B-to-B companies today rely on their websites to generate a steady stream of qualified leads. But too many companies focus on improving their search engine rankings (which is certainly important!) without following through by examining their websites critically. Does the site do as much as it can in converting passing visitors into actual sales opportunities?
Answer these three preliminary questions as a foundation for website lead generation:
What should you pay for a lead? Many companies don’t know what they’re really paying for a lead (it’s important to note that we’re not talking about a sales-ready opportunity but an initial sales inquiry). You can’t improve your performance until you’ve first calculated your current performance, and then benchmarked it against others. Marketing Sherpa, the B-to-B consulting firm, published data showing B-to-B marketers pay less than $20.
What conversion rate should you have? The study went on to calculate the conversion rate of visitors to leads from a site. Is 4% a good rate? Should it be 20%? It’s important for goalsetting to compare your conversion rate to current levels as well as B-to-B benchmarks.
What techniques work best for conversion? It’s pretty simple—now that you know what to pay, and what conversion levels to expect, it’s time to turn your site into a lead machine.
Hubspot, one of the larger inbound marketing software companies, points to its own research, which confirms MarketingSherpa’s findings. Hubspot’s recent data shows that 60% of companies will execute inbound marketing strategies in 2013, and that marketers will allocate 34% of their overall budgets to inbound tactics. That’s a massive shift away from traditional marketing or brand advertising.