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Let’s face it: B2B lead generation isn’t exactly cakewalk.
Much like Frodo’s quest for the ring (guilty of LOTR references), a sales rep has to go through dangerous territories of skeptic buyers, intense competition, countless hours of research, and not to forget, trial and error.
Most marketers and sales reps struggle to find the right B2B sales lead generation strategy for their organizations. The truth is, no matter what strategy you implement, you have to tailor your approach for each and every client based on their industry, organization, and audience.
As inevitable as it may sound, more leads = more sales.
In this article, we’ve covered the step-by-step lead generation process and bring you 30 high-quality B2B sales lead generation methods to fast track sales.
Having a clear idea of B2B sales lead is the first you will need for B2B lead generation. A B2B sales lead is a potential customer (usually an organization) that has previously shown interest in purchasing a product or service. As B2B stands for business-to-business, leads are other business rather than individual consumers.
The first step of any B2B lead generation strategy is to find contact information (and other relevant info such as job title, company name, location, etc.) of potential customers.
Most B2B companies prefer in-house lead sourcing, but you can also generate lead lists by third-party ‘lead generation’ companies. However, buying third-party lead lists is not advisable for B2B lead generation.
Once lead sourcing is done and a high-quality lead list is created, designated sales reps reach out to the leads with their offerings through various communication channels like cold emailing, social media, etc.
During the interaction with leads, sales reps measure their likelihood of buying and qualify them as high-quality leads. This is usually done by looking at what stage a lead is in their buying journey. The stages are:
1. Research and Awareness: At this stage, the potential customer learns what solutions they can avail to solve a certain pain point. This is when the leads start consuming content – blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, etc.
2. Consideration: The lead narrows down their preferences and they usually decide on the product/service they might opt for and start researching more about the service or product.
They might contact the seller for queries and compare it to other similar offerings.
3. Decision Making: Once the right vendor is decided, leads communicate internally with other decision makers in their teams and finalize a purchase.
Based on these steps, sales reps decide at which stage a lead is and launch nurturing campaigns or get them book a demo call.
This is the most trivial phase for the sales reps. After multiple meetings and uncountable follow ups, the prospect picks your service/product over your competitor and makes a purchase.
After a successful sales attempt, the newly-converted customers are moved to the customer success team for onboarding.
It is very crucial to get back to your lead’s query in time. In fact, according to a HBR report, if companies don’t respond to leads within five minutes or less, they risk losing them forever.
Powered with artificial intelligence, chatbots can help B2B companies to communicate with their prospect customers in a fast and easy way. As the chatbot interacts with the prospects, you will be able to generate lead data like the name of the prospect, their job role, company name and size, phone number, pain points, etc.
As per Google data, B2B buyers conduct at least 12 searches before moving on to the company website. Besides that, almost 94% of buyers conduct online research before making a B2B purchase.
The above-mentioned stats prove that organic search is a very important tool to generate B2B sales leads. Here’s how you can do it:
This way you can drive organic traffic to your site and generate and nurture top-of-the-funnel leads for your business.
Even in the era of social media, cold emails are still the best lead generation channel for B2B marketers. In fact, 59% of marketers think cold emails are important for B2B lead generation.
The best thing about cold email is that you can engage cold leads using them. And personalization is the key to reaching your prospects’ hearts. So, make sure you customize your email based on the lead data to boost your lead gen efforts.
As we were talking about cold emails, here comes another lead generation method through emails. Adding customized email signatures to your sales emails is a great way of promoting your product/service. Also, it gives the leads a feel of authentication.
Make sure your email signature includes your full name, designation, company name, website address, socials, and/or YouTube links and podcasts.
You can also add a recent event or webinar links for this.
These days, B2B marketers use social media channels extensively to generate sales leads. LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B engagement. You can also join social media groups (Facebook, LinkedIn) to engage with your prospects, share info, and build authority.
However, the key is not to pitch your offer directly or come off as salesy. Rather, focus on building rapport with industry-leaders and professionals. There are many ways you can generate B2B sales leads from social media, including:
According to a study by Outgrow, 73% of B2B marketers think that webinars are very effective for generating high-quality leads. It means if you are offering a unique opportunity for your audience to learn and grow, you will position your business as an industry expert.
