The Real Purpose of a B2B Website Is Lead Generation
Here is a common question I hear from my clients:
I know there are companies who do lead qualification for a fee (I personally don’t know any) but I think they’re too expensive for our small business. When we hire our new sales rep, I’d like to find a good person to qualify prospects for me. Do you have any suggestions?
This question makes me sigh. It reminds me of the saying, “The best time to plant a shade tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is now.”
The moon and stars will never be in alignment for the perfect time to start prospecting. And while the best people to do your prospecting are ones with the most product knowledge, they’re usually too valuable to put on this low-level activity.
If you assign your lead generation to newbies, they burn out faster than you can earn back what you invest to train them. Subcontracting lead generation is expensive if there’s no follow-up sales system in place or if you don’t know the dollar value of a lead.
What’s the Best Way To Prospect for New Business?
There is no one way. The answer is to experiment with lots of ways that attract your buyer to you, starting with a compelling, interactive website that solves a myriad of his problems or pains.
Most business owners get ahead of themselves with their websites. They believe the purpose of a website is to sell. If you run an e-commerce store, that’s true. But if you sell products or services to other businesses (BTB sales), the purpose of your website is to generate leads. If you master that one step in the sales conversion process, you could consider not hiring a salesperson (or firing one).
Rarely will a new prospect visit your site, then call you up to buy something. Most online searchers who eventually become customers research their purchase on many websites, ask friends and colleagues for their opinions and stalk your site several times before deciding to reach out to you by phone or email. Can your online presence stand up to that much scrutiny?
Most cannot. Which is why it’s so important to add the interactive component, such as a web form offering something of value, to your online presence. If you can capture a lead, you can follow up–proactively insert yourself into an active sales opportunity. Contrast that with phone calling or “cold” emailing “leads,” hoping they’ll be interested in what you sell.
So at the very least, if you don’t have time or money to hire a salesperson or outsource your lead generation, do this:
- Put up interactive web forms on your website
- Offer something of value (free consult, free special report or guide)
- Follow up with a drip marketing campaign that enhances and extends your ability to get to know your prospect
- Add the lead to your follow-up sales process.
If you’re not sure about how to set up a prospecting system like this, check out our Drip Marketing Letters campaigns.