You don't have to rely on outbound tactics to generate sales leads. While most B2B sales reps do, in fact, use outbound tactics, there are plenty of inbound tactics available as well. Inbound sales lead generation tactics are distinguished from outbound tactics by their method of execution. They don't directly advertise your B2B company -- or its products or services -- to a prospective buyer. Rather, inbound sales lead generation tactics are designed to attract prospective buyers naturally and without interrupting their normal activities.
According to a report published by Ascend2, outbound lead generation tactics cost nearly 40% less than inbound tactics. With inbound tactics, prospective buyers will come to your B2B company; you won't have to go to them. Of course, you'll need to use the right inbound tactics to take advantage of their cost-effective benefits. Below are seven of the most effective inbound tactics for generating more sales leads.
#1) Answering Questions on Q&A Portals
Answering questions on Q&A portals is an effective inbound lead generation tactic. There are Q&A portals, such as Quora, where prospective buyers seek answers to their questions. Maybe a prospective buyer wants to know how a particular piece of equipment works, or perhaps a prospective buyer needs help choosing a specific product for his or her business. Regardless, many prospective buyers will turn to Q&A portals for an answer. As a sales rep, you can post answers to relevant questions on these portals to secure them as sales leads.
One of the most popular inbound tactics for generating sales leads in the B2B industry is blogging. Research, in fact, shows that four in five B2B companies say blogging is an important part of their overall lead generation strategy. You can jump on the bandwagon by launching a blog on your B2B company's website. On this blog, you can create content that attracts prospective buyers and secures them as leads. When a prospective buyer searches for relevant content online, he or she may stumble upon your blog posts. Assuming your blog posts are structured properly -- they should consist of high-quality and informative content -- you may generate new sales leads from this traffic.
#3) YouTube Videos
Another inbound tactic that you can use to generate more sales leads is creating YouTube videos. You can create videos showcasing your B2B company's products or services, after which you can upload them to YouTube. As prospective buyers scour YouTube for relevant videos, they may come across your videos. As long as you include your B2B company's information somewhere in the videos -- or the descriptions of the videos -- they may reach out to your B2B company for more information about the prospects or services. As a result, creating YouTube videos can land your B2B company new sales leads. It's become an increasingly popular inbound tactic for generating sales leads.
We can't talk about inbound lead generation tactics without mentioning LinkedIn. One report found that nine in 10 buyers in the B2B industry have used LinkedIn when choosing products or services to purchase for their respective businesses. When deciding which product or service to buy, a prospective buyer may look for information on LinkedIn.
To use LinkedIn for inbound lead generation, you'll need to create a Company Page. Company Pages, of course, are profiles designed for businesses and organizations. You can't create a Company Page for yourself. Rather, you'll have to create one for your B2B company. On this Company Page, you can include information about your B2B company and what it does. When prospective buyers discover it, they may email or call your B2B company to inquire about its products or services.
You can generate more sales leads by publishing ebooks. An ebook, of course, is a digital book. For more sales leads, you can create ebooks that provide value to your B2B company's audience. Think about what type of content prospective buyers are interested in reading about and turn these topics into ebooks. After creating an ebook, you can publish it on your B2B company's website, blog or other digital properties. Just remember to avoid directly pitching products or services in these ebooks. Like with other inbound lead generation tactics, ebooks work best when they provide valuable information to prospective buyers. If an ebook is nothing more than a sales pitch, it may discourage prospective buyers from reading it, in which case they probably won't reach out to your B2B company.
A lesser-known inbound tactic for generating sales leads is podcasts. A podcast is an audio clip. It's essentially the audio version of an ebook. You can record a podcast, after which you can upload it online. Once uploaded, it will serve as a lead magnet by drawing prospective buyers to your B2B company and, therefore, helping your B2B company generate more sales leads.
Since it's not as popular as other inbound lead generation tactics, creating podcasts will distinguish your B2B company from its competitors. Prospective buyers will discover that your B2B company has informative podcasts, whereas your competitors do not have any podcasts. If your podcasts are valuable -- which they should be -- prospective buyers may voluntarily contact your B2B company for more information about its products or services.
Finally, search engine optimization (SEO) is an effective inbound tactic for generating sales leads. A form of digital marketing, SEO is a comprehensive strategy that focuses on increasing the rankings for your B2B company's website in the search results. You can perform SEO on your B2B company's website so that Google, among other search engines, rank it higher. With higher rankings comes greater exposure and more traffic.
SEO is all about funneling search engine traffic to your B2B company's website. Prospective buyers, of course, often use search engines for research purposes. Without SEO, they may not find your B2B company's website when conducting research online. SEO gives you a better shot at capturing them as leads by pointing them in the direction of your B2B company's website.