If you thought that lead generation for B2B marketing services is getting easier, think again. Buyers are constantly moving on, ditching older habits, which makes them moving targets. That’s why going easy on your lead generation efforts can make you a sure loser. HubSpot found that 61% of marketing agencies singled out lead generation as their most formidable challenge.
The good news is that by following proven strategies that have staying power, you can keep ahead in these rough waters. Here are some timeless B2B lead generation tactics that make your b2b marketing services sizzle into the future.
1. Customers Can Be Your Best SaaS Lead Generator
When it comes to hauling in the leads, it doesn’t get better than your current customers. When your customers get out the word for you, they will be the best viral referral machine that you ever asked for.
This strategy can produce stunning results to build a multi-billion-dollar brand even on a skimpy marketing budget.
One fantastic way for a startup SaaS company to benefit from referral marketing is to offer free trials that support referrals. You can let your users enjoy premium feature unlocks with extended trial periods as a reward for referring new clients.
This strategy can win you insane monthly amounts in MRR or monthly recurring revenue even without a sales team. If you are a startup with a limited budget, this is the best place to start and gain a foothold.
2. Break Your Audience into Segments
Don’t just treat your audience as one big homogenous unit. Capitalize on the differences in that audience and segment it into parts to know who best to target and how.
For example, if you are a startup or less established brand, it may be challenging to get big clients right away since you have no track record. So, you may want to target smaller clients until you have grown and built enough market clout to be able to pitch bigger companies. Other bases of segmentation include geography, industry verticals, account-based marketing, or the type of online activities of your audience.
Segmenting your audience requires you to be specific which means you need data to accurately filter your audience. This can be daunting for you to get it all in one place. You can ease this problem by engaging a data partner. So, you only need to define your parameters and free yourself to focus on closing deals.
3. Reaching the Right Decision Maker Matters
Understanding who best to reach in a business can help you get better results with your B2B lead generation. Businesses are structured differently, often depending on which stage of the business life cycle they fall into. This impacts how decisions are made and by whom.
For many enterprise structures, the CEO, department head, or president may be the ultimate decision-maker. Or it may be the special projects director.
You would have to consider if your contact person is the sole decision-maker or if she needs to get consent from the board. An ultimate decision-maker may still require or seek consensus from other people who are stakeholders who are affected by the buying decision.
There is no point in wasting precious lead generation resources on targets who don’t make or influence buying decisions. So, ensure you pick your target well for a high impact lead generation.
4. Clearly Lay Out Your Benefits and Values
You have settled on who to target as the Decision Maker. Now is the time to build a convincing case and show your target how your product helps provide a business solution. Typically, four areas can help you close the deal: improving performance, boosting revenue, saving time, or enhancing productivity. Addressing these areas can make your pitch persuasive and successful.
5. Sell Your Competitive Advantages to Generate SaaS Leads
Keep in mind that your prospects already have a list of other vendors they are also evaluating for solutions. Why should they opt for you? This is where you need to make your services stand out from the crowd.
You can give yourself a competitive edge by citing data, case studies, or presenting testimonials by your clients.
6. Establish Your Presence on SaaS Review Sites
Engaging your leads early in the buyer journey can be a boost for your lead generation program.
In fact, 71 percent of B2B prospects disclosed that they shared their contacts with marketers while researching a product. So, you can imagine the incredible potential of online reviews since 92 percent of potential B2B buyers use them to research and guide their buy decisions. This gives you a strategic presence where buyers can find you and begin checking out your product and start engaging with you.
Getting your firm on the list on customer review sites, however, can be a hassle. It takes dreadfully long, and that can cause many firms to give up. However, by using some hack solutions by Cloudapp, you can work your way into those sites in just a few months. This method has successfully helped vendors to appear on G2’s list of 100 top software vendors in as little as 6 months.
7. Leverage Social Selling to Build High-Value Relationships
If you are not engaging in social selling, you could be among those being outsold by social sellers. Social sellers are beating their peers by a resounding 78 percent.
Social selling is a way of acquiring leads by directly connecting with prospects using social media platforms. Through social selling, getting sales opportunities is easier, and hitting quota numbers is much more feasible.
