B2B Marketing Blog

John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

Want to become a revenue-first marketer_ Measure these 5 marketing metrics


B2B marketers are obsessed with measuring metrics.

I get it because I’m in your shoes. We want to track our progress, optimize our campaigns, and show that our marketing programs work.

But this pursuit of metrics can also lead to focusing on the wrong ones.

For example, measuring vanity metrics can make you feel good, but they don’t help you figure out what to do next.

To answer your question, vanity metrics include the likes of social content, social followers, the total number of website visitors (with no reference to traffic sources or relevancy), and the list goes on.

Ego is a hard thing to feed.

So, what are the metrics you need to live by?

It all comes down to being a revenue-first marketer.

That is how you prove your marketing team’s value to your company – by showing how marketing contributes to the bottom line.

And I know many CMOs struggle to find the right metrics that will earn them credibility, especially when 80% of CEOs don’t trust the efforts of their marketing teams.

Optimizing for revenue-related metrics will help you move away from the outdated lead generation playbook and adapt to the way people create meaningful relationships and ultimately buy B2B products/services today.

Measure the metrics that really matter

By focusing on demand generation and brand marketing (rather than lead generation), you’ll improve all the five revenue-related metrics you have to measure.

So, let’s dive into them now.

1. Direct-sourced revenue

Revenue generated as a result of marketing activities (in this context, marketing-influenced revenue should be your secondary metric).

In your attribution reports, you can analyze the revenue source and identify the inbound marketing opportunities that converted into paying customers (and compare it to the total revenue generated).

2. Qualified pipeline generated / SQOs (Sales Qualified Opportunities)

Your marketing-sourced pipeline refers to the qualified opportunities with a probability greater than 20% of becoming customers.

Similar to the direct-sourced revenue, you can see the number of marketing-sourced SQLs that have converted into qualified pipeline and calculate the conversion rate from SQLs to SQOs.

3. Sales win rate

This rate is the percentage of opportunities that closed and became customers, divided by the total number of opportunities in your pipeline.

4. Sales cycle length

The time it takes for leads to move through the sales pipeline until they become customers.

You will experience a shorter sales cycle if your marketing efforts are geared in the right direction.

5. CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)

Your CAC is the total sales and marketing costs required to acquire a new customer over a specific time period.

In order to calculate it, you have to figure out your average marketing/sales cycle.

Change your marketing mindset

Optimizing for metrics that matter will make you a better marketer.

Here’s why.

Most B2B companies don’t have the patience to do the actual marketing and force marketers to hit leads/MQLs quotas.

So they focus on collecting as many leads as possible, resulting in low-quality leads with low or no buying intent. The thing is that marketers can easily manipulate these numbers as their company sets a higher number of leads bar.

But these leads don’t drive business results.

Simply put, lead generation prioritizes quantity over quality and negatively impacts your revenue-related metrics.

Instead, you want to build your brand (your reputation), establish trust, and create demand by educating your audiences at scale about the problem you solve, the product/solution you offer, and your strategic narrative, so they’ll consider you when the time is right.

With this buyer-centric mindset, quality leads will be a natural outcome and not an end goal, and your revenue-related metrics will shine.

Don’t let attribution reports trick you

When you create demand in awareness channels, many of the touchpoints with your audiences that lead to B2B purchases can’t be measured: organic social, podcasts, online events, community, word of mouth, earned PR, Youtube videos, etc.

In turn, these efforts will increase direct traffic (a traffic source that is overlooked as a marketing win) and organic traffic (in particular branded search terms), and bring in new customers.

Yes, your attribution reports will NOT show these efforts in awareness channels as revenue sources, but they’ll show up as direct or organic channels-sourced revenue.

But as marketers, we have to do the things that are most effective, bearing in mind the causation even if we can’t show the direct correlation.

Now is the time…

…to change your marketing mindset and step into the demand generation and brand marketing game to drive real business results.

If you rely only on lead generation, you’ve already lost the battle to companies that adapt their marketing to how buyers buy B2B products/services.

