Whenever you’re looking for potential customers for your products or services, you want to target businesses that are experiencing an issue for which you have the answer. The strategies you employ for locating and contacting such businesses will influence whether or not your business-to-business lead generating efforts are a success.
Create lists of your existing customers that are ranked in three categories: first, second, and third.
Gross revenue is the amount of money earned. Placing the largest corporations at the top of the list and the smallest corporations at the bottom is a good strategy.
Profitability is important. List the items in order of most profitable to least profitable. Please keep in mind that the most lucrative businesses are not necessarily the ones with the highest gross revenue levels.
The right fit. Which firms are the greatest matches for the products and services you offer? Comparatively to the other two rankings, this one is more subjective. It identifies the firms you are familiar with, those whose business you understand, those who are enjoyable to deal with, those whose business you understand the best, and those with whom you have, or might have a productive working arrangement. Make a list of these firms and arrange them in descending order from the best fit.
Your ideal clients are those that appear at the top of all three lists or are very close to the top of each list. Consider the following questions as you go through your existing client base:
What businesses do they operate in?
Do they operate as small, medium, or large enterprises?
Where exactly do they stand in terms of geography?
What is the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code for their organization?
What are the titles or job duties of the people who make decisions in their organization?
This information can assist you in narrowing down your search for similar organizations and decision-makers to target with your business-to-business marketing efforts. Determine what makes these leads stand out from the crowd so that you can locate additional leads like them. Whichever industry the prospect client operates in, be it e-commerce, retail, real estate, leads are out there.
In addition to reviewing your present client base, examine your company’s internal knowledge and qualifications to decide which prospects are most likely to be interested in your solutions. If your firm is a start-up with no established clients, you may draw on your own previous experience as well as the experience of your employees. Consider the kind of businesses with which you and your team have had success in your past positions.
It’s also a good idea to educate yourself on a vertical market (i.e., a specific sector such as residential or commercial building, banking, distribution, or the retail clothes company), and incorporate the issues and keywords of that area into your marketing-for-leads materials. This will provide the impression that you understand the market and its requirements. Preparation is essential for answering questions such as “Can you tell me about any other clients you’ve served in my industry?” It’s almost certain that it will come up.
If you do not feel that you will be able to sell successfully into vertical markets, consider selling into horizontal markets. These are marketplaces that transcend the boundaries of certain industries. Consider the following scenario: If your ultimate objective is to sell to the residential or commercial construction sector, you may want to start by targeting small- to medium-sized enterprises that are in need of material handling equipment.
Another way of looking at the marketplace is from a geographical standpoint. Then you would concentrate your efforts on firms located inside a specific geographic area, such as a city, state, region, or nation.
You cannot be everything to everyone, despite the fact that your solution may theoretically assist every firm in every industry. You cannot be everything to everyone. The firms with whom you are most likely to have the most success, as well as the individuals inside those companies who are in the greatest position to propose or purchase your products or services, must be prioritized in your selection process.
The next stage in determining your target market’s exposure to various media is to discover which media the target audience is exposed to. For example, what trade publications do they subscribe to? National periodicals, regional magazines, and regional versions of national media are examples of what is meant by this.
Consider the following as well:
Websites that your target contacts go to obtain professional information are good examples.
Professional organizations to which they are affiliated.
They participate in conferences and trade events.
Newsletters to which they have subscribed (if any).
The prospective sources of a mailing list, Web site, conference, or publication that would be acceptable for reaching your target contacts may be found in each of these categories, as well. You are now prepared to design strategies for generating leads through the use of these targeted resources.
Marketing vehicles are accessible to you in a variety of formats, ranging from newspaper advertising to have your organization’s logo shown on the Goodyear blimp. Some marketing approaches, however, have shown to be more effective than others when it comes to business-to-business marketing, and some of them are included below. Once you have identified your target demographic and built a marketing database, you are ready to put together a marketing strategy that incorporates tried-and-true marketing principles to generate new leads. These are some examples:
Direct response marketing is a type of advertising that generates enquiries via the use of direct mail or direct response print advertising.
Promotional materials in industry or trade journals, newsletters, or Web sites
Online marketing, includes the use of email and/or banner advertising with compelling offers and simple response forms to capture the attention of searchers.
Company Web sites that are designed and developed so that they can be found at the top of search engine results that bridge the gap between marketing and sales by providing more detailed pre-sales information.
In order to nurture and qualify the longer-term prospects, relationship marketing is used.
Organizing events to encourage prospects to make a purchase.
Sales tools to assist your sales staff in closing more deals.