Lead generation techniques in software development
Generating leads for software development projects is a slightly different process than generating leads for other businesses. You can find dozens of online articles on improving your lead generation process. Most of them are usually centered around B2C type of marketing. When it comes to lead generation for software development companies, you need to focus on B2B digital marketing capabilities.
How lead generation process looks like in B2B and B2C marketing?
In order to implement an appropriate lead generation strategy in a given software development company, the first step is to understand the differences between lead generation in B2B and B2C marketing.
At the first glance, both lead generation processes are alike. The foundation of both approaches is creating a marketing funnel in order to generate leads for business. Nevertheless, to make your strategy work, you need to use different techniques depending on whether you are in B2B or B2C division.
The importance of marketing funnels in lead generation process
A marketing funnel is a series of steps that visitors go through from learning about your business to purchasing your products or services.
The graph represents a typical marketing funnel. As you can see, the funnel narrows after each phase. Only some percentage of visitors will become leads, and only some of these leads will become your customers. Your goal should be to adopt such lead generation strategies that allow you to attract primarily valuable leads who will be the most prone to purchase.
Some marketing experts believe that it is not correct to call any user a lead when they are only in the first phase (namely, 'awareness') and have just found out about your business. Digital marketing savvies believe it is more correct to refer as 'leads' to those in the third phase ('consideration'). This is the moment your visitors do get interested in your business, instead of just noticing it in the crowd of similar ones.
Before you start your lead generation process, you need to determine who you will consider leads. This way, you will be able to segment leads into such categories as:
- qualified (most probable to purchase),
- warm (hesitant but promising),
- and cold (rather unlikely to purchase).
Marketing funnels in B2B and B2C
The process of lead generation and turning leads into customers itself is the same both in B2B and B2C approach. In both cases, the process consists of the same phases. However, the two approaches should be centered around different strategies in order to become successful. According to Brian Kardon, CMO of Lattice Engines:
That makes B2B sales cycles significantly longer than B2C ones. In B2B, going through all the phases can take months while in B2C it can be done within a few days.
When compared to B2C marketing funnels, B2B ones are created for a more narrow audience. It makes B2B lead generation process a little bit easier as it has to be tailored for the preferences of a notably smaller audience, and the market is not that oversaturated like in the case of B2C.
What is important in B2B lead generation process is also the fact that it should be about addressing risk, assisting businesses in finding solutions to improve their services, emphasising on frugality and possibilities of increasing ROI. In order to create successful B2B lead generation campaigns you need to speak to minds and logic instead of emotions like in the case of B2C campaigns.
What are the best lead generation techniques for software development companies?
As already mentioned – lead generation process in a software development company fits into B2B model. Thus, in order to make your lead gen campaign effective, you need to advance your B2B digital marketing capabilities.
Developing compelling content
Your target audience is most probably businesses searching for industry tips and education online. Therefore, in order to demonstrate your or your software development team’s skills, you should write helpful articles of high quality raising technology or industry subjects interesting for your target customers.
Once a certain business discovers informative articles and meaningful content with industry jargon written by you or your team members, and consider you true technology savvies, you have better chances of converting the said business into your customer.
Taking care of SEO
Taking care of SEO is essential for everyone who wants to improve their search presence and build visibility in the digital world. Therefore, you need to properly take care of your SEO strategy.
The very first thing one usually does when in need of a reliable software development company, is to google it. And you need to make sure you are easy to be googled by them.
Consequently, you should analyze the effectiveness of keywords in your niche and use the most prominent ones that will direct organic traffic to your sites. Also, you should consider putting the common phrases and words into headings, as they will be better ranked by Google and facilitate potential customers to notice your business.
Optimizing your page for conversions
The best way to optimize your page for higher conversions is to create a specific B2B promotion landing page. This way, you are able to focus on creating a powerful value proposition and to clearly present potential customers with the benefits your software could provide them with.
When creating your landing page (you can do this with a landing page builder) and quoting the benefits of your software development products or services, you should focus on measurable and rational aspects. Your customers want products that can assist them with increasing ROI, limiting risk, and saving time or resources.
In B2B promotion, the logic and characteristics are more valued than personal preferences, so you should make your products or services look highly professional and reliable. There are plenty of examples of SaaS landing pages doing just that.
What is more, in order to optimize your landing pages, remember about all the necessary elements:
- a simple and concise headline,
- clear landing page copy,
- an eye-catching demo or a video,
- customized CTA (call to action).
For the sake of the success of your future marketing campaigns, you should also gather data about your leads. This way, you have a great starting point to kick off with your next marketing campaigns.
If you run a software development company, it may be troublesome to unanimously define your model customer. Check what kind of industries your visitors come from and how big of a budget they have at their disposal. It will enable you to improve the personalization aspect of your marketing approach.
Developing lead nurturing strategy
Generating leads and turning them into customers is already a huge success. Still, you should never forget about the lead nurturing process – maintaining a continuous relationship with your customers.
It is an essential practice when it comes to software development projects, as sales cycles there are much longer when compared to B2C ones. After your customers purchase your software development products or services, they need information and ongoing support. In B2B purchasing model, sales are based on long relationships, so you should take care of every one of them in order to keep your customers satisfied.
A vast majority of software development companies ignore the lead nurturing concept, as they see it as useless. However, frankly speaking – it usually results in missed opportunities (customers may resign from your services or share negative testimonials about your products) and significant losses.
Summing up – lead generation process for software development companies is quite explicit because it operates on B2B digital market. Therefore, you need to implement appropriate techniques to make your strategy stellar. Nevertheless, it doesn’t have to be more troublesome than a typical omnipresent B2C lead generation process.
Once you adopt the appropriate strategy and demonstrate your technology’s prowess as well as the high quality of your software development services or products, you may easily generate valuable leads for your business and make your software development company thrive.