How to Generate B2B Leads When Your Budget is Low
Generating leads continuously is one of the most important criteria for a business to sustain as a lack of it can severely impediment its cashflow
A continuous stream of leads means that you have a platter to select from where you get to choose with clients that you like. When businesses suffer due to a lack of revenue, there is usually some problem associated with their lead generation methods. While there are a lot of methods that businesses can use to generate leads, it makes sense to use just 2-3 channels so that you can be really good at it and reap the maximum benefit from it.
While LinkedIn is one of the most popular methods to generate B2B leads, both small and high-ticket clients, no one will discount the power of an email list of customers. There are certain businesses for whom it might not suit using LinkedIn, Facebook is also a lead-spinner if you target the audience correctly, which is why Facebook ads are cash flow the most profitable lead generation methods for certain businesses.
We spoke to Layak Singh, CEO and Founder of Artivatic.ai, an artifical intelligence company, he shared with us how they generated more than 100 leads with a zero marketing budget. "We spoke with businesses that did not know how AI could solve their problems. We connected with businesses, executives, startups and spoke about Artivatic and asked for feedback, collected data and more. This helped spread the word too"
Having a content strategy:
Growing a brand that sees an inflow of leads requires a careful content strategy. The primary purpose of a marketing collateral is that it gives you credibility and is a mark of professionalism while also helping interested parties to reach you with your content.
"Since there was no budget for us, we started creating a lot of content in the form of whitepapers, PPTs, case studies, personal stories and more. I also wrote blogs on channels like Medium and LinkedIn which was also syndicated by few publications thus helping with the reach. This generated a lot of leads too. Today, we get at least 4-5 leads every week directly without a sales team in place," adds Layak.
Another professional that we spoke to is Aashu Aggarwal, Head, Sales and Operations at BluePi Consulting, a technology company. "Referrals worked well for us because the leadership team at BluePi had connections with the industry. LinkedIn has been a great source to get leads too. Conversion rates are low whenever we have mass emailed a list of contacts. "
Sharing value through webinars:
The best thing about webinars is that the ones who have signed up for it have a greater chance of converting because they already know you and there is a sense of familiarity. Remember that lead conversion usually happens when the leads are motivated to take action. The registrants to your webinar are people who want to know more on the topic you are talking about. Many of the webinar attendees are usually there to research your offering too. The chances of converting the sale high when they like what you offer and the webinar helps to establish trust.
"To generate leads, we rely a lot on webinars not only because they are cheap but you get to engage with a highly-targeted audience. If you do webinars on a consistent basis, it helps in building your brand value as well since you are giving away knowledge for free. We use Adobe Connect and Go-to Webinar to conduct webinars," adds Aashu.
Vaibhav Sisinty, Manager, Marketing and Partnerships at Uber and a Marketing Consultant has this to say about generating B2B leads-"Businesses have been using multiple techniques, some of which entail buying expensive tools. Startups cannot afford some of these tools, which is why you need to employ hacks that reduce the time taken to find a lead and is easy on the pockets for bootstrapping startups"
Automating the B2B lead generation process with tools:
To avoid wasting time and increasing the speed of your sales process, it is smart to invest your time in learning tools that can help you collect leads. Some of these tools even segregate your leads based on various demographic and behavioural factors so that it becomes easy to collect leads, filter them and send drip emails. Some of the most popular automation tools used are LeadFuze, Leadcandy, InfusionSoft, Marketo and more.
"I have consulted multiple B2B clients and the entire process of lead generation was automated where I used tools such as BuiltWith and Phantombuster. BuiltWith gets the data of the tools that e-commerce websites use and has a lot of other features that help with marketing and lead generation. Phantombuster allows you to get data from domains to various social media profiles. You can then automate sending emails using Milkshake, Woodpecker and other tools," adds Vaibhav.
Varun Biyani, Co-Founder and CEO of SuperProcure, a logistic workflow management company, spoke with Entrepreneur on building a B2B lead generation strategy. "LinkedIn has helped us, especially being active on groups that are relevant to our niche. But in the Indian context, if there is one way to get clients, it is by building relationships," says Varun.
Attending trade and networking events:
There are a lot of networking events that happen, most of them revolving around a niche. You can find potential leads at such events where you get to talk to the attendees. There are even associations which have a close-knit group of vendors, buyers and sellers thus promoting business relationships among themselves. Access to such associations come with a fee and some of the features associated with them are exclusive discounts to events, chance to get a booth at an event, membership logo on the website, directory listing, access to webinars, access to research materials and so on.
"In India, there are several trade and commerce associations which have data of business owners who can be potential customers. The good thing about approaching such associations is that members start referring you to other members and eventually become your promoters. There are B2B platforms which facilitate networking opportunities (CII, Chamber of Commerce, BNI) with business owners. One has to be ready with business cards and a crisp elevator pitch so that you can grab their attention and get the next meeting," adds Varun.
Anand Sukumaran Nair, Co-founder and CEO of Logidots, a push notification platform, says that working with complementary businesses will help in a long way.
Are there other businesses that have a product that acts complementary to yours? Then tie up with them if your business values match so that you can recommend each other's services to your clients. This will help your business leverage the contacts of another business.
"Logidots partners with products that are complementary to it. This way, we reach out to their customer base as well who might be looking for our solution too. We created a WordPress plugin and listed it in their directory. It gave us a lot of exposure. To generate B2B leads for your organization, partner with fellow businesses to get access to their customers," adds Anand.
Effective lead generation ideas will come when you are ready to experiment with various tactics. While you might need to keep aside a budget, only by trying out different methods would you know what works and what doesn't, thus making it possible to narrow down on the channels using which you can find more leads.