Stop Looking for that Form Fill, and Start Doing Something About It
By: Anna Wagenhauser
I recently came across an article titled “Why B2B Lead Generation Is Dying a Slow Death,” and I must admit that the title made me a little nervous.
B2B lead generation has been preached to marketers for the past decade as the solution to generate new clients, build brand awareness, and boost revenue. If B2B form fills are slowly declining, then what will companies do to generate growth?
If you look back into marketing strategies of the past, you’ll see that the decline of direct mail in the 2000-teens, fax, and email marketing are no different than the decline of B2B lead generation. Each era of marketing support had its place, but in the end, these types of marketing never paint the full picture of what it takes to grow your business.
Luckily, we understand what goes into creating sustainable long-term business growth: a process solution to building relationships, profiling buying systems, and pinpointing your high-value targets that come from proactive business growth practices.
Business Development & High-Value Targeting
If your business growth efforts rely solely on inbound form fills, hoping that the right person will swing by, you are missing out on the many opportunities for growth (and brand awareness) that come from business development and prospecting High-Value Targets (HVTs). The value of picking up the phone and speaking to someone in person often opens the door to building real relationships with your target prospects. While the stereotypical online lead generation practices can prove fruitful, they alone do not solve the businesses’ largest challenge: strategic growth. Lead generation can be useful for generating interest from prospects you don’t know, but it cannot replace researching your HVTs, picking up the phone, and understanding your prospect’s pain points in the market.
Relationship Development & Management
How frequently does your sales team connect with your target prospects, and how do you develop and maintain those relationships? The key to successful relationship development and management with your prospects is frequency, knowledge management, and personalization. Sending a hand-written card, for example, is a thoughtful and personal way to let your prospects know you truly care about them and their business. Relationship development is imperative for nurturing the prospects who come in through your lead generation platforms and form fills as well, since the B2B lead is only worth as much as the time your team takes to build the connection and close the sale.
Profiling Buying Systems
Every organization is composed of a few key players who have input or control over purchasing decisions. These organizations also have their own ways of operating that may impact the frequency and types of communication that will best result in a sale.
But how do you determine who to contact, when, what kind of decision-maker they are, and their level of interest in your product or service?
The answer lies in profiling buying systems: organizing leads by the type of account, the type of buyer, and their interest in your product or service. By profiling buying systems, your sales team can reach out to your HVTs knowing who they are, what they care about, and how your product or service can benefit them.
It’s a fact that as time goes on it will become harder for companies to differentiate themselves in the market. The only way to truly build a competitive advantage within your industry is to be the best at Full-Service business growth. That’s why COACT maintains a passion for identifying strategic target lists, profiling those lists, and building relationships with decision-makers – so that while others are still chasing a form fill, you will be generating real business growth.
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