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Do you feel like your B2B business is not getting enough high-quality leads?

B2B lead generation can be tricky business, but we are here to help you. With this advice, you can boost your conversion rate, drive B2B sales and adopt effective lead generation strategies in your marketing campaigns.

In this article, we focus on lead generation from the point of view of B2B marketing, since B2B lead generation is different from B2C lead generation and requires different measures. 

We will go through the basics of lead generation and take a look at over 20 different B2B lead generation strategies.

Defining and Qualifying B2B Leads

First, let’s get to the bottom of what a B2B lead is. After making that clear, we can move on to more detailed discussion about lead generation and its strategies.

Defining A Lead

Lead is someone who is potentially interested in your product or service.

You need to know something about your potential customer, such as name, contact info, location and what company they represent, in order to identify them as leads.

There are countless ways to capture and generate leads, which we will be discussing later.

B2B Lead Qualification

After you have identified a lead, you need to qualify it. This can be done by examining their:

  1. Interest – have they approached you or have you approached them? How interested are they really? Do they already have experience with your products or services?
  2. Enrichment – how much information do you have about them?
  3. Qualification – how ready would they be to actually buy from you? Are they even able to?

By answering these questions, you get an idea about who your potential B2B leads are.

There are different types of leads, but in this blog we want to focus on Sales Qualified Leads, because they bring in the money and are most likely to turn into actual customers.

Sales Qualified Lead

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) meets three qualifications:

  1. Interest
  2. Need
  3. Capability

This means that the SQL has a need that you can fulfill and a problem that your product or service can solve. 

They have an interest towards your business and consider you a possible cooperation partner. 

Finally, they would be actually able to buy from you, meaning that they have a sufficient budget and that the person you are in contact with is authorized to make the purchase decision.

If any of these requirements is missing, the lead is something else than a SQL and will most likely not be buying from you at the moment and will not progress in the sales funnel.

In case this happens, focus on nurturing the lead further and keeping it in your marketing funnel, so that it might one day turn into a SQL, but do not waste too much time. Otherwise the sales team will miss out on more fruitful opportunities.

sales qualified lead SQL definition

Check out what lead qualification methods you could use in order to better understand what to do with your different types of leads.

B2B Leads Are Not The Same as B2C Leads

B2B leads and customers are significantly different from individual consumers, which is why the same lead generation strategy won’t work for both.

Think about your own consumer behavior as an individual consumer. You probably know exactly what you need and want to buy, and how much money you have for the purchase. Most likely you are also able to make the decision by yourself.

You usually know exactly where you want to buy products and services, which companies you like and how to operate with them. If not, you find out independently.

Sometimes you might make impulse purchases because of an advertisement or simply because you like a product or service.

Your shopping cycle is probably very short, especially with everyday products and services.

consumer sales cycle

Now, think about a B2B buyer or a small business CEO

Do they know what they need to buy? Not necessarily. They might have a problem but don’t know how to solve it, or they don’t even realize that they could optimize some part of their operations.

Do they know where they could buy something? Not always. You need to tell them.

Do they have a clear picture of how much money they should and can spend? They might need some time to figure out a budget for the purchase.

Are they able to make the decision on the spot and make an impulse purchase? Most likely not. They might need to discuss with decision makers first.

Keeping this is mind, B2B leads differ from B2C leads by:

  1. Having longer sales cycles
  2. Needing more time to evaluate the purchase
  3. Needing more guidance as to why they should buy something
  4. Benefitting from cold calls and emails
  5. Being a narrower market
b2b b2b lead generation characteristics

B2B Lead Generation Process

The lead generation process aims to find new people who could be interested in your product or service, and get them to request more information about you.

A successful lead generation process generates more high-quality leads. In a smooth lead generation process, marketing and sales teams collaborate to reach the best result.

Marketing team plans lead generation campaigns that generate more leads, and the sales team focuses on driving leads into the sales pipeline.

