B2B Lead Generation: How To Find Clients And Increase Your Sales

Hamna Abid
Hamna Abid

Last updated on

April 1, 2024

In today's highly competitive business landscape, efficient B2B lead generation is the key to sustaining business growth and success.

B2B companies must constantly generate high-quality leads to stay ahead of competition.

Their marketing functions must craft solid strategies and automate lead generation processes to achieve this goal.

With statistics showing that high-quality leads can generate up to 209% more revenue for a business, the need to master this domain cannot be overemphasized. 

Although lead generation is mostly associated with creating a prospect's contact database, effective lead generation requires more.

It's about having a strategic approach to identification of businesses that align with your product offerings and nurturing them into loyal customers.  

In this article, we discuss a range of strategies that marketers use to generate high-quality leads. 

What Is B2b Lead Generation?

B2B lead generation refers to the marketing approach that B2B marketers use to attract prospects organically.

At its core, this approach entails all the efforts a business makes to identify, attract, and engage prospects that express interest in their product or service offerings. 

From the buyer's journey perspective, B2B lead generation serves as the initial step towards generating marketing qualified leads and nurturing them into sales qualified leads.

It involves collecting prospect details-like name, job title, email, and industry-and using those details to target them with customized ad campaigns and sales pitches. 

B2B Marketers implement inbound marketing activities that create brand awareness, boost visibility, and capture the interest of potential customers within a specified target audience.

Using prospect data, they generate high-quality leads by capturing the attention of key stakeholders and individuals who make purchase decisions in businesses.

The aim is to build trust and relationships to ensure that prospects think about their brand when they're ready to buy.

Marketing-Qualified Leads Vs Sales-Qualified Leads

B2B lead generation involves generating two types of leads- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)  and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs).

MQLs are generated at the top of the funnel. They are prospects that have a high likelihood of becoming paying customers. 

Qualification of these leads is based on their engagement with your company's marketing efforts.

Common qualifying factors for MQLs include:

  • Repeat visits to your corporate website
  • Downloading content assets produced by your company
  • Signing up for company webinars or events
  • Filling lead capture forms available on your website

SQLs are MQLs that have progressed down the sales funnel. Unlike MQLs, SQLs are ready to engage with salespeople.

MQLs qualify to become SQLs when they demonstrate an intention to purchase products or services from your company. 

Intent to buy may be expressed in multiple ways like:

  • Requests for product or service demos
  • Social media or email messages expressing interest 
  • Requests for information about your company's offerings
  • Phone conversations with sales executives 

Importance Of B2b Lead Generation 

Technology has made information more accessible to buyers. Unlike decades ago when they relied heavily on sales executives for product information, modern-day B2B buyers are highly empowered and in control of their buying journey.

Recent data indicates that a significant 90% of buyers conduct thorough research to identify solutions before committing to a purchase. In this environment, finding alternatives becomes pivotal. For example, ZoomInfo is a widely used data insights software and people familiar with it may want to explore sites similar to ZoomInfo to find a better and cheaper alternative to enhance their business's ability to reach and engage with the right prospects, aligning with the changing dynamics of B2B lead generation.

This shift has made conventional marketing approaches less effective. B2B lead generation is critical for businesses for various reasons, including:   

1. Increasing Brand Awareness

People buy from brands they know and trust. You can use lead generation to improve brand awareness, visibility and reputation among your target groups.

For instance, publishing blogs regularly can position your company as a thought leader in your industry.

By interacting with the blogs, your audience will start to view your company as an expert, which boosts their trust in your brand.

Sharing insights and tips via blogs and social media posts can also increase your company's brand awareness and grow your online following. 

2. Expanding Sales Opportunities

B2B lead generation focuses on building relationships with a company's target groups. As a marketer,  you can use this marketing approach to position your company as the go-to information source for your audience.

As prospects trust your brand, the likelihood of having them consider your offerings when they decide to buy increases. This expands sales opportunities and revenue for your business. 

3. Driving High-Quality Leads

Unlike conventional marketing approaches where marketers have little or no control over who views their marketing messages, digital marketing gives you more control. 

Applying tactics such as search engine optimization (SEO) allows B2B marketers to target prospects based on their needs and interests. 

Incorporating keywords in web content and ads enables them to generate interest from people who are more likely to purchase their offerings. B2B marketers also use firmographics- like industry, company size, and the technology used- to inform ad retargeting campaigns.

