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15 Things to Know about B2B Lead Generation
Lead Generation in the B2B sector differs from B2C not only because of the varied expectations of the distinct audiences but also the extremely complex requirements of B2B requiring the approach to be fundamentally different. Find out here what the top 15 things to know are.

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B2B Difference #1: B2B services and products are often more complex
In working with B2B clients in many different markets, I find that B2B services and products are sophisticated and typically complex, with many of the positive benefits or possible negatives hidden. B2B lead generation campaigns need to take: the detail; the technical aspects; the hidden information; the subtleties; and make them: clear, easy to understand, and above all, both persuasive and convincing.
B2B Difference #2: The B2B sales cycle is longer
With the B2B sales cycle being such a lengthy process, often lasting many months,  generating B2B leads requires different tactics depending on the where in sales cycle the B2B buyer is at any one time and stamina to survive the full course.
B2B Difference #3: Fewer potential buyers
B2C marketers target their products to millions of people in the knowledge that high numbers of leads will be generated. However,  the B2B buyer is a rarer breed. They’re also harder to identify – B2B lead generation, while potentially worthwhile, is a longer journey.
B2B Difference #4: B2B sales propositions are often complex and sophisticated
B2B sales propositions are complex and sophisticated so must present measurable benefits, with differentiated features supporting rational purchasing decisions. “Sales fluff” may get a prospect’s attention but won’t convince the prospect to make a purchase. Subtle differences must be carefully explained using carefully-crafted and persuasive communication programmes.
B2B Difference #5: B2B pricing is very different
B2C products don’t vary much from shop to shop. The prices of B2B products are often different for every sale. B2B prices can be dependent on the particular application and buyer’s requirements. B2B pricing depends on many factors, which takes take time to calculate and affects the selling price.
B2B Difference #6: B2B prospects carry out more research
B2B prospects carry out more research, ask for more information, and examine more alternative products and suppliers. Because the risks of “getting it wrong” are higher, they also need to “sell” their choice to other people in their company.
B2B Difference #7: B2B marketing depends on different buying emotions
B2B marketing is not without emotion but B2B prospects are not, usually, affected by common B2C drivers like impulse buying or personal status. B2B motivators include the fear of making a mistake, the expected ROI, and the trust in the supplier.
B2B Difference #8: Corporate brand confidence is more important
I find that corporate brand confidence, rather than individual product branding, is more important to B2B purchasers. While specific purchase criteria affects product choice, confidence in the corporate brand influences the B2B prospect’s final purchase decision. The prospect needs to have trust in the supplying company and the ability of its staff to deliver the expected benefits.
B2B Difference #9: Many different types of contact are involved in the purchase loop
B2B purchases involve many individuals with very different perspectives, all involved in the purchasing loop, influencing the decision-making. It’s essential to identify and contact many people at many different levels within the prospect’s company, with sales messages that appeal to each individual’s interests and needs.

For example, Finance is mainly concerned with ROI, Technology is mainly concerned with performance while the actual Buyer is concerned with all of this plus performance.

B2B Difference #10: B2B marketers have limited market research budgets
Normally, it is only after spending huge sums of money to launch a new product, will a large B2C company bring a product to market. Few B2B companies have that level of financial resource. Large budgets may be allocated to R&D with only relatively small amounts are available for researching the market. Success in B2B Lead Generation is more dependent on the experience and skill of the B2B marketer.
B2B Difference #11: B2B marketing needs various strategies: direct and channel
The direct sales relationship is only one way of selling in the B2B world. Complex channel strategies are often needed to manage: distributors, dealers, manufacturer’s representatives, consultants, system builders, supply-chain partners, VARs and so on.
B2B Difference #12: Many different people from the selling organisation are involved
Sales of complex B2B products and services typically require the expertise and involvement of many people from the selling organisation. The sales and marketing departments may need support at director level and also people from the design, R&D and manufacturing departments. All of these contacts need to be aligned with the corporate brand messages to maximise the possibility of closing the sale.
B2B Difference #13: B2B sales rely on personal relationships
Sales to B2C markets use tightly-controlled marketing tools like TV ads and other mass media. B2B sales need one-to-one relationships with personal interaction. This requires sophisticated sales management and knowledgeable, well-trained staff, passing on information in line with corporate sales USPs and strategies.
B2B Difference #14: Third-parties influence the buying process
B2B prospects involve third-parties for opinions. So, B2B organisations need to market through industry experts, trade associations, trade publications, user groups, and many other third-parties. B2B prospects use this information to support and help sell their purchase recommendations to their colleagues in their business.
B2B Difference #15: B2B marketing starts inside the company
People within a B2C company often have little contact with the end-customer. In B2B markets, many people within the company interact with the prospects and customers, and not just the sales and marketing departments. All of those individuals need to understand the brand and sell the brand benefits. One of the B2B marketer’s most important jobs is to market and educate people inside their own company about the products and brand values.
"B2B services and products are sophisticated and typically complex"

"The B2B sales cycle is a lengthy process"

"B2B pricing depends on many factors"

"Confidence in the corporate brand influences the B2B prospect’s final purchase decision"
"B2B purchases involve many individuals with very different perspectives"
"Complex channel strategies are often needed"

"Sales of complex B2B products and services typically require the expertise and involvement of many people from the selling organisation"

"One of the B2B marketer’s most important jobs is to market and educate people inside their own company"

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