This week I have been lucky enough to escape the confines of my desk and have some really interesting and insightful conversations with the C-Suite of some global technology and consulting businesses.
Throughout these meetings it became apparent that we were always reverting back to focus on a common theme: the need to drive sales through the identification of qualified leads in in the short term with creating awareness and longer term prospect engagement with our clients’ businesses and solutions. Resolving the current pipeline challenges whist was more acute it was only half the challenge: making sure a long-term robust lead generation process was implemented that supports the medium term was every bit as important. Equally when speaking with the sales side of the business there was a real desire to use the marketing content and material that marketing had created.
When meeting with sales and marketing directors who are working diligently to drive their businesses forward every day, it became very apparent that when considering the challenges of balancing short and medium term lead generation goals that an element of compromise had crept into strategy discussions: the needs of today taking precedent over the ideals of tomorrow.
The question of how to find this balance and drive B2B lead generation results both short and long term is one that comes up repeatedly in meetings. So how do you do it?
For over thirteen years INCo has been managing the balance of immediate lead generation with longer term demand generation; constantly looking at the ways in which we can improve both side of this equation..
Business Development & Inside Sales Calling
There is no doubt that by having a robust inside sales approach which is focused on having conversations with your target market that you will uncover and qualify new sales leads for today. Quick results can be seen if you have a highly trained and motivated team, enabling you to engage directly with key decision makers, taking your value proposition directly to your buying audiences.
These short term results make business development and inside sales calling a definite solution to the B2B lead generation challenges of today. However, a strategy that focuses solely on this approach struggles to develop a strong brand awareness and therefore fails to deliver the long term demand generation required.
Inbound & Digital Marketing
There is a significant amount of content online that tells us that inbound marketing is the future. A strategy with this approach at the forefront is one which drives brand engagement in an environment that your prospects willingly enter. More and more your buyers are leaving behind traditional purchasing methods and behaving more like the modern day consumers they are in their day-to-day lives. Getting your brand in front of them and generating demand, means getting online and more importantly dominating the space that exists on the device that lives in their pocket.
Inbound Marketing will unquestionably drive a high value engaged pipeline overtime, but it is not without its limitations. Generating results with a digital campaign takes time; and converting visitors to your website into fully qualified leads requires nurturing through continual engagement with valuable content pieces.
Direct & Digital
Both approaches to strategy development are highly valuable but it shouldn’t have to be a one-or-the-other decision. By designing an approach that incorporates both direct and digital means, B2B lead generation can be optimised for short, medium and even long term growth.
Generating an awareness and demand for your brand is most easily achieved through a digital marketing strategy. When done correctly, inbound marketing, produces a consistent flow of marketing qualified leads that extends far into the future.
With a constant flow of warm leads to close, your Inside Sales team will be busy delivering qualified sales opportunities, enabling you to grow a substantial sales pipeline for both today and tomorrow.
A Direct and Digital Approach to B2B lead generation ensures that your organisation has the qualified leads it needs today but is also able to create an educated market for tomorrow. Meaning that you are able to build a brand that forever supports the sales team with high quality leads.
How To Achieve Direct & Digital Nirvana?
It is not new thinking that sales and marketing have to work closely together, Smarketing, however the technology that is available to assist you achieve not just a unified internal approach, but also a multi-channel marketing approach is making a real difference. Using a marketing automation and CRM platform such as HubSpot has enabled INCo to master sales enablement both for ourselves and our clients. The ability to host and publish all content from websites and landing pages to blogs and e-marketing and then track and analyse their effectiveness facilitates powerful sales enablement. One version of the truth all driving in the same direction enables short term lead generation wins and longer term awareness and demand generation.
If you would like to understand more about how Direct & Digital lead generation can be achieved download our latest guide on How to Run a Direct & Digital Marketing Campaign guide.