When your marketing efforts are geared toward demand generation and brand marketing, rather than lead generation, you will see higher revenue contribution, increased SQOs and sales win rates, shorter sales cycles, and lower CAC.

And think about this: as long as you hit your numbers, you’ll gain more trust and credibility and be able to do more of the brand marketing.

Life is too short for doing marketing that isn’t making an impact on revenue.

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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

My Favorite Paradox: Inbound Sales for Cold Leads header

Hi John,

My company does awesome stuff. There’s a good chance you need us. Would you be free to speak Monday morning?


Before coming to Bold Digital, this was pretty much what my go-to cold outreach looked like. If your first touch sales emails look something like this (even if it’s the beginning of an automated drip), we’ve got a problem.

The problem is that the email I wrote out above is centered around one person: Y-O-U. Let’s break it down.

  1. Right off the bat, you’re talking about your company. This has nothing to do with the prospect. Who they are, their space in the market, their newest PR feature, their brilliance, their challenges. That’s what you should be talking about.
  2. Next, you’re a) assuming their needs, and b) exuding confidence that you’re the solution. Here you have to explain to them why you think there’s a mutual fit. Have you learned about a particular challenge of theirs? Does that challenge sit in good company with the challenges your clients faced before implementing your solution? What’s a tip you can offer that will help them today?
  3. Lastly, you’re suggesting a time that works for you. They’re interested in a call? Great! If you have HubSpot Sales or other scheduling software, this is an awesome opportunity to empower your prospects. By putting them in the driver’s seat, they can set the date/ time that works best for them. It also beats the ping pong match you’re all too familiar with, trying to find the right time over email.
  4. Bonus tip: Your sign off. Recent research has found that the top 3 response rates for sign offs included words of gratitude. A simple ‘thanks’ can go a long away.


So what is inbound sales?

By writing my pre-Bold email, you offer no personalization and no value or help in an area your prospect needs guidance. What you need is an inbound sales approach. With an inbound sales strategy, you can replace in your head “selling” with “helping”. By helping your prospects through supporting their dream, empathizing with their disadvantages, and offering advice and encouragement, you can build a solid relationship based off trust.

Where can you get started? In the world of inbound, the #1 rule of the game is, you guessed it, personalization. This is just as true for sales as it is for marketing. Whether you’re approaching a hot, inbound lead or you’re working on your cold outreach efforts, all communication should feel personalized.

But enough with the introductions. Let’s dive into the cold pool.

helping you navigate your startup to marketing stardom

Inbound sales for cold leads

From everything we’ve talked about this far, it seems like cold emailing is the antithesis of inbound. Yes and no. Inbound leads, literally speaking, are incoming leads that come to you out of their own volition. But the truth of the matter is, as a startup still working on creating brand awareness, there’s a good chance you can’t solely rely on inbound marketing to fulfill your total goal of Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) you want to attract/ convert on a weekly, quarterly, or yearly basis. It’s time to begin finding new leads that fit your prospect fit matrix. From there, you can begin reaching out, adding value, and positioning yourself through emails to help them understand the relevance of your solution to their pain points.

So even if cold outreach is a necessity for your company, there’s still a personalized, inbound way to reach out to those who have never heard of you. It’s time to get to work.

  1.  This isn’t “coming from nowhere”. Cold outreach always feels like the moment you’re in the bar, club, or really any crowded social setting where you walk across the room to someone who caught your eye. Good chance, they’ll be sceptical. Who are you? Why me among the other potential suitors in the room? What’s your motive? The more you can show you’ve done your homework as to why you think there’s a potential shot for collaboration, the more you can show them you don’t just email anyone. They’re special.
  2. Get creative. Delighting shouldn’t be reserved for customers. Figure out the best way to delight and send the best first impression to your new leads. In a recent BizDev campaign we started at Bold Digital, we send videos to cold leads to help introduce us, our 2 cents on their website, and how we suggest they can step up their marketing efforts by offering them a tour of their own website through the eyes of an inbound marketer. The results? I’ll let them speak for themselves.


Our open, click, and reply rate for just the first email!

click and reply rate

(Stats courtesy of HubSpot Sales)

Bold Digital’s Hall of Fame of responses:

Prospect response #1

Prospect response #2

Prospect response #3


Prospect response #4

(I guess we really gotta start offering sales enablement?)

