Over the last few years, lead generation has changed significantly. The rapid shift to digital forms of interactions after the COVID-19 pandemic has increased buyer awareness and enabled decision-makers to search for solutions independently without contacting the salespeople. B2B customers demand digital service tools instead of traditional ones, they feel comfortable with remote selling, and they expect to get maximum value from the product or service they purchase.
Under these circumstances, new lead generation trends have emerged. Such things as data-based approach, omnichannel outreach, automation tools became a new norm of everyday B2B sales activities. Let's take a look at the hottest lead gen trends that you should explore this year.
New Lead Generation Trends to Adopt in 2022
To stay ahead of your competitors, it is of high importance to be up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry. To help you boost your lead generation efforts, here are the nine most crucial lead generation trends to make use of immediately:
1. Data-driven approach
One of the most notable changes of the last few years is the rising importance of data and analytics for decision-making processes in B2B. According to Forbes: “The use of analytics is no longer limited to big companies with deep pockets. It’s now widespread, with 59% of enterprises using analytics in some capacity.”
Among the main reasons for maintaining high-quality data is that it helps to increase the team's efficiency (52%), improves cost savings of the company's main operations (40%), and enables making more informed strategic decisions (37%) regarding both lead generation and sales processes.
The significance of a data-based approach in B2B organizations is highlighted by the majority of the C-level executives (95%). Adopting a strong data-driven culture in your company will allow you to unfold a huge potential of your business’s operations and build a more efficient go-to-market strategy.
2. Customer data platforms
Understanding the importance of data is only the first step to building a data-driven lead generation process. One of the most recent ways to manage the overwhelming amount of data available is to use customer data platforms (CDPs).
The CDP Institute defines a customer data platform as "a packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems." In simple words, CDP anonymously creates a customer profile by gathering information from different sources and combining it together in one place.
The data can be extracted from the CRM tools, a person's social media activity, behavior on your website, etc. Basically, CDP contains all the information prospects leave behind when engaging with different platforms online, empowering you with valuable insights to build a stronger lead generation process.
3. Intent data
Another lead generation trend on the rise in 2022 is intent data. This type of data helps to identify those decision-makers who are actively looking for solutions to certain challenges their business face, and thus, are more likely to purchase your product.
Intent data is usually collected by third parties over time and merged with the information you already have on your we
bsite. Every blog prospects read, every message they receive, every inbound and outbound engagement they make is recorded to help identify hot leads more efficiently.
Intent data can bring your lead generation process to the next level. By knowing what keywords your ideal customer uses in their Google search, what sources they trust, what topics they are most interested in, you can target them more precisely and effectively.
4. Account-based targeting
Gartner states that a typical buying group in B2B involves six to ten decision-makers, which makes targeting and personalization way more complicated. Account-based marketing (ABM) helps to overcome this challenge by targeting an entire account that consists of multiple decision-makers rather than reaching out to separate individuals each time.
According to the 2021 ABM Benchmark Survey Report, more than 98% of respondents are already implementing account-based marketing strategies or plan to do it in the nearest future. The usage of ABM has increased twofold (47%) since 2016, which only emphasizes its effectiveness and importance in B2B lead generation.
Smart targeting decisions boost your chances of finding and reaching out to those prospects, who fit your ICP the most, and who potentially have a strong need for your product. Account targeting, retargeting, pre-targeting are just a few of these strategies that you need to keep in mind in 2022.
5. Sales specialization
As the sales process becomes more sophisticated a single seller is no longer capable of doing all the sales-related tasks by themselves. Prospecting, lead generation, outreach, product discovery call—each of these steps requires trained specialists. That’s why several new roles in lead generation appeared on the market. Researchers, copywriters, campaign strategists, SDRs, and BDRs—they all have different specializations and skills to master.
Eric Quanstrom, CMO at CIENCE believes that the sales specialization trend will continue to rise among B2B organizations. “Most fast-growing companies have adopted sales specialization as a core strategy of their go-to-the-market,” says Quanstrom. “And the reason for that is that the employees performing distinct roles in a team can actually be better in each task of that chain than one person responsible for everything.”
The latest trends on the job market revealed in LinkedIn’s 2021 Jobs on the Rise Report identified business development and sales professionals as one of the fastest-growing job positions. The share of hires for these roles has increased by 45% year-over-year, and we can only imagine how this trend is only going to get stronger in 2022.
6. Automated sales cadence tools
Another popular trend on the verge is the automation of sales cadences. These tools enable salespeople to:
- Check data more easily
- Assign certain routine processes to the computer
- Spend more time on personalization
- Reach out to more leads
- Customize the outreach process
- Keep track of the progress made
All these benefits of automated cadence make lead generation effortless, giving salespeople flexibility of actions by prioritizing more sophisticated processes and optimizing the time spent on less important tasks.
7. Omnichannel outreach
First and foremost, lead generation is about starting a business dialogue with the right person. With the growing power of digital self-serve channels and remote human interactions in the last couple of years, omnichannel outreach becomes one of the biggest trends in 2022 with more and more buyers settling down with this strategy. By delivering your message via multiple channels simultaneously, your chances of engaging a qualified prospect into a conversation shoot up rapidly.
Besides that, outbound channels like cold emails, phone calls, and social platform interactions are on the rise too. With a successful sales cadence tool, you can orchestrate all these outbound channels at once to maximize the results of your outreach.
8. Interactive content
In a competitive online environment of 2022, each outreach campaign needs to catch the prospect’s attention. Experts predict that video content will account for 82% of total internet traffic by the end of 2022. Therefore, to make your message stand out from this variety of information streams, you have to come up with your type of interactive content. Videos, quizzes, surveys, infographics, and audio will keep your prospects or leads engaged with your content.
For example, just recently, CIENCE has launched the Enterprise Sales Development podcast to keep the audience updated on the latest trends in the industry. As podcasts gain more traction every year, this can potentially become another source of incoming leads in the future.
With the post-COVID crisis, many companies are looking for a way to cut their expenses and make their in-house teams’ time spent more efficiently. According to Hubspot, outsourcing lead generation can be a smart solution if you don’t have the resources to devote to hiring, training, and sustaining an in-house team of SDRs. It enables companies to decrease the cost of a lead while entrusting the job to experienced professionals with a proven record of successful lead generation campaigns conducted.
Upgrade Your Lead Generation Process in 2022
The future of lead generation is predicted to be data-driven, highly dependent on automation and optimization, multi-channeled, and orchestrated with an emphasis on the customer’s needs. Companies that survived the COVID-19 pandemic need to adapt to the new rules imposed by the increase of digital selling and remote work. With the CIENCE's help, lead generation can become your strongest asset in 2022.