To ensure successful lead generation, there are some steps that you should follow.

lead capture interesting facts

Identify Your Target Audience

You have probably heard the saying: “You cannot sell snow shovels to Hawaiians.” It is an old and tiring proverb, but very true.

First step to finding relevant new leads is to figure out who your target audience and ideal customer is

What are the companies that you want to reach? Who are you targeting: marketers, B2B buyers, CEOs, someone else? What do your target customers all have in common?

After figuring that out, think how you could attract their attention. 

  • What are their possible problems that you could solve? 
  • What are their objectives?
  • Where and how can you contact them?
  • What kind of content would they be interested in?
  • Etc

Next, plan a campaign that is in line with your analysis.

Stages of Lead Gen Process

There are four general stages of lead generation, which should be considered in every campaign:

  1. Lead capture
  2. Lead magnet
  3. Lead qualification
  4. Lead segmentation

Each stage consists of different tactics, which should be accommodated to best suit your target audience. 

You can and should mix different strategies and tactics, and follow how each of them works. This way you can optimize your lead generation process in the long run.

Often the stages are interconnected and a single strategy can cater to multiple stages of the process.

lead generation process stages

Lead Capture

Capturing leads means the process in which you find out your potential lead’s contact details and other relevant information.

Often this is done by prospecting (cold leads), but there are also ways in which you can automate the process and let the potential lead contact you first (warm leads).

Lead Magnet

Lead magnets are strategies that offer something in exchange for potential lead’s contact details.

This can be content like newsletters and research papers, free samples, consultations or even discounts.

Lead Qualification

As discussed earlier, the qualification process lets us sort the wheat from the chaff, aka see who are high-quality sales leads and who are there just out of curiosity.

Sometimes the only way to find out is to ask the person themselves, but nowadays there are automated options for this as well, such as chatbots.

Lead Segmentation

After executing all the previous stages and following their success, you are able to segment your leads and analyze their behavior. This enables you to optimize the lead generation process and strategies in the future.

For example, if you notice that you are not reaching a key demographic group with your current marketing solutions, you can begin to think about how to fix that.

Plan Killer Lead Generation Campaigns

Use these 6 tips to ensure your lead generation campaign succeeds.

  1. Set goals. When you start a new campaign, decide what your objectives are. They can be measured e.g. by the number of new high-quality leads.
  2. Budget. This is self-explanatory.
  3. Remember your target audience and accommodate your tactics to it.
  4. Follow your success and admit if something is not working. Using a lead scoring system is recommended.
  5. Adapt to changes. Maybe your chosen strategy was not the ideal one. Don’t worry, now you know better!
  6. Keep nurturing. You will find leads that are not ripe enough yet, but that does not necessarily mean they won’t buy from you eventually. Have you tried video testimonials in nurturing your leads?
lead generation campaign

20+ B2B Lead Generation Strategies

I have compiled a list of B2B lead generation strategies that you could use to drive leads and generate potential customers. The list includes both inbound and outbound lead generation strategies. 

These strategies help you generate more sales and marketing qualified B2B leads.

Create your mix of these strategies according to your target audience, industry, objectives, budget, and your company’s overall operational style.

Landing Page Lead Generation

Your website is one of the places where most potential customers will visit at some point of the marketing and sales process. For that reason, you should definitely plan a great lead generation landing page.

Here are some tips on how to incorporate great B2B lead generation strategies on your landing page.

Don’t forget to check out the section about social proof below. Many of those tactics can be embedded on your website as well.

1. Surveys

Create a survey to gather feedback on customer satisfaction and to collect contact information, and sometimes even score a meeting with a potential customer.

Test out our survey tool yourself:

2. Lead generation pop-ups

It is not a coincidence that many brands use pop-ups on their landing pages. They are difficult not to notice, and they are easily adaptable to whatever content or visual aids you want to use.

With a pop-up, you can advertise content, ask the visitor to sign up for a newsletter, start a free trial, book a demo, and more. The key is to get the visitor to submit their email address for further marketing and contact opportunities.

Lead generation pop-ups can be programmed to respond to specific triggers, which allow you to target specific audiences, such as returning visitors.

