While the national and international economies are not feeling the effects of a recession yet, they will in as soon as a few months or even weeks. Many restaurants, retail businesses, and department stores are filing for bankruptcy. That is why you need to maximize your B2B leads during a recession to adjust for the worst-case scenario.
Top Three Methods To Optimize B2B Lead Generation Funnels During a Recession
A business needs B2B leads. For this surge, we are only discussing how to do this during the recession, because you cannot keep doing the same things expecting different returns during a time of economic downturn. That’s why you have to alter your strategy.
What are the top three ways that a business can maximize leads during a recession?
You cannot stop paid advertising. Continuously target a cold audience to try to feed that top funnel.
If sales are down, can a business justify the cost of advertising?
You cannot focus on cost. Prioritize incoming revenue. One of the biggest issues that we see with a lot of B2B business owners is that they look at marketing as cost, as an expense, rather than looking at it as an investment. They’re so wrapped around how much they’re actually not focusing on the potential revenue or customer lifetime value that they will achieve later on down the road.
Yes, your sales may be down. You cannot, however, stop reaching out to new audiences and new demographics to try to increase your top funnel to try to increase your potential revenue later on down the road. Attorneys are helping small businesses with PPP loans for free to acquire new potential customers, as one example.
A recession is the best time to grab new customers and increase customer acquisition. Why? Because they’re going to need your help, services, and products from a B2B standpoint.
Invest in paid ads now. The cost for them is almost down by 40%. Many businesses are pulling out of paid ads, and they will pay for it, literally. At the same time, make logical business decisions: limit your spending and cut out all the fat. But don’t stop the avenues that you have to make more revenue.
Focusing on Nurture Funnels and Drip Campaigns
What is the second lead generation strategy?
Focus on your lead management and nurturing. This is now more important than ever. During a recession, you’re going to have more risk-averse buyers. They’re going to need a lot more coddling and research before they’re ready to make that purchase decision.
You need a lead nurture funnel and drip campaign that will educate a consumer about your products or services. Then they become more comfortable with proceeding towards a purchase. When you ignore this step, 80 to 90% of your qualified prospects will never turn into a sales prospect, will never actually turn into a qualified sales lead, unless you have a nurture campaign set up.
Nurture’s a big part of this. You and your team, however, need to be the best salespeople ever. Show an overabundance of proof to convince people to buy from you in the next six months.
That proof from a B2B standpoint could be any service that you provide. If you want to sell a potential client development work, give them a case study that highlights your success stories. The same goes for eCommerce marketing.
Your nurture will then communicate an overabundance of proof. That nurture has to contain multiple touchpoints: LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media channels. If you implement an unconventional strategy that no one is repeating, your business will get the sale even in a difficult time like this. That’s how you’re going to acquire the new customer.
You need to prove that you’re a good marketer, company, service, and sales team, and there’s no better way than nurture. Email follow-ups are key here because you might not reach people with phone calls. People don’t want to talk about business on the phone. At Optimum7, when our sales team makes calls, some prospective clients have been telling us, “Why are you calling me? Don’t you watch the news? Don’t you see what’s going on?”
People are in that mindset right now. Instead of calling, send an email or LinkedIn message. If you don’t, somebody else that’s doing it will get the business.
Finding New Sales Opportunities During an Economic Crisis With Outreach
What’s number three?
Invest in outreach. Individuals may not be looking for your services right now, so you need to try to get in front of their faces. Try cold outreach, get them on the phone without annoying them, or send an email. They might not be looking for your product or services at this time but may do so in the future.
Alternatively, review your existing customers. How can you provide more value for them, and potentially upsell your existing clientele? Cold outreach is going to be difficult. Maximize the contacts that have a relationship with you.
Make sure you are maximizing the potential of your existing customers. They need help, upsells, masks, services, consulting from a PPP loan standpoint, legal advice, regardless of you providing B2B products, regardless of you doing marketing.
If you help your existing customers during a recession, they are not going to forget about you. They are going to appreciate it. Take care of your existing customers, and don’t be shy to upsell. Tell them, “You can buy a hundred thousand dollars’ worth of these sanitizers and sell 450.” Don’t shy away from doing this. Be creative. Give them ideas.
If you don’t have outreach processes, you need one. Remember, people watch the news, stay at home per government orders, and want to stay safe. While some people are still searching for service, many have stopped using Google. Check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest instead; everybody’s on social media complaining about the current situation and sharing news.
Communication is key, no matter the method you use. Land on their inbox with a good value proposition and without a copy-paste message. Don’t send an email blindly that reads, “Hey, my name is John. I sell N95 masks. Do you want to buy 100,000?” You have to be more creative.
Provide value before you ask for sales, so that they won’t refuse. At the same time, segment your customers.
Optimizing Your Sales Funnel from Top to Bottom
Who is at the top, middle, or bottom of the funnel?
The top of the funnel contains a person who saw an ad of yours or watched some video. In contrast, the middle of the funnel comprises people who watched more than 30 to 40 seconds and went to your page three times.
The bottom of the funnel is somebody who opted in for your newsletter, went to your site, looked at 10 different pages, and engaged with your brand. You have to segment this out into your outreach processes.
How do you segment the bottom of the funnel?
Go back 12 months and ask yourself these questions: “Who received agreements from me? Where did I send contracts? Who received POs from me?” Regardless of customers buying or not, nurture is a big part of this.
For cold advertising, you’re going to need landing pages and email copy. Don’t land on the spam folder, because that will count against your business online.