The A-Z Guide to B2B Lead Generation

I thought I’d have fun with this post and attempt to explain key principles of lead generation and inbound marketing in an A-Z glossary format.  Feel free to challenge me with your own list or a replacement term for one of the letters.    Here we go:

 

A-    Analytics.  All activity of the lead generation process needs to be measured via a robust analytics program.  Specific dashboards exist to manage each step of the funnel; from prospect attraction to conversion to lead close.  By optimizing website and landing page traffic; conversion lifts will increase.

B-    Buyer Personas.  Its one thing to know the demographics of your target audience; but it’s another thing to understand what makes your prospects make business decisions to purchase; the pain points; business needs; drivers; purchase cycles.  Without this information, you can’t possibly target your audience’s needs properly with the right content that satisfies those needs.

C-    Conversion Architecture.  Driving clicks to your websites and landing pages do not persuade visitors to become leads unless the right elements are in place to optimize conversions.  Design, content, layout, trust factors, and web form design all contribute to the positive or negative lift.  Don’t take conversion strategy lightly.

D-    Demand Generation.  These are all those activities that together drive interest and engagement in your firm’s products or services.  Advertising, public relations, direct marketing, webinars, trade shows, and social media all work together to attract audiences to your solutions.  What’s your plan? 

E-    Email Marketing.  Email is a critical element of marketing, providing an opportunity to promote follow-up content to prospects.  A subject line, content, design, and offers all need to be continually tested for optimization.  Your email platform needs to be robust enough to manage audience segments and provide analytic tools to monitor your tests.

F-    Funnel Optimization.  Where marketing and sales need to work together as leads proceed through the funnel.  Nurturing content, social media, and sales/follow-up approaches all need to work in sync to ensure leads do not leak out of the funnel.  Marketing Automation is a platform that is key to funnel optimization and marketing/sales alignment.

G-   Google.  What else can G be?  Marketing on the search engine, optimizing for rankings, and participation on Google+.  Whether it be the noun or the verb Google; managing the search engine and its properties are essential for lead generation.  

H-   Headline.  Took me awhile to think of this one; but whether it is your website, landing page, blog post, or content, the headline of the message is what drives prospects to read further and engage with your solution.  Of course, SEO and keywords within the headline are important considerations as well.

I-    Inbound Marketing.   Inbound marketing is the combination of marketing tactics that draw traffic to your digital destination when prospects search for your solutions.  So pay-per-click, social media, and SEO are the key strategies for inbound marketing and when optimized, will benefit you in the long-run, and keep prospects away from your competitors.

J-   Jump Page.  Commonly known as landing pages or microsites, jump pages are unique web pages designed to complement an advertising or paid search campaign to promote an offer, survey, or promotion for lead capture.  When these pages aren’t optimized to its fullest, bounce rates increase, and conversions decrease.

K-   KISS.  Keep It Simple Stupid.  When it comes to content marketing and website copy, don’t get too complicated with technical jargon and long content.  Prospects are busy, and they need to be convinced in the benefits of your solutions in less than 10 seconds, or goodbye prospect.

L-    Lead Nurturing.  Nurturing is the concept of communication to prospects that are not ready to buy, with relevant and interesting content, with the goal to shorten their buying cycles because of the solutions you are reminding them of. Lead nurturing content must be dynamically sent to prospects wherever they are in the buying process, from educational messages to validation messages.

M-   Marketing Automation.  This growing platform is the essential ingredient in managing the funnel optimization process, by combining demand generation tools and landing pages, with form development, lead scoring, lead nurturing, analytics, and CRM integration.  If you’re serious about revenue growth and campaign management, a marketing automation tool is essential.

N-   NuSpark Marketing.  Alright-a plug for my lead management firm. (o:

O-   Optimization.  Search engine optimization as you know is the process of writing and structuring your website with keywords so that Google indexes your site and makes a determination on page rank.  By continuing to optimize (back links, fresh content) high quality prospects looking for solutions will come to you and not your competition.

P-   Paid Search.  Paid search is the most compelling and quickest method to generate leads via search engines.  The right keywords, ads, landing pages, and bids all contribute to a successful campaign, but always be testing.  Our paid search for lead generation ebook is available for download and explains in great detail how to run successful campaigns.