3. Follow up. Outreach should never be a one and done. What does that say about how much you’re interested if you only give it one try? If you don’t have HubSpot Sales or other sales automation that allows you to initiate a sequence of emails, set a reminder for yourself to send out follow up emails. Pro tip: be sure to leave a few days between emails, otherwise you’re spamming them. Not sure how to make one-sided conversation with a stranger? Here’s HubSpot’s 5 part outreach sequence schedule, but feel free to adjust it to meet your industry, target audience, and available resources. Remember: as opposed to selling, this lineup offers leads multiple opportunities to open, read, and click your emails, in addition to guiding and adding value throughout the buyer’s journey.

Email sequence

(Courtesy of HubSpot)

Bonus Feature! Inbound sales for hot leads

If you’re wondering how inbound sales works for…well hot inbound leads, I’m glad you stuck around.

Here are my top 3 tips to personalize your emails for your hot SQLs:

  1. Leverage their journey. They fell into your lap because your marketing team thinks they had some digitally significant interaction with your company. What was it? Does it suggest that they were looking for help/ to learn about something in particular? Use this information in your initial outreach to open up a conversation about what they may be interested in learning more about, and how you can educate them further on the topic.
  2. Build rapport. Part of being personable can sometimes be about…getting personal. Check out the lead on LinkedIn. Do you live in the same city? Do you have mutual connections, background, or interests? While your emails should be professional, being human goes a long way in a world of impersonal automation.
  3. Get into their shoes. Remember that itch we talked about in #1 of what you think the potential problem might be? See if you can verify that problem by checking out their website, seeing what technology they’re using (try Ghostery or SimilarTech), and any other resources you think can help you paint a broader picture of their efforts. Rope that into your opening statements and watch them be floored by how much you just get them.

Wrapping up

As we jumpstart 2018, I have no doubt we’ll be seeing more and more automation for marketing and sales. While that’s sure to free up our time for creativity and help us ensure our efforts (and our prospects’ behavior) don’t fall through the cracks, automation will become less impressive and more the norm. The best way to be ahead of the curve is to be personable, add value, and show that you care.

Here’s a stat to consider for 2018: “88% of missed opportunities were caused because sales couldn’t find or leverage internal resources.” – Qvidian 2014 Sales Execution Survey

So get to know your SQLs, both hot and cold, before you reach out to them. I promise, if your outreach is personalized and continuous, they’ll be excited to get to know you too.


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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

How to turn organic traffic into quality leads - header

Just because you’ve done a good job showing up in SERPs and a person visited your website does not mean that person is ready to buy anything from you. At least not yet. Trying to sell and survive in a B2B world is not a sprint, but a marathon, and having them come to your page and consume some of the content there is literally just a step in the right direction. It is a long-term game that requires building trust and nurturing a relationship with prospects. (visitors who were never potential customers are grounds for a different discussion).

What you need to do first is learn to distinguish blank leads from quality leads, those that actually might buy from you down the line, from those who are just interested in consuming content, maybe learning a thing or two, and moving on.

What traffic are you driving?

The first thing you need to do is make sure you are driving the right audience to your website. Analyze your current customers, their challenges and pain points, ideas and goals. Learn as much as you can about your ideal customer, and build your content around that knowledge. Understand what they want to learn and be the one to provide it.

Then, make sure your content is optimized for search engines so that it may end up high in SERPs. For organic content you need visibility, and lots of it. That can be achieved through SEO best practices. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile and that it runs fast and smooth. Ensure that your site does not have too many levels, or ghost links that confuse Google’s crawlers. Keep in mind the keywords you are using, and that they are present in the title, the article’s body, the meta description, as well as in your images’ alt text. And last, but definitely not least, avoid duplicate content at all cost.

helping you navigate your startup to marketing stardom

Leads ante Portas

Now that you have quality content and have started generating organic traffic, it is time to filter out quality leads, those you can actually market to, from those who are just interested in reading a few cool blog posts on any given subject. You will achieve that by turning your blog into the gateway to your website.

