If you’ve ever tried B2B lead generation, you know how tough it could get. The B2B sales process is not straightforward and involves several key decision-makers. Hence building a B2B lead generation funnel requires you to follow a structured approach addressing needs every step of the way.
That’s what we are discussing in the blog post.
If you’re ready to find the right steps to create a B2B lead generation funnel, let’s get right to it.
1) Talk to your Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service
Your B2B lead generation process consists of several elements, and the most important ones are the sales, marketing, and customer service, team.
Talking to the respective teams will give you a clearer idea of what your general process looks like, the possible loopholes, and how all teams can work synergetically.
KPI’s, benchmarks, monthly and quarterly sales reports, annual goals for sales are all decided after talking to the respective team leaders.
2) Integrate CRM with Automation
B2B lead funnels have longer sales cycles, and hence you need a funnel to be more efficient. As a part of your alignment process, you need to get a general agreement on what tools you’ll be using to capture and manage leads. The tools you choose should be easy to integrate with your current system.
Employ automation to get your leads automatically updated in the CRM. This way your sales reps do not miss any important leads. Marketing automation can also help you set up emails, list segmentation, lead scoring, and lead management workflows.
3) Lead Generation
Capture qualified leads with good advertising campaigns and quality content.
There are various ways through which you can launch lead generation campaigns. Right from social media campaigns to google search ads, different platforms can be used depending on your need.
Based on what industry you fall into, and your product, you can choose a platform to capture leads.
4) A Plan to Capture the Right Lead Information
Marketing works with the sales team to determine the right criteria to segment leads. Based on who your ideal persona is, you need to gather the right information around your customers.
This information will help you segment the audience in the right categories and help your sales reps pinpoint the problem while talking to the customer. Identifying relevant pages and events, if triggered, can help you profile your ideal persona.
5) Lead Segmentation
Set up automation and events workflows to categorize leads and segment them into MQL or SQL. A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a prospect who isn’t ready to buy your product. they need to be further nurtured with content to get them sales-ready. A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is ready to talk to your sales representative and shouldn’t be bothered with additional informational content.
The segmented list also helps you plan your future ad campaigns and retargeting campaigns.
6) Lead Scoring
Set up lead scoring criteria to move leads into the various stages of your B2B sales funnel. Using automation workflows, you can move the prospect into your CRM when certain actions are triggered. Leads accumulate points based on their actions and behavior and after a threshold, you score an MQL into a SQL and your Sales Rep can contact the prospect to make sales.
Also, apply negative scoring for behaviors that designates the prospect as a poor fit.
7) Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is the most critical part of the B2B lead generation funnel. Since B2B products have a longer sales cycle, you won’t have customers buying your product in one go. Lead nurturing is how you get them to travel through the sales funnel, addressing issues they have in each stage of the funnel.
Apply lead scoring criteria as they consume your lead nurturing content and move them into different buying stages.
8) Assign Leads to the Sales Team
Automatically move leads to the sales CRM and using automation workflows and assign each lead to an appropriate sales rep. Based on the problem, you can assign different events in your automation workflows, triggering which will take the prospect to a certain sales rep. You can also segment prospects based on territory or a geographical location.
9) Closing the Leads
From #Step1 your sales reps must understand how your B2B lead generation funnel has been designed. The strategy will help you formulate a plan for engaging with the prospects and closing the deal. A system must be designed to let a sales rep update every communication that happens with the customer to make sure that everything is going with a proper flow. Sales also need to set up automatic reminders for following up with their customers. The marketing team must also be kept in the loop so they can create and update content based on customer queries.
10) Funnel Analytics
You can never improve your B2B lead generation funnel if you don’t analyze your performance. You need to set up analytics at each step to know where you are losing maximum prospects and then take measures to fix that step. Each team must know how to generate high-quality reports which allow higher management to assess performance and allocate resources.
B2B companies that pay attention to each of these steps create successful B2B lead generation funnels with high conversion rates. The process isn’t simple and takes trial and error to get it right.
Many companies implement these steps in bits and pieces and end up getting sub-standard results. Building a Killer lead generation funnel leads to sustainable growth and profitability.