Here at First Level, we’re all about B2B growth and we are often asked about the best ways to get more B2B sales leads for a growing business.
We’ll be covering this area in a lot more depth on the First Level blog.
If you want to see how we can help you find more business leads, visit the main First Level website.
In the meantime, let’s start with a quick snapshot of some of the key methods.
Ways To Get More B2B Sales Leads
For the purpose of giving a nice simple list, we’ve poached this excellent set of B2B marketing growth channels from the popular book by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares, Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth.
The authors of Traction recommend choosing (and we agree) just a couple of sales & marketing channels to test rather than adopting a scatter-gun approach to acquiring customers.
- Target Blogs – Many new SaaS and online companies get swept up by the Tech Crunch hype and try to get covered by tech journalists and bloggers. However, where are you customers? If you’re a MedTech business then you should be talking to blog and websites in the medical industry. Offering a customer service tech solution for hotels? Aim to write for hospitality industry blogs and news sites.
- Publicity – Whilst it can sometimes be overestimated, getting press coverage can do wonders for a business. There are many ways to do this. If you’re an online business, think about what data you have that might be of interest to journalists in your field. Package-up the data with an interesting hook or theme and you’ve got yourself a news story.
- Unconventional PR – You’ve seen the classic Richard Branson stunts. If you’re not prepared to don make-up to grow your B2B business, are there other ways of generating ‘free’ PR? If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this list of 100 classic PR stunts compiled by Bitesize PR.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Most SaaS business leaders know that SEM is buying traffic through paid search engines such as Google Adwords and Bing. What is not so well-known is how expensive and tricky to manage these PPC campaigns can be. Vying against competitors via cost per click can get very costly very quickly when your ad copy, landing pages, and offers aren’t converting. Plan out your campaigns, allocate your budget, and then manage it all very carefully.
- Social Display Ads – Facebook advertising has been joined by other social media players but it remains the largest online advertising competitor to Google Adwords by far. Facebook can be an unforgiving environment as people go there to relax, learn, and catch up with friends, not necessarily to listen to your B2B offer. Test it out and see how it works with different ad structures and approaches.
- Offline Ads – There’s nothing wrong with going old school when trying to promote your B2B business. Newspaper ads, radio spots, billboards – they all have their place. Many online-focussed businesses start online but if looking to run some offline advertising, try to work in tracking or measurements that help determine if there was a positive payoff.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Even with the rise of articles of its impending downfall, SEO is still a huge industry and a channel that plays a big part in generating new businesses. SEO has moved away from simple on-page optimisation and backlinks to a more nuanced approach that is largely driven by online content and other methods of driving organic traffic.
- Content Marketing – The rise of content marketing has continued unabated and, in some quarters, has largely taken over the function on SEO people and their roles. In short, product valuable information for people in your target audience and you’ll be one step closer to producing more B2B sales leads for your product.
- Email Marketing – Obviously this is the channel we recommend because it is so effective and because First Level offers email marketing services. Email marketing is often found to produce the highest return on investment across all marketing channels, particularly for SaaS and B2B companies.
- Engineering as Marketing – Probably not your first option, but, producing a piece of software can be an excellent marketing tool that enables you to reach highly targeted people in your market. For example, Hubspot offers a free website grader which bring them in contact with people in their market. Is there some calculator, tool, or mini service you could offer for free that would help people and position you for a future sale?
- Viral Marketing – Here are the four exact steps required to make your next marketing campaign go viral . . . ah, no, sorry. We can’t help you with that one. All we can do is to suggest you look at examples of viral marketing campaigns and consider what were the common elements and what were the little pieces of magic that made it all click for them in each case.
- Business Development – With more of a focus on B2B partnerships, this is not to be confused with sales. As the book says: “Business Development is like sales with one key distinction: it is primarily focused on exchanging value through partnerships, whereas sales primarily focuses on exchanging dollars for a product. With sales, you’re selling directly to a customer. With business development, you’re partnering to reach customers in a way that benefits both parties.” Such partnerships can include supply deals, licensing and joint venture partnerships, and more.
- Sales – There’s no confusing this one. Good ol’ fashioned hustle with some high-tech wizardry thrown in. Sales has become an entire industry in itself with books, training courses, certification programs, sales pipeline tools, and more all developed to help businesses grow through sales people connecting people and companies to their products. By the way, if you want to step up your sales revenue, check out First Level’s lead generation service.
- Affiliate Programs – An undervalued but hugely powerful channel, affiliate sales can bring in high volumes of sales and revenue. Even better, they do this on a performance basis which means that affiliates only get paid when they make a sale. You can also create pay per action affiliate programs to pay for B2B sales leads. However you structure your program, you’re paying for the end result unlike pay per click advertising where you pay moeny to click on your ads and then hope that those clicks turn into leads and sales.
- Existing Platforms – These platforms are the Facebooks, Twitters, and Pinterests of the world – web sites, apps, or networks with huge numbers of users where you can potentially leverage to get traction. The downside to these platforms is that, unless you’re running paid advertising, you don’t own the audience. You remain a prisoner to declining audience share and fewer organic views of your social media posts.
- Trade Shows – Most people who have worked in a B2B company have attended a trade show and some of those people have been lucky enough to staff a booth for days on end at such an event. Trade shows can be useful for making contacts and sometimes for finding new sales leads. Proper planning is key to making it a success for your business. Check out people like the trade show master, Mike Moyer, for handy lead generation tips.
- Offline Events – We humans are social creatures so it’s hard to beat getting a group of people from your target audience into a room and spending time getting to know them. Run a conference, hold a free workshop, host a Meetup. All of these offline events can help you make sales. they don’t scale well but can give your business a powerful kick-start, particularly if you team up with other non-competing businesses in the same industry.
- Speaking Engagements – Like offline events, giving speeches gives prospective customers and clients the chance to get to know and learn from your expertise. Present well, focus on your audience’s needs, share valuable insights, and be yourself – these are the keys to connecting with your prospects and being remembered as someone with whom to do business.
- Community Building – Can you bring people along on your journey and involve them in content creation and solving problems together? If so, creating a community may work well to engage members of your industry. Wikipedia, Idea Hunt’s ambassador program, and Stack Exchange are examples of people getting involved in online community projects.
Presentation On How To Get More B2B Sales Leads
There’s a lot to take in and it’s hard to know which channel is right for your best so here’s a simple visual overview by the authors.
Want To Get Started?
We’ll be covering the topic of how to find more B2B sales leads in a lot more detail in future First Level blog posts.
Until then, you might want to consider looking at how to implement Number 9 – Email Marketing in your B2B business.
To get started with email marketing outreach to acquire more business sales leads, check out First Level.