Considering that lead generation is responsible for one of your company's most valuable assets—the customer—lead generation is a cornerstone of your B2B company.
At its core, lead generation is the process of locating and identifying potential customers. Though that may sound simple, the process for generating a lead (particularly a qualified one) can take many avenues and involve an array of marketing and sales efforts.
However, the payoff from an established and formal lead generation process can be great, considering that B2B companies implementing a mature lead generation process generate133% more revenue than companies without a developed process.
However, establishing a mature lead generation process is no small feat. To create an established process that yields that kind of ROI demands contribution and investment from the leadership team and C-suite.
Fully 63% of marketers identify generating leads and traffic as their top challenge, so it's essential that leaders play an active role wherever possible to help establish a lead generation process that works optimally.
Thankfully, there are strategies B2B leaders can apply to effect change and optimize the lead generation process.
Evaluate and Adjust Team Resources
One of the biggest hurdles that most teams face when trying to execute successful lead generation is simply a lack of resources. Fully 61% of marketers say that a lack of staff, funding and time is their greatest obstacle to lead generation.
Time and manpower are the most likely resources that you, as a leader, struggle to find for yourself.
The good news is that there are some effective ways you can help your team minimize these barriers, in turn helping to alleviate some of the demands on the time you may need to spend mitigating issues.
Investing in marketing automation tools is a powerful way to support your marketing team with time-saving efforts.
- A rising number of marketing teams rely on marketing automation tools, with 37% specifically investing in marketing automation to help generate leads.
- Organizations that use marketing automation with prospects have seen up to a 451% increase in qualified leads.
(A wide variety of tools are available out there, but here is a good list to start with, including options that can be tailored to your specific lead generation objectives.)
You and the rest of your team can also help free up the necessary time for lead generation by being more proactive and mindful about the way time is viewed and valued throughout your company.
Creating guidelines and best-practices around how to schedule and conduct meetings can help ensure that team members involved with lead generation aren't devoting time to meetings they may not need to be involved in, or in meetings that aren't effectively using the time allotted.
If there are larger company meetings that your executive team is coordinating, ensure those are also following the same meeting productivity guidelines and standards.
And if your company has the budget and ability, adding new team members or evaluating and adjusting current team members' roles and responsibilities may be necessary.
Even the most robust automation tools may be unable to compete with adding a team member who has more specialized knowledge or the experience to propose innovative solutions.
Bringing in a marketing agency could also be a good short- or long-term solution for assisting with your lead generation process if a more permanent team member isn't an option.
Get Creative and Share With Your Audience
Leaders can also take a hands-on approach to lead generation by getting inventive with your involvement within the company. Your company's audience is more likely to be attracted to your organization and will want to learn more about your core values if they see that company executives are directly involved in the company's marketing and communication.
That doesn't necessarily mean you need to stretch beyond what you're already doing. Leverage the extracurriculars you're already involved in, such as participating in a conference panel, attending an industry event, or just looking for different ways to innovate your company's solution. Take those as opportunities to share what you're experiencing, and apply it to your team's marketing efforts.
Your team can then use an informational interview with you to create the content surrounding your activity or side project. That content might be in the form of a blog post series, video, or whatever content type appeals most to your audience and aligns with your team's marketing strategy.
If you don't have anything that stands out as a great opportunity for spinning into content, your team can sit down with you for an informational interview based on a topic that resonates with your audience and aligns with content marketing objectives. Personal, creative content like that from leaders is a great way to help turn company executives into thought leaders, helping you reach a wider audience to generate more leads.
Another creative way for leaders to contribute to lead generation efforts is to host or participate in meetup events. Having a company executive present at these events will entice participants and provide a more personal touch.
In-person events, once they're again feasible, are a great way for leaders to build more sincere connections with potential and current customers. Though an online presence through social media and content marketing is essential, it's also important for leaders to step outside of technology and interact with their audience in a personal way.
Supporting a More Efficient Lead Generation System
Though your marketing, sales, and customer teams will be the principal executors of your lead generation strategy, involvement from the executive team sets a strong precedent for the mentality and rigor with which your team will approach lead generation efforts.
By engaging your company's lead gen team in proactive efforts to support marketing and sales team efforts, your company will be able to bring in more and better-qualified leads, who can ultimately become lasting and engaged customers for your organization.
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