Generating leads for your B2B website can be one of the biggest challenges facing a business. Salespeople depend on quality, qualified leads to reduce their sales cycle, give a great presentation, and close the deal. Spending time cold calling is not an effective use of their time, and your website can be the sales and marketing asset to your company.

 

I've personally looked at thousands of websites, and often notice that many B2B websites have poor messaging, and I'm not even sure what the product is. There's no way of capturing leads immediately, no content interesting to their target audience, and the chances of the site generating any sales leads is typically nil. A huge missed opportunity for the entire company.

At their annual Marketing Innovation Summit for B2B, I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Chris Golec from Demandbase, who has built several startups, and has a multi-disciplinary background in sales, marketing, and engineering. This jack-of-all trades has the perfect experience to develop a marketing cloud that focuses exclusively on converting website visitors into paying customers, a need for virtually all businesses in today's online world. Here's some tips and tricks he can share to turn your site into a lead generation machine.

When it comes to running a site and turning visitors into paying customers, there are several problems in the industry. "The first is bringing the right people to their site. The second, lack of personalization to their site. When you have businsses that have more complex products, a single message doesn't fit all audiences. There's an 85% abandonment rate within the first 5 seconds. The third? Low conversion rate. How to I turn visitors into a selling opportunity? Most companies have their users filling out form fills. It's better to capitalize on the user in real time, and not wait for the form fill."

The new way of looking at your businesses return on investment in marketing isn't about clicks on site, leads in the CRM, and metrics that aren't working harmoniously. "Look at it as a horizontal approach by account and ask 'am I bringing the right businesses to my site, am I engaging them, and am I turning them into a lead?'" recommends Chris.

Chris doesn't talk the talk, he walks the walk and uses his own approach for his own website. "We increased our deal size by 25% in the last year and improved our sales cycle by 75%." How does Demandbase do this? This first step is determining if the new account was aware of his company before the search. If not, they work to increase the awareness and credibility. Demandbase then insures that they're engaging in the right content, and then immediately determines if they're worth turning the account into a sales opportunity. If so, a salesperson will immediately reach out and begin the sales cycle.

The first step Chris recommends is really defining your audience. Who are the most important accounts to your sales team? Often businesses are unsure who their most valuable customers are and are interested in everyone who's willing to pay. I know from personal experience this creates a devalued messaged, and creating two or three targeted audiences based on previous company results and product strengths is far easier than trying to create a product that fits everyone. Chris recommends verticalization of a few key markets which then Damandbase can then start tracking and targeting to show companies how they're currently engaging, and then optimize engagement.

After you know who your audience is, start creating content and messaging for that particular audience. Lead them down the right paths and have content specific to them. Use case studies from other businesses in their verticals, blog posts, and speak their language using their vertical metrics and industry speak.

Once you've brought in the right targets, delivered the perfect messaging, then its important to connect with the target immediately. There are several tools that can help websites do this, such as interactive chat boxes, pop up form fills, and customer tracking analytics so that salespeople can reach out while their visiting the site. When noticing a particular visitor spent a significant time on specific places on a page, it gives the salesperson the advantage to knowing where the customer's interest lies to create a more tailored presentation.

The future is in measuring the quality of the lead during the site visit so your salespeople know who to focus on, and who is a "tire kicker". Demandbase has created an internal marketing score based on the target customer's profile and engagement, and gives a sales prediction as to whether or not the account will close. Predictive sales analytics tools are the next big leap in sales technology, with companies starting to train their sales teams to focus their pipeline on companies who are predicted to close.