Q-   Qualification.  Prospects that download content or register for webinars are not “leads” yet, but are just names.  A sound qualification process via lead scoring or other means will save sales time and effort, because marketing is only sending sales those leads that reach a certain criteria under BANT guidelines (budget, authority, need, timeframe) or website/email content behavior.

R-    A tie: Revenue and ROI.  That’s what this is all about; optimizing the entire lead generation and funnel activity processes to increase revenue and improve marketing ROI. By avoiding optimizing some of the tactics suggested in this post, your revenue growth will suffer.

S-    Social Media.  If you know your audience uses social media for buying research, then you need to be here in some fashion.  That doesn’t mean every channel, but focus your time on those channels where you’re comfortable your audience spends their time as well.  Before you get started, or if you are already using this group of channels, have a magnetic content strategy, participate in discussions, learn the tools, keyword your profiles, listen to your brand, and have a measurement strategy that includes business KPIs. (Hey, that’s another K)

T-     Telephone.  Looking for a creative way to touch base on mobile and tablet marketing, so the word is Telephone!  Many business audiences when they travel use their smartphones and tablets for email and research; so your websites and emails need to be optimized for all platforms, devices, and operating systems.  Location-based marketing platforms are growing.  Avoid it, and get left behind.  (Testing is another T word that’s just as important; always be testing to optimize your lead generation performance).

U-    Usability.  The user experience of a website or landing page is just as mission critical as the content.  Ease of navigation; logical navigation, and an optimal path from home page to call-to-action contributes greatly to conversion lift.  Such conversion tactics as live chat and short web forms enhance lift; and that means more sales opportunities.

V-    Variety of Content. Content comes in a variety of formats; white papers, articles, case studies, webinars, podcasts, videos, ebooks, blog posts, Slideshare presentations, etc. You want to make sure your content is relevant to the target buyer personas, but also prepared in the formats your audiences most prefer.  Content can be repurposed across channel as well.  Have a content strategy in place, mapping the content to your audiences; and have a lead generation AND a lead nurturing content calendar. Bottom line, engaging content with relevant keywords in your buyers language is what drives leads and conversions.

W-  Website.  The website is the most important first impression a prospect will engage with and determine whether a call to sales is worthwhile.  Good websites combine relevant keyword-friendly content, smart-clean design, and proper usability and conversion architectures that guide that prospect into your website and persuade that prospect that you are indeed the solution that satisfies his business needs.   If your bounce rates are high (over 40%) and your site engagement is low (pages per visit, time on site), we have a problem and we need to optimize.

X-    Exercise.  (Best I can do).  You think well when you have consistent exercise; and you’ll feel better too.  When your mind and body is refreshed, you can do your best thinking, and that means continually having the energy to be creative AND analytical when optimizing your marketing/sales funnel and managing all the tasks involved with proper lead generation activity.  Don’t work all day; take some time for good health- physical and mental.

Y-    Yes.  This one is about having a positive attitude when designing a lead management system.  Whether you’re limited by time, resources, effort, or management buy-in on your solutions, stay positive, and continue to problem-solve.  There are many tools, platforms, and people ready to step in to help if need be.  Stay focused; praise your co-workers, and continue to work as a team. Positive results will occur. Think “Yes.”

Z-    ZZZZZZZ.  As a follow-up to exercising and also managing your time and priorities in a busy day, also get good rest.  A good night’s sleep refreshes your mind, sharpens your thinking. and gets you ready for the next day; ready for more lead management optimization efforts. 

 

As you just read, there are many elements to developing a proper funnel optimization and lead generation system.  I would love to hear more about what suggestions you have, as alternatives to mine.  I need a good “N” for example.  Otherwise, thanks for reading!

About Paul Mosenson

NuSpark Marketing Founder, Chief Lead Generation Strategist and Online Media Director An experienced B2B and B2C marketer, Paul has been helping clients generate leads and grow their businesses for over 25 years. Paul helps plan and optimize marketing and lead generation programs.

2 Comments

  1. Bruce Kirby

    Great blog, I am sure that you’ll get a lot of hits. I would add public relations activities like public speaking, events. press releases, article placement etc…but you’ve covered the essentials.