Eight lead generation trends in 2021


Date: 17 February 2021

Paper chain winding around a glowing lightbulb

Businesses are always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to generate quality leads.

All that hard work is to gather warm leads that aren't just random potential buyers. These leads are only a step away from becoming loyal clientele. But it takes strategy and due diligence to grab their attention, provide them value, and prove that your brand is built to solve their problems. Generating high-quality leads is the cornerstone of a good B2B marketing plan. So, establishing a strong pipeline is necessary to ensure your business maintains a steady growth rate.

Your sales teams and marketers spend a considerable amount of time and effort figuring out the best way to approach prospective customers and nurture them, so they become high-value leads. The trouble is the days of generating leads via cold calls are long gone. These days businesses need to employ hyper-targeted tactics to engage and interact with people using tailored offers.

New trends are changing the paradigm of how businesses operate. Here's what you need to do in 2021:

Trend #1: Account-based marketing

Account-based marketing concentrates its resources on targeted accounts. This growth strategy centres on categorising valuable leads and tailoring the programs or campaigns for each account.

This trend continues to grow because account-based marketing delivers results. It doesn't cast a wide net. Instead, it utilises the sales and marketing resources on an explicitly well-defined set of targeted accounts and valuable customers.

A specific set of target accounts also enables you to track and measure your efforts effectively. Strategic account-based marketing, coupled with the focus on relationship management and building, is a win-win-win for marketing, sales, and customers alike.

According to SmarterHQ study, customers engage and respond better to personalised messages. And this need for customisation dramatically aligns with the evolving trend of account-based marketing.

ABM doesn't consider a broad spectrum of potential buyers but focuses on specific leads according to the defined niche. This speaks to their expectations and interests.

B2B contact database providers define your account-based targets depending on technographic and firmographic data. As a result, you get accurate B2B data that empowers your decisions. A B2B data provider can help you segment and target more effectively and qualify your leads more quickly.

This enables the B2B marketers to qualify the prospective leads first and exchange the relevant high-value accounts to sales teams. They can then dedicate the resources to drive ROI targets.

Trend #2: Marketing and sales integration

While sales and marketing are specific operations, the integration between the two demands successful alignment of people and processes. The last trend of account-based marketing mandates that sales and marketing integration is critical for generating leads and nurturing them through to success.

You can ensure practical marketing/sales integration level with a CMS or customer relationship management system. Automated workflows allow both teams to keep up with the lead's status and take the appropriate action to close the deal or nurture the lead.

Trend #3: On-page lead qualification

On-page lead qualification refers to the process of scrutinising and qualifying prospective clients after they sign up. This way, you no longer have to qualify each lead manually, which can reduce the effectiveness of overall lead generation efforts.

Generalised messages to leads result in a larger volume of potential clients that ends up going nowhere. Only some of them qualify for the nurturing stage.

This trend involves leads being asked to provide follow-up data once they have signed up and shown interest in your offerings. Using this data, marketers can develop multi-stem buyer journeys that let CRMs leverage conditional rationality to qualify leads.

Trend #4: Prioritise lead quality over quantity

Ultimately, valuable leads are those that convert into actual paying customers. When your approach centres on lead quality, you utilise the resources to acquire a lead that pays off by converting into a paying customer. It also improves the customer's lifetime value by building and nurturing relationships while retaining existing clients. This, in turn, drives higher ROI for the business.

Trend #5: Multimedia-driven thought leadership

Thought leadership lets businesses leverage their brand authority. Whether it's through in-depth posts on social platforms or a podcast where professionals share their expertise. The resulting leadership helps improve a brand's reputation and perception.

It demonstrates your brand's potential for bringing in meaningful results, which makes clients more likely to do business with you.

Statistics reveal that 55% of the customers have engaged with content found through a podcast at least once. So, if you want to set yourself up as an industry leader, it's time to have some meaningful conversations through the medium of podcasts.

Trend #6: Augmenting page experience

The overall user experience of your website significantly impacts the on-page lead generation and its ranking. With Google search fetching many different website's traffic, it's imperative that visitors easily find your website in search results.

Google's algorithms index websites/businesses based on performance aspects such as HTTP, mobile-friendliness, content quality, pop-ups, keywords, functionality, and so on. Augmenting page experience is an effective way to elevate your brand's ranking in Google SERPs.

Besides keyword-use and content, Google also considers loading times, website interactivity, and your website's overall visual stability. With Google's algorithms supporting your website, you can find more leads and ultimately drive conversions.

Trend #7: Collaborate with B2B marketing experts

These days, most businesses have more than one influencer or decision-maker, which suggests that there is more than one ideal buyer profile.

This is why you need to determine the organisation's key players and the main selling points for each specific decision-maker. CEOs, business owners, and managers all need a different approach.

Although it is imperative to consider the challenges, motivators, and personal needs of the various influencers within a company, a B2B customer's journey is quite different from that of individual customers.

Consider teaming up with B2B experts who can help your business reach its marketing goals. They have the insight, approach, and team ready to go. Collaborating with B2B experts specialising in specific areas can help enhance your lead generation efforts and ensure continuous monitoring of key performing indicators and metrics.

Trend #8: Automation is key

More than ever, automation streamlines the lead generation process and takes your overall efforts to new heights. A 2019 Harvard study suggested that 10% of all US jobs would be automated by 2020.

Automating the steps and workflows in the lead generation process allows you to better connect with prospective clients and saves you ample time that you can leverage to find and interact with more prospects. Machine learning and AI have made automation more useful and, in some scenarios, much more human.

The automation sector is predicted to be worth over $83 billion by 2021. So, if you haven't already incorporated automation in your lead generation processes, now would be a good time to get started.

It is high time for businesses to deploy rewarding lead generation marketing trends for 2021. The next few years are pivotal for companies that nurture their B2B leads through the customer journey.

Following these lead generation trends allows you to formally realign and redefine your lead generation objectives, improving the chances to increase the brand's ROI.

B2B intent data providers offer an excellent opportunity to leverage new technology for lead generation success. It's up to you to use this data to attract more leads effectively.

Copyright 2021. Featured post made possible by Daniel Bailey.

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