Top Digital Marketing Strategies for B2B Cleantech Suppliers: Part 3 – Converting Leads to Sales Opportunities
Once you have converted traffic on your website to leads (potential buyers you have permission to contact), your final goal as a B2B cleantech marketer is turning those leads into opportunities for your sales team. This process, known as lead nurturing, can save your sales reps lots of time explaining products and focus their efforts on closing the deal. And in a market such as B2B cleantech, where buyers require a great deal of knowledge before they are ready to purchase, lead nurturing is a vital part of the marketing funnel.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways B2B cleantech suppliers can nurture their leads into sales opportunities:
Qualify your leads
The first question to ask when a potential buyer contacts you is how closely the buyer matches your typical customer profile. For cleantech suppliers, this likely means you need to know where the buyer is located; where they need the product to be delivered; order volume; the prospect’s job title or responsibilities; information about the company the prospect works for, such as industry, revenue, etc.; and the prospect’s contact details.
This will determine to what extent you need to screen the lead before passing it on as a qualified lead that your sales team may contact. It’s important to agree upon what defines a qualified lead with your sales team so that you can implement all the necessary procedures.
As for how to qualify the lead, you’ll need to experiment to figure out what works best for your business. Some cleantech suppliers require potential buyers to fill out all qualifying data on their web forms and gated content. While this method increases the percentage of leads that are qualified, long and complicated forms may also scare prospects away. Alternatively, try limiting your forms to the essential data then let staff or automated methods fill in the blanks. Only experimentation will reveal the sweet spot for your business.
No matter what lead qualifying method you choose, make sure it’s quick and efficient so that you can reply as quickly as possible to qualified leads when they request information, demos, or quotes. A well-known lead response management study by InsideSales.com, Inc. determined that the odds of qualifying a lead by replying within the first five minutes were 21 times higher than when replying after 30 minutes.
Nurture your soft leads
In the world of B2B cleantech, awareness gaps can be enormous, so once you have a lead’s details and their permission to stay in touch, your mission should be to narrow that knowledge gap as soon as possible. The first email in your sequence should deliver the content you promised on your website’s call to action, while the rest of your emails should deliver additional content (brochures, case studies, videos, webinars, white papers, etc.) about the product or product group in which the prospect has shown interest.
While all of the content you deliver should include calls to action for prospects to take the next step, such as requesting a product demo, quotation, or meeting with a sales rep, these calls to action don’t necessarily need to be part of the email itself. You can sprinkle your “big asks” (your primary calls to action) throughout your email sequence or right at the end when the awareness gap is nearly filled in. What works for you depends on the nature of your product, so experimentation is key.
Score your leads
Maybe your sales team only follows up on leads who respond affirmatively to the “big ask” in your nurturing sequences. That’s okay. But if you need a larger pool of opportunities for your sales team to work on, lead scoring can help. Lead scoring systems, which are usually integrated with marketing automation software, rank leads according to their behavior on your website (frequency and recency of visits, response to calls to actions…), their interactions with the emails you send them (opens & clicks), and how well they fit your typical customer profile.
Remarket to your leads
Just because you’re actively emailing a prospect doesn’t mean you should stop targeting them with ads on other websites. Just as remarketing can help you lure back buyers who don’t convert to leads after their first visit to your website, remarketing is also a powerful way to keep your brand fresh in the minds of your current leads (prospects who are already on your email list) and increase the likelihood they become sales opportunities. Google Ads, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook all allow you to target existing leads with ads by uploading a list of their email addresses. Like any marketing effort, you’ll need to experiment a bit to determine whether or not remarketing ROI makes sense for your business.
Over to you
If you market for a B2B cleantech supplier, we’d love to hear about your own experience with digital marketing strategies and building a solid sales funnel. Feel free to leave your comments below.