More than half of the B2B marketers surveyed in a recent study said that lead generation was their top priority. With an average 3.2% lead conversion rate, this comes as no surprise: you need a constant stream of leads to meet sales quotas.
How do you feed that constantly hungry sales pipeline? First off, you need to spread your efforts across multiple channels and marketing tactics.
Top B2B Lead Generation Tactics and Their Advantages
Every company has a preferred lead generation tactic or channel. For most B2B companies, the best lead generators are:
- Email marketing — still the channel with the best ROI. Since email is a very affordable channel, you can experiment a lot without breaking the bank.
- Content marketing — whatever channel you choose, content marketing will be embedded in it. Blogging and gated content (like eBooks or whitepapers that can be downloaded in exchange for the user’s email) are excellent lead sources.
- Event marketing is an excellent source of qualified leads. Since in-person events are back in full swing and the industry is faring even better than it did before the pandemic-led lockdowns, it would be a shame not to leverage this tactic.
- Social media — paid or organic, social media is the perfect way to meet your potential customers where they spend most of their time online.
Let’s take a look at how you can leverage Salesforce to turn all of the above and more into lead generation powerhouses.
7 Ways to Improve Your B2B Lead Generation Strategy with Salesforce
Collecting email addresses and other types of contact information is relatively easy — but that’s not what lead generation is. The right kind of lead generation focuses on lead quality first and foremost.
To avoid wasting time on leads that will never convert, you need to make sure that the ones you add to your systems are relevant to your business and, more importantly, that your product or service is relevant to their needs.
Salesforce can help with all that. It can help you create a more efficient and automated sales cycle through which your leads can move seamlessly.
1. Set Up the Right Permissions and Customizations
Salesforce is perhaps the most customizable solution out there. There is virtually no limit to how you can personalize your Salesforce instance, so before you launch a new lead generation campaign, customize it with the fields that allow you to track the right B2B sales metrics.
Add all the channels you are using and ensure your reports highlight relevant metrics.
Moreover, add the right permissions for everyone on your team. Look beyond the sales department — it’s more likely that the marketing department will generate the bulk of your leads. Check the right permissions so that your marketers are able to follow the leads’ journey.
These insights will inform their next lead-generation campaigns and ensure that your marketers can generate qualified leads instead of contacts that lead nowhere.
2. Integrate Your Other Solutions with Salesforce
Siloed data is the number one reason why leads get lost along the way. With the average company using more than 70 solutions or SaaS tools, you’re usually collecting more data than you use.
Because it’s hard to get insights if your metrics are spread across multiple dashboards, each with its own lingo and names for each field.
This is why integrating your CRM with your biggest lead generation channel (usually email marketing) is imperative. Solutions like SyncApps by Cazoomi can integrate your solutions bidirectionally and get your most important metrics to flow seamlessly in a single dashboard.
For instance, the Constant Contact for Salesforce integration will sync all your Constant Contact addresses into Salesforce and vice versa. It also comes with bidirectional field mapping between both systems, including all pre-mapped and custom fields.
This means that whenever a new lead is added to Constant Contact or Salesforce, it will be visible in both solutions and all the related metrics. You can create lead nurturing campaigns and keep track of all leads’ journeys from a single dashboard.
Better yet, you can also sync the clicked URLs in email campaigns back to Salesforce — the insight you need to know exactly which leads are interested in your products and ready to move to the next stage of their journey.
By automating sales emails (via triggers, for instance), you can free up your sales team so that they can focus on lead conversion rather than the time-consuming lead generation or qualification processes.
Social media is more than a first-contact platform. Since it is very rich in information, you can easily identify possible prospects. Plus, it can be very effective: LinkedIn InMails, for instance, have a 20% average response rate, whereas email only has a 3% response rate.
But again, social media leads can take a lot of work to track, especially if you use multiple platforms. Add social media messaging to Salesforce cadences so you don’t miss out on any leads and opportunities.
Plus, tracking social media metrics via Salesforce will help you refine your campaigns as you go.
4. Integrate Salesforce with Your Messaging Apps and Chat Apps
If you have a chat option on your website, it’s very important that it is integrated with Salesforce. People who visit your website and, more importantly, take the time to write a message are highly qualified leads.
By feeding their contact information and behavior straight into Salesforce, you ensure that every opportunity runs smoothly and that your sales team leverages the best source for leads: people who have already shown interest in your product or service.
5. Put SLAs in Place to Track Lead Response Times
This is the era of SPEED. If your website has an instant messaging option, your visitors expect the response time to be as short as possible — almost instant.
Think about it this way: if you take more than five minutes to reply to a question that came via chat, your prospect has enough time to find a different solution and pre-vet it too.
According to a recent research report, you have roughly two minutes to reply to a chat (you can use AI to speed this up) and less than five minutes to call a prospect back if you want to increase your chances of converting them.
Through Salesforce, you can easily track your team’s response time. To enforce those response times, SLAs (Service Level Agreements) will help keep your team accountable.
6. Use Web-to-Lead Forms
Salesforce’s web-to-lead functionality helps you capture leads directly from your website. I recommend creating custom lead generation forms that feed lead data into Salesforce.
This way, you can ensure your lead capture process is accurate and timely. Through Salesforce’s AI-powered Einstein, you can pre-qualify those leads almost instantly.
For even better results, integrate Salesforce with your marketing automation platform so your leads can be added to email automations as soon as they fill in a form.
7. Implement Lead Source Tracking
Salesforce makes it easy to track the sources of your leads through campaign tracking parameters or lead source fields. Not all lead generation channels are equally effective.
More importantly, your leads’ habits and needs change over time, so what worked last year may not work so well this year. Tracking your lead sources enables you to identify the most effective lead-generation channels, optimize your marketing efforts, and allocate resources strategically.
Bonus: Create a Strong Lead Magnet
Lead magnets can fill up your pipeline faster than almost any other tactic. The best part about them is that you already have all the knowledge you need to create a compelling lead magnet that will get people to flock to your email list in droves.
Some ideas for effective lead magnets are:
- A PDF that helps your audience solve an immediate pain point. “5 Templates You Can Use Right Now on Instagram” is a great lead magnet for a social media marketing agency.
- An eBook or a whitepaper that outlines your proprietary solution or a case study that your audience can learn from. For example, “How We Helped Company X Double Their Leads within 3 Months — 4 Tactics You Can Steal”.
- A quick video or email course. Example: “How to Get Immediate Value from Your Salesforce Subscription — a Crash-Course for Beginners.”
- A discount for your products or services — this can be applied to nearly any industry and is a staple in eCommerce. But it has an important caveat: ensure this tactic doesn’t cheapen your products or services.
Final Thoughts on B2B Lead Generation with Salesforce
Lead generation is more than collecting random email addresses and phone numbers. Before you launch any lead generation campaign, make sure you are clear on who your ideal customer is.
While Salesforce is a powerful B2B lead generation platform, successful lead generation relies on a lot more. Marketing strategy, clear and correct goal setting, and a compelling value proposition matter just as much, if not more, than using the right platform.
Clint Wilson is a marketing entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience and has successfully launched three start-ups. He is also skilled in using NetSuite and Salesforce. Currently, running Cazoomi for over 15 years and based in the Philippines.