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Your Guide To 5 Powerful B2B Lead Generation Strategies

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Your Guide To 5 Powerful B2B Lead Generation Strategies

Jeremy Chatelaine
October 8, 2020

B2B lead generation strategies: Man focusing on laptop in his home

If you ask SaaS companies, marketing agencies, and B2B marketers their biggest pain points, you’d likely hear about inconsistent leads. Even if it’s not a pain point for some, who doesn’t love more leads in their sales pipeline?

Most companies understand that high-quality leads are the backbone of their businesses. Still, they struggle to score predictive and consistent leads. Either they don’t know about winning B2B lead generation tactics or don’t have enough time and resources.

Before we discuss the five powerful B2B lead generation strategies, let’s quickly go over the top sources of B2B leads.

Choosing the Right B2B Lead Generation Strategy

Stack of blocks with designs showing B2B lead generation steps

A survey by CMO Council suggests that 54% of B2B leads come from customer referrals. This data sums up why a large number of businesses struggle with lead generation. When the majority of your leads come from referrals and word-of-mouth publicity, you’re likely putting little effort into generating leads.

The leading sources of B2B leads are social media, SEO, direct mail, email marketing, trade shows, PPC, and content marketing. While choosing a particular B2B lead generation strategy, it’s important to consider your industry and target audience. For example, if you have a SaaS product for web developers, attending trade shows won’t probably bring the best results. Similarly, any large-scale lead generation campaign is fruitful only with a capable sales team.

This is the reason you’ll find studies and surveys show considerable variations while measuring the effectiveness of different B2B lead generation strategies. Each has its pros and cons, and it comes down to which suits your business best. A good practice is to split test different lead generation campaigns and stick to those with the highest return on investment.

It pays to have multiple lead generation channels. For example, if your primary lead source is organic search traffic, you should be prepared for a Google algorithm change that pushes your website down in search results.

Most B2B buyers will go on a long journey with you before and after they buy. Businesses need a range of trigger points to start and continue buying from you, from hearing about you in the press to receiving something of value and having a positive conversation with a company representative. And yet, many of us treat lead generation as a one-step process.

5 Strategies To Generate B2B Leads

A Google ad campaign without a well-optimized landing page or a series of informative articles without a strong CTA would flush your time and money down the drain. Make sure to optimize your sales and digital marketing funnel before starting a B2B lead generation campaign.

1. Personalized Cold Emailing

Woman writing cold emails on laptop

Cold emailing is a form of email marketing where you reach out to a potential customer who you haven’t connected with before. If your email is listed publicly, you must have received unsolicited emails from professionals trying to sell you their wares. Let’s be honest: Cold emails seem so annoying that makes you wonder how this could work.

While cold emails are rampant, good cold emails are not. Any half-decent marketer can download a free email template, buy a list of leads, and use an automation tool to send mass emails. The rarity of good cold emails makes them effective. So how do you run a successful cold email campaign?

  • Personalize: Ideally, each email should look like it’s crafted for its respective recipients. But that’s not feasible. Still, you can include the name of the prospect and their company name. It’s better if you can look into your prospects’ blog or social media and add an appropriate line. Just be sincere.Screenshot of Tweet showing email reply
  • Research: Instead of buying random email lists, research to make sure your prospects fit your ideal client profile. Otherwise, you will get responses like this:

B2B lead generation strategies: Email reply pointing out email faux pas

  • Offer value: On your first interaction, try to initiate a conversation with your prospects instead of selling. Think of ways you can help them by offering a free strategic session, software trial, case-study, social media audit, or anything that takes them closer to their goal.
  • Follow up: More than two-thirds of outbound emails stop after the first email. It’s a wasted opportunity. Jason Zoon writes in his article that more than three-fourths of all deals he has closed have come from follow-ups.

The advantage of using cold emailing against inbound marketing strategies is it delivers results fast and inexpensively.

2. LinkedIn Prospecting

B2B lead generation: Woman loading LinkedIn app on her phone

More than 80% of B2B leads on social media come from LinkedIn. It’s hardly surprising because people use LinkedIn to connect professionally, hunt for jobs, and know what’s going on in their industry.

