There would be a lot to explain about the details of Inbound vs. Outbound lead generation but most of these techniques are unique to the specific service or product you are offering so let’s wrap it up with the basics:
In the 21st century it is less and less likely that anybody at your prospects are willing to talk to you. There are dozens if not hundreds of studies showing the expensive and ineffective ways of trying to chase possible clients without any results. See this post about the altered nature of B2B sales in the 21st century.
Today the only successful way to sell in B2B if you can create a situation in which the leads are coming to you and during their approach you can collect enough information to qualify them.
First you need to get the attention of your possible leads. It can be many things, from an online ad of your brand marketing to a direct message or a business card after a bullseye pitch. Anyhow, that attention you have just got should land on a landing page where the promised value is…
In the past a well designed landing page was enough to get the action you needed, but not anymore. If you want somebody to do something (in our case provide info to be able to qualify them) we need to pay them with value. One of the best way to engage your possible leads with value is content marketing. When you establish your expertise in a specific field and you share informations that represent real value to your possible leads. Value can be many things like industry benchmarks, shared experience, insight of a service, review of some popular content…etc.
Call for Action
No matter what form of engagement you chose, your engagement should always end up with a Call for Action (CTA). Call for Action is when you harvest your reward of engagement by collecting the necessary info about your visitors to be able to qualify them. It can be many things again: registering a free pass for an event, getting a 30-day free access to a software, downloading a hardcore study of our industry etc. The point is that at the end you should be able to decide if the lead qualifies for further steps.
Probably your sales department already has some experiments with inbound lead generation. What you should do during our diagnostic pilot is to document the historical examples when your company experienced the rare blessing of inbound leads.
(Btw this transition, from outbound lead generation to inbound, is the heart of most B2B sales consulting projects nowadays in IT.)
- What are the historical instances of inbound leads at our company?
- What were the reasons that made them come to us?
- What was the the lead generation process?
- How could we create the same environment to see if it can generate inbound leads again?
- How could we work out new ways for inbound lead generation?
And here is a bonus video for you about the basics of content marketing: