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8 Keys to Optimizing the B2B Lead-gen Budget
By Jeff Kostermans, CEO, LeadGenesys

Here are eight keys to boosting B2B lead-generation and optimizing the lead-generation budget.

Most B2B marketers' top priority remains getting more and better quality leads to sales. Here are eight keys to boosting B2B lead-gen and optimizing the lead-gen budget.

1. Accelerate the B2B sales cycle

Improve prioritized follow-up by enabling sales to see graded responses real-time Automatically apply a "sales-defined" grade to each captured profile Let sales see and build a unified contact history profile on each prospect Leverage real-time metrics to improve the effectiveness of early stage lead cultivation

2. Foster real-time collaboration between sales and marketing

Share real-time actionable response data with sales Don't delay follow-up by keeping response data in the marketing department Enable sales to re-score the quality of captured leads to feed marketing with real-time targeting data

3. Leverage the sales team to build a more responsive opt-in base

Individual HTML emails received from sales reps get higher response rates than mass email campaigns received from the marketing department Requests for "more information" can be turned into an opportunity to capture the email address Tracking opens and click throughs helps sales gauge the prospect's true level of interest Profile captures from those emails will dramatically boost the opt-in base

4. Reduce the cost of marketing by flexibly leveraging outsourced services

Keep marketing budgets to minimum and spend more on pure lead generation Tap into B2B response marketing expertise that may not exist in your organization Eliminate the need for IT support of your campaigns Eliminate numerous hours spent on campaign execution and response analysis Free up your time to focus more on metric-driven strategy Consider outsourcing cold calling so your sales team can focus on closing If you only send one email campaign per month, consider saving time and lowering the cost of email campaigns via an outsourced full service solution

5. Invest more in pure lead generation instead of infrastructure

Stop trying to conduct proactive lead generation within the confines of SFA/CRM applications Apply "application customization" savings to pure lead generation Ensure every profile transferred from your lead-gen application into your SFA application is complete and has a marketing source appended to it (for future ROI reporting)

6. Refine targeting early in a campaign - not after a campaign

Instantly know which list, creative, and offer is capturing the best quality leads See a real-time break-down of A through F quality leads for each of your regions and adjust lead-gen efforts accordingly Ongoing lead-gen - done right - should continuously boost lead quality Consistently lower your overall cost per lead with real-time targeting metrics

7. Rapidly build the prospect base with a new twist to your rented list strategy

B2B direct mail lists are generally more targeted than rented email lists Significantly improve the ROI of direct mail efforts by leveraging vanity URLs See real-time response to direct mail - even if the responder does not fill out a pre-populated form on your website This process also proves a prospect's interest in your company enabling you to legally own the rented contact record

8. Improve the ROI of events and web-based seminars

Leverage sales to send personalized HTML invitations, reminders and thank you messages Track 100% of pre-event contact efforts and post-event follow-up efforts - by rep and region Streamline the event registration and booth visitation tracking process Enable sales to instantly see attendees in each of their territories Eliminate time consuming routing of leads via Excel spreadsheets Know real-time the quality of leads captured at a tradeshow to secure optimal space at next year's event Know which marketing sources were responsible for driving the best quality attendees

Jeff Kostermans is CEO of LeadGenesys ( ) a B2B direct marketing and lead generation firm, he can be reached directly at He is a direct marketing veteran with over 12 years of experience managing lead generation and relationship marketing programs for companies ranging from technology and service start-ups to Fortune 100 firms. He is author of the Email Marketing Imperatives and has written numerous other best practices papers. A UC Berkeley graduate, Mr. Kostermans also serves as an Army Reserve Psychological Operations Major, consulting allied governments and militaries in target audience analysis and influence methods.

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