Lead generation for IT companies is a trending topic nowadays. A report by B2B Technology Marketing Community states that generating high-quality leads remains a big concern with over 61% of B2B marketers. The rise of new marketing channels and the growth of the digital era has ushered in the new age of lead generation. Today, the client we are talking to has a world of information at his/her disposal and thus has access to a multitude of options. As the world becomes smaller and more stakeholders enter the market, lead generation has to take a more methodical, structured, and strategic approach and cannot solely rely on one technique.
At this point we would like to say, that while all lead generation techniques look the same from the outside, there are several nuances to be considered to make this activity successful. When it comes to lead generation for IT companies, taking an approach which is the same as a company that is in the B2B Industrial or professional services spaces will hardly yield successful results. When it comes to IT companies, lead generation professionals have to interact with a different category of individuals – The CIO’s and the CTO’s.
This breed of people are highly objective and are not in the habit of having long, meandering discussions. The lead generation professional, here, thus has to be extremely intuitive and well-informed before even attempting to start the conversation. Approaching the CIO or the CTO of an IT company with a lightweight sales request is not going to translate into eventual meaningful sales. So what can lead generation professionals do to engage the IT top brass for successful conversions?
Leverage Email Marketing
According to a study conducted by Jupiter Research, ‘Relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails’. When you are aiming to start a conversation with a technology head or a CXO of an IT company, then the entire lead generation for IT as a process has to assume a very mature tone. Personalized emails with targeted messages based on a thorough research to gauge their area of interest and assessment of their implied needs can lay the foundation for a successful lead generation strategy.
A research conducted by Demand Metric, 80% of people appreciate learning about a company through customized content and 82% of these ‘feel more positive about a company after reading the custom content’. A the Demand Gen Report 2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey showed that ‘46% of business buyers start their research with a web search’ and as Eccolo Media suggests 48% of B2B buyers consume over two to five pieces of content before making a buying decision. Tech Target discovered that 65% of IT buyers read a minimum of four pieces of content to make a shortlist. Clearly Content Marketing becomes a very important tool to engage with an IT client. Content that is generous and speaks not only of the services offered by the company but also that addresses pain points, industry news and offers solutions manages to generate a positive response and confidence amongst IT buyers and aids lead generation.
Along with creating content, the content needs to be propagated across the right social channels. Leveraging professional social networking sites such as LinkedIn to initiate a conversation via published posts, group discussions, and updates is a good way to get into the eye line of IT heads. Utilizing webinars and promoting those across the right social channels helps in establishing knowledge expertise and helps in building a recall factor.
The Physical Calling
Cold calling today has assumed a new avatar and is no longer a call to just identify requirement. With the help of the channels such as Social Media, Content, and email marketing, lead generation professionals can ‘warm up’ a prospect by establishing familiarity and initiating a recall factor. Generally, IT heads prefer to speak to those people who have an understanding of their requirement, have domain expertise and can offer solutions. The lead generation professionals speaking to such IT heads have to be knowledgeable about the product or services they are selling and have to be confident move beyond the comforts of a script when required.
When it comes to lead generation for IT, the professionals also have to be aware of the market trends, new compliance norms or concerns, and corporate announcements etc. Communicating effectively and intelligently, and ably understanding what the client is saying explicitly and also implying, become the hallmark of lead generation for IT companies.
Lead generation for IT companies is both a science and an art – there’s a science to generating the leads and converting those leads into revenue generating appointments is an art. Needless to say, taking a one-size-fits-all approach to it can hardly be a recipe for success.
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