But first – how do SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) differ from MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads)?
An MQL is a prospect that your marketing team deems more likely to eventually turn into a sale than other leads, but isn’t quite ready to buy yet. This is typically determined based on lead intelligence, often informed by closed-loop analytics. These leads require additional marketing assistance before they’re ready to become a B2B sales lead.
An SQL is a prospective customer that has progressed past the engagement stage, has been thoroughly analyzed by both marketing and sales, and has been deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process — a direct sales push. These B2B sales leads have displayed intent to buy, and have met lead qualification criteria determining that they’re a right fit for the product or service. All they need now is more lead nurturing for conversion into a paying customer.
While a B2B sales lead has been researched and vetted by your marketing department and is ready to talk to your sales department, a marketing qualified lead is a lead who has engaged with your company and could become a customer if nurtured correctly. An MQL becomes an SQL once they’re ready to talk to the sales team.
Understanding MQLs and SQLs is important for your sales team because the system can save your salespeople time so they spend more of their time selling to the right people at the right time.
At its best, the process of converting MQLs to SQLs gives your sales team more qualified prospects so they’ll have more meaningful conversations.
Do Your Research
It’s easy to skip over the research process, but it’s completely vital for your company’s success and cannot be stressed enough.
You don’t have time to waste reaching out to a B2B sales lead that you ultimately have no chance with. Utilizing your resources to gather research can benefit you and your prospects significantly.
According to SalesLoft, “Having a holistic view of a prospect’s industry is just as important as understanding their company. A 2016 report found that 85% of respondents preferred vendors with knowledge of their industry and the challenges they face.”
Want to know how to impress your prospects? Research what they’re interested in. Consistently peruse sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to find out the latest trends. Start watching and reading industry news. Listen to the latest podcast of someone your clients would be interested in.
Use high-quality intent data
Your data is the foundation that will either make or break your lead generation strategy, so it’s essential that you’re starting with good quality data.
Unfortunately purchasing third-party data can be a real drain on budgets and you’re often taking a big risk on how good the data will be. What if you didn’t have to rely on third-parties for your data?
Chances are you’re already sitting on a goldmine of prospects that have a want or need for your product – your website visitors! Only a small percentage of them will inquire, but a website visitor tracking tool like Lead Forensics can identify those visitors that haven’t inquired yet.
You can find contact information for key decision makers at the businesses who have visited your site, as well as what they’ve been looking at on your site so you can personalize your approach to a consistent flow of B2B sales leads.
Lots of B2B sales leads would still much prefer to conduct business over the phone the old-fashioned way, but unfortunately in 2022, cold-calling is out – in fact, 50% of UK B2B buyers list repeated cold calling and emailing as the #1 disqualifying sales activity.
Warm calling differs from cold calling as it targets people who have already shown an interest in your business by filling out a form, attending a webinar, or otherwise indicating that your product is a good fit for their company.
What better way to conduct a warm calling strategy than by contacting the businesses visiting your website using Lead Forensics? They already have an interest in your product and are clearly in the market for a solution like yours.
This fuels your team with all the information they need to make instant, direct contact with new business leads, tailoring the call to reflect the pages they viewed on your website. This warm calling approach has seen outbound sales call success increase by up to 40%.
To get the most out of your calls, follow these tips:
- Research the company, industry and the individual and think about the most suitable way to represent your services.
- Pick the right timing. Try to show the potential prospect that you respect their time. It’s better to avoid calling first thing on Monday, or calling them on Friday right before the weekend.
- Be human. Try to keep a friendly, informal attitude. Follow up with an email, thank them for their time, and ask for the next opportunity to talk about the details.
- Keep it under 5 minutes. Even if they’re a great fit for your business, don’t take up too much of your time or overstay your welcome – the prospect will appreciate it!
Set up a webchat
Having a chat function on your website is a great way to convert cold leads into warm B2B sales leads. This ensures that your visitors can receive the personalized information they’re looking for.
Some brands choose to go with a live chat, while others prefer to use a bot. There are benefits to each – for example, a bot can offer 24/7 support, but a live chat offers a human connection and can be more personal.
