The luxury that a marketer may have if he's in the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) industry is that he can just pour in the right ingredients into the mix and the product will practically cook itself. That is not to demean their efforts, which are for sure very intensive, but the fact that their audience is the general buying public makes it largely easier for them to perform marketing.
In Business-to-Business (B2B) lead generation, however, buyers' interests are not easily gained by preppy, bourgeois-esque publicity. The B2B audience is more or less "experts" in the field they are in, and they generally have the tendency to rationalize their purchases by learning about the product or service. That in turn makes it a little bit more complicated for B2B marketers to evaluate the well-being of their marketing campaigns. It's more than just asking "Are people buying our products ?" but it entails a lot more concerns to consider:
- Does your target market know you?
Oblivion is marketing hell, and the first thing you should shoot for is recognition. If you're a company that sells, say, technology products and software, the least that you could ask for is for your audience to know you exist, considering the tight competition in the IT industry. That should be your basic requirement; ask yourself, have people heard about my company?
- Are you getting good traffic?
The biggest chunk of your B2B lead generation efforts will most likely come from inbound traffic, and if you're getting none of that, then you should be worried, and you might as well just take down your site.
- Do your visitors get converted?
It isn't enough that people visit your blog almost every day to read your posts and see updates on events; they have to get converted to customers, or at least provide leads for future use. A lot of sites get an awful lot of traffic but end up not increasing sales anyway.
- Are you attracting the right people?
Even when people do sign up for newsletters or contact your sales team, what are the realistic odds that they will convert? For all you know, you could be driving the wrong people (or perhaps the right people but for the wrong reasons). Make necessary adjustments to point your aim at the people who are actually going to make business.
- Is your sales cycle functional?
Your sales cycle (in partnership with your sales team) is the machine that takes in the heap of fish, takes out the bones, processes the meat, adds the sauce, and puts the finished product inside shiny aluminum cans. If it's not working, then your leads would just remain as they are -- just plain leads.