Industrial and Manufacturing Marketing Blog

Industrial Lead Generation Can’t Happen Without Conversations

conversation for industrial lead generationWhat are the top two things my clients want from their industrial website redesign? It isn’t too difficult to guess, they are:

  1. Get found in Google (SEO)
  2. Get site visitors to call

Only if it were that easy to get from point A to point B, we wouldn’t be having a conversation in the first place.

Optimizing an industrial website not only takes time but also expertise in white hat SEO strategies and techniques as well as a deep understanding of the search behavior of buyers (engineers and industrial professionals). I have written many articles on this topic and you can find them here categorized under Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

In this post, I’ll focus on the second need – get visitors to call. Calls in this case can be either a phone call or an email. This is quite different from the usual B2B marketing where primary objectives are SEO to get found; drive traffic to the site; convert traffic to leads with content offers; nurture leads with drip marketing; score and qualify leads before handing off to sales for conversions. Instead, most industrial companies want visitors to call or email them first.

Why are conversations so important in industrial lead generation?

Nine out of ten manufactures and industrial distributors I talk to tell me that it is impossible for them to sell their solution without having a conversation with the lead. In fact, they don’t consider it a good lead unless sales has had a phone conversation or exchanged emails. There is a good reason for this and not just wishful thinking on their part.

The initial conversation is a key part of the qualifying process and it goes both ways. After finding you in Google, the visitor feels you meet his general criteria, but his/her application is very specific and is trying to qualify if your engineers have a good understanding of those needs (been there, done that) and if you can manufacture/supply the right equipment that will perform to specs.

You on the other hand want to get into a conversation to understand the parameters to make an initial determination if this is a feasible project and if not, would your solutions be a good alternative or not. You get the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and differentiate yourself by answering these initial questions.

Most industrial sites have product specifications listed in great details, but it is virtually impossible to create site content with enough specifics for every application because each one is unique. These initial conversations determine if the lead is a go or no go right off the bat.

There is another practical reason for wanting conversations before conversions. Very few manufacturers and industrial companies have any kind of marketing automation in place to track the progress of the lead. Most attribute leads to the “last click.” It is much easier for them to measure success by the number of calls and conversations instead of looking at sophisticated site analytics or even Google Anlytics beyond page views and bounce rates.

It is a large part of my job as an industrial marketing consultant to help them understand how content marketing can make these conversations far more productive and in the long run, generate more qualified leads at a lower cost per lead. To get a better understanding of this aspect of industrial content marketing, I suggest you read the following posts that I have published before:

That’s how I see content marketing playing an important role in having more productive conversations for industrial lead generation. How do you get the conversation started with industrial marketing?

Achinta Mitra

Achinta Mitra calls himself a “marketing engineer” because he combines his engineering education and an MBA with 36 years of practical industrial marketing experience. You want an expert with an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s objectivity who can point you in the right direction immediately. That's Achinta. He is the Founder of Tiecas, Inc., an industrial marketing consultancy in Houston, Texas. Read Achinta's story here.
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  1. Hi Achinta – great points as always

    This is an age-old problem for lead generation. Lead volume vs. lead quality.

    Lead volume means too much work in follow up. Lead quality means too few leads with your budget.

    I think the answer is to aim for volume at the top of the funnel with free informational offers in exchange for email address. Build a list of qualified and interested prospects.

    Then once you have the lead, use follow up email to generate one-to-one interactions by phone or email.

    The trick is making those interactions appealing and non-threatening. You can’t by with a single line at the end of your email that says “To learn more” or “To request an estimate.” You need to find some way to build up the interaction – to package it and promote it almost like a product in its own right.

    Give it a name like a “Spec Review” or “Product Q&A,” explain how it works and make it prominent on your website and in your emails.

    • Hi Bob,
      Thanks for sharing your insights.
      It’s always a balancing act between volume and quality. The pipeline must have a minimum critical mass because of the long sales cycle that’s typical in industrial sales.

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