Lead generation for B2B | 21 Generation Strategies
Let’s face it: as B2B marketers, the only thing we care about is generating leads for our sales team.
We hold meetings and report on our contributions to the bottom line. Marketing is about generating as many marketing-attributed leads as possible, not just branding.
However, generating B2B leads can be difficult; much incorrect information is available. For example, it’s not helpful to have people tell you to buy email lists and have your sales team make cold calls.
As a B2B marketer, your job isn’t just to raise awareness. You’re also in charge of distributing qualified leads to sales. Therefore, your inbound marketing campaigns need some work if you’re not doing so.
Let’s look at what is lead generation for B2B and the best strategies to use
FIRST THINGS FIRST: What is lead generation for B2B?
Lead generation for B2B captures the attention of intent-rich leads to contact and nurture them for sales. It begins with marketing activities that generate interest from a targeted audience of potential buyers, who convert into “leads” qualified according to predefined criteria.
Lead generation contributes to the materialization of demand by filling the top funnel of your customer acquisition process. These leads are potential customers and sales pipeline closure opportunities. Lead generation for B2B is the first step in the sales process. However, how does Lead Generation for B2B affect your team and define the outcomes of your sales process?
Lead generation for B2B generates marketing qualified leads (MQLs), and sales qualified leads (SQLs). So let’s take a closer look at how they fit into the process.
Marketing qualified leads(MQLs)
Marketing qualified leads are leads who fit your buyer persona based on their engagement with your marketing activities. Target audiences and visitors to marketing assets are filtered through a low-touch qualification process and converted into MQLs.
Sales qualified leads (SQLs)
Sales qualified leads (SQLs) are MQLs that sales teams have qualified for high buying intent. Sales qualified leads (SQLs) are generated so that the sales team can prioritize and focus on the leads that have the best chance of converting. This method is helpful, especially for products with longer sales cycles, where nurturing the wrong leads can negatively impact conversion rates.
SQLs, like MQLs, are qualified and scored based on predefined criteria but require the sales team’s effort to vet each SQL.
Importance of lead generation for B2B
Lead generation for B2B is central to sales development because it helps generate and convert demand for a product. Your team would not generate leads if a lead generation process were not in place, resulting in an empty sales pipeline.
Your sales reps won’t have any leads to contact, nurture, or close. Operating a sales team without a lead pipeline will also leave you unable to forecast sales and profits, which will have repercussions throughout your organization.
Executives and management teams, in general, place a high value on lead generation. This has the potential to affect revenue significantly.
Predictable volumes of high-quality leads can provide your sales team with more opportunities to close and generate revenue. As a result, it is an essential component of the customer revenue growth processes.
So, how do you generate more leads for your company to maintain sales growth?.? Let us explore.
Who conducts lead generation for B2B
SDRs and BDMs conduct lead generation for B2B. Sales and marketing professionals manage the process of generating B2B leads. They may work alone or, more commonly, in groups.
A B2B lead generation sales team is frequently divided into two groups. These groups carry out distinct, well-defined tasks. The two groups are as follows:
- Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) are in charge of sourcing and scoring leads, engaging with them, and scheduling meetings.
- Business Development Managers (BDMs) are in charge of conducting demos, closing deals, and generating revenue for the company.
How to generate Leads for Your B2B Business
Lead generation relies on marketing channels and platforms to reach audiences on each channel. However, all lead generation channels can be divided into two types: inbound marketing and outbound marketing.
Inbound marketing comprises platforms and channels that generate leads from traffic sources such as search, social media, and online advertising.
- Inbound channel visitors approach you or sign up for your product or offer, which can be used to proxy for purchasing intent. As a result, inbound leads convert at a higher rate and have shorter sales cycles.
- Outbound marketing and sales involve generating leads by reaching out to cold leads. This is accomplished through outbound channels such as phone, email, social prospecting, etc.
Before approaching leads in outbound marketing, they must be qualified. Then, they must also be engaged following an outbound lead’s response or engagement. Outbound marketing is therefore ideal for selling high-ticket items with longer sales cycles.
