As a B2B business owner, keeping your finger on the pulse of all aspects of your tech company is crucial. Naturally, you work closely with your sales and marketing teams and their line managers.
Generating leads is the bread-and-butter of your business. B2B lead generation is the essential first step in cultivating consumer interest in your tech product or service in a new market or vertical.
There is no blanket-coverage one-size-fits-all approach that works. Pipeline bloat should be avoided at all costs — you want to fill it only with sales qualified leads (SQLs) — and this can be a challenge for any business, whether a startup or a tech business scaling into new territory. And you need to adopt the smartest method of achieving that. If you can successfully crack that and satisfy the constraints of time and budget, then you’re winning.
But, which method of lead generation to get there is best? Peel it back. Lead generation starts with marketing. After all, it’s your international sales representatives who will eventually close the leads, so it makes sense that all your ducks are in a row and sales and marketing departments aligned when addressing lead generation. Demand generation vs B2B lead generation? Bring it on.
Marketing in itself is always evolving, and what worked for you yesterday may be quickly outdated. Don’t get left behind, while there’s the good chance that your competitors are ahead of the curve, as per this ultimate list of marketing statistics for 2022 from Hubspot. Keep relevant, keep focused, and keep on top of the latest marketing trends. Measure and improve all areas of your marketing strategy, including:
Use them well, and use them together. One feeds the other.
“Content is fire, social media is gasoline.” –- Jay Baer.
Carefully curated plans and scrutinized metrics ultimately assist in making for better return on investment (ROI) figures and will keep you firmly in the loop at regular sales and marketing meetings. Reflection, planning and metrics are the three repeatable commandments to keep moving things down the sales funnel.
As our founder and CEO Rick Pizzoli says: ``If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
During those Zoom calls and in-person team meetings you will doubtless and often hear the terms ‘demand generation’ and ‘B2B lead generation’ bandied about. But, despite hearing references to them both in relation to marketing, they are not interchangable.
Let’s look at both, the differences between demand generation versus B2B lead generation, the definition of each, and how each may benefit your business.
So, you have developed a new tech product or service. In order for it to be successful, there has to be a genuine need for that shiny new thing. Marketing campaigns create that interest and need, and this is essentially demand generation.
Demand generation is about the product, what solution it will potentially offer, and why a buyer needs it. It builds an audience who are likely to buy your product or service.
There are five tiers of demand generation:
Each tier leads to the next and the last one loops back to the first. Successfully deployed, demand generation brings attention to your tech offering, builds awareness of it and creates that infinite marketing loop. Not just happy customers, but returning customers. Happy regular customers talk, and act as your new brand ambassadors.
Rather than the marketing campaigns launched to create interest in a product or service used by demand generation, B2B lead generation is generally defined by campaigns that collect data. This information is all about potential buyers, and can be used to turn them into leads.
B2B lead generation is about the buyer, and it can be seen as a subset of demand generation. It can take the audience you built in demand generation, and turn them into buyers.
You must create the demand, before you hone the lead. So, while demand generation and B2B lead generation may not be interchangeable, they must be worked together for a successful campaign.
Mostly, we can all agree that cold-calling is pretty much dead in the water. A combination of demand generation and B2B lead generation done well will work together to create a seamless lead generation strategy that stands up on its own. Qualified B2B lead generation means your team is not wasting time, and you don’t have time to waste.
Thorough demand generation research, real and countable data and metrics-based B2B lead generation is where it’s at, backed up by compelling fresh content and user-friendly websites/landing pages that really grab the potential buyer, and convert them into customers quickly.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’re all hungry for human contact too. If you must contact a potential buyer by any other means than face-to-face— and we are looking at more and more hybrid working for both lead generation — and for sales — this year, and going forward — then use video calls, keep your camera on, have good lighting and make a great impression. Keep it personal. Listen, Suggest. Be advisory and be someone they can trust.
Multichannel, multicultural lead generation
Multichannel approaches too. Our CRO Gavin Page reminds us that “We need lead generators to educate the market as to why they should be talking to us, and that requires a multichannel approach…You must tailor it to all audiences, local and varying vertical audiences.”
What if you’re scaling up into new territory? Can you be assured that your written and video marketing content is indeed ‘suitable for all audiences’? Ensure that you are both compliant and culturally aware — as well as the more obvious possible barrier of linguistics — in your new business location, or indeed anywhere in the world. If required, using the services of a third party such as an outsourced sales agency will flatten any hurdles you might otherwise trip over, such as local employment, privacy or data laws — or simply knowing how to do business in a foreign country, and communicate the right message to the right culture.