4 Tips for small business lead generation

Large B2B small business are often lead generating powerhouses, but this can be a more difficult status for small businesses to attain. In fact, smaller companies may feel stuck in a rut because they have only a low number of leads to work with or prospects aren’t qualified. These issues can inhibit revenue growth. B2B firms in niche industries still need a way to expand and it starts with better Internet lead generation. Some companies believe they will stay small forever, but this doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re looking to grow your business, the following tips can help you increase the number of quality leads your organization attracts:

1. Make the shift to the Internet

While some small companies have been engaged in online lead generation for several years, others have been slower to join the party. Even if you are engaged in digital marketing, the idea of what a strong online presence means has changed in the past few years, according to a blog post for Salesforce written by Stuart Leung. In the past, paid display advertising was highly popular among B2B firms, but now inbound marketing tactics are gaining strength. The buyer’s journey almost always starts online, which is why it’s so important to create a natural pull for potential customers. Content marketing is an essential technique because it provides value to website visitors and helps inform their decisions. Additionally, it may be beneficial to increase the number of landing pages on your site. Leung wrote that companies with 31 to 40 landing pages attract seven times more leads on average than businesses with 1 to 5 landing pages. Increasing this number can help you boost your lead generation efforts.

If you feel stuck in one place with lead generation, expanding to the Internet could give you untapped sources of new contacts. Social media may be beneficial as a cost-effective lead generation tool as well.

2. Utilize lead scoring and nurturing for more relevant prospects

Want to know why many of your leads never convert to customers? It’s most likely the result of going after the wrong contacts or not doing enough to guide prospects through the sales cycle. In particular, lead nurturing can help your sales representatives turn more leads into clients. Although many B2B brands are already engaged in some form of lead nurturing – email is an especially popular tactic – some have a major disconnect, Jon Miller wrote for ClickZ. These brands nurture with marketing efforts, but they only engage when salespeople are going after the deal. This can alienate prospects rather than boost effectiveness.

Nurturing is a complicated process in B2B marketing because buyers aren’t the only people who factor into the decision. They need executive approval, and buying committees have become more common as the sales cycle deepens in complexity. This is where lead scoring comes in. As prospects enter the revenue funnel, you can use your integrated marketing platform to assign a preliminary score to them so your sales employees can determine the best way to follow up. Prospects may not convert because there isn’t enough contact during the crucial decision-making phase of the sales cycle, but marketing automation software ensures no signals are missed.

3. Don’t neglect your existing customers

Satisfied customers should be a natural area of focus for sales teams, but many small B2B firms forget about this important segment in favor of chasing new leads. Much has been made about the cost of attracting a new customer compared to maintaining the relationship with an existing one. If your product requires occasional upgrades, there are most likely a number of opportunities to introduce cross-sells and upsells.

Additionally, happy customers can be an excellent source of referrals, according to Leung. In fact, prospects who are referred to a company by a friend or industry colleague are four times more likely to make a purchase than those who encounter your business on their own. B2B buyers are placing more emphasis on reviews from their peers compared to brand-sponsored content. This is a valuable pool of leads that shouldn’t be overlooked.

4. Implement an integrated marketing environment

Many of the perceived challenges in B2B lead generation for small businesses can be alleviated with the help of an integrated marketing platform. These tools can streamline the process of lead scoring, help you send prospects to the appropriate nurturing campaigns and respond to indications that customers are ready to buy. While small businesses may think they are too tiny to benefit from marketing automation, this isn’t the case because these platforms make many crucial sales operations easier. Additionally, an integrated marketing environment is scalable to your business’s growth. Utilizing marketing technology is an important way for small firms to improve their Internet lead generation.

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