketing space, you must always think first, build for purpose, and always remember – quality over quantity.
Getting quality B2B leads is not about appealing to the masses; it’s about appealing to a select group. Take the wrong approach, and you’ll lose credibility really quickly.
To find out how Rogerwilco is equipped to handle your B2B marketing needs and turn them into (qualified) leads, contact us today.
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