For a marketing manager of an up-and-coming software company, a dried up pipeline is his arch nemesis – a problem that comes from staying away from lead generation. According to the 2018 State of Inbound survey, 63% marketers consider lead generation their top challenge and for good reason as well.
Reasons For A Challenging Lead Generation Process
Today’s online marketplace is research-driven, data-heavy, and overcrowded which can make finding multiple lead generation sources a challenge for marketing professionals. Other reasons are:
- The software company pipeline has a long buying cycle that requires an extended time to propose, close, and fulfill new sales
- Their focus shifts from lead generation to supervision of new product development or implementation of services
- The interest to build a second lead generation channel wanes as the effort increases
In an environment that is fast-paced and highly competitive, a company’s website needs to serve as more than just an online catalog of products and services. The website must:
- Build relationships with customers
- Produce qualified leads
- Advance the overall marketing vision 24/7
If you are reading this, then you are already on the lookout for lead generation ideas and so in this manner you are already ahead of your competition. Merely getting clicks isn’t enough. You need real, tangible action from prospects that convert them into leads and actually have an impact on your bottom line.
Lead Generation Methods
The huge competition that exists within the software industry causes difficulty for companies when they want to generate qualified leads. Yet there are different ways, companies can grow in spite of this environment.
Lead generation can be divided into outbound and inbound lead generation and they include a few methods that can be used.
Inbound lead generation
- SEM – Leads can be generated easily through Search Engine Marketing when using Google Adwords which is a tool that helps all size companies get leads.
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization is a long term process as it takes some time to rank on the top of Google search results but most companies prefer them to due to cost efficiency.
- Social Media – Social media offers various options to companies to target and even re-target audiences.
Outbound lead generation
- Telemarketing – Once a target set of audience has been chosen, the company gets in direct contact with each of them. This enables immediate feedback, is cost-effective and even reduces operational costs.
- Email Marketing – Due to email’s ease of usage, reach, uniformity, flexibility and good visibility, it is by far the most popular method for lead generation and even has the greatest ROI success.
Lead Generation Approaches
When using these methods, you need to remember that there are 5 approaches that will help you make a place in the mind of your prospect and generate more leads. Some ways to do that are:
1. Offer deals according to the pain points of your prospect
With proper knowledge of your prospect, you as the marketer will be able to understand what problem or question lead them to your site. Then each of these individual problems that you have listed out can be connected with a certain giveaway like an e-book, a video series or some other piece of content that needs the prospect to sign up to your mailing list.
2. Leverage thought leadership to differentiate your value
The minute the prospect understands their problem and gets an idea for the different possible solutions, they begin their search for vendors. In order to differentiate yourself from the competition, you need to focus on high-level content development which showcases the unique value of your offered products.
3. Strengthen mobile presence
Mobile usage is growing which implies that the buyers face a challenge of making complex decisions in a shorter time. This means that your entire online presence should be optimized for the mobile web or leads won’t have access to the offers you are providing.
4. Leverage video marketing for your advantage
Video has always been and will always be powerful and flexible and so it makes a great medium to get to your audience. Apart from these reasons, nearly half of B2B buyers consume half an hour or more of it on a daily basis.
5. Create and maintain a professional LinkedIn presence
Technology enterprises need to have an organized approach to social media. When it comes to B2B lead generation, LinkedIn is the leader as it yields 59% of B2B leads, according to the 2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks study. Social traffic is indispensible but if your budget and resources only for one network, then choose LinkedIn for your lead generation.
When it comes to generating interest around an innovation, software companies face the highest challenge. The sooner you get started on a customer-focused inbound campaign the more your lead generation efforts will be benefitted. This will enable the development of lasting competitive advantages. So don’t waste any time on the ground work and instead make the better choice of hiring a digital marketing agency like Valasys Media that understands the innovation life-cycle.
As mentioned, there are a myriad of ways a software company can generate leads through the digital platform. No matter which method you choose, each would require testing, fine tuning and varying degrees of resources in order to help you achieve your goals.