How to Become a B2B Lead Generation Master

Want to Achieve Your Revenue Goals? Learn These 7 Things

The Business Value Hierarchy

business value hierarchyA strategic approach to cure underperformance and leapfrog your competition

Protect and enhance your marketplace value by either becoming a top player (perhaps “the” top player) in your value category or better yet, launching yourself into a higher-value and more profitable category.  » Download the Whitepaper

Most B2B companies are successful only to the degree they are able to generate qualified sales leads. So why is lead generation such a mysterious subject to so many?  Considering the stakes, it behooves you to take lead generation seriously and become a master.  At Fusion Marketing Partners, we see a full range of marketing practitioners ranging from novices (grasshoppers) to masters. 

So what does a master know, and what actions do they take, that separate them from the amateurs?  Here are a few of the more important factors:   

  1. They understand their target audience.  I mean really understand them, in terms of:  
    • Who they are:  titles, industries, gender, education level, etc.
    • What they care about: motivations, business drivers, etc.
    • What they read and listen to: where they go to find useful business information
    • Why they choose to do business with one company and not another
  2. Based on this in-depth knowledge of the target audience, they create offers that are:
    • Compelling
    • Timely
    • Relevant
    • Easy to respond to
  3. They operate on metrics that are aggressive, yet realistic and obtainable. As such, they have a good handle on how much it costs to generate an inquiry, a lead, an opportunity and a new customer acquisition. Most often, lead generation masters are tightly aligned with sales and have a service level agreement in place.
  4. They know how to communicate to their prospects and motivate them to action in language that is clear, compelling and targeted. 
  5. There is a strong call to action in all their outbound communications. Even social media tools like Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs can generate sales leads if there is a call to action. 
  6. They stay up to date on most/all of the relevant lead generation media and techniques, and are always looking for the next way to boost effectiveness. Whenever possible, pull marketing is replacing push marketing as a strategy.   
  7. Masters understand that lead qualification and lead nurturing are as important as lead generation. They are committed to building an opt-in database of potential future purchasers and reap the benefits of low-cost, highly-qualified B2B leads.

As with everything else in life, mastery in lead generation does not come easy. Lead generation is both an art and a skill, and there is always something new to learn. (Just consider the overwhelming number of new online and social media.)  The good news is that all your efforts in learning and applying these seven principles will be well rewarded. Lead generation masters are seldom out of a job, and smart companies will reward them handsomely.  In fact, becoming a lead generation master is a great path to the chief marketing officer (CMO) position, or even the CEO chair.  We talk about this subject quite often at our Great B2B Marketing website. Come join the discussion.

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Christopher Ryan

Christopher Ryan has 25 years of marketing, technology, revenue growth experience. As both a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.
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4 comments

  • Leila Wang May 17, 2011   Reply →

    The art of lead generation is not always neat and clean and pretty. It takes work and patience. I like what you said about staying up to date “on most/all of the relevant lead generation media and techniques” and “always looking for the next way to boost effectiveness”. One can not rest. Thanks for the tips.

  • John Leavy May 17, 2011   Reply →

    Chris,

    Great post…thanks for the remnider to stay on track.

  • Eric Wittlake May 18, 2011   Reply →

    Chris, I agree that understanding the audience and then producing content based on that understanding is critical. However, you seem to be coming at this from the perspective that the content is then the offer, and calls to action are built around providing contact details to become a marketing inquiry or contact.

    Fundamentally, I believe this needs to shift. ‘Leads’ need to be individuals that volunteer their information for the purpose you are using it for. To contact, send a newsletter, provide additional information. Not as an exchange for a piece of content, which is just an incentive for bad registration data.

    Here is more on what I believe will come next in lead generation (posted this morning), would appreciate your perspective. http://digitalb2b.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/what-comes-after-lead-generation/

    • cryan May 18, 2011   Reply →

      Eric,

      Thanks for the response. You are correct that I am highly focused on driving contacts because I know how to turn a specific percentage of these contacts into qualified leads and eventually sales revenue. That’s the essense of the marketing and sales machine. Also, I read and commented on your linked blog post. Good stuff.

      Chris

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