Tell us if this sounds familiar: "If I just had more leads, I could increase my sales."
The biggest challenge B2B marketers face with lead generation is generating high-quality leads.
So, if high-quality leads are so hard to obtain, how do manufacturing companies grow top-line revenues? Well, savvy B2B companies take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. They use a strategic approach beginning with an inbound or content marketing program.
The Economics of Inbound Marketing
According to Demand Metrics, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing but costs 62 percent less. Yet only 25 percent of the top B2B companies use marketing automation tools, according to a recent study by Fortune. And while many more industrial and manufacturing companies are embracing this new marketing approach, less than 30 percent feel they are doing an effective job.
Get the Most from Every Lead
Getting a lead won't impact your top line growth, but converting that lead into a customer will. The good news is you have the numbers on your side. The more leads in the funnel, the more conversions you get.
Depending on the technical nature of the business, it can take up to 40 inbound leads to make one sale. Content is great at getting attention but a strong inbound marketing automation system nurtures these leads along the sales funnel.
Conversions happen through a careful communications strategy. Once you gain the interest of a potential client, you have the opportunity to continue to communicate with them to provide more information and build a relationship.
Converting Leads into Customers
By the time most people are in the process of selecting a vendor, they have completed a great deal of their preliminary research. This research is done in the awareness stage when you reach potential customers with engaging content. This content can be in the form of white papers, eBooks or tip sheets. Generally, this content is specific to an industry but not overly technical in detail.
Once they engage with your content offer you can begin to provide more information on what makes your company unique. What solutions have you offered other clients? How have you solved their problems? Provide case studies and testimonials. This content will nurture the lead into the consideration stage.
The goal is to position your business as a thought leader and valuable business partner. In the final stage of the sales cycle, the decision stage, potential clients may be ready for a free offer or to engage one-on-one. Provide a free consultation, a free assessment of current designs or processes or a product trial. And don’t be afraid to ask them to contact you directly. There can be many instances when you will receive phone calls that are generated by your inbound efforts. Be sure to ask people when they call, how they found you.
Top-line Growth with Sales Opportunities
A recent report from Hubspot found that prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. Inbound has proven to be a valuable method of attracting more leads into the pipeline. Once there, strategically crafted messaging will help them along the process to become qualified leads.
Small and large businesses can benefit from having more opportunities to improve their top-line growth through a steady stream of leads. Ultimately, inbound marketing won’t close a sale, but it can help position your company as a top choice for prospects. While it takes time to build content and brand visibility, in the long-run Inbound marketing is a cost-effective technique for growing a business.