If you were to make a list of goals with your marketing and sales team, more than likely you will add “gathering leads” onto that list. Let’s tweak this a bit. From a professional standpoint, it’s not about the amount of leads you are able to rack in, but the amount of quality leads you are able to bring in for your business. For example, let’s say you bring in a ton of leads from a multitude of places, those leads will not necessarily convert into a sale. That is very optimistic and almost unrealistic. But, if you are able to bring in quality inbound leads, no matter if the number is lower than your general lead count, the odds of your leads turning into a sale are at a much greater chance. Your percentage of converting that lead into a sale will increase dramatically, just off this knowledge.
Knowing this only takes you so far. When dealing with B2B marketing and sales, you want to know how your ideal customer thinks when going through the Buyer’s Journey. You want to know what their pains and gains are, so you can better suit their needs as a potential customer for your product. Makes sense, right? Well, most marketers take this for granted and don’t take the time to truly understand who their customers are, let alone their wants and needs. When entering the B2B world, businesses come across the same issues most consumers face, it’s just your job to get your hands a little dirty and figure out the best approach to connect with your ideal customer.
One strong solution to turn your B2B marketing and sales team into a lead making machine is by utilizing Inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a complex yet simple to understand process, for most. It is the process of understanding your buyer’s journey by mapping out who your ideal customers really are and how they can benefit from your service in a natural form through content. This form of quality content will lead your customer through three stages. Awareness, Consideration and Decision. These three stages are the pillars of your Inbound marketing gameplan and will help you to attain the quality Inbound leads you so rightfully want. Let’s take a deeper dive into Inbound marketing and how it relates to your B2B marketing and sales efforts.
Gathering Inbound Leads
Let’s start from the beginning of your process. Before you are able to interact with your customers, you have to know who your customers really are. In the B2B world, you can imagine there are a lot of annoying outbound methods that really do not grasp the understanding of your audience’s wants and needs. That’s why first, you should begin assessing your company and products, find out the purpose of the products inside and out. From all the benefits to the weaknesses. This way, you and your team will be in sync with one another, sales and marketing alike.
After you’re able to grasp your company’s product and everything surrounding it, you are now ready to start the next step. This step will be focused on creating your ideal Buyer Personas for the industry you are targeting. Ask yourself questions such as, “Who will benefit from my product?” Or “What are their weaknesses, and how can I fit in?” These are just a few questions to help you get an idea of the route that you should take when mapping out your top Buyer Personas. Ideally, just come up with three so that you can focus on targeting those three personas first. You can always create more down the line, but take the time to research and truly understand who it is that will stick their neck out for a meeting.
Whether you are part of a business or general consumer, majority of the time you will tend to do your research first before making a purchase. This is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s digital world. The fact that we have so much information in the palm of our hand, let alone through other mediums, says a lot about the way we approach a purchase. It is expected that businesses will research more than the average consumer, which makes the perfect argument for why Inbound marketing might be the best fit for you.
So let’s get back to how we can gather quality leads! Now knowing who your ideal customers really are and your Buyer’s Journey, you are ready for the next big stage of Inbound. Content! Creating quality content that is relevant to your B2B customer is arguably the most important aspect of your B2B Inbound marketing strategy. You want to surround your content with quality information & call-to-actions that are applicable to your decision-making customers. You want to guide your reader through your Buyer’s Journey with Awareness, Consideration and Decision.
You want to raise awareness to your customer’s issue, shedding light to a viable solution for their pains. After they are aware of their possible solutions through the information you have provided, they are now in the consideration stage of their journey. No matter if you are in marketing or sales, it is always a plus when you are able to guide your potential customer toward the benefits of your product and how you can help. During the consideration stage, your potential customer will consider all their options for the right solution that fits their needs. Not everyone is ready to jump the gun and make a purchase, you will need to nurture your readers and potential customers if you are in sales or marketing. As a marketing professional, your job is to attain the quality leads and your sales team will then capitalize on those leads and hopefully turn them into a sale. Once the potential customer has made a decision to go with your product, they are now a quality leads! Premium offers and customized call-to-actions at the end of your content will be your ticket to connect and go over your product with the now quality lead. Keep in mind why “quality” was mentioned, because now, this lead has been nurtured into a potential sale.
Platforms to attain Inbound Leads
Having the right content is one thing, knowing how to execute the content effectively is another. There are many different platforms to reach your ideal customers, but the main three hubs that would be most effective are by Search Engines, Email & Social Media. Let’s start with search engine. One of the top search engines that have been a powerhouse in the digital world has been Google. Google’s search engine the best in the business and for that reason, your content should be optimized correctly through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). By optimizing your content through targeted keywords, you attempting to match your ideal customers search keywords when they are researching and guessing what to look for. Including SEO keywords within your content will rank your content higher that other competitors. When your ideal customer searches for information regarding their pain or inquiry, you will show up within the first page of the search results. If you are able to achieve this, then it will only be a matter of time till your quality leads start coming in. Researching for the correct keywords will take time and patience, but well worth it. A little hard work in the beginning goes a long way.
Another form of reaching your ideal customers with content are through email. Still, to this day, email is one of the strongest forms for getting to your customer, without hassle. Everyone has an email address handle, and everyone uses that email address for opt-in subscriptions, creating accounts, or keeping up with their personal/work life. The smart route would be to build a list for each persona. This is where the marketing and sales team can work together. When you build a proper list of potential leads, your chances of attaining the sale are one step closer. Just make sure you set up a proper, scalable schedule for your emails. You do not want to burden your list of subscribers. When that opt-out rate increases, change your schedule.
Now, in today’s digital world, the use of social media has skyrocketed and showing no signs of slowing down. Social media is a part of our culture now and if you aren’t utilizing it, then you are missing out on a ton of opportunity. You would be missing out on Brand Awareness, for example. Majority of like-minded decision-makers are on social media just as your average consumer. Make sure you are well versed in you knowledge of the different platforms out there. Let’s take a look at a few major types of social platforms:
Each have their own benefit for your business and others alike. For example, the LinkedIn is focused on connecting like-minded business professionals, so you might want to consider utilizing that platform, for starters. You will also need to make sure you have a solid schedule for your social platforms as well. Email is not like a feed, you can post/announce more through social platforms.
What it takes to generate Inbound Leads
Let’s circle around. In order to drive your B2B Marketing and Sales team into a “quality” lead generating machine, there needs to be a lot of moving parts in place. So let’s make it easy for you, start with a strategy. Get to know who your ideal customers really are. What industry can you tap that will make an impact? Don’t be afraid to ask yourself questions and try to stump yourself. This is how you will be able to layout your Inbound marketing efforts effectively. Majority of time, businesses don’t have the time to put all these moving pieces together. The sales team may lack the time, or the marketing team is short-handed. These are all relative issues revolving around Inbound marketing efforts, but there is a viable option that is cost-effective toward achieving your goal in attaining quality leads.
Responsify is an all-in-one, cost-effective Inbound marketing business that focuses on helping other businesses achieve their goal in attaining quality inbound leads that convert.
If you are curious to learn more about the Inbound methodology and how you can take advantage of your B2B marketing and sales, schedule a 1-on-1 custom inbound leads strategy session today!