The same people who are familiar with LinkedIn still may not know how effective a tool it can be for B2B marketing. Unlike email, LinkedIn allows you to connect with people with common interests. A message from someone you don’t know on LinkedIn is regarded more positively than a cold email.

Optimize your LinkedIn profile by uploading a professional profile photo, mentioning what you do and how your services can benefit your customers. LinkedIn reveals that completely filled profiles are 40 times more likely to have new opportunities. Use Sales Navigator to search and connect with potential leads. LinkedIn marketing tools such as LinkedIn Helper and Dux-Soup can automate this step.

A solid content strategy on LinkedIn is as important as forming new connections. Quality and consistent content not only engages your followers but also reaches to extended networks. You can take advantage of the already published content on your blog or other social media platforms.

LinkedIn prospecting and cold emailing can work together. You can collect the contact information of the decision-makers through LinkedIn and feed them into your cold email campaign. It gives your emails additional validation and makes the cold emails somewhat warmer.

3. Search Engine OptimizationWoman searching the internet on her laptop

Unlike cold emailing and LinkedIn prospecting, SEO takes time, patience, and hard work. But you reap the rewards longer when you position your webpage high in the search rankings. The best part is you pull your prospects rather than pushing them. This positions you better to convert the leads.

Unlike PPC and social media ads, the ROI is low in the beginning, but the organic traffic a well-planned SEO strategy brings more than makes up for it in the long run.

A successful SEO blueprint starts with researching the target keywords and studying your competitors. Until a decade ago, marketers could trick search algorithms by stuffing keywords. Search engines have evolved and now rank web pages on additional factors such as the website’s responsiveness, speed, domain authority, links, and bounce rates. At the core, you create quality content not just for the search engines but also for humans. We discuss content more in the next section.

4. Content Marketing

B2B lead generation: Woman searching her smartphone's browser

As compared to traditional marketing, content marketing generates around three times as many leads for the same dollar spent. Businesses adopting content marketing have six times higher conversion rates than those that don’t. And high-quality content serves multiple purposes:

  • Educates your readers and brings them closer to your brand
  • Makes you a thought leader in your industry
  • Drives organic traffic to your website
  • Generates qualified leads through actionable CTAs

B2B companies that produce multi-channel content are better positioned to leverage content marketing. Here are some popular forms of content you should consider:

  • Blog posts
  • Long-form and how-to guides
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • E-books
  • Infographics
  • Research papers

5. Lead Magnets With Email Marketing

Paper boats surrounding paper box

Long ago, businesses asked website visitors to enter their emails to receive newsletters. The visitors got tired of the marketing emails flooding their inboxes and stopped sharing their email addresses. Then, a savvy marketer came up with the idea of introducing lead magnets to email marketing. Lead magnets are the bribe you pay to get permission to send promotional emails to your prospects.

Lead magnets work because:

  • If a visitor is interested in the magnet, they’re likely interested in your service as well.
  • A lead magnet requires a one-time effort that puts your visitors in your sales funnel. You can then nurture them through email drip campaigns.
  • Your visitors perceive lead magnets as something valuable, which establishes you as an expert in the domain.

Here are some popular types of lead magnets you can use on your website:

  • Guide, report, case study, and white paper
  • Free course
  • Discount or coupon
  • Cheatsheet
  • Trial

Automating Lead Generation Processes

If you’re just starting with B2B lead generation, these strategies might seem an uphill task. Don’t worry — with the right automation tools and right people, anything is possible. For repetitive work, hire and train a virtual assistant.

Most people get so busy in their projects that they spend little time and effort on lead generation and sales. If you’re a growth-focused business, you can’t ignore developing a robust B2B lead generation system. The digital landscape transforms in the blink of an eye, and you don’t want your competitors to overtake you.

Cold emailing offers one of the lowest entry barriers to B2B lead generation. Start with a free Quickmail trial today. By implementing the strategies we discussed, we hope your sales pipeline gets more leads than you can handle.

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