Create exclusive and valuable content in any form you feel your ideal buyer persona will enjoy most. That can be a webinar, a product demo, an interview, an audio guide or a podcast, an e-book, infographic, or any other form of media – feel free to go wild. Then, make sure you place that content behind a wall, and have your visitors sign up to receive it. Essentially, this turns them into a lead, as now you have a direct communications channel with people who have shown extra interest in your content and the product or service you offer. Just make sure you don’t ask for too much information. People are reluctant to give too much information nowadays and are quick to run away if they feel they are being asked for too much.

Don’t forget to write!

Here is where it gets tricky. Now that you have your leads’ emails (or other communications channel), what do you do with them? Do you start pitching sales right away? You should probably not do that yet, as you still can’t be certain at which stage of the buyer’s journey they are, and if they are interested, ready or willing to toss out a few greens your way yet. According to HubSpot, only every fourth lead is ready to buy at any given time. Instead, use that communications channel to offer even more value. Engage in a conversation with your leads, try to learn more about them, but at the same time look to form a relationship built on trust, transparency and professionalism.

Any information received needs to be used for lead scoring. As we have mentioned earlier, each lead is different on an individual level, and approaching them all from the same angle means wasting time and resources, hurting the user experience for the majority of your leads and probably not getting much done.

What you will want to do is think of a number of criteria that a lead must satisfy before you can consider them “sales ready”. Create a ranking system, and rank your leads based on the numbers of criteria they are satisfying. Your sales team’s approach to any given lead will be different, based on where they rank on your system, and which criteria they are fulfilling.

Final thoughts

Quality leads are like catnip for marketers. Being a potential customer of a product or a service, they are the lifeline of every business, which is why marketers tend to seek them out with almost religious devotion. However, not every lead is created equal, and some are worth your time and effort more than others. By offering engaging, educational and entertaining content, your site will bring in many people, but only a portion will move through gated content. Those leads are worth your time. Educate them, bring value to the table. Nurture those leads by forming relationships based on transparency and trust. And at the end of the day, make sure you are not selling too soon – those things tend to go haywire, fast.



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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

Haters gonna hate.png

If there is one thing that all entrepreneurs share in common, it has to be the false belief that all mankind just HAS to like the thing that they invented. Every person who looks like they’re not interested, or even – god forbid – say something negative about their product, company or service, is considered to be the root of evil, or – in the ever so polite corporate jargon – a crisis.

This usually comes from misunderstanding what “target audience” means. Politicians, by the way, understand this term better than anyone else, and usually wouldn’t care about a negative story about them, as long as it’s not published in a media that is read by their voters.

So what does “target audience” means? It means the audience which is highly likely to purchase whatever it is that you’re making, usually because it’s highly relevant to them (based on their location, occupation, habits, areas of interest etc.). I think we can agree that if this definition was to stop here, everyone would embrace it. The problem lies with the part less talked about – the one that deals with those who are NOT part of your target audience, and how they might react to your story. 


First of all, news flash – there isn’t even one thing in this world that EVERYBODY likes. Even babies or puppies are hated by some (those bastards!). Your product, your company, your story – are not going to be the one thing that changes that. It’s not “close to being impossible”, it is impossible. So some people are not going to like what you’re doing, that’s a given. And by the way, you are not going to find out about all of them, not now and not ever.

What to do about them? that’s what we’re going to solve today. I even prepared a checklist to make it easier on you. After all, dealing with haters is no pleasure cruise.

 1. Are they in your target audience? 

2. Are they in a position to influence your target audience? (say a reporter that writes about luxury cars, and hates yours. While he probably won’t buy one for himself, his readers are your exact target audience. This is also true for KOL – Key Opinion Leaders – and the likes of them).

 3. How loud are they? 

 4. Is their hate based on personal bias, or actual experience?

 5. (This is the most important one, probably) Do they make a fair point?

