B2B lead generation is an act of identifying and attracting the right prospects. In the B2B sense of it, finding an ideal prospect means finding a business that may have an interest in the product/service you are selling.
Initiating contact includes capturing customer information and driving them into a funnel. These customers are then nurtured to drive sales.
B2B lead generation strategies have different criteria to mark a prospect as sales qualified leads. The criteria depend on the niche the business is operating in.
This blog post explains the intricacies of the B2B lead generation and why outsourcing the process can prove beneficial for your Business.
What is a B2B Lead and Why they are Important?
B2B lead is a term given to those prospects who directly deal with other business and not individuals. Product marketing activity is not directed at an individual but mostly at an organizational level.
Traditionally, marketing meant reaching out to people and introduce your business to them. But with online marketing, the inbound lead generation process also became part of the marketing circles.
So rather than forcing your product and interrupting their attention, you create content around your customer’s needs. What’s make the inbound funnel so powerful is that your content reaches a high intent audience when, where and how they prefer it.
Outbound B2B lead generation allows businesses to connect with the decision-makers of a company and scale their product/service usage across the industry.
The Different B2B Leads
There are two types of B2B Leads:
Marketing Qualified B2B Leads: These are the prospects you’ve enticed successfully with your marketing efforts but are not yet ready to buy the product.
These can be a few characteristics of an MQL:
- Repeatedly visiting your website
- Filling up the contact form
- Download a piece of content
- Sign up for a free demo or a webinar
Sales Qualified B2B Leads: These are prospects who have taken certain actions indicating a buying intent and deemed to be contacted by the sales team.
These can be a few characteristics of a SQL:
- Indicating an interest via email
- Having a conversation with the sales team
- Requesting the pricing options
- Signing up for a free trial
3 Tips to Build Your B2B Sales Lead List
1) Define your Ideal Customer:
When it comes to B2B Leads, quality is something you should focus on. You need to have a well-defined audience with problems your business can solve.
- Analyze your current customer base and find which problems triggered them to buy your product.
- Research your competitors and see what customers they are serving
- Take company size, demographics and such things into the picture
- Interview your best customers and find out why they stayed with your brand.
2) Build your Audience List
There are several ways to build the audience list. The method you choose depends on the product, budget and the time you can invest.
The best way to build your audience list is to outsource the job to a lead generation company. Their lead generation strategies are refined and can give you time to focus on your core business activities.
3) Optimize and Scale your List
The quality of your list deteriorates quickly as you proceed. Many prospects on the list are not ready to buy your product and would be segmented into marketing qualified leads. The sales-ready list should have highly specific prospects so your sales team need not waste time chasing irrelevant leads. Once you define the most important characteristics, you can scale the list by adding similar prospects.
The Best Practice for B2B Lead Generation
Here are the few best practices for effective lead generation
1) Build Longer Sales Cycle
You’re dealing with a business, not a single person. The approval process in an organization could longer for B2B companies. So figure out an ideal sales cycle length and stick to those steps. This will give you a better opportunity to nurture the prospects
2) Stick to the Facts
B2C generally involves selling with emotions. With B2B you need to stick to the facts. You need to clearly explain how your product is going to help them. Possibly with a detailed explanation.
Case studies, testimonials, research reports. Product demos would work better rather than a creative campaign.
3) Know your Content Types
Certain content types work better with B2B prospects. Is your prospect looking for a product demo? Or a PDF guide?
Webinars, YouTube videos, infographics, and blog posts are known to work better with B2B leads.
4) Give Away Free Tools
You can create a freemium version of your product and entice people to sign up. This may give them a good idea of what your product could do. You can keep advanced features under the premium category and charge users accordingly.
This strategy is widely used across both B2B and B2C business models to gain a wider audience.
5) Automate If Possible
When your process reaches large-scale efforts, it becomes impossible and inefficient to do things manually. B2B lead generation could definitely use some marketing automation tools to manage and nurture prospects.
Sales KPI’s your B2B Company should Monitor
B2B sales KPI’s allows a leader to take a step back and analyze how their company is performing in respective areas and how to take it ahead.
Here a few KPI’s you absolutely need to monitor.
- Sales from New Products
- Sales from New Business ventures
- The conversion rate of SQL to sales and MQL to SQL
- Sales by Geographic Region
- Monthly Sales Growth
- Sales Cycle Length
What is B2B Lead Generation Outsourcing?
Lead generation outsourcing means you take the help of external lead generation companies to build and scale your audience list. The process is typically carried out by experts and the activities include cold calling or promotion of your business.
Prior to outsourcing, companies first analyze their in-house lead generation capability. B2B companies generally prefer outsourcing their lead generation activities since it frees up their resources for core business activities.
