Lead generation is a critical component of an industrial company's sales process. Once you've captured a qualified lead, you can nurture him or her through the sales funnel, hopefully converting that sales lead into a paying customer.
The Old Method
In the past, generating leads for an industrial company was a fairly linear and straightforward process. Engineers or technical buyers would perform most of the steps buyng process, including researching solutions, evaluation, and choosing vendors. But different buyers of industrial products and services have different needs, so this archaic method wasn't the most effective.
Further compounding the problem is the fact that buyers today seek information online, and they want to interact with sales persons instead of just hearing a sales pitch. If you continue using this “old” method, you won't generate many industrial sales leads. And the leads that you do generate will be low quality. So, what's the right way to generate industrial leads?
The New Method
The new method for industrial lead generation centers around high-quality content that's relevant to prospective customers. Rather than directly pitching your products or services to prospects, you create content that nurtures them through the buying process. Prospects will then find your business when searching for this information. Assuming the content is good, they may choose to buy your product or service as a result.
Here's the problem: many manufacturers and industrial professionals don't want to create content. Rather, they want to focus on selling their product or service. There's nothing wrong with maintaining a strong emphasis on sales, but sales and content marketing go hand in hand. In today's ever-connected digital world, you really can't have a strong sales process without high-quality content.
The majority of Internet users seek content when they get online, and prospective buyers are no exception. Content gives your website “sustenance,” while also encouraging higher search rankings and more traffic in the process. Even Google says that publishing high-quality content is “the single most important thing to do” when building a website.
Furthermore, content is measurable. You can track metrics like page views, average time spent on page, social media shares, bounce rate and more. All of this data can prove invaluable when optimizing your marketing strategy.
A normal sales process can last for a year (or longer). But with content marketing, you can passively market to your prospects and have them come to you when they are ready start the buying process. The bottom line is that every industrial company needs a strong content marketing strategy if they want to succeed.