25+ Lead generation strategies for B2B
Tailoring your strategy to your product, industry, and buyer is the most effective way to increase sales.
As a result, I can’t simply give you one or two B2B lead generation strategies and expect you to be satisfied.
Your marketing and sales teams must be willing to try new methods for generating B2B sales leads, learn about them, and put them into practice. This entails experimenting with various strategies until you find one that works.
Let’s get into the specifics of B2B lead generation strategies now! Of course, some ideas may be easier to implement than others, depending on your level of experience, budget, and availability. But rest assured, you’ll discover a few strategies you haven’t tried yet.
Including Chatbots in Your Communication Channels
According to a lead response report, responding to new leads within 5 minutes is critical, but only 10% of B2B companies can do so. People expect prompt responses to their requests or questions. Powered by Chatbots, artificial intelligence technology provides a quick and easy way for Online B2B companies to interact with their target audiences.
They can be automated and used to greet and guide leads instantly. As prospects interact with your chatbots, you will be able to collect lead data such as their names, email addresses, phone numbers, pain points, feedback, and even style preferences.
Make Cold Emails More Personal
In B2B demand generation, emails are still an effective tool for generating and nurturing sales leads. Indeed, 59 percent of marketers consider emails an important channel for generating B2B sales leads. The benefit of emails is that they can be used to engage cold leads. Personalize the emails you send to cold leads, as statistics show that personalized emails are 75% more likely to be clicked by recipients. This will elicit a response and increase the effectiveness of your lead generation efforts.
Improve Your Content’s Organic Search Visibility
According to Google, the average B2B buyer performs 12 online searches before engaging with a website. Furthermore, 94 percent of B2B buyers conduct online research before making a purchase. According to these statistics, organic search will be an essential tool for generating B2B sales leads.
The best way to accomplish this is to publish long-form articles and research and use keywords naturally. Include relevant keywords in URLs, link to high-authority sites, write compelling meta descriptions and optimize title tags. This will improve the visibility of your content and website on search engines. In addition, this will increase traffic to your website while also generating and nurturing top-of-funnel leads for your business.
Include Email Signatures
Emails offer B2B marketers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to generate sales leads. Because emails are one of the communication channels businesses use to interact with customers and prospects, adding signatures is a great way to attract prospects and convert them into leads.
Email signatures can be used to generate leads for B2B marketers by including links to lead magnets such as white papers. You can also have a banner in the signature to promote a product offer, event, webinar, and social media buttons with a strong call to action.
Utilize Social Media Engagements
Social media platforms are effective tools for B2B marketers to generate sales leads. The best strategy is to join social media groups to engage professionals, share expertise, and identify leads. The key to success is to avoid pitching your offerings to the group. Instead, establish rapport with them and get to know them. You can accomplish this through a variety of means, including:
Initiating group conversations
Participating in discussions started by other members of the group
Recognizing people for the content they share or the events they host or plan to host.
After group members have gotten to know you, use that connection to pique their interest in your product or service offerings.
According to statistics, 73 percent of B2B marketers believe webinars are highly effective for generating quality leads. This is due to the unique opportunity that webinars provide B2B companies to educate their target audiences, connect with them, and position themselves as industry experts.
The need for B2B marketers to incorporate webinars into their marketing strategy will be even greater in 2021.
Companies can use the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic to reach a larger audience, engage interested participants, and run product demonstrations. Companies can also use webinars to cultivate relationships and partnerships with other businesses, connect with prospects, and generate leads.
Answer Questions on Q and A Websites
Q&A sites such as Quora are excellent places for B2B companies to demonstrate thought leadership while driving traffic to their website and social media pages.
B2B marketers and sales representatives can join such sites to generate sales leads and 2021, identify questions related to their industry and relevant to their company’s focus, and respond to them authoritatively. Optimize your profile on Question & Answer sites, engage your followers, target users with specific topics or questions, retarget your visitors with ads, and promote popular responses related to your business.
