The Changing World of B2B Lead Generation

Why Sales Growth Stalls in the B2B Buying Cycle

Eric was a salesperson in high tech with a multi-million dollar quota that had to be attained. It was pretty clear that if he didn’t attain his quota, he’d be fired. That clarity meant he built a blend of enough short term business to hit his quota and long term prospects that would take care of his quota in the future. He didn’t have time to cover or penetrate the market.

The Wrong Approach to Increasing Marketing Revenue

Most businesses try to increase sales by adding more sales people or increasing their quota. Most sales people end up doing exactly what Eric did to survice. The result is an reduction in marketing revenue even as sales might increase.

You may increase sales (for a time), but your cost of sales also increases, creating a corresponding decrease in revenue.

The Right Approach involves Greater Market Penetration

The issue is that sales people can at best cover only a small sub-set of the total available market. The leads they get from marketing are often weak, have very little associated information, and rarely return phone calls.

It doesn’t take many poor quality leads from marketing for a sales person to ignore everything marketing throws over the cubicle wall.

A better approach uses the B2B Buying Process and a variety of market pentration tactics to find, and then nurture more higher quality leads.

Fill Part of the Gap With Telemarketing

The right kind of telemarketing for B2B lead generation can identify more leads than a quota driven sales force can every locate. Over time, sales will begin to follow-up on more of the leads given to them by telemarketing if those leads turn into revenue and do so more efficiently than what the sales person does on his own. Even here there are limits to the amount of market coverage because there is always a limit on the number of targets that will answer their phone and talk to a telemarketer.

Fill the Biggest Gap with Inbound Marketing Approaches

In our experience, there’s only so much you can do with lists, raw data, telemarketing, and other outbound marketing appoaches.

You’ll usually reach the broadest possible market by using a variety of Inbound marketing tactics:

  • Website navigation structural changes to adhere to your customer’s buying process;
  • Website design changes to make the buying process easier for your prospects;
  • Add enticing offers to your website to lure anonymous visitors into revealing themselves;
  • Use PPC, Banner ads, or other paid approaches that lead to highly-optimized landing pages.

Market Penetration Tactics

A Short List of Market Penetration Tactics

  • A revenue goal and revenue plan that will rationalize and justify the whole marketing effort.
  • A full set of data that represents the market – including contacts from each key player category involved in buying what you sell.
  • A solid marketing automation platform.
  • A solid CRM like salesforce.com
  • Both keyword rich and highly relevant content.
  • A good set of engaging and relevant content.
  • A solid editorial calendar to lend coherence to what is said.
  • Skilled telemarketing to fill gaps
  • A good enough media mix that allows your sales people to reach many and maybe most of the targets.
  • Steady execution.

It is easy to see why the marketing automation gold rush is on. It gives you a great way to speak with and penetrate a broader market.