Steve Ohanians, Accidental Entrepreneur, Co-Founder, and CEO, WebEnertia
The sales journey is now digital. Hybrid workforces and talent shortages continue to fast-track many companies’ paths toward digitally driven processes. We rely on digital assets like websites, social media campaigns and workplace apps to keep in touch with our customers and engage with prospects. This has presented challenges in the B2B space because the sales process is longer, more complex and involves more stakeholders than the typical B2C journey.
Prior to the pandemic, many B2B service or product providers were still traveling to visit prospects and make sales or to attend trade shows. When travel halted because of safety concerns and regulations, it was immediately evident which companies were equipped for a digital sales strategy and which were not. Now, two years later, with a totally transformed workforce, it’s evident which companies have invested in a comprehensive digital lead generation strategy and which companies are still working with the piecemeal strategies they assembled in response to the pandemic.
This is a sink-or-swim moment for B2B agencies because they can revert back to old sales methods now that most travel restrictions are lifting or embrace digital sales and lead generation as a long-term strategy. Many companies are sitting on the middle ground between legacy lead-generation models and digital-first strategies. And because their efforts are split, they are not seeing a high yield of qualified leads.
The most important element of any digital lead generation strategy—whether stand-alone or used in conjunction with a face-to-face sales strategy—is focus. Here’s what that looks like in practice.
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Keep your webpage content concise and clear.
Your website is your greatest lead generation asset because it’s the first place prospective customers will look. It’s important to create a cohesive and impactful web design strategy that communicates the essential information about your brand so that customers can discover who you are and purchase your products or services.
When it comes to digital lead generation in the B2B space, it’s important that your website has a consistent narrative and communicates the key messages about your product. What makes B2B leads different from B2C leads is that the sales journey is much longer and more people will be involved. With this in mind, consistency is key because you want to ensure that all stakeholders understand the same message whether or not they reviewed your products, services or offerings at the same time.
All of this to say, there’s one set of pages that—when effectively written—can supercharge your lead generation efforts: product pages. Whether you sell technology or services, physical products or digital assets, product pages can answer prospective clients’ questions about the things your company has to offer. They should answer your prospects’ most critical questions, explain key features or elements of your product, and have a clear call to action.
Too many companies get caught up writing catchy phrases for their product pages, and they end up leaving out the most important information. Save your creativity and cleverness for your home page or for advertising campaigns and, instead, focus on detailed and actionable insights about your products. In order for your digital lead generation to succeed, you need the foundation of clear product pages to highlight the specific features your company has to offer.
Leverage SEO to reach more people.
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps extend the reach of your website and gets your brand in front of prospective customers. But in order to leverage SEO, you need to play the long game. Building an SEO strategy is like building trust with prospects—it takes time, effort and consistency.
In order to optimize your website for SEO, you need to identify and focus on key search objectives. This means that you should identify key terms that you want your brand to be associated with and work to establish your company as the go-to source for whatever that term may be. For example, if your company sells technology products that are specifically designed for the retail industry, one of your targeted terms could be the type of product you offer (perhaps it’s for inventory management) and the industry, which would be retail.
Once you identify your targeted keywords, you should incorporate them into your web design and use them on a regular basis. Your overall web strategy should include those terms across pages so that you have a foundation. Then—and this is where the consistency factor comes in—you should incorporate those key search terms into blogs, social media posts and regular website updates. All of this comes together to support your SEO goals, boost your ranking and cultivate consumer trust.
Set prospects up for success with a pristine user experience.
The third and final essential element in a digital B2B lead generation strategy is to make the process as easy as possible for your prospects. Specifically, your overall digital experience should make it easy for your customers to find the information they need and identify the answers to their questions. Create a clear and cohesive design across your website and other digital touchpoints, like your social media accounts or your email newsletters.
Make sure to provide a clear call to action (CTA) on every webpage so that your prospects know how to take the next step. The design of your website—from colors and fonts to spacing and navigation—should showcase your primary brand message and support the content that you have carefully crafted.
If your company is struggling to generate qualified B2B leads, it’s probably time to reevaluate your digital sales strategy and revamp your website. Maintain a clear focus on the elements that matter most—product pages, SEO goals and the user experience—so that your primary message will be conveyed. It’s time to step off of the middle ground between legacy sales strategies and new sales strategies and embrace the digital lead generation model.