 6. Is there a possibility to change their mind?

 7. If the answer to 6 is yes, what will it take, and is it worth it?

helping you navigate your startup to marketing stardom


If they are in your target audience, jump immediately to Q4+5 (by the way, if the answer to 1+2 is no, leave it!). Do they make a fair point? if you’re too close to answer this yourself, ask someone you trust and doesn’t work for you to try and answer this. Try to avoid giving them your point of view before they answer, and ask only people who you trust enough to know that they will always be honest with you.

If the answer is yes, thank the hater and learn from it. Maybe even change accordingly. You have a chance at communicating directly with your audience here. Be humble.

If the answer is no, go back to Q2. If they are not in a position to influence others on a massive scale, leave it. No one reaches 100% of their target audience. If the answer is yes, check out Q6- can you change their mind? yes- go to Q7 (what will it take), and if it makes sense, do it. If no – leave it! It would be wiser and better to spend your time on winning others who like you, or are able to learn to like you, and create positive ambassadors there.

The only question I did not address is Q3, how loud are they. I didn’t address it because, to be honest, I don’t like it. In today’s world things can go viral for no apparent reason, and ignoring someone (especially if they do make a fair point) just because they have only 130 friends on Facebook and 43 Twitter followers can prove to be a big mistake. Huge.  But if you have to, add that to the mix in order to asses the risk – it also helps to understand the general loudness of the hater. Are they “professional haters”, the kind that hates everything and anyone? are they usually positive but have a thing with your company specifically?

 Professional haters (and we all know at least one of those) are usually taken by their surroundings with a grain of salt. Positive people who share negative opinion about something are usually trusted more. Which one is yours?

 To sum it up – if you go through the following Q&A with a rational mind, most of the time the answer would be “leave it”. That’s because we can’t win them all. And I’m not saying they should be treated with anything other than respect (not admiration, obviously, but respect for sure). I’m just saying they’re not worth it. Not your time, not your resources, and not the endless fight of trying to win them over, a fight that will never end because there will always be at least one hater you’re aware of, if you’re not lying to yourself.

Last note,

If you see that too many of your target audience are becoming haters, then the best thing to do would be to quote Ice Cube to yourself – “Check yourself before you wreck yourself”. Something is not working, either your story, your brand promise or the actual experience. Don’t wait until it’s too late – your target audience wants to love you, you invented something that is aimed at making their life easier. If they don’t, learn from it and react before it’s too late.

I’ll close with an example I like to give. There’s a website called “paypalsucks.com“. It’s been around for a while, and I’m sure PayPal HQ are aware of it. Why haven’t they declared war on it? Simply because with over 100M clients, they understand the simple truth I was talking about today:

Haters gonna hate. No worth spending your time and energy on them, when you can win loyal clients somewhere else instead.



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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

paid or earned media


Over the last decade, almost every marketer pondered with the idea of which type of media: owned, paid or earned media –  is the most essential marketing tool. The question of whether “earned media” is more valuable than traditional “paid media” isn’t always easy to answer.

With the decline in consumer attitudes toward sponsored ads in the past few years, the question as to which type of media is the most effective for lead Generation is more important than ever. While the idea of earned media is appealing from a financial standpoint (social media is free!), there are some important points to consider when building your marketing campaigns around all three of these types of media.

First of all: what are owned, paid and earned media?

Owned  – Owned media is the content you’re in full control of, e.g your company website, blog posts, case studies, content offers (whitepapers, infographics etc), and your social media accounts.

Owned media can be used to generate leads as well as to nurture them, provide value and move down the sales funnel.

The upside of owning media is a no brainer – you own assets and are in full control of them. The main downside (if at all) is that generating leads on your owned media is a challenging task that requires investment of money, time and patience.

Paid – Paid media refers to any media form that you pay in order to advertise, e.g social media ads, search engines ads. display ads, video ads, paid recommendations on content discovery platforms and so on. Those advertising options are usually used to boost your exposure, promote specific products or content and generate quick revenue (Pros will also use paid media for targeting keywords on earlier stages of the buyer’s journey).

The main upside of paid media is the ability to target specific audiences and scale. The downside is that the minute you turn off the tap, the curtain shuts on your paid assets.

Earned – When someone distributes your content on your behalf, it’s considered “earned” media.