3. Lead generation forms

Using lead generation forms is a great way to convert more leads.

The forms can be embedded on your website in multiple locations. It is important to offer your website visitors as many chances as possible to find the forms.

With Trustmary’s software, you can customize the forms to fit all situations and make use of various question styles.

4. Chatbot

B2B customers are busy and appreciate swift action. They do not want to spend time navigating websites and looking for information online.

Chatbots offer solutions for those problems. Chatbot always answers immediately and at any time of the day.

Bots are very multifaceted and can cover multiple roles in lead generation, such as lead capture and lead qualification. The bot can ask for email addresses and collect other information, such as where and in what role does the potential lead work.

This way, the chatbot can help you with finding qualified leads with no human effort.

They can also offer basic customer service and answer simple questions. You just need to program them to ask the right questions.

chat lead generation

5. Live chat

Live chat is the counterpart of chatbots. The difference is that it is executed by a human. The benefits of this kind of chat are that the chat administrator can answer questions more broadly than a piece of software.

However, it can be costly to hire a chat administrator in case there is little activity in your website chat, especially if you want the chat to be available at all times.

Content Marketing

Creating quality content adds value to your target audience and acts as a lead magnet. 

If you are able to create content that is not only interesting to the customers, but also SEO friendly, you can make it to the search engines and get more traffic.

Content marketing can also be a gateway to generating leads, as once the potential customer is hooked by your content, adding a well-placed call to action might encourage them to book a meeting or start a free trial. This is called inbound lead generation.

Be careful to not just push in your sales message, but to remember the needs of your audience! According to the Content Marketing Institute, 88% of the most successful B2B marketers who use content marketing prioritize the audience’s needs.

content marketing lead generation

1. Create Value with Blog Posts

Quality content in your blog is the way to get to the search engines without paying for ads.

Implement search engine optimization (SEO) tools such as SurferSEO, Semrush or Linklifting to optimize your blog post and attract more traffic to your website.

Don’t forget to analyze the traffic and conversion to find out what works best for your company and how to improve your future blog posts.

2. Social Media Marketing

B2B marketers use various social media platforms in marketing. The 5 most used social media platforms for organic content marketing are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram.

b2b social media marketing

Social media can be used for promoting your content, targeting ads, launching competitions, featuring testimonials, driving traffic to your website or blog, reaching influencers and experts, creating discussion, and so much more.

Social media allows you to proactively reach your audience: instead of them having to search for you, you can try and make yourself visible in social media and reach the potential leads’ social media feed.

If you manage to create content that people interact with and share in their own networks, you can reach even broader audiences.

Professional social media, especially LinkedIn, can also be handy for prospecting new leads and hosting online events, like webinars.

3. Use Research as Gated Content

Making your own market research (or whatever research is relevant in your industry) is a great way to create gated content that people are willing to read.

You can ask for the visitor’s contact information in exchange for being able to read the content.

Once you receive those contacts, you already know that these people were actually interested in what you do, since they were willing to make that extra effort.

4. Videos Affect your Audience Emotionally

Videos are an important part of today’s online communication. Videos evoke emotions, and thus are more effective than text. Statistics have also shown that people really do watch videos, even at work.

Add videos to your website and social media pages. Feature your customer testimonials in a video form to boost the effectiveness of recommendations.

video testimonial statistics

5. Highlight Your Recent Success via Email Marketing

Email marketing allows you to nurture the marketing qualified leads that you already have. This marketing strategy targets those people who are still sitting on the fence, and tries to slowly convince them to enter deeper in the sales funnel.

In an email newsletter, you can highlight all content you have created in other channels: you can embed social media posts, testimonials, success stories, tell about new products, sales, blog posts… Anything!

Email marketing is one of the most traditional marketing and lead generation strategies out there, but still valid.

Lead Generation Ads

Lead generation ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, and possibly on other platforms is an easy way to collect contact information from people who are interested in your product or service. 

You don’t necessarily have to have a website in order to use lead gen ads, so this is a good option for small new businesses as well.

