Lead generation for B2B and professional services Firms

Friday, August 02, 2013

B2B and Professional Services lead generation strategy - For most B2B and professional services firms generating a constant flow of good quality leads is difficult. Whilst you might be very effective at writing proposals that win business, many firms remain painfully aware that there is probably a more effective way of generating new business leads in the first place.

Couple online with offline lead generation strategies

Often professional services and B2B firms often feel more comfortable with either online or offline lead generation techniques but rarely use both to their fullest potential. Some people are very sociable, persuasive and thrive on the face-to-face meeting and relationship building whilst others prefer to generate inbound leads before making an initial contact. However, if you wish your business to grow faster than your competition, it is likely that both online and offline will have an important role to play.

The use of digital marketing coupled with traditional marketing methods can prove to be a powerful combination. Your online inbound marketing strategy could include SEO, PPC, writing blogs, developing content and the use of social media, all supported by a hardworking website. Your objective should be to generate good quality inbound leads by prospects finding you. Your offline strategy could include networking, attending well-targeted seminars, exhibitions and trade show - all of which can still yield valuable leads.

Be clear about your target market

Don’t try and be everything to everyone – the role of the local generalist is diminishing in today’s online world. Specialise on some clearly defined, profitable market niches and focus on growing your business in these areas.

Plan your lead generation strategy

Think about your target market, where would they look when starting to research the market, what problems are they trying to solve and what information they would find useful. Based on this information, you will be able to ensure you are found when prospects are investigating the market whether it is via a blog or at a trade show.

Determine an acceptable cost of acquisition

For your business, decide what is the acceptable cost per lead and cost of acquisition – if your lifetime value of a client is say £50,000 over a 10 year period, it still might make good business sense to spend over £1,000 to acquire this client.

Monitor the cost of winning new business

Don’t forget to measure your results.  Useful KPIs are often the relative cost per lead, the cost per new business appointment and the cost per new client for each activity. Test different approaches to find those that are most effective in generating the right number of leads that convert to good quality business.

You’ve got the leads, now what?

Before you embark on your lead generation plan, do make sure you have a clear idea about how you are going to nurture these leads through the sales funnel. For some useful tips on lead nurturing, read my next blog.

Useful Resources

Hinge Marketing

The online lead generation guide for Professional Services Firms

http://www.hingemarketing.com/library/article/online_lead_generation_guide#

Hubspot

The definitive blueprint to lead generation strategies

http://www.hubspot.com/lead-generation-marketing-hub

MarketingSherpa

Lead generation: 5 steps for managing the cost and quality of leads

http://sherpablog.marketingsherpa.com/b2b-marketing/lead-gen/high-quality-lead-cost/