Header Optimizing B2B Lead Generation: Avoid These 3 Mistakes & Embrace Best Practices

Optimizing B2B Lead Generation: Avoid These 3 Mistakes & Embrace Best Practices

Optimizing B2B Lead Generation: Avoid These 3 Mistakes & Embrace Best Practices
11:18
Srishti Srivastava, Senior Digital Marketing Manager

Lead generation in B2B businesses is often more complex than in B2C due to extended sales cycles, involvement of multiple decision-makers, and the need for detailed pre-purchase information. A report by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing and Science (2021) reveals that about 95% of business clients are not actively seeking goods and services, emphasizing the challenge for B2B marketing. This statistic implies that in B2B Lead generation marketing strategies, marketers need to shift their focus from immediate conversions to cultivating brand memories. Additionally, it underscores the importance of reaching the 5% actively seeking solutions through multiple channels, so that the marketing and Sales pipelines remain full.

In this blog you will learn the following:

  1. The top mistakes, which we have observed, that B2B businesses make while running marketing campaigns.
  2. Best practices to implement while running a B2B Lead generation campaign that builds a stronger brand presence and effectively targets ready-to-buy customers.

 

Content

The top 3 most common mistakes & how to avoid them

B2B marketing, while rich with opportunities, also presents unique challenges that can hinder the effectiveness of campaigns. Understanding these challenges is key to crafting strategies that resonate with your target audience and drive successful outcomes.

Ein Mülleimer mit grünem Akzent als Zeichen für Nachhaltigkeit - Digitalagentur SUNZINETMistake 1:

Relying on a single campaign to generate leads

infographic showing how lead generation via 1 campaign generates only a few leads to nurture Lead Generation Agency - SUNZINET GmbH

A common mistake in B2B marketing is to rely on a single campaign to generate leads.
This strategy is like putting all your eggs in one basket, which can be risky and ineffective for the following reasons:

Narrow Market Reach:

Single campaigns often target a specific audience segment, ignoring the diversity within the broader market. This can lead to missed opportunities to connect with potential customers who fall outside the narrow scope of the campaign.

Unaddressed Customer Needs:

Distinct customer segments have different needs and preferences. A single campaign attempting to provide a one-size-fits-all solution may inadequately address the specific pain points of your various customer personas, thereby showcasing the benefits of your solution inefficiently.

Reduced Engagement:

Audiences across various channels are bombarded with marketing messages. A single campaign might struggle to cut through the noise and engage customers over time.


Eine Glühbirne umrandet von einem Zahnrad als Zeichen für neue Ideen - Digitalagentur SUNZINETBest Practice:

Diversify Campaign Strategies

infographic showing how multiple campaigns allow you to reach a larger audience: Lead Generation Agency - SUNZINET GmbH

To maximize reach and engagement, it's crucial to implement a variety of campaign strategies. Here are three strategies that you can use to diversify your lead generation campaign:

Segmentation-Based Campaigns

Tailoring your campaigns to address specific market segments or customer profiles allows for more personalized and relevant messaging. For instance, a campaign targeting C-level executives in the tech industry would differ significantly in tone and content from one aimed at mid-level managers in the manufacturing sector.

Thematic Campaigns

Focus on various themes or industry trends helps in capturing the interest of your audience by aligning with their current concerns and interests. For example, a thematic campaign on Process automation could resonate with businesses looking to enhance their operations.

Product / Service-Specific Campaigns

Highlighting the unique features or benefits of different products or services can attract customers with specific needs. A campaign for a new service should emphasize the unique features that differentiate it from competitors.

 

Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Launch several campaigns to increase your reach.

Ein Mülleimer mit grünem Akzent als Zeichen für Nachhaltigkeit - Digitalagentur SUNZINETMistake 2:
Forwarding leads to Sales without nurturing them

infographic showing the steps companies miss before sending leads to sales Lead Generation Agency - SUNZINET GmbH

After the leads have been generated, B2B companies often tend to directly forward the leads to their sales teams. This leads to the following problems:

  • Low MQL to SAL conversion rate.
  • Waste of time and resources for the Sales and marketing teams.
  • You lose out on potential customers, who would have converted in the future.

