No Sales Bulldogs Allowed: B2B Lead Generation For Complex Selling
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Different sales flows need different lead gen strategies, just like different folks need different strokes. We’ll be covering how to best use B2B lead generation strategies and video social selling in order to help you move your high-ticket complex sales forward.
Let’s talk about it:
Recently I’ve taken up hiking in the mountainous regions of Colorado.
This is something I never would’ve gotten into, being a latchkey kid ‘raised’ in the ‘burbs of Central Florida where pedestrians are more rare than shooting stars.
If you catch me on the trail today, geared up like a boss, tackling 14,000 ft tall peaks, you would not have guessed that I started hiking in threads that made me look like a tourist visiting a theme park.
For one, I caught a bad rash along both my legs the first time I went hiking, this lead to my obtaining hiking pants. Next, I regularly caught bites from pests in the bush, which led to my wearing long-sleeved performance tops. And sometime after vomiting up and down my most extreme hike, I learned to stay better hydrated, purchasing a hydro backpack and using aluminum poles for easier maneuvering.
I learned B2B Lead Generation via good ol’ trial and error. It started with me pissing off prospects and ended with me helping customers get paid.
But in the early days (in which I feel I still am), I learned the precious difference between your simple (low-price) and complex (high-price) sale — and how that changes your approach to lead generation.
Invite Yes; Impale No
I recently sat down with a sales director of a French software firm to talk about how B2B lead generation, specifically, LinkedIn Lead Generation figures into the complex sale.
He was tired of relying on increasingly expensive and sporadic partner marketing and leads via third party events and content providers. In short, he wanted to hunt but figured farming was all that was possible.
What follows were my best recommendations to him.
First off, you want to change your mindset when it comes to the complex sale. Think invite over impale.
When you’ve cut your teeth in the relatively quick/low-price sales world, like I have, you tend to think of sales in the bulldog, I’m dropping by your place of business now, let me put you on the phone with my manager sort of way (impale).
Meanwhile complex sales, tend to take longer, require more buy-in (people OK-ing your deal) and are more trust and relationship-driven (invite).
We want to make sure we transfer that understanding to our B2B lead generation as well.
My Top Recommendation: Video-Powered Messaging
Things are always changing — just a given of life. What was clever becomes cliche. While lead generation via LinkedIn text messaging was once considered a cool new way to reach B2B buyers, I do get the sense that is no longer the case.
It now only works for people who are highly targeted in their efforts.
For those without that insight, they fall prey to the classic fight, flight, or freeze trap with potential/new customers.
Fight: Outward hostility, blaming, projecting name-calling, holier-than-thou behavior
Mantra: “How dare you reach out to me for business, social media is sacred.”
Flight: Vague responses, proclaim confusion
Mantra: “Maybe get back to me sometime between never and next quarter — If I’m not busy.”
Freeze: Don’t respond, canned responses provided by platform
Mantra: [Left blank because they aren’t engaged and don’t care enough to respond]
You’ve seen the signs. You’ve gotten this before. You’ve done it before 🙂
Recognize that it is more likely that the result of your lead generation efforts will be crickets than anything else.
Note: I’ve decided against working hard to convince you of this a.k.a bombarding you with a list of how everything is “dead” or “cancelled,” (go here to grasp the reference, apparently Taylor Swift is on the proverbial chopping block). Whatever. Back to your scheduled programming.
That is why my top recommendation is going to be video-powered messaging.
- Body language
According to Zoom, “Words only contribute 7% of the message, while tonality contributes 38%, and body language weighs in at an impressive 55%.”
Video helps us build more trust than other methods. Plus I’ve seen it get up to 40% engagement from new customers via LinkedIn.
You can easily record webcam video with Loom Pro and include a call-to-action (CTA) or buttons that lead new customers to a related webinar when clicked. This is going to be more helpful than inviting the new customer to a meeting where a quick close is expected.
B2B Social Selling Strategies For The Complex Sale
Here are some other social selling strategies we’ve used with great success that can be helpful in a complex sales situation:
Consistent Posting is a simple strategy you can use to wake up old leads and generate inbound leads with which you can continue the complex sales conversation.
Market research/networking messaging
While I’ve made a boast about the effectiveness of video-powered messaging, market research/network messaging is by far the most successful.
In this setup you are asking for help from an expert with the eventual goal of getting on a call.
Note: I do not recommend being duplicitous/two-faced here. If you are honestly in a situation where you’re initially looking for some answers that an expert/your potential target customer could clear up, then do it.
Market research/networking messaging templates
- Hi [First Name]! I’d just connected with [Mutual Connection First Names] (2 out of 4 of our mutual contacts) when I noticed your profile and that you’re also a [Thing You Share In Common]. I just [Relevant Situation To Why You’re Reaching Out] and am looking to build new connections. Hope to connect on LI.
- [First Name]. Thanks for connecting. Good to connect with a fellow [thing you have in common]. A bit about me: [Your Quick Story And Problem] but am unsure how to best help [People You Want To Serve] in the area. That’s why I’m glad to chat with a seasoned pro like yourself.
Would it be alright to ask you a few questions?
- Thanks for being helpful [First Name]. I think I could learn a lot from your experience. And typically when I find someone like that, whether a business mentor or fellow [Your Professional Role], I invite them out to coffee.
Would you be open to grab a coffee for 30 mins?
And hopefully I could share some insights I’ve learned from [Your Target Industry] leaders like yourself. It would be really helpful.