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Your job is to bring in B2B leads - easier said than done. Marketing departments are always under-appreciated, and IT departments even less so. At the same time, without leads, the company doesn’t function. Here are six ways to kick up your marketing and get your company to appreciate all the hard work you do.

 

Pinpoint Your Target Market

 

Before you hustle strangers for money, you have to know whether they’re even interested in what you have to sell. A lot of sales managers, especially old-school managers, are stuck in the 1960s. They believe that their target market is anyone who fogs a mirror.

 

Don’t let them dictate your marketing strategy. Your job is to find your target market - the “high probability sale.” What is the biggest benefit of the company’s product or service, and what market would likely be best served by it? For example, if the company you’re working with sells industrial ceiling fans, it makes sense that your customers would primarily be manufacturing plants and companies with large office buildings or facilities with high ceilings.

 

Define The Buy-Cycle

 

The company doesn’t care about the sales cycle. They care about the buy cycle. What’s the difference? In some sense, it’s the positioning. Sales cycle refers to the old sales process of bringing prospects in, educating them, cultivating a problem, and then solving it for them.

 

You can’t do that today. Customers are more proactive in their businesses and in life in general. They take to the Internet to look up diagnosis for illnesses. They use Google to sniff out solutions for business-related problems they’re having. They do not trust the company selling them something to provide them with a lot of information about the products that the company sells.

Consumers use independent research to figure out what they need. Of course, web based contact management software can help you stay in contact with these people if they’re on your mailing list, don’t expect to educate them about your solution, unless it is truly unheard of in your industry and there are no other sources of information out there about it.

 

Buyers Buy When They’re Ready - Understand Their Behaviors

 

Buyers buy when they’re ready to buy, not when you’re ready to sell. As buyers learn more about the solutions available to them, they will then narrow their search and start making a list of potential companies to buy from.

 

Once they’re finished with the product or service research, they will approach the company they’ve chosen. Unfortunately, buyers these days are unreceptive to cold calling and sales pitching. Your best alternative is to get “on their radar” by putting the company’s message out there and demonstrating value to target markets.

 

Use Content To Engage With Them

 

Content that’s intelligent and relevant is how you get on the radar of potential buyers. That means getting white papers out there, independent bloggers to write positively about your client or employer, and pushing press releases that outline your brand and what it stands for, what benefits the company offers to buyers, and so on.

 

Think Long-Term

 

It’s easy to get into a “short-termism” mindset, especially when your client or employer is getting on your back about quarterly sales figures. But, remember, marketing and lead generation is a marathon, not a sprint. Some businesses just don’t understand that. All they understand is sales and sales totals.

 

There is an old saying in sales, “delay is the death of the sale.” It’s a mantra that every sales professional, and every sales manager knows. Unfortunately, it’s also something that’s creeped up into upper managements’ minds. While “cold leads” can’t be sold, it’s not true that a lead gone cold is a “dead lead.”

 

Maybe that was true prior to the Internet, but it’s so easy to stay in touch with people these days that even “cold leads” can be revitalized over time using email, name tagging, and drip marketing.

 

Recapture Leads and Upsell

 

Once a buyer has made a purchase, don’t let them go. Keep them “in the loop” for future product updates and releases, additional or related products and services, and even for referred services.

 

Robert Walker started in marketing before businesses even thought of having websites or social media. Now with years of experience, he has a keen understanding of using traditional marketing strategies in a modern, digital context.

 

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