This ensures ads are displayed to a specific audience. Implemented correctly, these tactics can drive high-quality leads to your marketing funnel

4. Learning About Your Audience

Gathering prospect data is an integral part of B2B lead generation campaigns. This data serves as a form of market research as it gives you insights about your target audience. 

Having a better understanding of  your audience's needs enables you to improve marketing content and messages. 

For example, you can identify questions that your target groups have and develop content assets like eBooks, blogs, and social media posts to provide the answers they need.

You can use marketing analytic tools to capture and analyze huge volumes of prospect data to inform data-driven lead generation campaigns. 

5. Cost-Effectiveness

Compared to other forms of marketing, B2B lead generation is more cost-effective. Conventional marketing strategies like billboards and events are costly.

You have to spend huge amounts of money to place an ad in front of huge audiences. Digital marketing strategies like influencer marketing can also be costly. 

Lead generation offers a more cost-efficient marketing option to businesses. Statistics show that content marketing is 62% less costly than conventional marketing. 

After you incur content creation costs, you can reap the benefits for a longer time after publishing the content. 

6. Win-Win For Seller And Buyer

Lead generation offers benefits to both the seller and the buyer. The seller increases brand awareness and the buyer gets the information they need about their problems and the solutions available.

Lead generation campaigns also appeal to prospects more. People don't want to be sold to.

Instead of selling directly to your audience, lead generation delivers value to prospects and empowers them to make decisions. This is what makes it impactful. 

7. Revenue Growth

Unlike outbound marketing where you're always looking for leads to pursue, lead generation attracts prospects to your business.

Since lead generation does not rely on manual efforts, you can attract numerous leads to your sales pipeline each day. Automating the sales process can grow your sales revenues significantly. 

How Does B2B Lead Generation Work?

Lead generation is not a one-off activity. It's a process with clearly defined steps that sales and marketing teams in your company should take in order to turn prospects into customers.

Defining this process enables you to streamline your sales and marketing functions, giving each of the team a structure to work with. 

Here are four steps to include in your lead generation process:

1. Find B2b Sales Leads

Identification of B2B leads is the first step in the lead generation process. This process involves collecting contact data like name, job title, company, industry and email address from prospects.

There are two main sources of sales lead data:

  • In-house generation: Your team can collect this information internally 
  • Acquisition from Third parties: Your company can acquire lead data from third parties like Linkedin Scraper or companies that offer B2B lead generation services or purchase it from lead databases.

To get high-quality sales leads, consider generating lead data in-house or acquiring it from B2B lead generation companies

2. Reach Out To Leads

Once the marketing team has scored leads and compiled a list of high value leads, your sales team should reach out to them.

They can connect with B2B sales leads through cold outreach campaigns like:

Before running a cold outreach campaign, sales teams should research prospects and understand their pain points.

This enables them to know what the prospects are looking for so they can craft effective sales pitches.

3. Qualify High-Quality Leads

Qualifying sales leads can be a challenging task because it requires interaction with the leads and relationship building.

You are checking the likelihood of qualified leads to make a purchase.Your sales and marketing teams can do this by aligning their interactions with the buyer's journey as follows:

Awareness Stage: Prospects know their problem and are researching possible solutions.

At this stage, your teams can develop and distribute content assets like white-papers, ebooks, blogs and case studies to inform and educate prospects.

Consideration Stage: Sales leads have an idea of the products or services that address their needs.

Provide content like case studies, product comparison guides, and offer free samples to prospects in this stage.

Decision Stage: Leads have decided on the solution and are evaluating providers. They are ready to connect with your sales team. Target them with content campaigns that offer free trials, demos, coupons, and consultation offers. 

4. Close Leads By Making A Sale

At this step, your sales leads are ready to convert. Your sales team should focus on closing the deal and making a sale. Your customer success team should also start onboarding the client.

Top 10 B2b Lead Generation Strategies In 2023

Here are 10 lead generation strategies your company should apply in 2023:

1. Conduct A/B Testing

A/B testing involves comparing two or more versions of the content or a strategy to identify the better one. This is because getting it right the first time is usually a long shot.

Try different messages, colors and formats on marketing materials and websites to see which option generates traction.

B2B leads may be looking for the best offerings in the marketing, but they also have preferences.

Simple changes to marketing materials can have a huge impact on how prospects engage with your content and marketing messages.

This can boost your lead generation efforts significantly. As you experiment with different options, keep an eye on the numbers and see what works best. 

2. Create Content Campaigns To Generate Leads

You need content campaigns to maintain a steady flow of sales leads. Create and distribute optimized content in different formats to drive organic traffic to your webpages. 

