The process of generating leads for B2B technology has fundamentally changed as marketers shift from a 'pushing sales' mentality to the role of facilitating a buying process. For technology and IT suppliers, the lion's share of leads can now be found online. In 2018, staying current means keeping tabs on how the marketplace is shifting, and a customer-centric approach can help you generate far better B2B technology sales leads. Here are three B2B lead generation tips to bear in mind.
1. The buying process begins long before the vendor is contacted
The internet has revolutionised the way in which B2B tech buyers make purchasing decisions. They are now much more pro-active when seeking business solutions, relying less on the salesperson and more on the information they find to base their decisions on. In fact, a study by Google and TechTarget found that a staggering 95% of tech buyers carry out their own online research, beginning it with search terms about solving a business problem. More recently, it was found that 81% of people conduct research before even thinking about discussing with a vendor in a study conducted by CMI and will do an average of 12 searches before visiting a vendor's website. So ensure that you're providing your prospective buyers with all the educational information they need to help solve their challenges, without the need to talk to a salesperson before they're ready.
2. Single buyer scenarios are rare
In the IT and tech sector, companies offering the 'whole pain point' solution are likely to be the ones that succeed. Rather than focusing on just IT managers or directors, spread your net wider in order to attract people who are influences in other positions within the company to generate more leads online. These days, the average buying team will be made up of between two and four people who have decision-making or influence potential. Another thing to consider is that most of these buying teams have more than one active buying project per quarter, so vendors with the ability to cross-sell will have the edge over their competitors.
3. Buyers have gone social
The last several years have seen a significant rise in the importance of social media in the B2B space. Today, B2B buyers are now more connected and informed than ever due to the vast amount of data now available to them online. 55% of B2B buyers said they use social media to research and look for information.
According to eMarketer's study, it was revealed that 49% of B2B marketers claim social media marketing is the hardest lead generation tactic to execute. However, social media is all about creating brand awareness and means you can have a positive presence on channels where your target audience may be looking for advice. Therefore, social media should be a crucial part of your marketing mix and is an essential part of the "getting on the radar" stage of the buying cycle.
Your company's blog content can also be posted on social channels in order to draw potential customers to your site, as well as educating them. The figures certainly support this: an infographic cited on SocialTimes claims that B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t.
Also, according to CMI, 40% of buyers don't care about the source of content, as long as the message is relevant and credible - so use this as an opportunity to try out various platforms and see which ones work best for your business.
Keeping up with the changing face of B2B tech marketing
As the tech marketplace changes, so too does the buying journey - with most B2B buyers finding their purchasing decisions are highly influenced by engaging in the online space. In order to take advantage of this to generate B2B sales-ready leads, tech companies need to put their energy into placing content online in the right places and optimise their website into becoming a lead generation machine.
Find out where to start with our free download 'B2B lead generation website checklist' today.
This blog was originally published in 2015 and has been updated in 2018 to ensure correctness and quality.