Inbound Lead Generation, Essential For B2B Sales Growth.

Inbound lead generation forbusiness to business salesThe nature of industrial sales and on a larger scale, business to business sales has changed. Over the past ten to fifteen years, we’ve witnessed a transfer of power from the salesperson to the buyer leading to a dramatic decline in the sales persons ability to generate sales leads through traditional methods. This shift has impacted the way we sell products — and how well they sell — for the long term.

Being involved in industrial sales, particularly with selling products or services that have a long sales cycle, your challenges are even greater. Your long sales cycle means that customers have a lot of time to think about your product, and plenty of incentive to research what your competitor can bring to the table. That’s the crux of it: Research. Customers are now able to get much more information about your product than ever before they have their first conversation with you.

The new business to business customer

A Harvard Business Review article titled, The End of Solution Sales, outlines the pain points that companies face. “The hardest thing about selling B2B these days,” begins the article, “is that customers don’t need you the way they used to.” Armed with Internet-based research, customers are walking in the door ready to have discussions about fulfillment rather than asking questions about the product, notes the article. The authors focus on how to help your sales force transform their approach to be able to handle the well-informed customer — but our first thought wasn’t about salespeople at all, it was about leads.

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4 Critical B2B Lead Generation Steps for Industrial Manufacturers

Four steps to acquiring new B2B sales leads for industrial manufacturers

Industrial equipment manufacturers are faced with dozens of business challenges because of the complex nature of their sales cycle. Not the least of which is how to acquire new B2B sales leads. If you’re still relying on the old methods to bring in the majority of your leads – existing relationships, a mail campaign, an ad in a trade magazine, and showing up at one or two industry events each year – you are already behind.

If you are stuck in these old ways you may find yourself struggling to attract enough leads to grow or sustain your business. Implementing an online marketing strategy to solve this lead generation problem is a good move. However, for it to be effective it’s critical to have a well designed system to attract your prospects and get them to reach out to you.

It’s not enough to build a great website these days. It’s not enough to send out a monthly newsletter, either. If you want to achieve the goal of a steady stream of leads each month and remain top-of-mind to your potential customers, there are dozens of things you have to do. Neglect these things and prospects will pass you by for your competition.

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A Better System For Generating Industrial Sales Leads

Companies that focus on sales of complex industrial products often struggle with the challenges associated with closing new business. Corporate downsizing and a “do more with less” mentality puts great demands on sales teams to do everything from lead generation to lead nurturing to closing deals. Without an organized system to bring in new leads and walk them through the sales process in an organized way, businesses often struggle with inconsistent sales and all the peaks and valleys.

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Why Online Lead Generation Is Critical For Complex Sales

Industrial manufacturing companies who don’t have an organized system to attract and educate prospects are in for some bad news: It will become more and more difficult to get them to reach out to you and become a new sales lead. Prospects who used to call you for information early in the sales process are now getting their information online and are well through the research phase before they ever pick up the phone to talk with you.

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