5 Ways To Generate B-to-B Leads And Build Your Brand
The balance between branding and lead generation is as old as the battle between sales and marketing. Sales wants you to fill the pipeline today, especially in tough economic times, because that's how they're rewarded. Marketers take a longer-term view and see that building the brand as an essential element of sales, especially for B-to-B products and services that take a long time to sell and requires a great deal of nurturing.
The reality is that the two viewpoints are not mutually exclusive. The following are some ways sales and marketing can work together to generate leads and build the brand as part of the same effort:
1. Increase Your "Findability"
According to Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, authors of Inbound Marketing, pushing information out to customers and prospects is not nearly as effective as it once was. Instead, you have to make sure they can find you when they're looking. That's why you must establish a 24/7 online presence through directories, specialized search engines and industry websites.
Prospects with clearly defined needs search for solutions whenever and wherever they deem convenient for them—not you. Invest in making it easy for potential customers to find you and understand your value. That's how you brand your company and generate leads at the same time. It's a marketing mix that translates your best leads into your best customers.
2. Focus on the Right Fish
Salespeople may say it wants they fill the pipeline, but what they often fail to add is "with quality leads." When marketing gets the call to produce leads rapidly, B2B marketers often blindly cast as wide a net as possible in the hopes something good will come in. Unfortunately, while that may pull in a volume of leads, most are an unqualified waste of the salespeople's time that drive a wedge between sales and marketing. Before long, the perceived value of the lead-generation campaign plummets in the hopeful eyes of management and the sales team.