by Michael Foster.
Lead generation and B2B marketing are sometimes in a world of their own. Business-to-business marketing often comes with very high costs thanks to the extremely high sticker prices of the goods and services being sold. The sales funnel is also much more high-touch than many B2B campaigns with marketing professionals using a mix of media and contact points to keep the conversation going and the potential client or customer interested in the service.
This is why B2B marketing requires a different perspective and a different attitude. Lead generation in B2B marketing can involve a lot of upfront investment, and a more traditional approach — good old-fashioned phone calls and in-person visits — can often make the difference between a cold lead and a sale.
But before you get on the phone, you need to grab their attention and make potential customers truly excited and interested in your product. How can you do that?
First, you need to think like your customer. You need to ask yourself the questions they are asking, such as:
1. How is this product going to improve my sales?
2. How much does it cost and is there a free alternative, even if it’s not as good?
3. If this product is better than the free alternative, is it better enough to justify the sticker price?
4. Can I afford the investment and is the product really ideal for me?
Of course, many more questions will be running through your potential client’s mind, and you need to anticipate them with clear and detailed answers. This is where many B2B marketers fail — instead of making their solution easy-to-understand for their audience, a bunch of buzzwords and obfuscating language make it less clear what exactly is on offer.
The White Paper Revolution
This is the context behind the explosion in content marketing and, more specifically, the use of white papers. Nowadays, white papers can be easily drafted and distributed through B2B publishers and, of course, LinkedIn. Thanks to the vast reach of the site and a userbase hungry for business-related content, LinkedIn has become a gold mine for white paper-producing marketers looking to generate leads.
Part of the problem is measuring the intent of potential customers as they read your white papers and respond. This is especially important for B2B marketing since the sales funnel is so high-touch, time-consuming, and expensive.
At this year’s LeadsCon Las Vegas in March, several sessions will discuss how you can measure buyer intent and use data to get a better sense of whether the person you are talking to is actually going to buy your product or not. In “Finding Return when Measuring Buyer Intent, Behavior & Targeting,” speakers from the data-dependent marketing world will begin a conversation about using data to improve the conversion of top-of-the-funnel leads to actual sales through quantitative analysis and data sets. For B2B marketers, this information can save literally thousands of dollars per year in wasted sales efforts on leads that go cold and sales that fail to materialize.
Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2016.