Lead Generation for B2BStatistics tell us that approximately 83 percent of all B2B buyers find the companies that they end up purchasing online; 14 percent find their suppliers offline, and three percent are unsure or do not remember. What this means for your business is that digital marketing is a powerful tool for generating B2B leads—and indeed, lead generation for B2B sales often starts with a strong online presence and a clear content marketing strategy. Below are a few strategies and pointers for businesses seeking to improve their lead generation for B2B sales.

Adding Value Through Content Marketing

Perhaps the most important B2B lead generation strategy is to remember that the best way to earn the trust—and, ultimately, the business—of another company is to communicate the value that you have to offer them. A great way to do this is to actually give them some immediate value, before they ever spend any money with you. Giving away free information and content builds trust, it establishes the expertise of your company, and it can provide a great lead capturing opportunity, to boot.

What kinds of free content should your business give away? Something like a company blog or Facebook page, filled with helpful and informational content (as opposed to endless self-promotion), can be useful, though this can also make it a bit harder for you to capture the lead and engage in direct follow-up.

In addition to these methods of lead generation for B2B buyers, then, you might also think about giving away white papers, case studies, tutorials, and how-to guides. This kind of content simply never gets old. As you give it away, though, make sure you’re requiring your leads to input some contact information, and that you’re following up with them as promptly as possible!

What to Do With Your Leads

Lead generation for B2B buyers is not just about content marketing and lead capturing, of course. Once you’ve got some leads coming in, you need to know what to do with them. One thing that no company should neglect is lead scoring—which essentially means evaluating the potential value that a customer or client offers to your business. This leads to significantly improves efficiency with your sales endeavors, as sales representatives can focus their attention on qualified leads, not unqualified or low-value ones.

And speaking of the sales team, it is important to maintain open lines of communication between your sales and marketing divisions. Make sure that your marketing team is offering some insights to your sales division, letting them know which leads are at the top, the middle, and the bottom of the sales funnel—and encouraging them to tailor their offers and their engagement accordingly.

Have a Closed Loop

Ultimately, the relationship between your sales team and your marketing team should be a closed loop. Here’s what that means: If a sales representative is pursuing a lead and it becomes clear that the lead is simply not yet ready to buy—and if the sales representative feels as though that lead may wish to buy at a later date—it’s crucial to pass the lead back to the marketing team. Don’t simply throw away a warm lead, or let the prospect slip through your fingers. Instead, return to the content marketing and lead follow-up processes, keeping in touch with the lead and sending regular information and educational updates that will help prime the pump for a sale.

All of this—communication between marketing and sales, and the closed-loop approach to warm leads—can be efficiently achieved through the use of marketing automation software. Using an automated program ensures that no lead ever leaves your system, and that the marketing and sales divisions are on the same page about where, in the sales funnel, a particular lead is at any given moment. For businesses seeking to improve lead generation for B2B sales, automation is paramount.

The bottom line for businesses is that attracting the attention of other, corporate buyers is essential, and can be done through savvy content marketing—but that’s just the beginning of the process. Scoring and following up with your prospects are every bit as essential to your lead generation for B2B endeavors.

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Photo by: World Economic Forum