Use content assets like white papers and eBooks as lead magnets. Keep your audience engaged with blogs and videos. Remember to optimize them for search engines and track their performance. 

Note that content campaigns are only good if they offer users practical search value. It may rank high on search results with good on-page SEO.

But, if your audience alters that order, you lose to your competitors. Avoid this by optimizing content for general searches so your audience can find you with ease. 

3. Create Trust With Buyers Through Social Proof

B2B lead generation focuses on attracting and engaging potential buyers. These individuals need to trust your business enough to make a purchase.

Buyers trust other buyers more than they trust your marketing messages. About 95% of them read reviews before making a purchase and 94% avoid buying from businesses with negative reviews. These statistics suggest we need to invest in social proof. 

Today, having no reviews is as dangerous as having negative reviews. The prospects you're targeting will judge testimonials left by other buyers to learn more about your offerings. 

An excellent way to create social proof for your company is to embed solicitation of reviews, feedback, and testimonials into your sales process.

Ask clients who have a long-term relationship with you for reviews and testimonials. Display them at the center or front part of marketing materials, including your website's homepage. 

4. Use Tools To Generate B2b Sales Leads

Power your B2B lead generation efforts with tools that automate the process. 

With a lead generation software, your team can:

  • Eliminate manual tasks to save funds and time
  • Attract more high-quality leads 
  • Nurture leads easily
  • Boost sales revenue 

There are numerous free and paid tools to pick from. Each tool offers unique features and services - see examples from top B2B lead generation companies in USA at the end of this article. 

To find a lead generation tool that suits your needs, consider the following:

  • Functionality and ease of use 
  • Diversity - the more the use cases the better
  • Cost - ensure you get what you pay for
  • Analytics so you get insights on campaign progress

5. Promote Your Case Studies

Case studies influence the buying decisions of 90% of people who read them. Previously, companies kept case studies tucked away in their websites.

But things are changing. With these content assets ranking among the top three content types that attract leads, you need to promote your case studies to generate valuable leads. 

Although the practice has been to target prospects with case studies in the middle and last stage of the buyer's journey, B2B buyers want to interact with facts earlier.

Do not  wait for your prospects to get to the consideration stage. Instead, promote your case studies early on in the awareness stage, and let them interact with it. 

Here are tips to help you promote your case studies early in the buyer's journey:

  • Showcase case studies on your website's homepage 
  • Turn case studies into blog content
  • Create premium content using customer success stories 
  • Repurpose written case studies into videos
  • Integrate case studies in email campaigns

6. Create An Appealing Landing Page 

People are naturally drawn to attractive content, but they also like interactive content. Designing attractive landing pages with catchy headlines and clear CTAs is a great way to grab a prospect’s attention. 

But you can make landing pages more appealing by making them interactive. 81% of B2B marketers say that compared to static content, interactive content captures people's attention better.

In addition to using catchy headlines, turn your landing page into a lead generation machines by:

  • Including stats that make them stand out
  • Placing pop-up boxes on landing pages to make them more interactive
  • Adding social proof to your landing page content 
  • Using relevant call-to-actions 
  • Including a live chat function on the landing page 
  • Creating a lead capture form to collect data

7. Personalize Your Website To Appeal B2b Leads

Personalization is an important aspect of lead generation. Increasingly, consumers expect personalized digital experiences that resemble what they receive offline.

Majority of the prospects you target with lead generation campaigns are already accustomed to receiving personalized experiences from social networks and news feeds.

Personalizing your website is critical to meeting their expectations and giving them unique experiences. 

It makes your website adapt to the location, industry, and company your visitors come from. If you're already using the ABM for your company, personalizing your website can boost your efforts further.

Customize web content and marketing materials to the needs and preferences of different segments and geographic locations.

You can only personalize your website if you understand your target audience- their behavior, interests, and firmographics. 

If you decide to apply this lead generation strategy, consider:

  • Integrating buyer personas in your site personalization efforts 
  • Using geolocation and device type to inform personalization efforts 
  • Tracking the time visitors spend on your web pages and use it to inform personalization 

8. Engage Audience With Creative And Descriptive Youtube Videos

With 96% of B2B marketers considering videos a crucial part of their marketing strategy, you can't afford to leave them out of your lead generation campaigns. YouTube ranks second in search engines on the internet, right after Google. 

You don't have to be a pro to start generating leads with YouTube videos. A great place to start is to repurpose current blogs, webinars, ebooks and other content types into creative, informative videos and post them on YouTube. 