After the pandemic, as we are growing into more and more visual content (video), hosting webinars is a very effective lead gen medium.
Engaging in Q&A websites like Quora and Reddit is a great way for B2B businesses to generate more traffic to their websites. By answering questions regarding your niche or product helps you demonstrate thought leadership.
As a B2B marketer or a sales rep, you can join these platforms, identify the relevant questions, run ads to retarget visitors, and promote popular responses to generate Qualified B2B sales leads.
B2B businesses are more skeptical while making a purchase, as the price points are high and the purchases directly impact their business’s performance. That’s why B2B buyers heavily rely on customer reviews.
In fact, almost 67% of B2B buyers believe that online reviews are extremely important to make a buying decision. You can ask your existing customers to leave reviews. You can also send customer testimonials to your prospects.
Remote selling, also known as virtual selling, is an effective lead generation strategy for B2B businesses. As opposed to in-person meetings with prospects, remote selling is conducted through phone or video calls.
This technique requires highly-skilled inside sales reps who can respond to prospects’ pain points, industry-specific questions about the product and offer solutions.
B2B buyers are always in the lookout for highly-effective solutions online, and online directories play an important role in increasing visibility by listing products/services. You can list your product/service in directories such as G2, Capterra, etc., to increase visibility of your business.
Some other online directories are LinkedIn Directory, Google My Business, Saas Genius, Yelp, and Bing.
Marketing automation goes a long way to generate high-quality leads for B2B businesses. With a cold emailing tool or a marketing automation tool, you can segment your email list based on preferences.
This way, you can run highly-targeted marketing campaigns. Marketing automation also helps the sales and marketing team work together to generate more leads. B2B marketers can score leads through marketing automation and sales reps can take it up from there.
If you are offering top-notch solutions for businesses or running a successful blog, and your website’s loading speed is low, it will hamper lead generation. B2B prospects won’t sit there to load your site, instead, they will move on to your competitors. So, make sure you run site diagnosis from time to time and improve your site speed and the user interface of your website.
Press releases or press statements create hype and brand awareness, reaching your prospects with detailed information about your offerings. Press releases shared with influencers, social media channels, or media houses can help B2B marketers generate B2B sales leads.
Content plays a pivotal role in generating and nurturing leads in a B2B business's digital marketing strategy. You can write and publish blog posts related to your industry that educates your prospective clients. With the help of SEO, optimize your content for SERP.
As most B2B buyers perform extensive research before finalizing a product/service, your high ranking blog posts can increase brand visibility and generate leads.
If you are nurturing your warm leads for some time but they haven’t converted into paying customers, consider calling them to persuade them to make their buying decisions. For example, if someone has read your content and wants to learn better or if you don’t hear from them after a webinar.
Guest posting is a proven tactic of B2B sales lead generation. Regular guest posting in high-authority websites (higher Domain Authority) puts your company in the front and also helps in link-building. If you are following this strategy, make sure you are creating high-value content to generate valuable leads.
Sharing eBooks and whitepapers with your target audiences in exchange of their email addresses is another effective method of B2B sales lead generation. As a matter of fact, 76% and 63% of customers agree to share personal info to get white papers and eBooks respectively.
There are many successful people who are experts in your industry. Leverage their name and knowledge and use it to create podcasts, eBooks, articles or blog posts to offer relevant information to your target audiences. This will help raise your company visibility, boost credibility, and link-building.
B2B businesses can leverage social media spaces to generate B2B sales leads. Here are some ideas on how you can do it:
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is very useful when it comes to researching key decision makers in a business that you consider as a prospective client. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to network with various decision-makers in a company before you pitch your offer to them.
Read how to write a successful LinkedIn prospecting message, here.
Influencer marketing is an essential lead generation tool in 2023 for both B2B and B2C businesses. Find our influencers in your industry with a high number of followers and collaborate with them.