Get customer Feedback
Reviews are extremely useful in generating B2B sales leads because B2B buyers rely on them to make purchasing decisions. Sixty-seven percent of them consider peer reviews on the internet extremely important. Furthermore, 92% of buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a review from a reputable source. After a customer has completed the purchase process, you should ask them to leave a review. You can
publish written customer reviews, but you should also consider using extremely effective video testimonials.
capitalize on Inside Sales
Inside selling, also known as remote or virtual selling, is a highly effective strategy for generating B2B leads. It entails reaching out to prospective customers virtually or over the phone rather than traveling to meet them in person. To implement this strategy, you’ll need a team of highly trained inside sales representatives who can answer technical, industry-specific questions about your products and solve customer pain points.
Inside selling, in general, necessitates high-touch sales and prospect follow-up throughout the sales cycle.
Include your products in online directories.
Directories have evolved and are now hosted online in this digital age. As a result, B2B buyers always look for credible, highly effective online solutions for many companies offering similar services. In addition, listing your products or services in an online directory raises your company’s visibility and attracts new customers.
E.g., if your company provides a software solution, make sure it’s listed on Capterra. B2B buyers searching for such a product will be able to find it, read reviews, and learn more about your company this way. Other online directories where B2B companies should consider listing their products include Bing, Yelp, LinkedIn Directory, Google My Business, and SaaS Genius.
Streamline Your Marketing Process
Automating your marketing process can help your company generate more quality leads. Getting a marketing automation system is the simplest way to accomplish this. You will be able to segment your email lists with such a system, allowing you to target each segment with relevant content.
A marketing automation system also makes it simple for B2B marketers and sales representatives to run and track marketing campaigns. It also allows businesses to improve the alignment of their sales and marketing teams. This enables B2B marketers to score leads based on their actions and pass sales-qualified leads to sales teams for conversion.
Improve the Performance of Your Website
The performance of your website can determine the success of your business in generating leads. You will not be able to convert organic traffic into leads if your website is slow to load. No B2B prospect wants to sit and wait for your website to load for several minutes. To avoid this, make sure your website loads quickly, is responsive on mobile devices and is simple to navigate. There are numerous popular website builders available that you can use to create a fast and mobile-friendly website.
Conduct Email Campaigns
In 2021, email marketing will continue to be a powerful strategy for generating B2B leads. According to the 2016 State of B2B Digital Marketing Report, email marketing ranks first among digital channels for generating leads for B2B marketers. To generate B2B leads with email campaigns in 2021, make sure you have a lead magnet to entice prospects. In addition, create visually appealing landing pages, segment your audience, and clean and update your email lists regularly based on your target’s actions.
Issue press Releases
Press releases are effective tools for increasing brand awareness and informing your target audience about new B2B companies. When written in news-style, press releases can help B2B marketers generate sales leads by reaching a large audience when shared with media outlets, influencers, and social media followers.
If you choose to employ this strategy in 2022, consider issuing press releases when you:
Introduce a new product.
Obtain an award or recognition from the industry
Make available a new publication, such as a research report, white paper, case study, or ebook.
Related article: 5 B2B Lead Generation Tools You Can Try in 2022.
Create Blogs and Articles
When it comes to B2B digital marketing, content is essential for attracting, generating, and nurturing leads down the sales funnel. Publish and create blog or article content that educates and informs your target audience to generate B2B sales in 2022. In addition, make your content search engine friendly. Because 94 percent of B2B buyers conduct online research before making a purchase, increasing the visibility of your content on search engines makes it easier to find, drives organic traffic to your site, and generates more leads for your company.
Call Warm Leads Generation for B2B
Consider calling them if you have warm leads you have been nurturing for a while but haven’t converted. Calling warm leads can help you move them closer to making a purchase decision.
Your call should ideally start a conversation with them. For example, if they downloaded a content asset, inquire about its usefulness and whether they require additional reading material. If they’ve just finished a free trial, ask about their experience and whether they’d like an extension. Then, following a webinar, see if you can visit their office or create an online one-on-one demo.
