In this article:
- How to generate more leads for your sales team
- How to move high-quality leads down the funnel
How can you generate more leads? It’s one of the top challenges faced by B2B marketers everywhere. You’re creating great content, active on social media and nurturing your leads…
But you’re still …not…quite…there.
This guide is full of practical do’s and don’ts to help you boost lead generation at every stage of the funnel:
- Top of the Funnel – TOFU – Generate more leads for your sales team to convert
- Middle of the Funnel – MOFU – Generate high-quality leads to flow through your sales funnel
- Bottom of the Funnel – BOFU – Make sure your sales funnel is in tip-top health and converting quality leads into long-term clients
Top of the Funnel Lead Generation Tips
The first step in turbo-charged lead generation is filling up your pipeline with high quality leads, from inbound and outbound lead generation activity (well, that’s obvious). But what if you’re already doing that…and still not seeing those hot leads pouring in?
Turbo-charged TOFU lead generation is all about building awareness with your B2B buyer, identifying their needs (not your wants) and introducing your company as a trusted and recognised brand.
Identify your real B2B audiences using website visitor information
- What industry are they in?
- What size company are they?
- What content do they like to read on your website?
Use this information to build accurate data-driven buyer personas, fuel your marketing communications and deliver influential TOFU content to the right prospects.
Build awareness with relevant and educational blogs, guides and communications.
B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month. Blogging doesn’t have to be rigid and corporate, say something fun and show off your company culture!
At this TOFU stage, make sure your blog content covers industry news, reports and statistics that support (but don’t overly promote) your product or service offering.
Provide opportunities for soft conversion through social media.
Social media extends the lead generation process within the sales funnel, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Identify when your social media fans are engaging with your website and categorise these leads as soft conversions. Keeping track of your social following activity provides new opportunities for seriously timely 1:1 communications that provide real value to your prospects.
Keep an eye on your CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) for TOFU activity where the costs scale with conversions.
This is especially true for your digital marketing activity. With paid advertising activity, in particular, you have two ‘levers’ you can pull: your message and your bids.
Keep a close eye on cost metrics, like CPA, at every touch point in the funnel to ensure you don’t end up with lots of TOFU vanity traffic, and a negative ROI (gulp).
Undertake any new TOFU marketing activity until you’ve forecast the best, expected and worst possible ROI outcomes.
Before you invest any money in digital marketing, you need to understand exactly what results at the top of the sales funnel will deliver a return.
Benchmark your performance with this tool and gain instant visibility of forecasted performance to take the guesswork out of your TOFU marketing activity.
Create content for just one persona type or audience.
The B2B Buyersphere report found that there’s an average of 2-3 people involved in the decision-making process.
Cover a range of topics within your blog and social media content that caters for all your buyer personas. This ensures you’re raising your businesses profile and awareness with each audience.
Forget to have fun!
At the TOFU stage of the pipeline, having a little personality can go a long way, especially when it comes to building awareness of your brand.
Powwownow did just that with their #PowwowHELPMEnow campaign. By linking social media with offline activity the business showcased it’s personality and reached an estimated audience of over 170,000,000. Read how they did it here.
Neglect the lead generation opportunities of your website activity.
Investing more in TOFU activity from content marketing, social media, SEO, and advertising will drive more traffic to your website.
A quick-win to turbo-charge lead generation is to identify your website traffic and their on-site visitor behaviour. Turn them into actionable sales leads (before your competitors) – Here’s how.
Middle of the Funnel Lead Generation Tips
As much as 90% of decision-making happens before the funnel is even in sight. Hyper-connected, tech-savvy buyers are becoming faster at research and B2B marketers need to keep up with fast-paced, effective lead nurturing.
Turbo-charging lead generation at this stage of the funnel is all about nurturing your leads with the right information, at the right time, and using technology to track when they’re ready to buy.
Match your content strategy with the B2B Buyer journey.
61% of B2B buyers agree that to win a sale you have to deliver a better mix of appropriate content at each decision-making stage.
Enable your sales team to deal with prospects from different sources, which may or may not be ready to buy yet.
Your sales team are a vital part at the MOFU and BOFU stages, but up to 65% of sales reps say they can’t find content to send to prospects. To turbo-charge your MOFU leads to convert, you’ll need the whole team on board.
Enable your sales team by regularly briefing them on marketing and content activity so they can fully support your value proposition.
Track routes to purchase across high performing marketing channels and website pages.
Map the journey your leads take to and through your website to understand and optimise visitor journeys.
Embrace, a digital agency, tracked the activity of four key clients to identify patterns in website behaviour in relation to multi-channel physical and digital events. Take a look at how they did it and the surprising results!