This happens when customers or clients share, like, tweet, comment, write about your product/service and share their experiences with your organization (whether good or bad). The clear downside of earned media is that your company is at the mercy of your customers. The upside? Chances are that if your company provides good customer support and sells a good product/service, the internet will reward you for it. Also, complaints are an opportunity to turn an unhappy customer to a brand ambassador, show them you care and they will appreciate your effort.

So, which type of media contributes best to your lead generation efforts?

A successful marketing strategy doesn’t rely on one tactic alone.

Generating relevant quality leads who will potentially turn into customers requires you regularly publish valuable and engaging content, explore guest blogging opportunities, identify opportunities for new marketing campaigns, and devise a strategy for promoting the said content.

To be fully effective paid, earned, and indeed owned media must converge and be integrated as far as is possible within your marketing strategies and limitations.

Understanding the differences between each type of media – earned, owned, and paid, and how to combine them is critical for your lead generation efforts.

Combining earned, owned, and paid media will help you attract, convert, nurture and close leads. Find what mix of earned and paid media works for you by focusing on your overall marketing goals. Your goals should be SMART goals (i.e. Specific, measurable, time bound and realistic). Evaluate:

  • What are your goals? Is this leads, customers, or revenue? Different medias can serve different goals.
  • what is the lifetime value (LTV) of each customer? What is your LTV goal and how can you expect to generate ROI on your media efforts?
  • Who are you yourtarget customers and what are the steps in their typical buyer’s journey? How can you make sure to leverage the different types of media to get noticed by them on each stage of their journey?
  • What are the Targets/Metrics that you will use to measure your efforts?
  • How soon do you need to generate results by? Owned media takes time to get noticed by search engines. It’s not realistic to rely on it alone when pressed for time

Each goal will require a different combination of media, finding the right mix and constantly evaluating and measuring it against set KPIs will help you reach your marketing goals.

The bottom line

Create engaging, customer focused, problem-solving content with owned media. Place that content strategically through well-targeted and planned paid media. Earn your audience’s trust and support to develop a strong network of brand ambassadors.

If you found this useful, and you’re curious to learn more and find out how to step up your lead geneation, we invite you to download our 30 greatest lead generation tips, tricks and ideasGet your FREE copy now >>

Schedule a FREE consultation


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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

lead nurturing - what is it header

Introduction to lead nurturing

“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is a progress, working together is success”Henry Ford.

Well said Henry, but what is lead nurturing?

Exactly that.

Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with your prospects at every stage of their buyer’s journey.





Remember this somewhat painful truth: Your prospective clients are not necessarily interested in buying your product or service at the moment.
In fact, according to Hubspot, about 90% of your inbound leads are not ready to make an immediate purchase.

By understanding this and by nurturing a healthy educating relationship with them, by the time they are ready to buy, you will stand a good chance of them choosing you.

How do you go about building a successful relationship?

Once a prospect willingly provides you with their contact details the magic begins. This could be a result of visiting a landing page you have published, filling out a form on your website or any other non spammy way.

It is now your job to be attentive to the needs of your prospects and to provide them with information regarding their challenges and need. Research who your buyer personas are. Learn what their most urging needs are and see how you can help them solve them. Educate them, provide relevant knowledge and elegantly move them down the sales funnel.

The idea is to provide relevant information, at the right time, to the right prospect.



For example, if you provide software development services. Your prospects may be Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) at SMBs. Researching websites such as Quora, and speaking with current clients, you learn that CTOs struggle with time management. A common mistake would be to publish a blog post about time management development tips and to end the post with a CTA inviting the prospect to schedule a sales call.

Think about it. Is this prospect necessarily interested in outsourcing a tech project at the moment? Probably not. They’re interested in learning more about a specific need related to your expertise. Hard selling at this early stage would be almost irrelevant. They don’t yet know you, they don’t trust you, and they might not even have a current project on the table.

The best way to approach this would indeed be to write a post with relevant content, yet instead of hard selling, end the post with a CTA inviting them to download an eBook with productivity tips for CTOs. Your prospect will happily provide you with their contact details in order to enjoy your free offer. Once they provide you with their details you are granted with a magical opportunity to begin what could be a successful relationship. Don’t rush a sale – this is your chance to begin nurturing this relationship up to a point where your prospect trusts you and is ready to consider working with you.

