When it comes to lead generation, there are a million different ways to collect leads. But what's the best way to go about it? What's the most effective method for your business? There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding how to collect leads. Let's take a look at some of the most popular methods and see which one is right for you.
What is a lead for B2B business?
A B2B sales lead is a person or organization that has the interest, budget, or authority to do business with your company and purchase your product or services.
These are qualified prospects that you can contact to close a sale. And it is, above all, the top priority for companies with a B2B approach, as it is the initial part of their sales process. Think of leads as the fuel for B2B companies' engines.
To improve the quality of the leads your company generates, your team must define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Thanks to this, you will be able to have well-defined objectives, preventing your sales teams (or yourself, if applicable) from wasting efforts reaching people who simply cannot or have no interest in establishing business with your company.
Both obtaining leads and defining an ICP are difficult tasks, but doing them correctly will help your company grow and differentiate itself from its competition.
Lead generation or Data generation, which comes first?
Before venturing to generate leads by the bucketload, it is essential to know important concepts, not only for a better understanding of the subject but also to take the right path in the search for the fulfillment of objectives.
What is data generation?
This is the first stage of the process, it is about identifying who are your potential customers or buyers. It is about gathering information about high-profile profiles with high sales potential. This includes data such as names, email addresses, company names, job titles and level of decision-making responsibility.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of engaging with potential buyers or customers to generate interest in a product or service. It is an important step in the sales process and can take many different forms. For example, a company may use online ads, cold emails or trade show appearances to generate leads.
Focus on quality leads, not quantity
Lead generation can be a numbers game.
The more lead data you generate, the more likely it is that one or two will become customers.
But while it's important to generate a steady stream of data, it's even more important to focus on the quality of the information rather than the quantity.
After all, what good is a prospect's data if they're not interested in your product or service? That's why it's so important to qualify leads before trying to contact or sell to them.
The data that companies like Skief Labs generate can help you determine which leads are most likely to convert, so you can focus your energy on those contacts. By focusing on quality rather than quantity, you'll have a better chance of growing your business sustainably.
Having a proactive approach to lead generation is a key determinant of a company's success. You may have a star product and your leads are coming to your door effortlessly, but think about it, is this mindset scalable?
The constant search for new leads is one of the priority efforts for B2B marketers. Building a solid database of leads is the only way to ensure that the engine of your business never stops running.
Ideal Customer Profile ICP
The Ideal Customer Profile, or ICP, is a lead generation tool that helps companies identify their ideal target market. By collecting and analyzing market data, companies can better understand who their ideal customers are and what their needs are. This information can be used to create more targeted lead-generation campaigns, which ultimately help companies grow.
Skief Labs offers solutions for companies to define their ICP. In addition, many other lead-generation tools on the market can help companies of all sizes target their ideal customers. Whichever lead generation tool you choose, developing an ICP is a great way to improve your chances of success.
In the B2B sector the influential attributes can include:
- Industry type
- Company's annual sales
- Geographic data
- Technology employed
- Professional qualifications
- Number of employees
- Organization chart
- Services or products used (even if it is a competitor)
MQL or SQL, which lead do I need?
As we have already explained in previous paragraphs, a lead is a person or organization that has shown interest in your services and has even provided you with data through one of your channels.
This not only represents a sales opportunity, it is also valuable information to focus your efforts towards a more specific target audience.
There are several terms that help us to identify the status of a lead according to where they are in your sales funnel. The two most commonly used terms are MQL and SQL.
What is an MQL?
An MQL, or Marketing Qualified Lead, is a prospect that despite showing interest in your product or service is not yet ready to be approached by your sales team. In spite of this, an MQL maintains interaction with your messages or content, with the intention of continuing to learn about your value offer.
The fact that they are still far from closing a sale does not make them irrelevant, since the information that MQLs offer you is of vital importance to optimize your segmentation.
What is a SQL?
SQL or Sales Qualified Lead is the term used to describe more advanced leads in your sales funnel. These leads have directly indicated an interest in purchasing your product or service.
These are profiles that have already found in your value proposition what they need to solve their needs, even a SQL can have direct communication with your representatives to clarify doubts. As it is a reciprocal communication, your team will also be able to determine if it matches your ICP or buyer persona.
It is also important to clarify that there are different stages of leads.
- Hot leads: Hot leads are leads that are ready to buy your product or service now. They usually have a high budget and urgency to buy.
- Warm leads: Warm leads are interested in your product or service but are not yet ready to buy. They may need more time to research or need to talk to someone else in your organization before making a purchase.
- Cold leads: Cold leads are not interested in your product or service at this time. They may not need it right now or they may not have the budget to buy it.
So... what is the best way to generate leads for my business?
Once we have defined our icp as well as our objectives it is time to do the dirty work. With a clearer vision, it will be easier to reach potential customers who are of great value.
Generate a good list of potential customers
In the face of sales work many companies opt to acquire databases, however, in very short periods, these cease to be useful due to labor turnover, among other factors.
The most effective way is always to generate your well-directed list of contacts. The response rate will be much higher in these cases if combined with a well-structured cold email campaign.
Use cold emails, they are your best ally
Once you have important data from your prospects it is time to use one of the tools with the highest ROI, cold emails.
It may sound overwhelming if you have a long list, however, there are many tools (and experts) that can scale your emailing while maintaining one of the most important features such as personalization.
Prospects on professional networks such as LinkedIn
If your goal is to create B2B ties, few networks are as effective as LinkedIn. Especially, when it comes to getting "premium" or higher LifeTime Value (LTV) products or services since in this network you will find managers, executives, or decision makers.
Keep in mind that to improve your results you should also focus on optimizing your LinkedIn profile. What do you think your potential clients would think when they see a poorly worked profile or website? Would they be encouraged to make deals with your company?
Use automation tools
Combining marketing with automation tools saves you a lot of time and effort. Take advantage of the ability to segment and the data you have to achieve messages that impact your audience.
Skief is your partner in generating high quality B2B leads. We provide the most comprehensive market data so you can make the best decisions for your growing business. We also offer a wide range of lead generation services, so you can target your ideal customers and grow your business quickly and efficiently. Our lead generation services are effective, and our team is passionate about helping businesses grow. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let us show you how Skief Labs can help your business succeed.