This way, you can leverage their traffic to your site and promote new products or build awareness about an existing product.
To generate high-quality leads, develop powerful landing pages to your website. Landing pages help you to gather lead data and enable you to nurture the leads into paid clients. Here are a few things you can do to create effective landing pages:
Paid ads (Google ads) are a great way to reach out to a larger audience for B2B companies. Research and find the right keywords and run paid ads on ISPs. Make sure you optimize their demographic filters so that your ads reach your ideal customer base.
82% B2B businesses generate their sales through effective referrals. If you nurture well, referrals from satisfied customers can be successfully converted into high-quality leads. Ask your happy customers for referrals and make sure the referral process is not very critical – you can create templates for them.
Guest speaking at relevant industry conferences can generate leads for your B2B business. If you can present a meaningful conversation and brand your product effectively, leads will start reaching out to you.
Ranking on SERP hugely impacts your website traffic. Besides targeting keywords and relevant topics, it's important your blog is SEO compliant. Focus on building high-authority backlinks to improve your SEO rank.
For these things, you will need a reliable SEO tool. A marketing tool helps you research keywords, track performance, and offer insights to improve. Here’s a list of reliable SEO tools for B2B businesses:
Content syndication means utilizing top-performing content on various content distribution channels. This way, you can push the same content for multi-channel marketing without investing an extra penny.
Use SEO research tools to understand which content is working well and turn that content piece into different forms of content. For example, you can turn your high-performing blog post into Youube videos, LinkedIn posts, or an Instagram reel.
Although FOMO triggering is a successful B2C lead generation method, B2B businesses can also use it to drive more traffic and generate leads. You can create a sense of urgency in your marketing campaign to market your products.
For example, many SaaS brands leverage Cyber Monday to attract more customers.
Prospects who share your content help generate more traffic to your business. You can encourage more social sharing by introducing a rewarding system.
Advisory boards work as informal groups who offer their personal network to help generate more leads. Especially many tech companies leverage advisory boards to expand their sales.
B2B lead generation and increasing sales is a very challenging task, but not impossible. All these lead generation strategies might make your head spin, but don’t worry. The fundamentals of B2B lead generation comes down to a few questions.
Stop right there. Over-optimizing your B2B lead gen won’t give you desired results. Instead, talk to your sales team and marketing team, work in collaboration, and then get started with your strategies. Find out what works and what doesn’t and run only successful lead generation campaigns to drive more sales.
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Active leads are the contacts you upload in Smartlead, similar to contacts in HubSpot; if you upload 1000 leads to a campaign, they are considered 1000 active leads. If you upload similar leads to a new campaign, they are not considered a “new active lead” as they already exist in our system.
We don’t offer mailboxes yet. You need to get your own dedicated list of mailboxes using popular providers like Gmail, Outlook, Zoho, and others that exist in the market. Once you get them, follow our detailed guides to connect them quickly.
Absolutely, one of our most popular guides can be found right here. It's been used by a large percentage of users to go from zero to cold emailing experts. Covering all topics from email infrastructure to copywriting and lead sourcing.
No, Smartlead has over 200,000 highly reputed mailboxes connected. The advantage you get along with naturalized AI conversations is access to aged domains you will never find in any warmup tool.
It is used popularly by agencies to automate their entire lead generation process as well as to connect Smartlead to external tools to push and pull data from. You can also connect to 1000s of apps using Zapier.
Anyone that can close deals from demos will succeed with Smartlead. It works for Sales companies, Marketing agencies, SaaS businesses, Recruitment, and offline companies (like construction).
We do not provide you with leads. You will need to use other data providers. These leads can be automatically added to Smartlead using our API or bulk uploaded via our CSV upload system.
We're building native integrations with Hubspot, Salesforce, Close, Pipedrive, and many more. The best part, due to our open API and Webhook infrastructure, you can connect to any CRM in the world without an issue.
You can add an unlimited number of team members, as well as assign them roles and authority access.
Yes, it's common for many people to move to Custom plans after a few weeks. You can view all the options for up to 10M leads on the subscription page once you sign up for free.