accelerate your b2b lead generationThis past weekend was a busy one for me. A wedding in the family is enough to fluster even the most organized individuals, and I am no exception. That’s just the way it is—you can plan all you want, you can think through every step of the wedding celebration, you can talk to the bride and groom and their families and get everyone’s heads pooled in; and yet, you never really can be sure until the final moment arrives. You have no choice but to rely on the wisdom of many experienced heads and the skills of “been there, done that”. As the celebration unfolds you start to ease up and also hold your breath every now and then until finally, when it’s all done, you want to sit back, put your feet up and wish that “happily ever after” will become a reality for the newlyweds.

This last part, the “happily ever after” is really in the hands of the two people married to each other. And yet, the circumstances leading up to their coming together and ultimately tying the knot have a significant role to play in how the future pans out. In order to ensure that the stage is set for a long and happy marriage, expert wedding planners have tried and tested checklists, jump start kits, cheat sheets and crisis management tips.

In our world of B2B demand generation, there are many similarities to this above scenario. The key to effective demand generation lies in:

  • staying focused on the right processes
  • adoption of best practices
  • uniting sales and marketing
  • testing tactics, measuring results and refining strategies

By ensuring all of the above, we can better position our B2B demand generation activities to deliver return on investment, a.k.a., quality leads.

What Are Some Best Practices That Can Jumpstart Your Demand Generation Process?

  1. Stay high on the relevancy quotient: Be where your prospects are rather than all over the place. Identify the top few channels your ideal prospects are on and focus on those. Yes, content is king, but whether it is a social media platform, an email campaign, your website content or any other form of communication, you have to ensure it is highly relevant to your prospective buyers. AND it must give them insights beyond what they already know (or think they know).
  2. Get your sales and marketing heads talking to each other: Don’t let good leads get tossed over the wall from marketing to sales without proper coordination and follow through. Break down those silos and you will see immediate benefits of sales and marketing working together. Champion teams deliver big winnings!
  3. Recognize the difference between “important” and “urgent”: Demand generation is a multi-dimensional activity; and it is often overwhelming. As marketers, we are prone to getting carried away doing what is urgent rather than what is important. For example, getting an email blast out before an upcoming webinar is urgent, but it is important to clean your leads database too. Which task should you do first? No-brainer, right? But think about how often we lose sight of this common sense approach.
  4. Take a calculated risk: Prepare for failure. Know that not every tactic will work as it should. Timing is important; being in the right place at the right time is important, and you may not always be successful. But as the head of an organization, or as the C-suite in a B2B company, you have to be able to seize the day—carpe diem, as they say—when an innovative lead generation idea is doing its rounds. Tapping fingers on the boardroom table, that frustrating “analysis-paralysis” will get you nowhere. And if you have a sound back up plan, a plan B, you can withstand some tremors and shakes. So go ahead, try something new if your gut tells you it just might work. But test it small.
  5. Social media takes time, but paid networks can deliver some early and quick wins: Social media for B2B is a long journey that takes dedication and patience. While you wait for organic growth to come about, don’t forget you can give your social strategy a shot in the arm with some paid advertising. This is perfect for when you want to test a channel, do a quick dip-stick of what may work and what won’t in the long term. With A/B testing or multivariate testing you can stop guessing and instead, take a measured approach to social media marketing.

I have often been asked if there are any cheat sheets, short cuts or magic formulae for B2B demand generation. I maintain what I have said all along: the only magic formula is common sense and the expertise of experienced hands. The blending of traditional marketing strategies that have stood the test of time with new, digital marketing best practices is what is required for effective B2B demand generation. I have found some resources, however, that I think are worth sharing and I hope you find them useful:

What are some B2B demand generation activities that have delivered quick wins for your organization? Please comment below. Plus, if you are interested in accelerating your demand generation, be sure to download a free copy of The ALEA Demand Generation Playbook by following this link.

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