- Posted by Janina Bernardo
- On August 16, 2018
- 1 Comments
For any business to be successful, you need fresh leads to sustain your market trajectory. Sales prospecting will be your first and most important step in your b2b lead generation efforts. It is the process of searching for potential customers, clients, or buyers in order to develop new business. The end goal is to move prospects through the sales funnel until they eventually convert into revenue-generating customers.
Here are some tips on how to keep your sales pipeline full:
Be Active on Social Media
Social media platforms can be very useful tools for prospecting. Different platforms can help you achieve different objectives. Setting your goals is an important step before diving into the various platforms available today. This is especially true if you are a start-up or small business and don’t necessarily have the team or resources to focus on social media marketing. You need to prioritize and devout more time on channels that will give you the best value and highest return on your time and effort.
Linkedin is essentially a professional network and is especially useful for researching prospects. According to the platform, data has shown that 50 percent of B2B buyers use LinkedIn as a source for making purchase decisions. Once you have pinned down your ideal customer and built buyer personas, Linkedin can provide you with vital information such as your prospect’s job role, the size of the company he is working for, what industry he is in, and interests you might have in common. You can check out his top-of-mind business issues by looking into his Linkedin activities such as the posts he is sharing or comments he leaves on other people’s posts. Armed with this information, you can gauge what value you can offer and start a conversation.
Twitter is a good source of contacts, insights and sales triggers. It is useful for keeping tabs on your prospect’s activities that can be a gateway to spark a conversation. While tweeting alone won’t necessarily lead to sales, it can be a useful tool to build trust and establish yourself as an expert in your space.
Getting visibility in Facebook is becoming more and more difficult with recent changes in the platform’s algorithm. Unless you invest in Facebook ads, your posts may only be seen by a small fraction of your followers. It is still useful to have a Facebook company page since this can act like a directory listing that is similar to Yelp. You can encourage your past customers to rate your services to gain more credibility. Facebook messenger is also a valuable tool in communicating with potential clients as more and more people use this channel to talk to companies.
Send Out Emails
When done right, email campaigns are a great b2b lead generation tool, even though you had no prior relationship with the person you are trying to reach out to. Key ingredients in sending successful emails include a compelling subject line such as addressing a pain point, a personalized message (you may have to do a little digging on your prospect through their company website or social media) that doesn’t sound like another marketing copy, and a call-to-action that specifies what you want the recipient should do next.
Patience is key. A typical professional receives tons of emails rendering open rates and click-through email rates painfully low. Email marketing is a numbers game and you need to send a huge number of emails before you start see good returns.
Pick-up the Phone
Although cold calling has gotten a negative reputation through the years, calling customers may still provide some promising leads if you invest the time and prepare properly before initiating contact.
It would be useful to have a script that you could refer to to organize and structure your pitch the minute you reach a customer. Be prepared with your materials before placing that call. Learn as much as you can about a customer and be proactive when engaging them.
Ask for Referrals
Referred customers take less effort to acquire and have a higher probability of repeat business. To do this you need to gain the trust of your current pool of clients so that they will let you in on their network. This only happens after you have proven your worth. When they believe in the product/service and the company, they will naturally become brand ambassadors. Be transparent and let them know how you plan to reach out to their contacts. Assure them that you care about privacy and that the personal details will be handled responsibly.
Remember to Follow-up
If you don’t get responses from your initial email don’t be discouraged, schedule and send a follow-up email a week or two later. It helps to create templates and choose the right time to send it out. Change your pitch to highlight your other value propositions with each email you send so it would not be regarded as spam. If the person you are trying to contact on the phone is not free to talk, ask them when is a good time to call back and follow through. Hubspot has free tools to help you manage your email marketing campaigns and keep track of logged calls.
Once you have a well-defined B2B lead generation and nurturing processes in place, you will have a consistent and reliable source of new business.
Do you want to learn more marketing tips? Sign up for VA Partners’ email newsletter for a monthly list of our most recent blog posts.