Are Your Practicing Old School or Next Generation B2B Lead Generation

Evaluating B2B Lead Generation Techniques and Tactics

Old school methods focus on interruption marketing. The new school methods focus on permission marketing:

1) being extraordinary
2) engagement and relationships building
3) creating a tribe or community around your brand

However there are ways to turn old school lead generation into new school tactics that treat people like human beings:

For instance Shawn Brown of Professional Sales Tips points to and evaluates two key options:

Trade Shows
Trade shows are a good way generate sales leads if you can find events highly targeted to your prospect audience. Often such events yield low-quality sales leads because they are attended by the recommenders and influencers and rather than the true decision-makers.

Email Publications
What you are reading right now is an example of an email publication that keeps my name and business in front of 9000 people every month. I collect all of my names through my website, but that isn’t the only way to do this.

A sales rep or business owner could create an email newsletter and mail it to sign-ups from an offer presented at a seminar, at a trade show, in a mass mailing, in an advertisement, or on a cold call.

If your a sales rep, why not create your own email newsletter? You could send out industry news and tips to suspects in your market. Eventually a few of them will become customers because you are on their mind more often than your competition.

Unfortunately, Shawn doesn’t have much love to email lists. Agee Realty on the other hand has three great techniques which can be useful for your lead generation strategies list:

Sphere of Influence
Create a list of at least 100 people you know. Send out an introductory letter telling them about your product or service. Talk with each person at least every three months. Send them information of interest at planned intervals throughout the year. Consistently ask for and receive quality referrals. Remember, if each person you know also knows 100 people, well you get the idea.

This is another technique that is used effectively in real estate and can be adapted to any product or service. Pick a market of 200 homes or businesses and become the only person they think of in regards to your product or service.

Seminars are great for sales lead generation. People who attend your seminar have an interest in the information you are presenting and a need for your product or service.

Sphere of influence is the essence of social networking. Blogging allows you to establish yourself as an authority over time by attending, reporting on, networking, and eventually speaking at seminars and conferences. Farming is a technique that is underused. By targeting keywords you are almost implicitly targeting people based on a single geographic locale. Another version of this strategy online is to have a half dozen to a dozen blogs that you regularly read and comment on. It establishes you as a community member. Its an engine for thought leadership, for people who are willing to invest a small monicrum of time and resources into making it work.

Ultimately you must “connect with customers in a meaningful way” according to Workz who offers 8 key b2b lead generation techniques.

Chris Brogan suggests Dell’s Digital Nomads and Blue Sky Factory’s email strategies as a great example of a successful lead generation platform.

You might wonder, how do you scale this sales generation tactic? Brogan has a great technique: leveraging the web with social media and networking:

Scaling This
The web, silly. There are tools to have your conversations right out in the open where they might inspire other people (Twitter). There are tools that let you market by equipping people to do useful things with or without your dumb product (blogs). There are tools that let you meet more people and be there long before the sale (Facebook, LinkedIn, your various niche Ning sites, message boards, Yahoo groups). There are ways to reach the elusive and the on-the-go (podcasts – have you ever stopped to realize that moms are often too busy to read blogs, but could potentially keep one earbud in to listen to an iPod?).

The days of the random sales call are quickly coming to an end, especially as the mobile phone market explodes. Your business must create new methods to deal with our new digital environment and our new digital lives.

Any successful B2B lead generation techniques or tips?


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