Guest Posting on Prominent Websites
Guest blogging is an old but effective method of generating high-quality B2B sales leads. In 2021, identify high-level websites in your industry that your target audience visits and look for opportunities to guest post there. This puts your company in front of new prospects and allows you to backlink to your company website and drive traffic there. Using this strategy to generate B2B sales leads this year, create valuable content that your target audience will want to read.
Create and distribute gated content.
Gated content can be an effective sales lead generation tool for B2B companies in 2021, with 63 percent and 76 percent of customers saying they would share personal information to get an eBook and white papers, respectively. They can accomplish this by creating premium content like eBooks, industry reports, and white papers and requiring visitors to fill out lead capture forms to access it.
The key to generating high-quality leads with gated content is to ensure the content is relevant, unique, detailed, and valuable to the target audience.
Interview Industry Thought Leaders
Your audience would like to hear from several successful business people who know about your industry. By interviewing them and turning their insights into podcasts, articles, or blog posts, you can harness that knowledge and use it to generate leads. This will help raise your company’s profile, increase your credibility, and provide opportunities for backlinking. In addition, this is an excellent strategy to employ when your lead generation activities begin to wane, and you need to increase traffic to your website.
Execute Remarketing Campaigns
Remarketing campaigns are excellent tools for targeting people who have previously visited your website. It entails displaying advertisements to them to remind them of your brand and convert them into leads. People will visit your website and leave without converting for various reasons – they may want to do more research or run out of time and return later. Retargeting them with display ads is an excellent way to entice them to return to the website and become leads.
Increase Your Social Media Visibility
With billions of people using social media platforms daily, B2B marketers can use this space to generate quality sales leads by creating accounts on platforms where their target audience is active. B2B marketers can use the following tactics to generate leads on social media:
- Using social media platforms to promote blogs or articles
- Repurposing content and sharing it in different formats, such as videos, images, and infographics
- Answering their requests or questions
- Running social media contests or competitions to engage followers on social media
Accept Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing entails leveraging the endorsement of individuals with social media influence and a large following. For example, B2B marketers can use celebrity endorsement to drive traffic to their websites, grow their social media following, and increase sales of newly launched products.
To generate quality B2B sales leads through influencer marketing, B2B companies should identify influencers with a large social media following and people who are easily recognized by their target audience.
Ads with Intent Data on Display
Paid advertisements are an excellent way for B2B businesses to drive organic traffic to their websites. To generate quality sales leads in 2021. However, B2B marketers must look beyond clickthrough rates and use intent data to attract the right prospects to their sites. They will need to use intent data to develop display ads and optimize their demographic filters to ensure that they reach ideal leverage intent data and use it to power Google ads.
Make use of LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
While social media platforms are generally excellent places to generate leads, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is beneficial for researching decision-makers in companies you believe would be a good fit for your products.
Before pitching to decision-makers, use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to learn about their interests and network.
Experience Social Listening
Companies can generate leads by monitoring the sentiments of their target audience about their brands, in addition to increasing their visibility on social media.
Practicing social listening allows them to respond to any negative comments that have the potential to harm their brand’s reputation. As a result, companies can please existing customers while also sending a positive message to prospects that they are listening and care. This, in conjunction with positive mentions from followers, piques the interest of new leads.
Related article: Best practices to follow while generating B2B leads.
Attend or host Expos, Trade Shows, or Conferences
Trade shows and conferences are other top-tier platforms where B2B marketers can generate B2B leads. While holding these events during the Covid-19 pandemic may be difficult, companies can host them virtually. Whether you participate virtually or in person, make sure you actively interact with people, exchange contacts, capture leads, and follow up with them immediately after the event.
Collaboration with Channel Partners
Your sales and marketing team’s revenue-generating capacity will eventually plateau, no matter how dedicated they are. As a result, invest in B2B sales channels to broaden your lead generation options. Channel partners have their lead generation and sales strategies. As a result, they will require very little of your time to get started.
Every B2B marketer’s top priority is to generate high-quality leads. While marketers can use various techniques to create such leads, each year brings new opportunities to improve past performance. Increase your lead generation performance in 2022 by identifying and effectively implementing appropriate strategies for your business.