Social Proof Lead Generation

Social proof is a super effective lead generation strategy. 

The basic idea is that you show your potential leads that other people already trust you. People trust other ordinary people rather than e.g. paid ads.

Trustmary’s tools and services allow you to collect different types of social proof. Test Trustmary start implementing them in your business!

1. Reviews

Reviews work best if there are many of them. People are more likely to trust something that other people have previously recommended.

For example

  • over 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to make a purchase after reading a trusted review and
  • consumers read on average 10 reviews before deciding whether to trust a business.

2. Testimonials

Testimonials are a more elaborate version of reviews. While reviews often can be anonymous and found on separate review websites, testimonials usually feature a full name and even a picture of the person who is making the endorsement.

The testimonials are showcased in your website and social media rather than on third party platforms. You can opt for testimonial pop-ups that appear on your landing pages so that they will not go unnoticed, like in the picture below.

social proof popup

Trustmary helps you collect more testimonials, both in writing and video form. Many companies have already been able to boost their conversion rate with the software. You can also start leveraging your existing customers’ experiences today by signing up for a free trial.

Here are some further tips to getting testimonials from B2B customers.

3. Case studies

Case study is a story of a successful customer journey, where one of your existing B2B customers tells all about their experience with you.

The customer is the start of the story and tells 

  1. What problems they had before
  2. How your product or service helped them overcome the issue
  3. Tangible examples of the success

Just like testimonials, case studies can be in written and in video form, and they are very effective in B2B lead generation.

case study mutjutin

Check out more social proof examples in B2B marketing for extra inspiration.

Website Visitor Identification

If your website has lots of traffic, but only a few of them convert to leads, you might want to consider applying a tool that can analyze your visitor data and help you identify the potential B2B leads.

Some tools are for example Leadfeeder, Inspectlet, Smartlook and Leadinfo

Cold Calls and Emails

Every B2B sales agent has done a fair amount of cold calling and cold emailing.

In a nutshell, cold calling is the act of making “unsolicited” calls to potential customers. This is especially effective when your potential B2B leads do not know about you yet, and maybe they don’t even know that they have a problem that could be solved.

cold email lead generation

B2B Prospecting Tools

In order to make those cold calls, you need information about who you should contact. Luckily, there are many tools available to help you with this task.

Check out e.g. Vainu, Apollo and Bloobirds.

Special Offers

A great lead magnet is of course a special offer that your B2B leads are interested in and would benefit from. 

Some examples could be:

  1. Free consultation
  2. Demo
  3. Discount
  4. Free trial

Highlight these offers in your landing page, email marketing, pop-ups and chats to generate B2B leads. If they take the offer and enjoy it, it is possible that they will become loyal long-term customers.

Conclusion

B2B lead generation is different from B2C lead generation, which is why partially different measures are needed to generate new B2B leads and customers. 

B2B sales require a longer sales process, skillful sales representatives, and smartness from the B2B marketers.

In this blog, we covered 20+ strategies that your sales and marketing teams can adopt to drive more B2B leads, and nurture existing leads.

If your company has the will to generate leads with a cost-effective tool on your landing pages, we warmly welcome you to try Trustmary.

FAQ

What is B2B lead generation?

B2B lead generation refers to the process in which the company looks for new prospects who could be interested in the product or service that the company provides. The ultimate goal of B2B lead generation is to find new paying business customers.

What is the most effective B2B lead generation strategy?

The most effective way to generate more B2B leads depends on your target customer, industry, product and many more factors. However, utilizing reviews, testimonials and case studies is one of the best ways to build trust between you and your potential customers, and works like magic in B2B lead generation.

Trustmary is an easy tool for collecting testimonials and embedding them into your website.

How can I improve my landing page lead generation?

Here are some ways to generate more B2B leads through your website:

  • Lead generation pop-ups
  • Lead generation forms
  • Testimonials and testimonial pop-ups
  • Video testimonials
  • Surveys

Start implementing them with Trustmary’s easy-to-use software.

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