Benchmark and track conversion at every stage of the sales funnel.
40% of marketers say their biggest challenge is proving the ROI of their marketing activities. Your metrics need to translate into meaningful business outcomes, throughout the whole funnel and that means tracking conversions and ROI.
Forecast and track performance at every stage of the sales funnel to monitor the effect on your ROI.
Leave it to the last minute.
Velocify showed that in many cases, companies had a 391% better chance of conversion if they contacted a lead within 60 seconds.
You need to be quick off the mark using real-time lead data if you want to catch your prospects at the right time and open up the conversation about their needs and research.
Forget there’s more to lead nurturing than just email drip campaigns.
Email is still the most important channel for lead nurturing, driving 4-10 times the response rate of standalone email sends. But, it’s critical to support your email automation with multiple touch points as well.
Make use of influential channels like social media, re-targeting and dynamic content to give your lead nurture program that extra boost.
Expect your leads to progress along a straight stepping stone path to becoming a customer .
On average, B2B buyers will use an average of 2.4 information sources when undertaking MOFU research. The result is an erratic buyer behaviour in which leads enter and leave the funnel at multiple points.
Track your prospect’s buying journey end-to-end and you’ll be able to follow and optimise their journey across multiple touch points.
Mistake a ‘Not right now’ for a ‘No’.
According to a CSO Insight report, sales don’t close 53% of their forecasted deals, with a staggering 26% attributed to ‘no decision’.
Feedback is gold dust, and understanding why a prospect has dropped out of the funnel is crucial. Take a sales pipeline health check by downloading this guide to building a healthy sales pipeline.
Bottom of the Funnel Lead Generation Tips
You’ve turbo-charged your way to the bottom of the funnel, and the finish line is in sight. Your prospects are qualified, but the question remains whether they are ready to convert to sale, or slip back into the funnel.
Turbo-charging your way to sales success is all about providing your prospects with the right offer AND your sales team with the right information, to effectively speed up and close the sale.
Ensure your prospects have all the information they need to convert.
At this critical stage, valuable product guides and specification documents are where the real weight is.
23% of buyers agree that useful technical info was the make or break in becoming a customer.
Use this guide to understand how to provide clear advice on delivering results from your product.
Engage with ready-to-buy prospects in real-time.
By painting a picture of your perfect sales lead, you can instantly assess how strong a new opportunity is. Use lead profiling or lead scoring to highlight and measure the actions of a ready-to-buy prospect.
Define your own criteria of high-value leads and automate them straight to your sales team’s inbox by using trigger alerts. Here’s how.
Track post-sale website activity to ensure your newly converted clients have everything they need to keep coming back for more.
Remember that preparation prevents…you know the rest. 57% of customers feel that companies are poorly prepared at initial client meetings.
Schedule regular catch-ups with newly converted clients to check they have everything they need and are getting the most value out of your product.
Build a community of brand advocates.
When it comes to that all-important purchase decision, 67% of B2B buyers had heard of the chosen supplier before. When it comes to closing the sale, buyers are hungry for reassurance that they are making the right decision.
Incentivise your clients to share their success stories and make your #HappyCustomers a pivotal part of your turbo-charged success.
Just provide written BOFU content.
Product videos, customer testimonials and expert opinion all have a place in converting to sales. Especially when 75% of top senior execs watch videos on business sites every week.
Train your sales team to use this BOFU content effectively, by holding regular training and catch-up sessions. Look at regularly sharing best practices for using different media formats effectively.
Over nurture prospects that are ready to buy.
Over-nurture your prospects and you’ll send them further and further away. As soon as you know a prospect is about to convert, take them out of your nurture program and into your retention activity.
Predict when your nurtured leads are ready to buy with a website visitor Watch List, meaning you can be proactive in preparing for when your prospects are ready to contact you.
Get caught up with the wrong numbers.
With better technologies, data and attribution now available, it can be easy to get TOO caught up in the numbers.
Make sure you know how to wade through the excesses to get to the good ones – Here’s some top tips on the metrics you need to impress.
Forget that the bottom of the funnel is about more than just closing deals.
It’s also the jumping off point for building and improving Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Keeping cost per acquisition down is great, but if you’re new clients are churning at an alarming rate, it’ll have a detrimental effect on your overall business performance.
Calculate CLV to understand and improve the financial value of your client’s across the lifetime of their relationship with you.
Innovative B2B lead generation is about building awareness with the right prospects, nurturing qualified leads with the right information, and helping your marketing and sales functions to combine their efforts to deliver turbo-charged lead generation results.
Stay focused on your buyers, their needs, and providing the most value (more than your competitors can!), and you’ll soon see benefits of a plump and healthy sales funnel.