March 31st, 2014
The Six Pillars of B2B Lead Generation: Part I
The Internet has provided your prospects with a dazzling array of tools to educate themselves as they begin their buying journey. In some ways, it has made the sales process easier by allowing Marketing to deliver more educated and qualified leads to Sales.
On the flip side, however, the Internet has also made the sales process far more complicated. If you aren’t running a B2B lead generation program that educates prospects while they are shopping, then you run the risk of not being involved in the sales process at all. The question is, what do B2B companies need to build a successful lead generation machine?
That’s a question we explored last month in a webinar called "The Six Pillars od B2B Lead Generation". The webinar was wildly successful, with a high level of enrollment and many engaged attendees asking good, provocative questions. In case you missed it, we’re happy to offer a quick synopsis below, or you can view the recording here.
Brave New World of Online Lead Generation
While the Web has changed all of our lives in countless ways, one of the most significant is that people are more empowered than ever to solve their own problems. By accessing online content—via search engines, social media, or any other avenue—individuals and companies can educate and enlighten themselves.
The task at hand for your business is to ensure that you are running a successful B2B lead generation program so that your brand, content, and company name are all in the forefront of the problem-solver’s mind. A lead generation program will ensure that your company is on the buyer’s list of potential solutions. If your prospects don’t think of you that way, your brand is as good as nonexistent.
As you seek to lead buyers toward doing business with your company, think of the buyer’s journey as a bridge. The bridge is an architectural marvel that requires a solid foundation, or else it will collapse. Similarly, lead gen is an ongoing process that will break if it’s not fully supported. That foundation comes in the form of six pillars—and without all six of them, your best B2B lead generation efforts are going to crumble.
What Are the Six Pillars?
What are these six all-important pillars of B2B lead generation? They are:
- Content Development. “Content marketing” is a buzzword today, and not without reason: Your email template may look great, but you need compelling content—videos, blogs, webinars, white papers, infographics, and more—to attract and engage your early-stage buyers. High volumes of engaging content, aligned with buyer personas, are a prerequisite for B2B lead generation. This is your opportunity to engage your prospects before they become engaged with a competitor.
- Marketing Automation. Why is this pillar so important? In the past, companies had sales reps who knew the high-probability pain points of their prospects and would ask each prospect probing questions. Based on those answers, the sales rep would manage the sales process accordingly. Today, marketing automation software reacts to prospects’ digital behavior and delivers nurturing content to them, resulting in the delivery of a much more educated lead to the sales team.
- Audience Development. It is important to know who your audience is and to ensure that your content that will educate, inform, and delight them. It’s your responsibility to learn about their unique pain points, and to create content that speaks to them without being promotional or salesy. While a natural, organically-grown database is obviously preferable, list purchasing can be an effective way to supplement and build your existing database—just make sure you purchase from a reputable and reliable vendor.
To learn the remaining three pillars of B2B lead generation, check back tomorrow—we’ll be posting them then.
- See more at: http://blog.salesengineintl.com/webinar-review-the-six-pillars-of-b2b-lead-generation/#sthash.LJTgdXss.dpuf