Prioritizing Quality: Targeting High-Value B2B Leads over Quantity

Created On:
November 24, 2023
Updated On:
February 26, 2024
How to Target High-Value B2B Leads

Lead generation is the beating heart of all B2B marketing endeavours. It's the engine that keeps the sales train moving, propelling businesses towards growth and success. In a frantic race to secure as many leads as possible, marketing teams often cast a wide net, hauling in hundreds, if not thousands, of potential prospects. The logic behind this? Aiming for quantity to avoid missing out on those high-value leads. While this approach has its merits, it's akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack - time-consuming and far from efficient.

What if I told you there's an alternate route? One that prioritizes quality over quantity. Imagine, instead of sifting through 1000 unqualified leads, you focus on generating just 10 high-quality ones - the kind that have a high likelihood of converting. Doesn't that sound far more manageable and effective?

Not only this, according to Gartner, when it comes to lead generation, only 5-20% of the leads that businesses generate are of high quality. That means up to 95% could be unqualified leads that you're wasting precious resources on. 

That’s why, in today's blog post, I'm going to delve into exactly why and how you can shift your lead generation strategy from a numbers game to a value game. Along with this, I'll also guide you on how to identify and generate high-quality leads that can truly make a difference to your business and clients.

Let's dive in!

Why You Should Choose Quality Over Quantity

The lure of generating thousands of leads is understandably tempting, but here's the harsh truth - it's like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping some sticks. You might end up with a few good leads, but you'll also be left with a heap of low-quality ones that are unlikely to convert.

Now, let's discuss why this method isn't as lucrative as it might seem:

  • Ineffective Identification of Potential Customers: When you're dealing with a flood of leads, it becomes incredibly difficult to sift through and identify those potential golden nuggets - the customers who are genuinely interested and likely to convert. A smaller, more focused pool of high-quality leads can help you accurately pinpoint prospects who have a higher chance of becoming loyal customers.
  • Overwhelmed Sales Team: Picture your sales team trying to juggle thousands of leads. Overwhelming, isn't it? But when you prioritize quality over quantity, your team can focus their efforts on nurturing a select group of promising leads, leading to more productive conversations and stronger relationships.
  • High Cost per Lead: Acquiring a large number of leads may seem cost-effective initially, but when you factor in the time and resources spent on unqualified leads, the cost per lead skyrockets. On the other hand, investing in high-quality leads may involve higher upfront costs, but the potential return on investment makes it worthwhile.
  • Inefficient Use of Time and Resources: Time is money. With a vast number of leads to follow up on, your team could end up wasting valuable time chasing leads that will never convert rather than focusing on those that will.

Consider this: According to a study by MarketingSherpa, companies that emphasize the quality of leads over quantity generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost. That's quite a compelling argument for reevaluating your lead generation strategy, isn't it?

How to Target High-Value B2B Leads

Step 1 - Craft your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Think of your ICP as a blueprint, a detailed sketch of the kind of customer who's most likely to buy from you and get real value from your product or service. It's not about who you want to sell to but rather who wants to buy from you. The ICP is a powerful tool that helps you focus your resources on nurturing the leads that are most likely to convert, thereby maximizing your ROI.

Now, let's delve into the key factors you should consider while creating your ICP:

  • Demographic: This involves basic information about your ideal customer, such as their age, gender, location, and job role. Understanding these details allows you to tailor your messaging to resonate with your target audience.
  • Firm Credentials: This refers to the characteristics of the companies that your ideal customer works for. Consider factors like industry, company size, and revenue. These details can help you identify businesses that are a good fit for your product or service.
  • Technological Maturity: This delves into the company's overall approach to technology. What kind of technologies do they currently use? Are they open to exploring and adopting new innovations? Do they invest a substantial amount in Research & Development? Understanding the company's technology footprint can provide valuable insights into how your product or service might fit into their existing tech stack. Additionally, it's important to understand the decision-making hierarchy within the company when it comes to technology adoption. Knowing who calls the shots can help you tailor your engagement strategy more effectively.
  • Interaction with Your Content: How does your ideal customer engage with your content? Do they read your blog posts or interact with your social media posts? Tracking these interactions can provide insights into their interests and needs.
  • Buyer Prospecting: What's the buying behaviour of your ideal customer? Do they make impulsive purchases or take their time to research and compare options? Understanding their buying journey can help you position your product or service at the right time and in the right way.