It is important to remember, that only 5% of your target group is actively looking to buy your product and services. Therefore you mustn't send marketing leads directly to your sales, integrate a lead nurturing strategy, and send leads to your Sales team when they are ready for conversion. Additionally, without a lead nurturing strategy, it becomes challenging for your brand to stay in your customer's minds when they're ready to purchase a product or service you offer.

Effective nurturing involves:
  • Consistent Engagement: Regular and meaningful interactions with potential clients are crucial. Lack of engagement leads to a disconnect, making it harder to convert leads into customers. Companies that use lead nurturing strategies generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead (2018).

  • Relationship Building: B2B transactions often involve significant investments, both financially and operationally. Without nurturing relationships and building trust, it's challenging for your Sales team to close the Sales.
    Research from Marketo shared that leads that have been nurtured have a 23% shorter sales cycle.

  • Tailored Communication: The failure to personalize communication based on the lead's interests, industry, and stage in the buying process can result in a disengaged audience.

Do not forward leads directly to your sales department. Nurture Leads, until they are ready to buy.

Eine Glühbirne umrandet von einem Zahnrad als Zeichen für neue Ideen - Digitalagentur SUNZINETBest Practice:

Set up a Lead nurturing strategy

infographic shpwing steps to nurture leads before sending them to sales: Lead Generation Agency - SUNZINET GmbH

Nurturing leads is a crucial, ongoing process in B2B marketing. It not only fills up your sales pipeline sustainably but also saves the time and resources of your sales team.
Here are three lead nurturing strategies that you can set up while planning your next marketing campaign:

Multi-Channel-Nurturing

Engage leads through various channels like email, social media, and personalized web content. This approach also delivers a consistent and holistic brand experience across different platforms. By enabling a multi-channel nurturing strategy you ensure that your brand remains top-of-mind of the customer when they are ready to buy.

Content-Led Nurturing

Sharing educational content tailored to different stages of the buyer's journey helps in building trust and positioning your brand as a thought leader. For example, early-stage leads might receive introductory blog posts, while those further along might get detailed case studies or whitepapers. We frequently integrate the See-Think-Do-Care model with our target customer profiles to create tailored content for each stage of their journey.

Lead Scoring and Behavioral Trigger-Based Nurturing

Utilizing engagement data to prioritize leads and setting up automated campaigns triggered by specific user interactions, ensures efficient and timely follow-up. This approach allows for more personalized and relevant interactions based on the lead’s engagement level and interests.

Ein Desktop mit drei verschiedenen Graphen als Zeichen für Agentur - Digitalagentur SUNZINET
Let's talk in numbers!

  1. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead according to Forrester Research.
  2. The Demand Gen Report states that lead nurturing can increase a business’s sales opportunities by up to 20% when compared to non-nurtured leads.
  3. Marketo shares that leads that have been nurtured have a 23% shorter sales cycle when compared to leads that have not been nurtured.
  4. Nurtured leads usually make 47% larger purchases than their non-nurtured counterparts according to the Annuitas Group.

 

Ein Mülleimer mit grünem Akzent als Zeichen für Nachhaltigkeit - Digitalagentur SUNZINETMistake 3:
Misaligned marketing communication

Here are the top problems that hinder B2B marketing lead-generation efforts:

Overpromising and Underdelivering

Campaigns that promise more than what the product or service can deliver set unrealistic expectations, leading to customer dissatisfaction and harm to the brand’s reputation. For example, if you are a manufacturing company and are using a webinar for leads, then ensure that you deliver practical insights on trends and innovative processes in this webinar and not only sell your product. This positions your company as a valuable resource and also boosts lead conversion.

Lack of Goal Alignment with the broader business objectives

When the marketing team’s goals are not aligned with the broader business objectives, it leads to a mismatch in strategies and outcomes. This can result in campaigns that look successful on paper but fail to contribute to the company's overall growth.

