As we head into the winter months and most of us aren’t out as much, it’s a good time to catch up on some good reading material. B2B lead generation and lead management is a complicated process that can’t be detailed all in one book. If you’ve toured the NuSpark Marketing website, it’s evident that proper funnel optimization and lead management approaches must focus on the specific micro elements of the funnel in order for the entire lead generation process to work seamlessly. It’s easier said than done which is why firms like mine exist, to implement proper lead generation tactics that build revenue. By reading books from the best thought leaders in the country, a tremendous amount of insight, strategies, and tactics can be reviewed, and hopefully implemented in your firm.
Below are a variety of books that I consider the cream of the crop in b2b marketing and lead management. I’ve built my practice utilizing key points made in each book in addition to my own lead generation experiences. I would look forward to discussion on any books you think should be on my “hall of fame” list. Books are listed by funnel category. Click the book images to be hyperlinked to Amazon.
General B2B Marketing & Lead Generation
Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs
Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah
The original book from Hubspot that started the transition from outbound marketing and push advertising to inbound marketing; the process of making prospects find you.
Maximizing Lead Generation: The Complete Guide for B2B Marketers
Ruth P. Stevens
The definitive overview of lead generation strategies and tactics. The book covers the entire buying process including lead capturing, content, offers, lead nurturing, and measurement.
Lead Generation for the Complex Sale: Boost the Quality and Quantity of Leads to Increase Your ROI
One of the first books to discuss the complex buying cycle of B2B and how to align sales and marketing to engage and nurture prospects. A great overview on how to keel leads in the pipeline.
eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale
A great complement to Brian Carroll’s book. Ardath goes deeper into developing buyer personas and matching content to buyers throughout their own buying cycles. It’s probably the first book to marry content marketing with lead management strategy.
Get Content Get Customers: Turn Prospects into Buyers with Content Marketing
Joe Pulizzi, Newt Barrett
The original primer that reviews content marketing best practices and why content delivers leads and nurtures them into customers.
Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business
Ann Handley, C.C Chapman
The practical guide to developing marketing content that people care about, and how to implement that content via social media and demand generation
Internet Marketing: An Hour a Day
An amazing, practical guide to attracting prospects to your website and how to convert them into leads and sales. Matt emphasizes search engine optimization and website usability strategies with the goal to attract quality traffic.
Keyword Intelligence: Keyword Research for Search, Social, and Beyond
A newer book covering researching and planning the right keywords for your website, SEO, paid search, and social media. A great step-by-step guide on keyword strategy.
Outsmarting Google: SEO Secrets to Winning New Business
Evan and Bradley Bailyn
A smart practical guide to implementing search engine optimization. The book is packed with tips and tricks to get your site to its highest position possible. The guide describes proven techniques that reflect comprehensive testing and extraordinary insight into Google’s secret rules.
Advanced Google AdWords
One of the best overviews of planning, implementing, and optimizing paid search and display campaigns using Google Adwords. Makes complicated processes easy to understand.
A Strategic Guide to Lead Generation using Pay-Per-Click Search Marketing
Ok fine; I included my own ebook on paid search, as I cover search marketing for lead generation, rather than other books that discuss e-commerce approaches. Packed with useful strategies and tactics, the book will show you my approach to increasing conversions, building revenue and increasing ROI utilizing this important channel.
There aren’t any newer media planning or digital media books anymore worthy of my hall-of-fame, so I’ll showcase two from the old days!
Advertising Media Planning, Seventh Edition
Jack Sissors, Roger Baron
The original and best book on practical media planning and buying concepts and how to choose, purchase, and analyze all forms of media. Updated to include online.
Advertising on the Internet, 2nd Edition
Robbin Zeff, Brad Aronson
Published in 1999; still my favorite book on display advertising- choosing mediums, research, targeting strategies, tools, and measurement. Many concepts still exist today.
I know; I know- we all have our favorites. Here are 4 that nicely cover B2B social media and social media for the enterprise.
The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
David Meerman Scott
Still the one-of-a-kind, pioneering guide, offering a step-by-step action plan for harnessing the power of the Internet to communicate with buyers directly, raise online visibility, and increase sales.
No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing
Jason Falls, Erik Dekkers
The title says it all. Rather than go through philosophy and theory; the book is a practical no-nonsense approach to use social media to drive leads and sales.
Social Marketing to the Business Customer: Listen to Your B2B Market, Generate Major Account Leads, and Build Client Relationships
Paul Gillen, Eric Scwartzman
One of the best books on B2B social media. The book covers how to implement social media into your business, how to utilize social media in the buying funnel, and how to create relationships that lead to sales.
The Executive’s Guide to Enterprise Social Media Strategy: How Social Networks Are Radically Transforming Your Business
Mike Barlow, David B. Thomas
This is a thorough overview on developing and executing successful social media strategies supporting collaboration, teamwork and communication in modern corporations and the enterprise.
Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions
The first and one of the best guides on the science of turning visitors into leads through practical landing page optimization techniques. The books is packed with case studies, practical strategies, a detailed review of the Google Website Optimizer tool
Conversion Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting Prospects to Customers
Khalid Saleh, Ayat Shulairy
A great practical guide on driving conversions. The book covers design, usability, and analytics on your site to increase your buyer-to-visitor ratio, whether you’re involved with marketing or designing a large ecommerce site, or managing a modest online operation.
Think Outside the Inbox: The B2B Marketing Automation Guide
David Cummings, Adam Blitzer
A solid overview of marketing automation principles and best practices that drive revenue growth. From the folks at Pardot.
Digital Body Language
From the cofounder of Eloqua, the largest marketing automation platform for the enterprise, Woods discusses the complex B2B lead-to-sales process, demand generation strategy, and of course the lead nurturing process.
The Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing
From the cofounder of Marketo, the fastest rising marketing automation platform, comes this ultimate guide and workbook on how to implement lead nurturing strategy and content that shortens sales cycles.
Demand Generation and Lead Process
Balancing the Demand Equation
Probably the newest book in my hall-of-fame, but worthy. Adam smartly uses industry data and buyer 2.0 trends to explain the proper design of a demand generation engine including how marketing and sales need to align themselves to make the engine work.
The Truth About Leads
Leads are our lifeblood. Dan from PointClear gives B2B firms practical advice on how sales and marketing aligned can drive revenue and manage the lead generation process. Dan gives interesting insights on lead quality and sales team management.
Web Analytics and ROI Measurement
Marketing ROI: The Path to Campaign, Customer, and Corporate Profitability
ROI is today’s key business tool for measuring how effectively money was spent–yet few marketing managers receive any ROI training at all. This classic show marketing executives at every level how to use ROI to support their strategic decision making.
Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity
From Google’s greatest analytics thought leader, Avinash neatly explains how to take all of that analytics data and transform it into actionable outcomes and insights that will lead to improved website optimization.
Well that’s it; my top 25. As marketing and sales professionals, we always need to keep educating ourselves and learning new approaches that contribute to quality lead generation, demand generation, and funnel optimization strategies that contribute to increased sales closes and revenue. My suggestion; get away from the computer for awhile and read a book, then take what you learn and apply to your own business.