You can even opt for a combination of the two, having a live chat within office hours but a chatbot on evenings and weekends.
Here are a few tips on how to use your webchat to generate B2B sales leads on your website:
- Pick the website pages that have the highest conversion rates. This will ensure that you can engage with the highest number of visitors.
- Use a tone of voice that corresponds with your brand. Friendly, polite, and straightforward language is the best choice.
- Use preset responses. Even if you opt for a live chat, having pre-written responses to common questions will save you tons of time and reduce your response time.
Create meaningful content
Creating attractive and relevant content is another great way to introduce your service and products to potential customers. You can create blog posts, whitepapers, or case studies with useful information to demonstrate the value that your products offer as well as your expertise in the industry to help drive B2B sales leads.
You can drive more traffic to your website and generate qualified B2B sales leads with these simple tips:
- Post relevant topics. When publishing on social media or other channels, create content that is relevant to your audience. This could be about something trending in your industry or answers to burning questions that potential clients may have.
- Use social proof. This is a powerful tool in B2B sales lead generation that helps build trust to attract quality leads. Consider adding client testimonials or reviews to your landing pages or sharing them on social media.
- Use the right keywords. Apply SEO best practices and use catchy but relevant headers to grab your audience’s attention.
- Create a call-to-action (CTA). The more relevant your content is, the more chances that a potential prospect will use a CTA to take further actions.
Use segmentation to personalize your outreach to B2B sales leads
Reaching out to B2B sales leads should by no means look like an advertisement intended to attract the masses. Mass outreach is inefficient regarding time, money, and lead conversion. In fact, 72% of consumers say they only engage with marketing messages that are personalized and tailored to their interests.
It’s highly recommended to segment your audience database to make your outreach much more manageable and personal. You can then convert those leads by categorizing them by industry, prospect title, geography, company revenue and size, and those who have completed an action.
Once you define these segments, you can identify and group customer profiles in your B2B sales lead lists with common needs and create target messaging that resonates with your potential prospect.
Sending a personalized email gives clients confidence that you understand their issues and can offer solutions. Keep your messages short and to the point. Avoid “me-messages” that focus only on your accomplishments but instead follow a “you-message” approach that focuses on the prospect.
Furthermore, a well-built “you-conversation” with a prospect can provide additional data that an SDR can pass to the sales managers along with a qualified lead.
Quality Training for B2B sales leads
You can no doubt remember countless bad sales calls and emails you’ve received. Some are natural salespeople, but not everyone! With the right training however, anyone can be great.
People still buy from people, and that means that you need to provide your sales team with the tools they need for success. Make sure your training includes:
- Scripts that salespeople can fall back on when needed
- Information on how to handle reluctant customers
- Strategies for qualifying leads and improving the quality of an existing lead
Providing your sales team with the right training is the most effective way to ensure that they’re maximizing their sales efforts. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling to private customers or customers who are positioned within their company to make key sales decisions, the better trained your sales team is, the greater the success you will have.
Want to boost your lead generation by identifying your website visitors? Book a demo with Lead Forensics today!
Interact through social media
Social media is currently one of the top channels in B2B, with 80% of organizations using it to assist with content marketing.
Many of your daily actions on social media can help you considerably in finding new B2B sales leads. Social media gives people from the same industries a forum to discuss common interests and share ideas. One of the best strategies to attract new leads is by joining groups with the same interests. Participate in activities by sharing posts, commenting, and engaging in discussions. Show your presence and offer thought leadership in your industry.
Social media not only makes your company more visible, but it also gives you a chance to learn more about the potential B2B sales lead before making contact. This allows you to collect helpful information about them and use it to orchestrate a more personalized approach.
Among all social media out there, LinkedIn truly deserves a shout-out: It’s no longer just a recruitment platform but has become an effective, trustworthy tool in the B2B lead generation process for targeting the best prospects.
LinkedIn can help you to seek out decision-makers as well as give you current information about the company, its products, and pain points. This will give you a leg up by figuring out their issues beforehand so you can offer solutions to resolve them.
Use these tips to prospect B2B sales leads using social media: