The relationship that exists between you and your target audiences can be a fragile one. The process of converting website visitors into marketing qualified leads, then to sales qualified leads, then customers is one of numerous stages. This is a journey that requires willing participation from your prospect at each step.
Successful B2B Lead Generation requires attracting the attention of your prospect, and making sure you hold onto it long enough for them to complete the transition from visitor to delighted customer.
The driving force behind each and every purchase is the value it can provide in overcoming the challenges currently being faced. Traditionally, the value created by the purchase of a product or service was more than adequate to generate leads and grow sales pipeline. But as buying behaviours change, this is no longer the case, as more and more consumers are demanding to see evidence of that value throughout the entirety of the buying cycle.
Value creation is becoming an increasingly important step of the b2b lead generation strategy development process, and can be realised in many ways:
Content Marketing is a recognised feature and an invaluable component of a well-developed marketing strategy, with 45% of surveyed marketers reporting it to be the most effective channel for lead generation. Its use is also growing in popularity with 89% of B2B marketers reportedly using it within their strategy development processes; a growth of 3% since 2014.
It is already a well-established theory that the creation and distribution of well thought out and relevant content is essential in gaining recognition as an industry thought leader.
A successful content piece, be it an eBook, whitepaper, blog post, email, guide or infographic, should aim to educate its audience and impart knowledge that they didn’t have, or hadn’t previously considered.
By having these types of value propositions to offer to your prospects at each stage of their buyers’ journey, you can better attract and convert higher volumes of potential customers.
The more value your audiences gain from your content, the more credibility and authority they will associate with your brand and product or service offering, taking them from website visitor, to lead, to fully qualified customer.
Value creation is not purely the responsibility of the marketing team, and in the transition from digital to direct lead generation tactics, the value created by your efforts should continue to grow.
When your inside sales teams are interacting with your potential customers, the focus of each engagement should be value creation and not sales.
No one wants to answer the phone to someone whose only goal is to get them to sign on the dotted line. A call or email that is pure sales driven can be immediately off putting, and can result in the loss of the attention of what was once a very interested party.
Treating your leads like a peer and not like a money bag requires actually listening to their challenges, and addressing the real life situations that they are encountering each day.
Inside sales teams who leave the scripts behind to include high levels of personalisation in their engagements, include tailored pieces of advice or tips and share additional pieces of content, generate much higher levels of engagement than those who don’t.
By assuming a consultative approach rather than a sales approach, your inside sales teams become the valuable resource you are offering your prospects.
Your product or service is the ultimate value proposition you have to offer. It is the promise of value that customers stand to gain through its implementation that supports the entire conversion process, taking them from prospect to customer.
An organisation which delivers upon this promise and empowers their customers to realise the full potential of the value on offer is one which is able to grow customer life-time value and secure repeat custom. Increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25-95%. Over time, this will result in a steady flow of revenue which will sustain sales pipeline growth.
In crowded market places, similar products and services can produce similar value propositions. Standing out requires a buyer’s journey which continually produces day-to-day value for visitors and leads and continues to create substantial value throughout the entirety of a customer’s life time.
Delighting your customers requires the input from all organisational teams: marketing, sales, and all customer contact departments.
High levels of customer care, additional content pieces and high standards of product and service delivery are all key to delighting your customers and making sure your organisation stands out from the competition.
What’s more, you can use your delighted customers as an effective lead generation tool. Potential prospects are 4 times more likely to purchase if referred to you by a friend - the life-time value of a referred customer amounts to as much as 16% more than a non-referred customer.
Successful lead generation requires the prospect to see the value in engaging with your organisation long before they make a purchase, and even before they are willing to engage with a human representative of your organisation. A direct and digital marketing strategy can be geared towards lead generation, but if a prospect is not able to realise the value in their interactions with you, you have lost their attention and your sales pipeline will suffer.
Check out our infographic and download the handy guide for some powerful Tips & Techniques to create even more value in your 2017 lead generation strategy.