Not aligning with the sales team

A gap between what is communicated in the marketing materials and what the Sales team sells can lead to a trust deficit among potential clients.


Eine Glühbirne umrandet von einem Zahnrad als Zeichen für neue Ideen - Digitalagentur SUNZINETBest Practice:
Aligning Expectations with Reality

Setting and managing realistic expectations is critical for a successful B2B Lead generation campaign.


Regular Evaluation of Processes and Interactions:

Continuously assessing the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and their alignment with customer expectations helps in making necessary adjustments.
You could use feedback surveys or analyze customer engagement metrics to process customer interactions.

Recognizing your business goals and aligning your campaign accordingly

You can simplify the approach using three key frameworks:

    1. Ansoff-Matrix for Business Objectives:
      Identify if the business aims for market penetration, product development, market expansion, or diversification
    2. Utilize the Value Proposition Canvas:
      Utilizing this framework empowers you to pinpoint your business's value proposition by identifying customer needs, addressing their pain points, and highlighting the benefits. This enables the creation of a targeted campaign that directly addresses the pain points of your target audience
    3. Use the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) Framework

      Objectives: Set clear, descriptive goals that match your overall business plans (that you identified using the Ansoff Matrix)
      Key Results: Create measurable, number-based results that show when you've reached your goals.

Setting up a Sales and Marketing process automation

Here are 4 ideas you can implement to keep your marketing and sales team on the same page:

    1. Shared Calendar Integration: Automate the syncing of marketing and sales team calendars to ensure everyone is aware of upcoming campaigns, events, and deadlines, enabling better coordination.

    2. Lead Notifications: Implement automated lead notification systems that instantly alert the sales team when a marketing-qualified lead is identified, allowing swift follow-up actions.

    3. Lead Scoring Alerts: Set up automated alerts for the sales team when leads reach a specific score, signalling that they are ready for personalized engagement.

    4. Automated Follow-Up Sequences: Set up automated email sequences that trigger based on specific lead interactions, such as opening an email, clicking a link, or visiting key web pages.

Don't communicate past your corporate goals. Align your communication and business strategy.

In a nutshell: 
Strategically generate more B2B leads

In a nutshell, to transform a B2B marketing campaign into a predictable source of leads, opportunities and sales, marketers must:

  • Diversify campaigns: To reach the 5% who are ready to buy, and be in the minds of the other 95%.

  • Fill All Funnel Stages: Ensure leads are continuously nurtured.

  • Maintain a Robust Database: For controlled, economical communication.

  • Ensure Seamless Handover to Sales: Mature leads should be smoothly transitioned to sales teams.

In conclusion, the world of B2B marketing is loaded with unique challenges and opportunities. By acknowledging common mistakes and embracing best practices, you can craft campaigns that not only resonate with your audience but also drive sustainable business growth.

How can we support you with B2B lead generation?

As a full-service lead agency, we have already helped clients such as Lufthansa AirPlus, Appmatics and many others to significantly increase their B2B leads. Feel free to arrange a non-binding consultation with our experts – we'll look at your challenges and discuss possible next steps.

 


Sources:

Cross, L. (2018) The Lead Nurturing Framework Available at: https://www.forrester.com/report/the-lead-nurturing-framework/RES173905 (accessed on 19.4.2024) 

Dawes, J. (2021) Advertising effectiveness and the 95-5 rule: most B2B buyers are not in the market right now Available at: https://marketingscience.info/advertising-effectiveness-and-the-95-5-rule-most-b2b-buyers-are-not-in-the-market-right-now/ (accessed on 22.4.2024)

Madison Logic (2018)15 Must-Know Statistics About the Importance of Lead Nurturing Available at: https://www.madisonlogic.com/blog/15-must-know-statistics-about-the-importance-of-lead-nurturing/ (accessed on 20.4.2024)

Shrivastava, S. (2023) 6 Lead Nurturing Strategies and How to Implement Them Available at: https://www.leadsquared.com/learn/sales/lead-nurturing-strategies/ (accessed on 22.4.2024)