Topic: b2b lead generation

Lead Generation

What is Lead Generation?

Some people will say that lead generation is referrals.  In fact, even an Internet marketing guy like me agrees that for many businesses, referrals and word of mouth are the best lead generation strategy.

But who said you have to pick just one?

The fact is, you should build several lead generation systems and measure their effectiveness.  For example, document your referral and word of mouth lead generation strategy.  Does it include thank you letters?  Does it include affiliate payouts?  Do you know who is recommending the most leads to you?

Next, look at your advertising and promotions options.  Yellow Page advertising used to be a necessity, but now I see well crafted lead generation websites getting much better returns for much smaller expenses, because many people turn to the search engines to find a company to help them with their problem.  Am I saying not to do lead generation with Yellow Page ads?  Absolutely not.  If your industry gets leads that way in the past, then keep doing it but track it carefully.  How much profit are you making on the leads that come from that source?  Is it covering the marketing costs?  Every year these returns keep getting weaker in many cases so you cannot blindly assume that because it was a profitable lead generation source it will continue to be one in the future.

Of course, advertising in magazines, newspapers, on websites and in email newsletters are all ways to do lead generation that can be effective.  You must test and measure to find which ones are worth continuing to do.  Remember that there are diamonds in the rought.  I know someone that pays $50 per year for a banner advertisement that produced 6 figures in sales per year.  Those things are out there but they are hard to find.

Lastly, continue building a lead generation website for your business.  This is not something that usually produces results the first week, but over time it can become your most valuable asset to your business.  A good lead generation website can be set up for a fraction of the cost of other marketing efforts and often produces much higher results once the site started getting noticed and ranked well in search engines.

The reason that a lead generation website, separate from your traditional business website, is important is that it does not mess up your other marketing and it is able to focus on one clear, measurable goal.  One of the strongest selling points to what we help people do is that we are not touching their existing website.

Lead generation results can be developed and increased if a business is willing to go through the process and build out the strategy.  It is the same techniques that lead generation companies use to collect and sell leads, but you build the site for yourself and the lead generation is exclusive to you.

Business to Business Lead Generation

I had a good meeting with some venture capital people today.

No, I was not raising money.

Actually we were there via a referral and we were discussing how our lead generation system could help them grow their portfolio companies. It turns out that over 50% of the companies were a good fit for increasing sales through our lead generation system.

That got me thinking about how to sell business to business. It seems to me that it is smarter to go after venture capital people to get introductions to other business owners that can benefit from your product or service. I am not saying this is easy, but the traditional route of hoping that business owners know other business owners and will refer you in just seems limited. The nice thing about talking to these VC’s is that we sell a product that increases quality sales leads. They have a great interest in increasing the portfolio company’s sales and profits. It was a good meeting.

If you have only been going through one channel of people to do business to business lead generation, consider who else might be able to introduce you to the people that can benefit the most from working with you.

Online Lead Generation