Originally published March 16, 2021 , updated on January 19, 2023Reading Time: 8 minutes
A quick google search for B2B lead generation strategies will get you tons of results. And boy, do I mean TONS. The only problem? Every blog, website, post, and podcast, has something different to say.
In fact, B2B lead generation strategies and kind of like weight loss tips. Everyone swears they’ve found the one and only, foolproof secret to success. But in reality, each and every person responds to exercise and nutrition differently.
The best B2B lead generation strategies are tailored to suit specific industries, businesses, and customers. The sooner you understand what works for you, the sooner you will see results.
While bespoke B2B lead generation strategies are necessary, there are several basic tips and tricks that should be the base of all B2B lead generation campaigns. It is important to understand these underlying principles before you spend money on a strategy that doesn’t work for you.
At the end of the day, the more effective lead generation is, the cheaper it gets. So, let’s take a look at some B2B lead generation strategies that will maximize your ROI and grow your business.
Understanding The Basics
While all B2B lead generation strategies are going to look a little different (if you’re tailoring them to your specific needs) there are 5 broad categories that most lead generation tactics fall into:
- Website Optimization
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Paid Advertising, and
- Social Media
Most B2B brands will rely on these channels when they’re trying to increase sales. The way to really drive those sales up is to understand how to use each of these channels in the optimum way, for you, personally.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s go over the basics of lead generation and using it to promote B2B sales.
Inbound Vs Outbound B2B Lead Generation Strategies
A lot of marketers these days will tell you that inbound marketing strategies are more effective than outbound. But what is the difference?
Outbound marketing techniques push a message to your audience by informing them of your proposition. Inbound marketing techniques on the other hand are designed primarily to draw (i.e. pull) customers towards your company.
Which of these techniques are better to use for B2B lead generation? The truth is, neither of these techniques can work in isolation.
Using outbound B2B lead generation strategies allows you to connect with your leads faster. However, inbound B2B lead generation strategies are great for establishing credibility. By pulling leads into your sales funnel, you are getting them to come to you, and this can give you the upper hand.
So when you are developing your B2B lead generation strategies, be sure you use a combination of inbound and outbound techniques. You need to push your message out there and win attention, and you also need to pull potential leads towards your sales funnel.
What is B2B Lead Generation?
B2B lead generation strategies are all about increasing sales. That is the goal. It is ultimately the first step in the typical marketing and sales funnel/process. The focus is on collecting information from potential customers so that you can personalise your communication with them when trying to make a sale. You’re looking for information like:
- Email Address
- Company Name, and
- Job Title.
Once you have this information, you need to qualify your leads, perhaps with a marketing automation tool. You then hand them over to the sales department. Basically you’re trying to establish a sales funnel that draws in high-intent prospects that you can turn into customers.
This is the main focus of B2B lead generation strategies. To attract quality leads that can be easily converted into sales. Most B2B lead generation strategies will focus on the top of the funnel, or ToFu. Once you have gathered the lead’s information, probably with a form, you will engage with your prospective customer in the middle of the funnel, or MoFu. If you manage to convert the sale, you will lead the new client through the bottom of the funnel (BoFu) and into your client base.
Increasing B2B sales: The Lead Generation Process
B2B lead generation strategies are all about giving your marketing and sales teams a proven framework that they can follow. Each team has different responsibilities, but they need to work together to reach the company’s ultimate goal, which is to drive sales.
The sales funnel is the standard metaphor we use to describe this process. But how do you actually draw high-intent prospects into the sales funnel? What does it entail?
Step 1: Finding B2B Leads
Your B2B lead generation strategies have to focus on collecting contact information. The easiest way to achieve this is with a lead generating landing page. Your landing page can contain a simple easy to fill in contact form. There are many companies that specialise in lead generating landing pages. You will direct traffic to your landing page with your B2B lead generation strategies. You can also purchase leads from a third party or a database, but this more for the B2C space.
Step 2: Qualifying and Reaching Out to Leads
Once you have your leads, you then need to qualify them. How far are they in the buying process? How likely are these leads to buy from you?
Your sales reps will reach out to your leads via cold outreach, social media or by responding to inquiries. When your leads engage with your reps, your sales team can then rank their quality.
Step 3: Close The Deal
By focusing on your high-quality leads, i.e. leads with high-intent to purchase, you will have ample opportunity to convert your leads into customers.
It is very important to demonstrate excellent service and good value at this point in the process. Lead’s with high-intent to purchase will most likely be looking at your competitors too. By proving that your company is better value for money and provides better service than your competitors, you will have an extra edge when you’re trying to close the deal.
