The Harvard Business Review recently published the piece “The New Rules of B2B Lead Generation.” The article takes a deep dive into changes networking has endured since the start of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, and what practices will remain engrained in business moving forward. The study suggests that investing in forward-leaning technology such as a lead distribution software, training, growing functional support teams, and creating compelling content strategies will help deliver impressive benefits. With over 81% of marketers using in-person events for networking and lead generation purposes, real-life meetings have proven effective in building a company’s customer base. The pandemic has also taught marketers that complete digitization of business operations is near and that most decision-makers prefer remote human interaction over long, in-person sales pitches. Here’s how HBR summarizes its article: “Face-to-face meetings are back, but is that what clients are looking for? Companies need to update their lead generation strategies to make them more data-driven and more in line with what potential clients’ preferences.” To adapt, companies should follow a new sales playbook: 1. Build the right team for the job2. Create simplified content that articulates the firm’s industry offerings3. Push the content to market4. Have teams share relevant leads with sales5. Measure outcomes at multiple levels Phonexa knows all about lead generation through LMS SYNC, the best-in-class product for lead tracking and distribution, which is available as part of our all-in-one marketing suite. What follows is a list of our top three key takeaways from HBR’s research for those who are in the lead generating business. 1) Meet Qualified Leads Where They Are: Online Customers are online — all the time — and primarily congregating on LinkedIn and Twitter with fellow peers and thought leaders. So to keep up with the constantly evolving person-to-person lead generation and networking tactics, you must encourage your sales force to become thought leaders themselves throughout the industry, HBR suggests. We’ve learned that to secure a robust online presence, sharing insightful messages based on industry expertise and skill will create meaningful conversations with prospects. In addition, exceptional thought leadership gets your brand noticed beyond the product you market. It highlights the philosophy that shapes your company and your contributions to your industry. A shared thought or initiation gives prospective buyers insight into your company and drives them further down your marketing funnel on their way to sales conversions. 2) Build An Involved Go-To-Market Team That Knows Your Lead Generation Strategies Cross-functional teams, regional stakeholders, and in-company marketing and sales teams should have a shared vision and input into the company’s content base and the practices that the organization employs to generate qualified leads. By leveraging the complete bandwidth of your team and network, you are opening your knowledge base for a larger audience that may attract prospective clients. With a hands-on approach, your sales team can streamline the sales process directly through the simple actions of emailing prospects, or catching up with partners, all while working company content into their conversations. This can be done in several ways: SMS-based updates that include company news Trackable links with content or ad campaigns directed toward a target audience Email marketing that offers exclusive content 3) Create And Advertise Gated Content More often than not, buyers visit a website to find solutions to issues they’re facing in their day-to-day line of work. To cater to this need, your company should offer gated content like white papers, guides, reports, courses, among other educational materials. Unlike regular blog posts or landing pages, gated content is locked and only available to those who fill out a lead capture form. This lead generation strategy proves to be effective as it gives the audience content that adds value for free, all while attracting qualified leads interested in the topics related to your brand offerings. What initially started as a crisis response to keeping up with sales amidst a global pandemic — these patterns have become permanent, with significant implications for how buyers and sellers will be doing business in the future. Utilizing thought leadership, circulating outcome-based content, and developing an expert sales team will fill the void for the lack of person-to-person networking, and will put your company on the radar for businesses all around. As you incorporate HBR’s suggested practices into your daily operations, consider Phonexa’s advice in building and maintaining leads. Utilize The Marketing Funnel To Increase Awareness Increasing leads means increasing brand awareness and interest in your products and services, all while nurturing and growing your interested prospects through the marketing funnel and into your sales pipeline. And if you plan accordingly for each step, your lead generation strategies will create strong relationships with customers who’ll rely on your business. And if you ask us, understanding the effectiveness of any marketing campaign is nearly impossible without developing methods of tracking leads coming in through various marketing channels. Lead tracking methods will give you greater control over metrics like the quality and lifecycle of your leads so that you can rule out the marketing methods that aren’t working for your campaign. Stay Organized With New Tech Tactics Say you have followed the previous steps and have generated a pool of qualified leads: what do you do next? The answer lies within your lead management system and your company’s approach to organizing sales leads. Here are the four components to lead generation: Lead Capture: A means of collecting information from or about a lead. This may include the name, contact information, and other relevant details about the lead or organization. Lead Magnets: An incentive — often in the form of a discount or free membership — to drive prospects to become new customers. Lead Qualification: The process of using the lead’s information to determine if they qualify for your criteria or specifications and how likely they are to convert to a sale. Lead Segmentation: Sorting leads into groups based on their habits, activities, interests, and conversion source. Once you’ve thoroughly considered those above, you can find yourself in a place where you can leverage additional lead generation campaigns like enrolling in pay per lead affiliate programs to widen your company’s network. This will allow you to track and monitor lead generation to get the best return on your investment. To learn more about how Phonexa can power your lead generation, tracking, and distribution strategy, email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a demo.