This is the importance of a B2B lead in sales

A lead is of central importance for a B2B sales department to ensure operational revenue. For this reason, the structured acquisition of new leads in the B2B environment plays a significant role.

Leads in Sales

What is a lead?

The term lead describes a prospective customer who is interested in some way in:

  • Your company

  • Your products and services

  • the world of topics in which you are active

and is known to your company in some way.

For your business, the differentiation of the individual phases in which a prospect is until the handover of the lead to the sales department is of utmost importance.

Here are three categories in lead generation for a rough classification:

Lead

At this early stage, the prospect has taken an interest in your website or a particular piece of content they've read and is ready to hand over their contact information to your marketing staff.

This may have been done by downloading a newsletter, product information or interest in a lead magnet.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

The marketing staff succeeds in establishing a dialogue with the prospect. It turns out that the lead:

  • Fits the target customer profile of your B2B company

  • Has a problem that could be solved with your company's products.

  • There is a contact to contacts on product and decision level

  • The lead is interested in the company's products

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

At the threshold of transitioning as a lead for sales, the prospect has sent additional signals.

  • There is a concrete interest in certain products of the company

  • The lead is ready to start the sales process

  • The lead demands an immediate solution to his problem

  • Sufficient funds are available in the lead's budget

Customer Journey

Source: Customer Journey according to Aioma

Leads as the basis for every B2B company

The generation of new contacts in the B2B segment, which are nurtured up to qualified leads for sales, is essential for the survival of every successful company.

Without leads, sales can't make sales calls and no business revenue is generated.

That's why acquiring qualified leads is an important building block for your sales department. Along the way, these stages in your leads' customer journey are critical:

  • Define Leads

  • Attract leads

  • Convert leads

  • Process leads

  • Evaluate Leads

  • Converting Leads into Customers

  • Define Leads

Define leads

In order to succeed in attracting qualified leads, the collaboration between marketing and sales is relevant right from the definition of the target group.

In this process, it is crucial to determine the target group precisely so that marketing only concentrates on a few promising desired leads in the campaign.

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Attract leads

To acquire leads for your sales department, it's a good idea to make enticing offers that potential customers can't resist. This includes setting up touchpoints that are as appropriate as possible, where you can pick up your leads or provide them with valuable information.

Use the following touchpoints to grab your leads' attention:

  • Start a corporate blog on your website

  • Offer newsletters that are sent out regularly

  • Create valuable content that you distribute via social media

  • Offer webinars on your website

  • Present yourself and your company in videos

It's important to stay in dialogue with your sales leads for additional information.

Customer Journey Reporting

Source: Customer Journey Reporting from Aioma Software

Convert Leads

To take the lead journey to the next level for sales, using gated content with lead magnets is the right strategy. This is all about providing the potential customer with information that will help them solve their needs.

For example, gated content serves in this context:

  • Whitepaper

  • Checklists

  • Industry and product studies

  • Guidebooks

  • Surveys

  • Infographics

to maintain customer contact and obtain consent for further contact from marketing and sales staff via digital forms.

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Edit leads

Promising leads for sales need to be nurtured on a regular basis. This involves keeping the potential customer happy and always seeking contact with them.

It is crucial that you cater to the needs of the lead rather than overloading them with promotional offers and price lists for your own company's products.

Lead nurturing includes sending out newsletters and regularly posting valuable content on the social media channels your prospect likes to hang out on.

Your sales lead should feel comfortable with you and well understood.

Personalized Newsletter

Source: Personalized Newsletter from Aioma Software

Valuing leads

Not every potential customer within the customer journey has the same value to be classified as a lead for sales. However, with the data and information collected about the prospect, an evaluation can be performed well.

Using a scoring model that was defined at the beginning of the campaign, the willingness to buy of each lead is determined with the help of various grids.

If a potential customer has reached a certain threshold on the scale of the scoring model, the transfer of the lead to the sales department must be prepared.

Customer Profile

Source: Customer Profile from Aioma Software

Turning leads into customers

When it comes to generating leads for sales, collaboration between marketing and sales is key. Here, it's important to hit the perfect timing for a successful handoff.

If the potential customer hasn't yet received all the important information they need to make a buying decision, handing them over to sales too early can lead to irritation on the part of the promising prospect. The potential customer feels blindsided by concrete product offers and may break off contact prematurely. This wastes marketing and sales resources unnecessarily.

If the transition is too late and the customer is waiting for a concrete offer, it can happen that he buys from the competition with his extensive information.

Only the perfect transition turns a lead for sales into a paying customer.

Conclusion

The importance of acquiring leads for sales for a successful B2B business is undisputed. The starting point for future success is a structured campaign to generate new customers, which is jointly supported by marketing and sales.

The first step is to identify suitable target customers and attract promising leads. After that, the prospects should be converted and worked on through appropriate measures.

When the decisive point for transfer to sales has been found, leads for sales become paying customers for the own company.