Trade shows, cold calls, and direct mail campaigns take a great deal of time and money to execute, and sometimes come up with mixed results. The trouble is, it’s often hard (if not impossible) to measure the return of these efforts.
So, what’s the alternative?
Let’s do a quick exercise.
If I were to ask you today: “Do you know the best way that your business is currently attracting qualified leads,” how would you respond?
For some business owners, this is an easy question to answer. But for many, it’s almost impossible to know for certain. After all, it can be pretty tough to determine whether a lead from a trade show came from seeing your ad, catching a glimpse of your booth, or both.
The good news is that the internet holds enormous opportunity for companies to not only attract B2B leads who are qualified and looking for help with solving their problems, but to also close the loop and establish a clear ROI.
The better news is that I’m here to tell you how to get started.
A new mindset: power to the consumer
Before you start generating leads through your website, it’s important to acknowledge and adapt to the shift in the way that business is being done online.
Historically, sales has held all of the valuable information and customers have had to contact the sales department to conduct research. With the increased consumer access made possible by the internet, consumers are growing increasingly accustomed to conducting their own research online.
In fact, a recent study by CEB shows that an incredible 57% of the buying process takes place before sales even gets a call. This means that it is crucially important to attract B2B leads with the content and answers that people are searching for during this time period.
With the shift in the way that consumers are researching and doing business online, it’s absolutely crucial for your marketing team to adapt the way that they attract B2B leads. Folks in the B2B space are increasingly resistant to pushy sales people, and are more likely to go with a company that brings them the most value, not just pushing them to buy.
Invest in becoming an industry thought-leader
Rather than spending your marketing dollars in traditional forms of advertising, invest in creating incredible, thought-leading content that will naturally attract B2B leads to your website. Be sure to educate them on the things that they are looking for help with.
If you openly provide them with the answers they are seeking, you will quickly become their go-to source for reliable industry information. Once you have generated them as a lead on your website, you can then start a consultative dialog (by phone, email, or even lead nurturing), and can ultimately make the sale to a qualified, more educated lead.