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B2B Lead Generation: How To Elevate Your Prospect Marketing

Prospecting is a key aspect of B2B lead generation where companies search for business opportunities. It involves contacting prospective clients, customers, buyers, or leads to convert them into customers. The prospecting process is an area of account-based marketing businesses cannot afford to overlook as it helps determine their ideal customer. 

It’s done in the first stages of the sales process and takes combined efforts from both the sales and marketing departments. Prospecting also identifies the best methods to approach these prospective clients. This includes learning how to communicate with them in a way they understand and appreciate so they become loyal customers.

Basics of Prospect Marketing

Difference between leads and prospects

Prospects and leads can be mistaken for each other, but there are quite a few differences between them. They’re both classes of potential customers for your business but are at different stages in their conversion journey. 

A lead is a customer who has already shown interest in your brand. You can identify a lead by their behavior or level of involvement with your business. For example, a lead may have signed up for your newsletter, browsed your website or shown prior interest in your company. A lead could be an individual or a corporation. It all depends on what kind of business you operate, especially if you’re in the B2B landscape. 

A prospect, on the other hand, is a potential customer that fits the description of your target buyer persona. They’re also customers most likely to interact with and purchase from your business. Prospects may not have had any prior contact or interaction with your business in the past. They also qualify as people you can contact and aim your sales and marketing efforts.  

Why prospect marketing is important

Attempting to pitch your business to everyone would be like shouting into a void. It’s crucial to have a profile of the type of businesses or people you want to approach with your products. It increases your chances of selling. This is where prospecting comes in. When appropriately done, prospecting helps businesses identify people who actually need your products at the early stages. 

It’s proven that buyers are more likely to buy from sales teams that market to them at the beginning stages of the buying process. Meeting clients at the early stages of the buying process also applies to the B2B environment. C-level executives are more inclined to meet with business owners who reach out to them first. It’ll cut out precious time wasted on meeting people who aren’t interested in your product, so you’ll have more time to focus your energy on best-fit customers. 

Best practices for prospecting 

Prospecting isn’t an easy process. It’s often complex and time-consuming, with some salespeople classifying it as the most challenging part of making a sale. It has become even more difficult as buyers get more involved in the sales process. They’re doing research on the internet and skipping meetings with salespeople. Luckily, there are ways to make prospecting less lengthy and challenging. Businesses can boost their sales and make the process more exciting by applying the following best practices to their account-based marketing strategies.

1. Research your prospects and create profiles

The first thing you can do as you begin your B2B lead generation and prospecting process is research extensively. Learn as much as possible about ideal businesses or prospect profiles and whether your offer provides any value to them. At this stage, qualify your prospects and place them into different categories according to where they are in the buying process. 

It’s helpful to apply different priority levels to each category of prospects. Then decide what each class of prospects needs according to their value. So if your business needs to sell to large corporations, you may want to focus on that group. Aim your best marketing and sales effort on them. 

2. Identify how to meet them

Once you’ve decided who you’ll be focusing your marketing efforts on, the next thing to do is meet with them. You can take a cue from where or how you met your current customers and try to replicate those scenarios. It may be through industry events, referrals, or online via social channels and communities. If you’re targeting a new audience and don’t know where to reach them you might need external assistance. It’ll help to work with a professional service that can arrange a meeting with them. This strategy usually works for B2B companies and networking on professional websites like LinkedIn.

3. Send personalized content

Emails are another powerful way to reach prospects and establish a good relationship. Businesses and individuals are bombarded frequently with communication materials. To make yourself stand out, make your contact with them personal and intimate. If you need help understanding your potential client’s needs, create a list of talking points. Also, ask standard open-ended questions. Being prepared is  helpful if you contact them over the phone to learn more about their pain points and needs. Give them room to talk so you can learn about what they think would be an excellent solution to their problems. Personalized emails have a higher response rate, so avoid mass emails and target prospects with emails whose content reflects their needs.

4. Grow your social presence 

Not many businesses realize the importance of having a credible online presence. When you first contact a prospect, they’ll likely hop on the internet and quickly search your brand. A growing number of senior executives and B2B buyers are now active on social media. They will often use information from these social sites to inform their buying decisions. You can use social spaces to pitch your products and services. It’s a touchpoint where clients can learn more about your offer and how it solves their pain points. Your sales team can connect with leads on platforms like LinkedIn and Xing, establish a rapport and gather information on their business needs. 

5. Keep in touch 

Following up with prospects is often essential because most of them won’t convert after initial contact. Usually, a potential client will start as a cold call when you first establish a connection. They’ll become lukewarm when you reach out more, and finally convert if you put in the right amount of work. Focus on sending communication materials highlighting their needs and how you can help them. Try not to shoot off content that majorly focuses on the benefits and features of your product.

You can also send additional information you think will push them forward in the buying process. Sometimes a converting follow-up message can be a simple thank you for your time note or a casual check-in. The first few days after your initial contact are crucial as keeping in touch builds trust and makes your prospect more likely to convert. Sending a follow-up twenty-four hours after you first contact them if you don’t hear back can be what makes your target reply. 

Integrating with Linked Strategies 

B2B lead generation is often a complex process that requires expertise to run successfully. We’ve worked with brands like Nasdaq, Westcor, and IBM to elevate their prospect marketing strategies and generate thousands of leads. Contact us today to get started with optimizing your account-based marketing techniques.