So, What Are The Best B2B Lead Generation Strategies?
So I know you’re reading this blog and thinking… okay, so enough about the basics. Let’s get to the good stuff. Tell me about the best B2B lead generation strategies out there!
But alas, the silver bullet doesn’t exist. You have to get to know your industry and your customers and figure out which combination of tactics are going to work best for you. But while you’re figuring that out, here are some good ideas.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is undoubtedly one of the best B2B lead generation strategies out there. Decision-makers at other businesses read content just like the rest of us.
This is an especially good B2B lead generation strategy for businesses that are generating interesting content anyway. Are you already producing informative copy about your brand? Are you already explaining your services? Do you already take photos and make videos frequently? You’re already halfway there.
To make content marketing work for you you have to be aware of what type of language you should be using and what type of graphics your client’s enjoy. It is important for your content to reflect your business’s vibe and to appeal to your potential leads.
You also need to understand your target audience so that you can speak like them. How will they most likely phrase their internet searches? By aligning your keywords with your target audience’s natural tendencies, you will improve your search engine optimization.
The key to content marketing and using it as a part of your B2B lead generation strategies, is that it has to be consistent. You need to publish new content regularly and make sure it all represents your company adequately.
2. Social Media Marketing
Using social media as one of your B2B lead generation strategies allows for a more targeted approach. LinkedIn for example is a B2B marketers dream. It is literally designed to give brands and professionals a platform to engage with one another and potential clients.
Social media advertising is also very effective. Almost everyone has social media, and are exposed to targeted advertising. Targeted advertising on social media is very effective, as people provide all their information for you. You can potentially see their location, age, name, gender, profession, business and so on.
This is the same information you would be trying to get from potential leads with a lead generating landing page. This means that social media platforms can literally offer you up potential leads on a silver platter. By applying filters on a platform like Linkedin, you will identify high-quality leads and reach out to them with an outbound marketing strategy.
Get to know your target audience’s social media habits. If you design your own social media content around what they are already searching for, you will probably increase your engagement.
3. Cater to New B2B Buyers on Mobile
As younger generations enter the workforce, businesses have to tailor their B2B lead generation strategies to appeal to them. This means that you should optimize your mobile user experience.
Research has shown that:
- 80% of B2B buyers use mobiles at work
- 60% of these buyers reported that mobile plays a critical role in their purchases, and
- B2B marketers who have already optimized their mobile experience are finding “reduced purchasing time and higher customer loyalty”.
Especially considering the world’s accelerated shift to digital during the pandemic, there isn’t really an excuse to not be up to date with the latest consumer trends.
4. Creative CTAs and Email Copy
This year, email turned 23 years old. The simple truth is that people don’t really read newsletters as much these days because they are sick of them. They’ve been done before.
You have to make sure that if you are using newsletter emails as one of your B2B lead generation strategies, that you make them entertaining. They need to be informative, valuable, and it doesn’t hurt to make your audience laugh either.
Even getting people to sign up for a newsletter can be challenging. For the same reasons as previously stated. You have to really make sure that your newsletter signup landing page is enticing.
What sounds better? “Sign up for our newsletter”, or “Join us and 25000+ world-class marketers for the latest tips and tricks on B2B lead generation strategies”?
I know which newsletter email I’d rather sign up for.
In the second example, the emphasis is put on the social proof and value behind the newsletter, not the signup process itself. By using this technique, you can build up an email list and extend your B2B lead generation strategies’ reach.
5. Pay Per Click Advertising
PPC ads are one of the fastest ways to get results, and one of the easiest. When it comes to B2B lead generation strategies, you will be more effective when you know who your audience is. However, it can also be expensive. So make sure you run some A/B tests with your ads so that you know you’re putting your best foot forward.
You also need to bear in mind that many people use ad blockers and will not see you clickable ads and banners. So while it is an effective strategy, you can not use it insolation.
You can place your ads on Google with Google AdWords. This is very effective because most people who click on these ads should already be close to buying.
You can also use a retargeting strategy which means that you show your ads to people who have already been on your website and have a certain amount of brand awareness.
By using PPC advertising to get people onto your lead generating landing page you will potentially create a steady flow of traffic into the top of your sales funnel. All your sales team has to do is make sure the funnel doesn’t have any leaks. Once you have a lead, you need to work hard to make sure it is converted.
B2B lead generation strategies can be challenging to develop because you can’t just copy-paste a strategy that worked for someone else. You have to be in tune with your market and current trends in your industry.
However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from one another. Have you tried any of these B2B lead generation strategies? Have they been effective? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.