A B2B company will be inclined to outsource their lead generation strategy if:
1) They lack sufficient expertise to develop a good lead generation strategy
2) Their primary lead generation process is through outbound activities.
3) They have a good lead qualification process but not enough expertise in lead generation.
The Cost of Outsourcing your B2B Lead Generation
If you are planning to outsource your B2B lead generation strategy, you may think about the associated cost. While the campaign cost may vary depending on the platform, here are some typical costs associated with lead generation.
Third-party Lists: These costs are related to buying third-party leads and addresses for direct marketing purposes.
Media Distribution: Distribution cost to reach the company’s ideal buyer
Offers: Costs related to offers and incentives provided to high-value prospects
Agency Costs: Costs related to hiring a lead generation agency.
Now let’s look at how various metrics are used to measure the cost of B2B lead generation.
1) Cost per Lead
This metric is used to determine the efficiency of your marketing campaign. The calculation is simple. You divide the total amount spent on your marketing campaign by the total leads acquired.
Businesses would want to keep this number as low as possible and maximize the ROI.
2) Average Cost Per Lead
The average cost per lead fluctuates based on the industry you are operating in.
The chart shows CPL increases as the revenue, number of employee increases.
Here’s the Cost per lead data by Industry
How many leads you need to Reach the Revenue Targets?
The first step in knowing the cost of your entire lead generation campaign is to know how many leads you require to reach your revenue targets. B2B businesses outsource lead generation to specifically increase revenue and marketing efficiency.
Here are the metrics you need to know to reach your revenue targets.
Marketing Driven Leads
Marketing driven leads refer to the number of leads you should acquire to reach your targeted revenue.
Targeted revenue is the total income your company earns by rolling out the marketing campaign.
To calculate the marketing-driven leads, you need to divide the targeted revenue by the unit sale price.
For example, if your targeted revenue is $50000 and unit sales price is $500, the number of marketing-driven leads would be $50000/$500
= 100 marketing deals
You need to close 100 deals to realize revenue of $50000.
Unit sale price = total net sales divided by the number of units sold.
Number of Leads Needed to Meet Marketing Driven Leads
Once you know your marketing-driven deals, you need to calculate the total leads you to need to collect to reach that number.
The easiest way to calculate is to divide the total number of conversions by the number of total website interactions. This gives you the website conversion rate.
Let’s take 5% as your usual conversion rate.
So you’ll be needing 100/0.05 = 2000 leads. You need at least 2000 leads to qualify 100 customers who would spend $500 on your product.
Benefits of Outsourcing B2B Lead Generation Process
Nurturing in-house talent pays, but in B2B, outsourcing yields 40% more leads.
Outsourcing B2B lead generation requires high trust. You should find an expert outsourcing agency with a proven track record to do it right.
Here are the advantages of outsourcing your B2B lead generation process
1) Saves time, money and resources in the long term
Lead generation is often a labour-intensive activity. It requires too many human hours invested from generating leads to converting them to customer. When you outsource, the labour-intensive activity is handled by the service agency and you only provide the service cost.
How does it save time? When you free your marketing team from lead generation activity, they can concentrate on researching and closing the deals quickly. The B2B leads generated by the firm are highly qualified and don’t take much efforts to convert.
2) Highly Qualified Leads
B2B outsourcing firms are experts in researching and analysing market trends. You can be sure that they are targeting specific customers who fall into your buyer persona. This ensures you get highly qualified leads which are ready to convert.
The leads you get are informed about your product, understand their problem, your solution and have shown interest in buying it.
3) Engaged Responsibility
Outsourcing your B2B lead generation ensures that you are highly engaged with your prospects. Since lead generation is the core of their business model, an outsourcing agency is more likely to work hard to convert your prospects. They already have their responsibilities shared and start acting on them immediately.
4) Multi-Channel Approach
Outsourcing agencies have mastered the art of generating leads through multiple channels. They possess the bandwidth of running LinkedIn, email and paid lead generation campaigns simultaneously. They employ online, offline and various list building approaches which improve your chances of generating a good amount of leads.
The Bottom line
Instead of experimenting with lead generation internally, you can outsource this activity to experts and yield better results for your business. This option works really well for companies that do not have a wide customer base. The extensive research capabilities of a B2B outsourcing agency will beat the team you try to build internally.
B2B lead generation is particularly concerned with driving sales and revenue for a company. Hence it’s advisable to leave this activity to the experts.
Lead generation systematically produces results for B2B companies. They do so by employing tried and tested methods that are later customised for your business needs.
Every business is different. Hence you can outsource several B2B activities including content and outbound lead generation that are experts in cold calling and email campaigns.
If your sales team is struggling with lead conversion, you should probably think of outsourcing the activity. Refining your sales process is a constant activity, so make sure you optimise the right metrics.