B-to-B Lead Generation Handbook: Book Review

Ian Lurie

Warning: Affiliate plug ahead. I wasn’t paid to do this post, but MarketingSherpa will give me lovely dollars and cents if you buy a book by clicking on the links in this review. However, I do really like the book. And if you’ve read my blog before you know I don’t hesitate to point out flaws. Cough.
As an internet marketer I spend more time helping business-to-business clients than business-to-consumer. So it’s nice to see someone write a book pointing out how many ways you can build B-to-B leads using the internet.
MarketingSherpa’s B-to-B Lead Generation Handbook goes beyond the internet and also talks about direct mail, conferences and the like. But at its core it’s a guide to internet marketing. It covers everything from landing pages to lead management to pay-per-click marketing, with a focus on getting business leads.
It’s not perfect, though. I’ll talk about the not-so-good first, and then point out the good stuff:

Take the Good with the Bad

First, note that this is a massive book. It’s over 500 pages. If you have a bad back or a fear of heavy objects, you may want to skip it. The 500+ pages are stuffed with great data and tips that even a crusty marketer like me has to admit I hadn’t thought of before.
Second, this book covers a huge array of topics and disciplines: Intradepartmental politics, direct mail, trade show marketing, search marketing and CRM are just a sample. So it doesn’t dive deeply into any of them. That shallow-but-broad approach works well if you’re a head of sales or marketing who wants to get a lead building campaign going, or an SEO consultant wanting to learn how this kind of marketing works. If you’re a search marketing pro looking to get better at SEO, don’t go here.
Third, it’s pricey. $697 pricey.. Actually Marketing Sherpa is offering a $200 discount if you buy from this link: $495.
Finally, the spiral binding makes the book a pain to read in bed. OK, OK, maybe I’m the only internet marketing geek sick enough to read a marketing encyclopedia in bed, but every time I dropped the damned book I’m sure I woke my wife up. Throw me a bone, will ya, MarketingSherpa? Give me a multi-volume set of thinner books next time?

Or Just Take the Good

This book has so much good advice I stopped highlighting and marking pages. I just keep it on my desk as a reference. Forehead smackers I should’ve known but never thought of included some great trade show marketing techniques, options for tweaking PPC campaigns (hint: even if you’re creating lots of separate ad groups, you still don’t have enough) and ways to win over the IT department. They thought of everything.
It’s also stuffed with raw data: Campaign performance, marketing surveys and the kind of information that, if you’re selling a lead generation campaign to your boss or a client, is absolutely priceless.
I also nearly wept with joy to hear someone else write about winning over sales teams, tracking cost per lead and tying pay per click marketing into Salesforce.

Read It.

If you’re serious about lead generation, you have to read this book. Go order it, then go lift some weights to get in shape so you can carry it around when it arrives.


Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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