By Neil Smith
A B2B technology sale often means selling to technical customers. Initially most leads might not be ready to buy. Thus it’s important you engage those leads with a systematic approach. Another important aspect of technology sales is the necessity to provide detailed product evaluation and overall impact related information to your prospects. The following tips highlight areas which require your attention with regards to lead generation and management.
Target the right customers – Know who your customers are. Right messages have to be propagated to the right target at the right time. Create buyer profiles based on the geography, organization size, job title and position with regards to the sale such as decision maker, influencer etc. Later on messages or content have to be tailored based on the targeted profile to reach out to the most valued customers in an effective manner.
Adapt to increased buyer power – B2B technology buying cycle is customer driven. Around 95% of technology buyers conduct their own research online using search engines and social media tools for remedies and unbiased reviews regarding particular solutions. First is the awareness phase wherein your prospects are discovering types of solutions to their problems. Next stage is consideration phase where specific solutions/ vendors are researched, followed by the decision phase. An important pointer here is that around 70% of these browsers are expected to buy a related product or solution within the next year. As a brand your probability of being the final choice of your prospects increases if you are able to touch base with them during the awareness and consideration stages.
Generate relevant content – we have highlighted the importance of reaching your prospects earlier in the buying process. You need to be present where they look for general information about issues affecting them. Investing in content marketing tools like whitepapers and blogs is a good way to start with this followed by holistic online reputation management. The information you provide must be unbiased and authoritative – focus on engagement rather than selling your products.
Think long term – Lead nurturing is the process of building relationship with future buyers. It’s about educating qualified leads who are not yet ready to buy and may not enter the buying process for a long time. Lead nurturing activities involve sending personalized email to clients regarding updates of product or services, changes in price, new product launch and so on. It’s intended to place company’s solutions in the minds of qualified leads so that when the lead is ready to buy your company has top of the mind recall.
Avoid losing leads – It is estimated that more than 80% of the leads which get passed to sales departments will be categorized as ‘leave for later’, and are rarely contacted by the company again. Studies have shown that around 70% of these will go on to buy from competitors at a later stage! Leads classified as not sales ready by your sales team should be passed on back to the marketing team for nurturing.
Leverage the power of automation – marketing automation software help you track and analyze prospects online behavior and aid in grading them. Lead scoring is an essential component of lead nurturing. The lead score varies for every action taken by leads online. When a qualified lead reaches a threshold then its deemed sales ready. Each action taken by a prospect results in a change of the lead score.
Successful lead generation and lead management require suitable tactics. Right tactics help reach target customers and result in high conversion rates and optimal allocation of resources.
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