When posting videos on YouTube, write a brief, catchy explanation to each video to inform viewers what it's about. Include keywords in your descriptions so your videos rank high on YouTube searches. 

Add a strong call-to-action and include links to your website and social media handles in the descriptions.

Creating descriptive YouTube videos benefits your lead generation efforts in several ways:

  • Complements other forms of content: Your company ranks high on searches, regardless of the platform leads use
  • Provides feedback: YouTube users share detailed analysis and criticism of videos. Your company can benefit from this feedback and use it to improve lead generation efforts. 
  • Gives insights on the competition: See how your competitors create videos and instruction guides so you know what you need to adjust to remain competitive. 

9. Use Seo To Attract B2b Leads

Optimizing content assets for SEO can boost your lead generation efforts. It's what your company needs to get in front of competitors. 

Your web content and long-form articles should be optimized for keywords. And so should your eBooks, video descriptions, press releases, social media posts, case studies and any other content assets your company develops. 

If you're unsure about how to apply SEO in lead generation campaigns, study your competitors. Look at their webpages, blogs and other content to see which keywords they use. 

You can also revisit your buyer personas and align your SEO efforts with their interests. For example, if your company provides marketing tools, one of the target audiences would be small businesses. 

Identify keywords and questions that small businesses use to search for solutions. Optimize your content with these keywords and phrases to attract them to your sales pipeline. 

10. Optimize Your Content For Mobile Viewing 

Optimizing content for mobile devices can be a deal-maker or breaker for B2B companies.

Statistics show that 90% of B2B buyers are likely to buy from the same supplier if they have a positive mobile experience.

40% of buyers are likely to buy from a competitor if they have a negative mobile experience.

Additionally, 73% of mobile searches lead to action. With such alarming statistics, optimizing all forms of content for mobile devices is critical if you're keen on attracting high-quality leads.

But despite user demands for mobile-friendly content, only 35% of companies optimize their websites for mobile viewing. 

This presents a huge opportunity to generate quality leads and boost revenue for your company.

You can leverage this opportunity by adopting responsive web design which:

  • Makes your website and content assets accessible on all devices
  • Gives visitors a better browsing experience across devices
  • Boosts your website's SEO ranking 
  • Ensures your website and content assets load fast on all devices

Mailmunch White-Label is Your One Stop Solution for B2B Lead Generation

Mailmuch White-Label provides B2B marketers the tools they need to generate high-quality leads, expand their client base, and grow sales revenue.

It supports B2B client acquisition efforts by providing lead generation, email marketing, and email automation solutions like form builder, geolocation targeting, email personalization and automating email flows.

You can use Mailmuch to attract leads to your sales funnel, nurture them into paying customers, and retain them as loyal clients

Other Tools For Capturing B2b Leads And Igniting Sales Growth 

There are other lead capture tools that your company can use to grow its sales pipeline. They include:

Hunter.io

If the only details you have about leads is their name and company, Hunter.io enables you to find their email addresses. Use this tool to get email addresses of any decision maker in your target account. 

Leadfeeder 

A lead generation tool that enables you to identify anonymous web traffic. Get insights on how your prospects research solutions and time your lead generation campaigns perfectly for best results.

Bombora 

Use this tool to get insights on the content that your prospects are engaging with. These insights improve your content strategy with topics that resonate with your prospects, boosting your B2B lead generation efforts.

Hubspot Sales Hub 

A single platform that combines prospect data and B2B sales tools for a more streamlined lead generation process.

Get the email templates you need to generate and nurture leads. Use this tool to automate the entire lead generation process - from data capture and follow-ups, to call and demo scheduling. 

Reply.io 

This tool generates B2B sales leads on LinkedIn. Use it to initiate meaningful conversations with leads on LinkedIn, run A/B tests, automate personal communication, and analyze outreach results. 

Conclusion 

With so many B2B lead generation strategies to pick from, finding one that works for you can feel like an uphill task.

But, a great place to start is gathering prospect data. Find out what their pain points are, how and where they search for information, and how they make purchase decisions. 

With this information at hand, identify one or two viable strategies. Work with your sales and marketing teams to try them out.

Track the results and pick strategies that generate the results your company desires. Don't think twice about dropping those that don't work for you. Focus on what offers you the value and results you're looking for. 

Author Bio

Hamna Abid

Say hello to Hamna, a tiny wordsmith who loves combining humor and creativity with masterful precision during the day, and a caped Batman that saves the world during the night. She ensures that every piece not only ranks high but also resonates with the audience.

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