In B2B, inbound is the preferred channel of lead generation. The whole process of drawing a lead into doing business with you—by educating first and selling later—matches the B2B business model, where businesses don’t make impulsive purchase decisions. Which is why inbound marketing in B2B takes leads through three levels of the sales funnel: ToFu (top of the funnel), MoFu (middle of the funnel), and Bofu (bottom of the funnel).
One of my favorite approaches to get my pipeline going is attend a bunch of meetups or local events in my area. I teach what I do on this blog – How to network at events. I love this approach as only people who want something MORE in their life will bother attending events and that is a lot easier type of person to talk to than someone who is NOT motivated to network or build their business.
Writing articles and news stories for publication in the media that your prospects and customers would find interesting and would like to know about is the quickest, easiest way, and usually the first step, in building your reputation. You need to know how to come up with article ideas, research and write successful articles, get them published, use the reprints in self-promotion, and get people to respond to you and buy your products or services.
To create leads with social media, you should have a good idea of which channels to use. Depending on your business, you may not need a presence for every network out there. For example, if you sell software, Facebook and Twitter are a must for customer feedback, starting conversations, and answering questions – but you may not have any use for Pinterest or Instagram.
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BoFu: Leads at the bottom of the funnel need your product/service. They’re past the education stage, they know exactly what you can give them, and now you’re making a clear pitch. This is the right time to offer a trial, demo, or a discount and bring them into your business. The leads that get to this stage are way fewer than those who step into the funnel, so make sure you offer maximum value here.
Email marketing is not dead and is definitely one of the most effective lead generation tool according to Digital Marketing experts. iContact reported that even though email is an old internet marketing tool, many still use email heavily on a daily basis as indicated in the graph below. The report states that email marketing still delivers a good deal for your investments, averaging a $44 ROI for every dollar spent if proper email marketing techniques are used and executed.
Many MLM companies recommend starting with a list of 100 people you know, called your warm market. Although it's not a bad place to start when looking for customers and business builders, the technique could also backfire and get to the point where you're annoying friends and family. You're better off spending your time finding people who are interested in what you've got rather than trying to convince your commuting buddy to sign up when he doesn't want to.
Marketing Automation is now a mature marketing technique, but across businesses many of the available tools are not fully exploited. Learn how to improve your marketing across the customer lifecycle by successfully leveraging B2B and B2C marketing automation techniques. Through B2B and B2C business cases, you will learn: how to review their current marketing automation maturity, how to prioritise their future investments in the year ahead, how to map their current approach against different customer touchpoints to identify new techniques.
If you’re not familiar with the phrase conversion rate, it’s exactly what it sounds like: the rate at which a website visitor typically performs a specified action. For example, if one out of every four visitors to your ecommerce store makes a purchase, you have a 25% conversion rate. Since the goal is to get that percentage as high as possible, marketers often perform numerous tests to find ways to increase conversions and turn leads into customers.
Best of all, you get to learn quite a bit about the respondent in the process. These surveys don’t need to be overly customized to deliver results, either. A simple questionnaire can lead to the creation of several pre-packaged results that offer just enough insight to be used repeatedly while also serving as a teaser of your company’s broader services.
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Social media is intended for conversations, not monologues. So rather than making it all about you and trying to get attention, make it about them: see where you can be useful and offer up advice where it is needed, without asking for anything in return. That is how you build real relationships with your leads, and your efforts will be rewarded with their loyalty.
Imagine you have 125 leads. Every lead has engaged with your business in unique ways, and they’re in different stages of your sales funnel. It’s not humanly possible to glance at a lead and recall how closer/farther they are to your business—until you use lead scoring technology. Lead scoring is a method by which you define parameters to qualify or “score” a lead in the CRM. So a CTO might get 15 points by virtue of their designation, and a lead who clicked on a link in your email might get 10 points (versus a lead who only opened your email and gets 5 points). All these points add up, and the higher the score, the hotter the lead. Putting a score on a lead cuts down your decision-making time in terms of which lead you should contact first.