Lead Nurturing requires patience

It’s important to understand that not all relationships will end up in marriage. According to MarketingSherpa, almost 80% of new leads never become sales.

The good news is that according to Marketo – by implementing a smart lead nurturing strategy you can generate about 50% more sales qualified leads at costs that are 33% lower than regular top of the funnel costs.

Back to the software development company example, since we now understand that rushing a sales process would almost surely result in failure, the idea is to take a step back and start crafting remarkable content that correlates with the prospects stage of the buyers journey.

Once the prospect downloads an eBook, we can send him an email, inviting him to read more “awareness stage” blog posts with general educating content that would be of use to them. After sending your prospect several awareness stage posts to read, you can feel confident to gently push them down the sales funnel to the consideration stage. Send them an email inviting them to read content that is directly related to your services such as “how to know when it’s time to outsource a software development project”.

Ready to Step up your marketing?

Pro tip: Using marketing automation services such as Hubspot will help you learn more about your prospects stage in the buyers journey. You will be able to know exactly what content your prospect read, and when. Enabling you to optimize and asses your content strategy.  

Lastly, once your confident that your prospect is interested in what you have to say, and keeps coming back for more. Move down to the final stage of the buyers journey – the decision stage. Now would be the time to provide them with surveys, case studies, industry comparisons and any other info that you think would enable them to make an educated decision.

Only once you are under the impression that your prospect is ready to discuss business, you can transfer the lead to your sales department. Don’t do it a minute sooner.

This entire process can take between 2 weeks to 3 months. THAT’S OK! It’s better to have fewer leads that end up in a sale, than many irrelevant leads that will never buy from you.


Hard selling to a non-ready prospect who does not know you and does not trust you will statistically almost always fail.

Adapting a smart lead nurturing strategy requires patience but it’s worth it and can potentially double your sales and cut your marketing costs. Be attentive to the buyers journey and to your prospects needs and readiness. Don’t impose. Don’t interrupt.

Now that’s marketing people love.

If you’re interested in learning more and finding out how to create a long lasting inbound marketing strategy, we invite you to download our How-to guide for creating and inbound marketing strategy.

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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

getting high quality B2B leads

Introduction to high quality B2B leads

Here is a fact: 94% of B2B buyers conduct at least some form of research online prior to making a purchasing decision. This essentially means that acquiring leads online is one of the best ways to increase the sales of any B2B company. However, not all leads are created equal and should be treated the same way.

Now, even though B2B companies realize the opportunity lying in generating leads online, most of them forget the most important thing: B2B is not B2C and the lead generation efforts aren’t the same either. Decision making processes in B2B are far more complicated and you can’t just focus on generating large amounts of leads. Most of those leads probably won’t even consider becoming a customer.

This aligns with the top goal B2B marketers are setting for 2016, according to the report by Technology Marketing and Partners, to improve the quality of their leads. In addition, in the same report, 59% of the respondent said that generating high quality leads is their biggest challenge when it comes to lead generation. So, don’t worry, you are not alone.

What are the biggest B2B lead generation challenges

The starting point for getting high quality b2b leads

What online marketing made a lot easier compared to traditional marketing is that most activities can be monitored and measured. Therefore, it’s wrong to base your decisions solely on experience or assumptions. Take a look at the data first. Numbers do have a surprising nature sometimes.

When crafting a marketing strategy, think about it from a different perspective: put yourself in the shoes of your potential buyers and try to assess their behavior. In other words, identify your buyer personas.

After that, think about stuff that is most relevant for their current stage: some people know exactly what their problem is and what needs to be done to fix it (this is basically what you call a qualified lead) others are lost. They just know they have a problem, but don’t know how to fix it or where to start (these are the bad quality leads).

Your job is to guide those customers who seem to be lost, and show them the way (not enforce!) to solving their problems by providing relevant, helpful and valuable content. Quality content is exactly what you need to start with if you hope to acquire high quality leads.

