- On October 6, 2020
You could have the best email marketing and cold outreach systems in the business. You could have the world’s best marketers working tirelessly to create hyper-targeted ABM campaigns, complete with the best CRM system to effectively nurture prospects through the worlds most optimised sales funnel. Yet without effective and efficient methods of lead generation, your marketing department might as well be a troop of baboons.
As B2B marketers, lead generation is the very foundation of what we do. No leads means no sales, no sales means no revenue, and no revenue means no business. This necessitates an efficient method of acquiring, storing and nurturing leads before anything else. With that in mind, let’s get into it.
Step 1: Buyer Personas
The first step to building a robust B2B database full of fresh, in-market leads is buyer personas. Buyer personas are detailed descriptions about the leads most suited to your products or services, and could contain certain demographics such as:
- Job Title
- Goals / Motivators
- Active Channels / Content Preferences
- Pain Points / Challenges
Data from existing customers can help shape your personas – or if your customer base isn’t quite as diverse as you’d want it to be yet, industry research will come in handy.
Having at least 5 differing buyer personas allows your organisation to create a lasting focus around the type of leads you want to generate.
Building a B2B Database: The Quick Method
You’ve got your buyer personas at the ready. You have a solidified picture of the leads you’re looking to attract. Now comes the challenging part: getting the leads themselves.
There are two ways to go about this – the quicker method, and the more organic method. Both are viable – it simply depends on your time and resources available.
The quickest way to stock your B2B database with leads is by renting or buying pre-existing databases. These aren’t usually the most targeted or effective leads out there, but lists are great when you need leads fast. Maybe you’re about to run a time-sensitive email campaign, for example.
Be warned, however. Simply buying or renting a B2B database and email-blasting everyone on that list will certainly result in you appearing in spam folders across the world. Ensure any database you buy is free of duplicates, fake addresses and non-existent filler domains before sending.
Building a B2B Database: The Organic Method
Building an organic B2B database is a much longer process than simply buying one, yet is undoubtably more effective in the long run. You won’t have to worry about spam filters, and the leads you generate are specifically tailored to you as a company.
How is this done? The answer is simple: Content. Useful, unique and enticing content that’s catered towards your audience allows you to start building your own database from the ground-up.
We have a more in-depth blog on the efficacy of organic content creation here, but to briefly summarise:
- Sharable content leads to organic market influence (through word of mouth)
- Content is one of the few marketing mediums to provide stacking returns
- It helps your site rank higher
- It’s the best organic method of lead generation
Lead generation through content is no fast process – it can take months, often years of content library building before you achieve noticeable results. The key to content is consistency and market research. What roadblocks does your target audience face, and how can you aid in overcome them?
Whitepapers are god-tier when it comes to lead generation. Ensure they consist of interesting, thoughtful content your leads would be interested in – interested enough for them to provide their email address to view. You can then promote said whitepapers through targeted ads, blogs, social media – you name it. The more views it gets, the more leads you have, and the bigger your B2B database grows. Everybody wins.
Our recent survey showed that only 20% of channel partners are getting desirable leads from vendors’ lead generation efforts. The channel is always on the lookout for leads, and Gorilla is on-hand to help you find them.