In a recent MarketingProfs “Get to the Point,” it was stated that in the rush to grow leads, B2B marketers are often tempted to use “quick-fix” lead-generation tactics, according to Jep Castelein in a post at the Connected Marketer blog. Bad idea, he writes. Instead, B2B pros should take a step back, breathe deeply and “look at the big picture” to determine the best way to approach lead generation.
Castelein recently took his own advice and, after some sky-gazing, came up with these five tips to improve the effectiveness of B2B lead-gen efforts:
Know your ideal prospect. First and foremost, paint a clear picture of who you’re trying to reach, Castelein advises. “Look at your existing customers, and identify the key decision-makers and influencers,” he says. “People like them are likely to be your ideal prospects.”
Be where your prospects are. “Do prospects use the Web to learn about new solutions? If yes, focus on inbound marketing,” he suggests. “Are they into magazines or tradeshows? If yes, use outbound techniques.”
Add value, avoid quick sells. “Start with a soft-sell, offering something that will help them in their jobs,” writes Castelein.
Make sure you get the right leads. Set up a lead-scoring profile, he suggests, to measure whether you’re attracting the right type of prospect.
Test and measure. “I recommend keeping a detailed record of the cost of campaigns, the number of raw leads, and the number of qualified leads,” he advises.
I generally agree with the points Mr. Castelein makes, but as a proponent of using B2B Marketing Analytics, I believe that lead generation can be accelerated.
How? Here are my B2B Marketing Analytics-based thoughts aligned, to Mr. Castelein’s lead-gen tips:
First, based on experience, the ideal prospect (new acquisition and cross-sell/up-sell) can be determined by B2B Analytics, not just gut, intuition and logic. Not only can prospect identification be done systematically and repeatedly, but it can be scaled to generate the largest prospect universe addressable.
Now that B2B Analytics has told you where all your customers and prospects are, your sales and marketing investments can be targeted to optimize the sales potential. No doubt this will involve a coordinated, multi-channel effort, so make sure you prioritize the investments to the opportunity.
Everyone wants to shorten the sales cycle, so I am not taking Mr. Castelein literally here. Sales methodologies and good marketing techniques will insure a value-added, differentiated approach over techniques that turn people off. With the right targets, appropriate value-add messaging and tools are easier to deliver.
By starting with B2B Marketing Analytics, I guess we are already 4 tips ahead. The analytical approach will insure you are targeting the right opportunities for acquisition, cross-sell and up-sell. As you progress in the marketing and sales cycle, these opportunities will progress more rapidly, shortening the time to close.
Testing and measuring is at the heart of B2B Marketing Analytics. Creating a repeatable process insures that the results (good and bad) are fed into the models for further refinement. One thing is certain, you will have the data to measure your success and justify investments in sales and marketing.
There may no quick fix to lead generation and sales, but there are accelerators, and B2B Marketing Analytics is one of them.
About the Author:
Rick Volz is a Business-to-Business Practice Leader for SIGMA Marketing Group, responsible for the thought-leadership and business solutions in the B2B market. Follow Rick on or connect with him on .