Lead generation through social selling is also less costly than the more traditional account-based approach.
Social selling still shares some common features with account-based marketing such as
- Researching and finding leads
- Connecting with decision-makers
- Focusing more on long term relationships that are more profitable.
8. Make Your Company’s DNA The Core of Your Content
Content marketing has been recognized as a powerful strategy for lead generation. It is the secret that has powered and shaped great brands like HubSpot and Ridestar. Even a dying SaaS company can have a second chance at life through a well-executed content marketing plan.
But to get a real foothold with your content today, you need to evolve with it. A few years ago, content that resonated no longer wins today where it has been rehashed to a low value.
You can take your cue from the best industry leaders and then tailor your content to your brand. Let your content focus on the uniqueness of your business.
9. Set Your Mind on Lead Quality
These days, lead quantity has assumed less importance because it’s making way for the new and more robust approach of lead quality.
Lead quality has a more distinctive focus on sales. They narrow down to leads that have clear intent to buy backed with the cash to do so.
Unlike lead quantity which casts a wide net to clinch a high volume of leads, lead quality is more fine-tuned and targeted to clinch the most relevant prospects. Lead quality can be improved through a range of tools such as PPC, LinkedIn, improving content and content engagement, improving data cleaning processes, and AI and prediction technology.
10. Make Use of Case Studies
It’s common knowledge that good engagement and content quality is what gets you to generate quality leads. However, for B2B marketing services, the territory calls for a different type of content. For one, the B2B buyer’s journey has grown more complex and longer. That’s because buyers want to spend more time researching their purchases. They also want to carry out a more detailed ROI analysis before they can decide to buy. This means that B2B marketers need to deliver content that can respond better to these types of inquiries for each stage of the buying process. These can include blog posts for the top of the sales funnel to more in-depth whitepapers. The content should win at guiding the lead down the funnel, whether at the awareness stage or the evaluation and purchase stages.
The verdict is that case studies, or customer testimonials are the most effective content format to employ for this. They show upfront how great your product or solution is so that customers can quickly size up your offering.
Many B2B marketers indicate that case studies deliver great engagement for the top, middle, and end parts of the sales funnel.
Why is this? It’s because case studies are truly made for SaaS buyers since they help you prove to them that you have delivered before to clients who are exactly like them.
The case study content also strongly appeals through features like being data-driven, concise, and to the point, as well as the use of attractive visuals that instantly grip attention. Consider these hit points, which show how case studies can be a rich way of telling your story.
- They make use of customer quotes as opposed to just presenting a copy. That establishes your credibility as customers can see how you produced real results with real customers. The impact is even greater when you show qualitative aspects such as how efficiency or internal processes are improved.
- Case studies and client testimonials are crucial for supporting the final step of the buying process – evaluation. There is no good in successfully having your leads go through the early stages of the buyer journey only for them to ditch you at the last moment. Case studies help propel your leads further down the road by adequately addressing the pain points that are relevant to the evaluation.
11. Inject Personalization in Your Marketing
Personalization isn’t just a top best practice in B2B marketing today. It’s ranked as the best method to win high-quality leads by marketers.
What’s great about personalization is that you only need to use a few personas to stand for what you can’t get at the user level. This is a perfect fit for a SaaS service as you can create the personas from the ground up by basing them on the various user profiles that you choose. The user profiles are simply passed on from your coding and product development and used for your marketing.
Personalization or personas is key to delivering relevant content that connects better, leading to higher conversions and leads.
The SaaS space has expanded rapidly with competition getting tougher. From an average low of just 2.6 competitors whom you had to face some years back, you now have to face off with more than 9.7 competitors as a startup. That raises the stakes and can make your job harder at making conversions. However, by implementing the above lead generation tricks, you can give your B2B marketing agency the winning formula it needs to dominate and stay in the game.
Navi Kang is a 3x entrepreneur and the founder of Northpeak, a growth marketing and conversion rate optimization firm with a data & design-first approach. Prior to Northpeak, Navi was helping startups with growth as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) at an early-stage venture capital firm in the Midwest. Navi is currently focused on helping mission-driven leaders and companies create world-class user experiences that increase revenue and ROI. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.