Growth hacking is famously used by business-to-consumer (B2C) companies and startups as a way to increase lead generation—and eventual sales numbers—using flexible strategies and techniques.
Many companies have successfully used growth hacking to become top names in their respective fields and can readily produce impressive growth numbers to prove it. This is primarily because these companies have a greater number of sales prospects when compared to business-to-business (B2B) companies. This makes sense simply because there are far more consumers than there are businesses.
But just because B2C companies enjoy a huge advantage in terms of the number of prospects, does not mean B2B companies cannot also take advantage of growth hacking. In fact, B2B companies can use many of the same techniques and strategies applied by B2C companies and modify them to suit their needs. Before we get started though, let’s get on the same page about growth hacking and how that affects growth marketing.
What Is Growth Hacking?
“Growth hacking” is an umbrella term used to describe innovative techniques and strategies focused on the growth of your business. It’s a process of experimenting and identifying techniques that work well in growing your marketing success and business rapidly.
Growth hacking is most commonly used by new businesses or startups to kickstart rapid growth in a short amount of time. These companies typically have less available capital and need to get the biggest bang out of a limited budget. B2B growth hacking allows startups to gain customers as quickly as possible.
The rapid experimentation that comes with B2B growth hacking allows companies to test and follow strategies that can provide a much-needed breakthrough in markets. Creatively repurposing existing strategies to suit your own company is what smart growth hackers try to do.
That being said, here is a guide to growth hacking made simple for B2B companies.
Growth Hacking Made Simple: A Definitive Guide
Below you’ll find some of the best hacks you can use to generate B2B leads for growing your business. In order to make B2B growth hacking simple, you will first need to understand the sources of B2B prospects and leads for your business.
The Best Sources of B2B Prospects and Leads
Customer referrals and repeat business are perhaps your best sources of B2B prospecting and lead generation. Your existing loyal customers who have been with you for a long time can generate valuable and qualified leads.
With referrals, you can grow your business while saving time and resources on sales due diligence. B2B companies should prioritize existing relationships because referrals are more likely to lead to prospects, who are more likely to convert. Seizing every opportunity to care for customers as partners makes them more likely to sing your praises to other potential customers.
Internet and Social Media
The rapid, exponential growth and popularity of the internet and social media platforms make it an excellent resource for B2B lead generation and prospecting. Larger search engines and social platforms will all be key for growing B2B businesses all over the world.
These platforms have a continuously growing number of users, including B2B companies, and have tweaked their services to become more business-friendly over the years. They can effectively market products and services, get reviews and recommendations, and promote your brand to new audiences.
There is a multitude of available digital marketing strategies — including content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies — that will help your business generate more leads and prospects.
Even as the internet and social media are rapidly taking over the passive or inbound marketing world, cold calling services are still an effective, tried-and-true method of B2B growth hacking. Cold calling provides an opportunity to directly approach qualified prospects that have a much higher chance of sales conversion.
Your business should not have to struggle to generate well-qualified prospects and leads in order to grow. Well-researched, professional cold calls can be highly profitable in warming up or even converting prospects for your B2B company.
Professionals working for a B2B lead generation company are paid to help businesses generate well-qualified leads and warm sales appointments. This allows your sales team to focus on closing more sales and growing your B2B company.
As old and outdated as email marketing may sound, it’s still a great way to grow and nurture your leads. Well-crafted emails can greatly help with customer service and support, prospect questions, and content marketing.
Effective email marketing campaigns can be very efficient, segmented, personalized, and specific in targeting and generating leads. As an inbound direct marketing method, email can nurture prospects and grow your B2B company’s awareness, value, and revenue with excellent ROI.
Promoting and showcasing your products and services at relevant physical events such as trade shows can be very effective for generating leads. Events can create brand awareness with new prospects and simultaneously allow you to create warm leads and retain existing customers.
Physical events give your business an opportunity to measure lead activity by creating excitement for your in-person presence through digital marketing campaigns — making it a perfect way to collaborate your online and offline efforts.
The Best Hacks to Help Grow Your B2B Business
Create Quality Shareable Content
We often hear that “content is king.” This is an absolutely critical truth to keep in mind when it comes to growth hacking. Today’s prospects respect good quality content above all else.
For B2B businesses, this means an opportunity to rise above the competition as an authority in their field. Quality content offered as webinars, slideshares, articles, and eBooks are some of the top generators of B2B leads because they are educational and provide immense value. As such, your goal with content should be to provide relevant educational value and not focus on self-promotion. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “What problem can I help somebody solve?” The more educational and valuable your content, the more authority you gain with prospects.
