According to HubSpot, 53% of marketers say that half or more of their total marketing budget is allocated to lead generation.
Yet the BrightTALK 2015 survey identified that a staggering 80% of B2B businesses rate their lead generation as ineffective.
Here, we highlight 4 common areas of improvement that can help you buck the trend and move from the 80% to the 20%.
1. Make your business look more attractive
Regardless of which channels you use, modern Buyers usually want to validate marketing messages and undertake their own evaluation of you as a supplier before engaging with your sales function.
Like it or not, perception is reality. Therefore, before you invest in lead generation, you need to invest in marketing assets. A modern, responsive website and a basic content library where you share some of your IP, thought leadership or demonstrate your knowledge should be considered the bare minimum.
These investments in marketing assets will not generate leads in their own right. But they will have a multiplier effect on the lead generation you do undertake.
2. Integrate campaigns, channels and tactics
There is no one lead generation channel that works for every B2B business. Moreover, there are many variables that contribute towards performance.
But what is beyond question is that where multiple channels are used together in an intelligent, integrated way, lead generation results and ROI improve.
3. Have a strategy not just a plan
Don’t confuse tactics or campaigns with strategy. An example is that many B2B businesses are starting to implement marketing automation. But marketing automation itself is not a strategy; it is an enabler.
Your strategy needs to ask (and answer) questions such as:
- What segment of the market is most likely to be responsive to your value proposition?
- How do you demonstrate differentiation to them?
- What are the barriers to change, who are your competitors (internal and external) and how will you overcome inertia?
When you understand these and have developed your strategy, then and only then should you move on to implementing campaigns and lead generation.
4. Recognise the skills you need
There are more marketing channels than ever before. The breadth of knowledge required to understand the entire genre of B2B marketing is staggering.
If you are a Corporate with a substantial marketing team, you may be lucky enough to have the bases covered.
But if you’re an SME, you need to be realistic about what you know and can do in-house and where you need external expertise.
Much like point 1 – making your business look more attractive – investing in getting it right might involve committing budget to something other than lead generation activity itself.
However, if you develop the blueprint for repeatable success, it will be one of the best investments you ever make.