Lead generation is crucial for maintaining and growing a business. You undoubtedly employ many methods for collecting leads: advertising, social media, telemarketing, a website, etc. But all B2B leads are not equal. Qualified leads are the best, the gold standard, because those are the most likely to lead to sales. So the question becomes:
How can you find businesses that are looking for what your business has to offer – right now?
Here are four tactics to employ to generate (and ultimate cultivate) highly qualified B2B leads:
- Join targeted LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn is all about business. Virtually any source you check will cite LinkedIn as the top social media platform for B2B lead generation. So first, make sure your or your company’s LinkedIn page (depending on which one you will participate with) is one you are proud of and that reflects who you are or what your company is. Then find some groups on LinkedIn whose members are professionals likely to need what your business has to offer and engage with them. Remember—you are not looking to network with businesses like yours; you are looking to network with businesses and professionals who need your products or services. Join the conversation. Research the landscape. Even ask for advice. All are great ways to make contacts, set yourself and/or your company up as an expert, and generate qualified leads.
- Use search engine alerts. It is a good idea to monitor the Internet for mentions of your brand or product/service to stay on top of trends and the latest news, but you can also use alerts to become part of the conversation. Google alerts is a free monitoring system that is perfect for this purpose. Set up alerts for your brand (or competitors) and for your product or service, as well as questions that might be posted on the Web that your business services or products might be an answer for, and then join the conversations you find. Do your products solve a problem? Set up an alert for topics surrounding the problem and join the discussions you get alerted to. Do you sell a product that serves a need? Then set up alerts for words and phrases that describe that need. You will undoubtedly need to tweak and refine your alerts as you go, but setting up alerts and joining online conversations is a great way to gather intel and also to get your business out there as an expert, increase your exposure, and collect qualified leads.
- Make free offers in your calls to action. In your current advertising scheme or on your website or on your social media pages, add in free offers. What better way to find those who are in the market for what you have to sell than by offering a bit of it for free? Your takers will, by definition, be those who are in the market for what you have. If your product is a service, offer a limited analysis of need for free. That has the added benefit of allowing you to begin a relationship of those who pursue your offer. If you sell a physical product and it’s feasible, offer a free sample. Or, whether a product or a service, a free demonstration is almost always doable—and those who respond are, by their very response, qualified leads and the demo gives you the opportunity to get to know them and their needs.
- If you have a blog or post podcasts or webinars, focus them on problems your product solves or needs your products fills. If you have invested the time and money and resources into these types of informational vehicles, then make the subject matter always center on one thing—what you have that another business might be looking for. In that way, you will always be talking to qualified leads. Instead of blogging about the newest version of product X that you have just introduced, blog about a need or a problem that it solves or a niche that if fills. Spend most of the time describing the need or the niche or the issue. In that way, you will be sure that your readers or participants are interested in filling that need or solving that issue. Do that consistently blog after blog, webinar after webinar, and you will begin to build and reel in an audience of qualified leads who ask you questions and spark discussions where you can tout the benefits of what your company or product has to offer. And be sure to cross-promote your blog on LinkedIn and other social properties.
Do you have any tips on generating highly qualified B2B leads? Share them in the comments!