Additionally, your content needs to be searchable and shareable to allow for easy dissemination to improve its ranking on search engines. Your content should provide an opportunity to share in the form of embedded social media share buttons. You can make your content attractive by including relevant, high-quality images and great design, especially if your content includes an infographic.
Titles also play a major role in creating shareable content. Your titles should be attractive and compelling. Avoid using click-bait at all costs; it undermines quality, trust, and your authority.
Join and Use LinkedIn
As any marketing or sales professional will tell you, LinkedIn is currently the growth hacking social platform for B2B lead generation and prospecting. You cannot expect to grow your B2B business effectively unless you are a part of their growing social network.
Your business should create a LinkedIn profile and begin creating a thriving network of relevant B2B companies and individuals. Rather than connect to everything that crosses your path, it’s best to strategically select relevant groups. By regularly contributing to their active conversations about your industry, you establish influence and authority.
Consistently commenting with value and solutions will make you a respected authority in LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn networking offers great value in terms of generating leads and warm appointments with prospects. Use multiple LinkedIn strategies for B2B sales prospecting to grow your business.
Personalize and Customize
Personalizing content and customizing solutions is important for growth hacking in any B2B business. You can easily discover information and the pain points of your prospects through correspondence, emails, calls, purchase history, and even from platforms like LinkedIn.
Using this information to target pain points, you can customize your solutions to present relevant value propositions. Personalize emails and relevant content by using real names and mentioning their company and industry as much as possible, even in automated responses.
Personalization adds a human touch and tends to get better responses from prospects than generic, automatically generated emails and promotions.
Let Them Try Before They Buy
Free trials and freemiums effectively eliminate one of the biggest obstacles of growth hacking in B2B businesses. Often, B2B products and services have a higher barrier to entry. If, on the other hand, you let your prospects try your products and services, they are more likely to engage and convert.
Free trials should include enough time for prospects to understand the value you bring but not long enough for them to benefit from the full service. Similarly, freemiums should offer enough engagement to keep prospects interested in the benefits of premiums while having a good experience.
Additionally, you want to keep your support and service at their best for the trial period and freemium users. This will help you be more attractive to prospects who will in turn be more likely to convert.
This is a highly effective growth hacking technique for any and all B2B companies. Incenting customers and prospects to refer your business to other prospects will help significantly grow your leads. You can offer rewards, discounts, or anything of value to help incentivize and entice referrals from your customers.
Outsource Your Cold Calling
Cold calling has been, and still is, the most highly effective tool for B2B lead generation and prospecting. However, most B2B cold calling companies don’t know how to properly make cold calls, qualify leads, or set warm sales appointments. As mentioned earlier, they often do not possess the skills, duplicatable process, or bandwidth to make cold calling work consistently.
Additionally, sales professionals typically hate making cold calls simply because they do not have the time or bandwidth or do not know how to use them successfully. Nevertheless, this should not stop you from taking full advantage of cold calling.
This is why outsourcing your cold calling efforts to professionals is an excellent idea. You can let professionals handle your B2B cold calls to generate well-qualified leads and warm sales appointments while allowing your sales team to focus on closing more sales
Retarget Prospects a.k.a. Cross-Selling and Up-Selling
Retargeting is another effective growth hacking technique for B2B companies when it’s done correctly. Whether you use email marketing campaigns or social media campaigns to retarget your prospects, always provide a strong reason.
The idea of retargeting only works when you pause long enough to ask, “How is this benefiting them?” and “Why should they do what you ask?” This will allow you to understand what will motivate your prospects to come on board and retarget effectively.
Another thing to note when retargeting your customers and prospects is the history of your interactions. Keeping track of their responses will go a long way when shortlisting and targeting the right prospects with your retargeting campaigns.
Growth hacking is the development of a set of tools used by B2B companies to grow their business. If you are not already applying these growth hacking techniques and strategies, I recommend starting immediately. Use the techniques and strategies outlined here and watch your sales increase.
However, growth hacking is also all about experimenting, applying different strategies, and doubling down on the techniques that generate the most growth. Not every growth hack will work for your B2B company. Run tests to determine which hacks are best for your situation.
Additionally, feel free to customize and modify each growth hack to suit your business. We have seen B2B companies simply copy effective B2C growth hacks without adjusting them to suit their specific business. More often than not, this is a recipe for failure.
Don’t be a victim of copy-and-fail methods. Instead, take the time to learn how each growth hack can be modified and improved to benefit your B2B company. With a little time and patience, you are bound to see results.