According to DemandGen reports, the B2B buyer behavior has been changing dramatically over the last few years as buyers find new ways to gather information online and via social media. In fact, 90% of business buyers say when they're ready to buy, they'll find you. A 2013 lead generation survey from Holger Schulze asked B2B marketers questions about their budgets, challenges and how they measure success and campaign ROI. Here are 3 key trends to take away from this research.
Generate High-Quality Leads
The number one challenge for B2B marketers is generating high-quality leads. The most effective lead generation tactics used by marketers are their company website, email marketing and SEO. Getting leads isn't always a challenge, but getting a qualified lead is. A lead generation company, such as Business.com, can help small or medium-sized businesses connect with decision makers who are actively looking to make a purchase. Immediate and consistent follow up with emails and phone calls is critical for achieving optimal close rates. Making 6 calls leads to a 90% increase in sales, but 78% of leads are contacted only once. Not all leads are ready to make a purchase, but studies (including one from Gartner) have shown that most will purchase within the next 12 to 24 months making these leads potential customers you can't ignore. Nurturing leads with effective follow-up is a key factor in attaining high-quality leads. B2B email and lead nurturing success come from providing compelling content for each stage in the buying process to move buyers from first tough to purchase.
Break Down Lead Generation Barriers
According to a study conducted by Schulze, the greatest barrier to lead generation success is lack of resources, including staff, budget and time. Breaking down these barriers means making the most of the leads and resources your business has. Autoresponse emails can save your team time right off the bat. While many indicated budget as a barrier in their lead generation success, the survey also found that lead generation budgets are going up for nearly 50% of B2B marketers. Budgets are staying the same for 44% of respondents. Lead generation programs receive the second biggest marketing budget allocation, second behind conferences and tradeshows. In order to break down the barrier of a lack of resources, reevaluate your marketing processes and whether money is being spent in the right place.
Measure Marketing Efforts
Businesses are about the data, the numbers and the ROI. Marketing departments are no different. B2B marketers' top metrics to measure marketing ROI are lead volume, cost per lead, revenue and cost-per-acquisition. Marketing automation software is one way B2B marketers measure their efforts. The survey found that most B2B marketers (43%) use marketing automation software for reporting, analytics, and dashboard capabilities, followed by campaign tracking (42%).
Look for a marketing software solution that integrates with your CRM and campaign tracking easily. More and more, marketers in all industries want to see whether their efforts are yielding a positive ROI and are worth the time and investment they are dedicating to different channels and strategies. Measuring marketing efforts is one 2013 trend that isn't going anywhere but up.
Lead generation is an area that many B2B businesses are familiar with. Many are having the same struggles when it comes to quality, allocation of resources and measuring their efforts. However, the increase in dedicated lead generation budget for nearly half of B2B marketers also indicates that businesses are seeing success with their lead generation efforts. According to this study, three trends B2B marketers need to pay attention to are how they can generate high-quality leads, break down barriers that arise due to a lack of resources, and measure their marketing efforts more effectively.
How does your business measure its lead generation success?