Buyer's Journey

This is what a customer’s journey (or buyer’s journey as a more preferable way of calling it) looks like and this is what you need to get straight as your top priority.

Lead nurturing is your best friend

Closing sales as fast as possible is the dream of any B2B company. You find the person, you offer him or her the product, you close the deal. Nice and easy.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the best approach for B2B companies. It’s surely excellent if you can find those sales-ready people, but what about potential customers that just don’t know whether they need you yet, or those that need a bit more information in order to become a customer?

Here is something important: 73% of acquired leads are not yet ready to buy. This technically means that around 1 out of 4 leads you get will be ready to close the deal on the spot, but this doesn’t mean that the other leads should be neglected. With effective lead nurturing campaigns, you will be able to bring them to the point where they too are ready to become customers.

Lead Nurturing graph

Lead nurturing is an effective online marketing practice that builds relationships with your potential buyers (or low quality leads for that matter), engages with them and helps proceed further down their buyer’s journey.

Ready to Step up your marketing?

While there are a lot of lead nurturing tactics that can be utilized, emails are the most effective and cost efficient strategy available out there. By Far. For every dollar spent on email nurturing efforts, the average return you get is equal to $44.

Moreover, according to Mckinsey, emails are the second best channel for acquiring customers, after organic search.

US customer acquisition growth by channel

At the end of the day, you will be investing a bit more resources into lead nurturing efforts, but it’s going to be worth it.

Lead nurturing helps establish trust with suspicious/non-sales-ready clients

One of the main reasons why people (and leads) don’t close the deal on the spot is suspicion, and that is understandable. With so much content out there and so many companies offering technically the same thing, how do you know which company you can trust?

This is where personalized and unique tailored lead nurturing content steps in. If you have identified your buyer personas correctly and targeted the right people, this means you already know a lot about them: who they are, what they love, their lifestyle, their hobbies, their interests, etc.

This kind of information combined with the information on your landing page form that people fill out to become a lead, can become your life saver. You will be able to create personalized, unique tailored content and emails that fit each lead perfectly on his or her own, and not take the matters the general way. A single approach never works for more than a few people.

Every person wants to get personalized approach, whether it’s online, at a store or any other place. Lead nurturing gives you the chance to provide that approach with the help of all the information you have about each specific person and therefore, prove that you are a trustworthy company.

Keep the communication going

After you prove that you can be trusted, it’s important to maintain steady communication with your prospects and nurture them further down their journey.

For example after you send some tailored content to the prospect, monitor the behaviour of the lead and act accordingly. If he liked the content and responded to the CTA you provided in your email, it might be a good time to move to the next stage.

You can also consider using a marketing automation software for lead nurturing purposes as lead nurturing has been continuously reported as the most beneficial feature of any such software, just a shy edge more than reporting and analytics.

Most Valuable feature of marketing automation system

Its also important to understand that each lead comes from a different stage of the buyer’s journey. This means that each lead will require a certain amount of time (awareness stage requires most time, while decision requires the least) to move down the funnel and convert to a customer. Be patient and don’t push your prospects: keep providing relevant content and let them choose themselves.

Use lead nurturing insights to get a better idea of what your customers want to get

Another great thing about lead nurturing is that you can use the established trust and communication to get a better understanding of what exactly your customers are looking for. You can include a survey or ask direct questions related to the features of your product/service in your emails and gather their feedback.

Once you have it, you can then conduct an internal research to understand whether those suggested changes should be implemented or not.


On a final note, it’s important to keep in mind that even with nurturing, you aren’t going to close the deal with each of your leads. Some people that become leads are just plain uninterested in what you have to offer or just needed to get your ebook from you, since it’s great content obviously.

This is a price we all have to pay though. There is no company that is able to close their sales with every potential buyer, but this doesn’t mean that trying to is a bad option. Lead nurturing will allow you to boost the number of your Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)s significantly and get you a giant step closer to achieving your business’s financial .

If you found this helpful, let’s pick up the pace, learn how to rectify your sales pipeline and grow your business in our FREE 14 B2B Marketing Best Practices that every CMO must know eBook!

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