When it comes to B2G sales, the process can be unique and often times traditional ways of generating leads doesn’t always work. In the B2C and even the B2B world, content is king and inbound search methodologies reign, but is that the case with B2G leads? The short answer is not always! Below are the most successful ways to increase B2G leads.
One important thing to note is that no matter the method you use to generate B2G leads, the most successful B2G marketers and sales reps leverage Federal Speak in their communications and often tie back their solutions to a relevant compelling event.
4 Ways To Increase B2G Leads For Your Sales Process
1. Word of Mouth Referrals
While this is often the case for all markets, word of mouth marketing works especially well in the B2G market because of the Government’s buying processes. In the Government, purchases are usually initiated by a single department. There are many instances of this same or very similar department across an agency or military branch that each has their own buying power. Due to the similarities of the work, employees under one department will often converse with employees under those other similar departments. If you have an effective solution, you will often get referred through these conversations.
While word of mouth marketing will often happen naturally but there is one thing you can do to drive more leads at a higher quality and that is to ask your customer for a referral. This is the simplest method and usually the most effective, especially when you have a specific person in mind for them to talk to. After you have confirmed your customer is seeing real value and success from your solution, ask if they can introduce you to “so and so” from another similar department as you think this solution could help them as well. Most times, your customer will say yes and, even more likely, that introductory email will sing your praises.
As mentioned earlier, this is where Federal speak and compelling event research can come into play very successfully. For example, if you know that CISA just released an article about ransomware protection and your solution protects against ransomware this can be a great way to request the introduction in a timely and relevant manner .
2. Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a key strategy in the B2C and B2B world but it has a place in B2G as well, albeit in a slightly different context. Government buyers search for the things they need but they do not always use Google; most agencies have their own internal systems for cataloging vendors and this is often the first place a government employee will go to find the things he/she needs. If your organization and solution is not listed, then you will not show up in these searches. Now, this process can be tedious but it is worth it:
- Start by gathering a list of targeted agencies. It is best to start small here so choose no more than 10 to work first.
- For each agency, view the past 1-3 years of RFIs and RFPs they have posted as it relates to the solutions you sell. As you are reading through them, make note of the various ways your solution is referenced (AKA your keywords).
- Next set up your vendor profile for each agency. You want to include information about your business such as company name, website, SAM, DUNS number, etc. and then you want to include multiple direct contacts from your business. Finally, there will be long text sessions where you can describe your offerings or even the job description of the contacts you have added, don’t craft a well-written summary here instead copy and paste as many of the keywords you gathered from Step 2 as possible and save.
- Finally, set up a reminder each quarter to review news RFIs and RFPs and update your profile and keywords.
This method is tedious but it will help increase the number of direct requests you receive from targeted agencies.
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Government-focused events are a great way to showcase your product to a number of potential buyers. When choosing an event follow these steps to ensure you get the most quality leads possible from your investment:
- Ensure the event topics and potential attendee list aligns with your target buyer. Check the session summaries, agency attendance and the anticipated job titles of attendees to gather this information and make a decision.
- Send out pre-event emails to your contact lists to let them know you will be at an event and what products or solutions you will have to demo. Emails should also include an option to schedule a time to meet with you at the event or in the evening following exhibit hours.
- Consider running a targeted social media ad campaign in the days leading up to and during the event and targeted to the event location. Again, include a CTA to schedule a time to meet.
- Capture attendee information whenever possible. This should include name, email, phone number, job title, company and what they were interested in.
- Finally, follow up with leads as soon as possible. It is often best to prep a general follow up sequence prior to the event so that you can enroll folks quickly after the event. You will often be tired after an event so it is best to do the heavy thinking of an email campaign prior so that you can enroll people with minimal effort afterwards.
These events will help you generate a lot of leads but they cost a lot to attend and sometimes can take several months to produce any sales. To help drive down costs, especially if there are a lot of events that make sense for your business, consider one of the following solutions to drive down costs:
- Partner with a complimentary company and split the booth costs. This will not only drive down costs but you both will benefit from the pre-event marketing that each company does through the increased overall foot traffic to the booth.
- Register as an attendee. The costs of an event will decrease significantly if you do not invest in a booth spot and you have the ability to attend sessions that your customers may attend as well as the event networking sessions. By challenging yourself to network yourself and and your organization directly to attendees one-on-one you will likely generate less leads but the quality and CPL will often be much higher.
4. Account-Based Marketing
All of these steps could technically fall under an account-based marketing strategy but there are a number of other marketing strategies that work very well in the B2B and B2C spaces that can still be valuable in the B2G world so long as they targeted to your ideal government buyers, which is how this made it onto the list.
According to HubSpot “Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a focused growth strategy in which Marketing and Sales collaborate to create personalized buying experiences for a mutually-identified set of high-value accounts.” In B2G sales understanding your buyer is crucial to generating leads and closing sales, which is why an ABM strategy is super effective. When developing your ABM strategy, select a small list of agencies to start with and then follow these steps to customizing your marketing and sales to generate more leads:
- Sales and marketing should both read each agency’s current strategic plan, website and social media accounts to best understand their direction, challenges, goals, events they attend, locations of their employees, etc.
- Summarize your findings for each agency so you can easily refer back to this information as you develop marketing campaigns and set up Google alerts for related keywords so you can be notified as compelling events are reported.
- Marketing should develop targeted advertising to each agency based on their needs, locations, etc. while Sales should search for direct contacts to send personalized outreach to based on the same information. Again this is where your Federal Speak and compelling events research will be applied.
- Marketing should ensure the company website clearly addresses the challenges and needs of these target accounts, while Sales should watch for opportunities to attend common events and network with employees within each account.
- Marketing should create supporting collateral (case studies, blog posts, etc) that Sales can use in their conversations to support their understanding of the account’s challenges but how they have a solution that clearly solves for these problems.
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