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B2B Lead Generation – The Joy of Planning

Posted by John Hatton on 19-Aug-2014 17:44:00

Creating a B2B lead generation plan can be a daunting process. For some marketers it conjures up memories of laboriously sifting through analytics on spreadsheets while intermittently sensing wafts of colleagues’ lunches and piercing phone natter. But why does campaign planning get such a bad rap, especially given that it’s arguably the most informative and important stage of the marketing cycle?

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The answer is… some marketers are simply looking at the wrong metrics. If done the right way, strategising can be the most exciting, rewarding, and ultimately, enjoyable part of marketing.

Don’t think of planning as an arduous task with the sole purpose of proving to managers and finance teams, that there’s direction behind your spending. Think of this as the opportunity to probe your market, snoop into their working lives and gain comprehensive insight into what makes them tick, before devising a master plan to reach them and connect with them.

At no other point during the marketing process will you have so much time and resources to really learn about your customer. The B2B lead generation plan will be the foundation on which you can achieve your goals and increase sales leads - it’s an activity that requires expert skill and creativity. But what goes into formulating a killer strategy?

Keep an eye on costs

KPIs are the heart and soul of marketing activity. By determining your allowable cost per lead and cost per sale you will know where, and how much, of your marketing budget can be spent. So, always be aware of your bottom-line cost per sale. But bear in mind, some activities may not result in direct sales, instead they’ll form part of the overall marketing mix. This doesn’t mean there’s no intrinsic value, it will just take time for the value to materialise on paper.

Pick your target

Who is the person you want to speak to? The CEO? The head of procurement? Depending on who your decision maker is, will change the tone and structure of how you intend to engage with them. Procurement, for example will be interested in how you offer a great product at the best price possible, and help to cut future costs. Whereas, the CEO will be more interested in how you can help grow the company rather than cost efficiencies. So, make sure you target each job title differently and research their pain points to create more effective personalisation.

Analyse previous strategies

In order to make informed decisions and determine your confidence in conversion rates, you need to gather every piece of data you can find. Review all previous marketing reports and sales analyses. You’re looking for trends/patterns, success stories and failures from which to build a picture of what works and what doesn’t. 

Choose your weapon

Remember, a multi-channel approach is often necessary to achieve the best results. So, consider the pros and cons of utilising the following weapons in your lead generation arsenal:

• Email
• Direct mail
• Telemarketing
• Events
• Website
• Pay-per-click
• Media advertising
• Social media
• Content

Some decision-makers respond better to emails than telemarketing and others will appreciate a nice direct mail piece you've sent followed up with a phone call. Planning is tactical - it's all about learning the market, creating goals, and devising the best way to generate ROI. 

Hopefully this has given you an idea of how in-depth marketing planning can be interesting. A really good strategy is vital to increasing your leads, sales and revenue. Sure it will take time and effort, but by following the steps laid out in our B2B lead generation planning manual, you’ll find it’s a creative, skilful, and most importantly, fun process. 

To download your free copy of the B2B Lead Generation Planning Manual, just click below!

Download your B2B Lead Generation Planning Manual now

Topics: B2B Lead Generation, B2B Leads, B2B, B2B marketing, B2B Strategy, B2B Lead Generation Planning