Although crafting an ICP is an intensive and time consuming exercise, according to SiriusDecisions, businesses that use an ICP can achieve a 68% higher account win rate. That's a clear indication of the power of knowing and understanding your ideal customer. So, take the time to develop a detailed ICP. It's the foundation upon which you'll build your high-quality lead generation strategy.

Step 2 - Identify Effective Content Types and Channels

The second step in generating high-quality leads is identifying the most effective content types and channels for your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). It's not about creating an avalanche of content and hoping something sticks. Instead, it's about crafting targeted content that resonates with your ICP and placing it where they're most likely to find it.

According to a recent report by Gartner, organizations that prioritize content pieces that correlate with previous sales have a 12% higher sales acceptance rate. But here's the twist: a high number of content downloads doesn't automatically translate to high-value leads. Why? Because not everyone who downloads your content is a potential customer.

What you need to focus on is identifying the types of content that truly engage your ICP. This could be blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, or even interactive quizzes - whatever aligns best with their preferences and needs. Once you've figured this out, the next step is to identify the channels where your ICP spends their time. This could be LinkedIn, industry forums, email newsletters, or your company blog.

Remember, it's not just about making your content easily accessible; it's about making it easily accessible to your ICP.

Here's a statistic that drives this point home: According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72% of B2B marketers said that creating engaging content was one of their top priorities. That's a clear indication of the importance of targeted, relevant content in attracting high-quality leads. So, take the time to understand what content your ICP values and where they're looking for it. It's a crucial step in your journey towards high-quality lead generation.

Step 3 - Leverage Intent Data to Nurture Lead Quality

Simply put, intent data is the digital footprint your prospects leave behind when they interact with your brand online. This could be downloading whitepapers or case studies, spending time on specific sections of your website, signing up for webinars, subscribing to scheduled content, or even downloading gated content assets.

Leveraging intent data can be a game-changer in nurturing high-value leads. It provides you with insights into what your leads are interested in and where they are in their buying journey. For instance, a lead who spends time reading detailed product information might be closer to making a purchase than one who's just signed up for your newsletter.

But how do you make sense of all this data? That's where tools like Apollo or Listkit come into play. These platforms not only provide you with pre-verified leads but also offer built-in intent-scoring methodologies. This means they analyze the intent data and score leads based on their likelihood to convert. By focusing on leads with high intent scores, you can optimize your resources and efforts towards nurturing high-quality leads.

According to a study by Ascend2, 58% of marketers believe that intent data will be a vital part of their marketing strategy in the future. If you're not leveraging intent data yet, now might be the time to start. Remember, the goal isn't just to generate leads; it's to generate high-quality leads. And intent data can be a valuable tool in achieving that goal.

Step 4 - Measure the Effectiveness of Your Outreach Campaign

It's not enough to simply launch a campaign and hope for the best. You need to know how well it's performing, which parts are working, and, most importantly, how many high-quality leads are converting into paying customers.

Think of your campaign as a three-legged stool, each leg representing a key performance indicator (KPI). First, you have the conversion rate from visitors to leads. This tells you how effective your content and call-to-actions are at capturing the interest of your audience.

Next, you have the conversion rate from leads to opportunities. This reflects the strength of your nurturing process. Are you providing your leads with the right information and incentives to move them further down the sales funnel?

Finally, there's the time it takes to turn a prospect into a paying customer. This is a measure of the efficiency of your sales process. The shorter the time, the better your cash flow and the higher your return on investment.

By keeping an eye on these three pillars, you can gather actionable insights to optimize your lead generation campaign. For instance, if your visitor-to-lead conversion rate is low, you might need to reevaluate your content strategy or improve your call-to-action. If it's taking too long to convert prospects into customers, you might need to streamline your sales process.


Generating high-quality leads isn't about casting the widest net; it's about casting the right net. It's about understanding your Ideal Customer Profile, identifying the most effective content types and channels, leveraging intent data, and regularly measuring the effectiveness of your outreach campaign. But remember, these steps aren't a one-and-done deal. They require constant refinement and adaptation as your audience and market conditions evolve.

Ready to take the leap towards high-quality lead generation? Sign up for a free trial of Smartlead today. With our platform, you'll have all the tools you need to connect with your high-quality leads, nurture them effectively, and ultimately convert them into loyal customers. Don't wait for the leads to come to you. With Smartlead, go out there and get them.

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Author’s Details

Arpan Sarma

I am a seasoned Digital Marketing Specialist and the Senior Content Writer at Smartlead. I collaborate with fintech, SaaS and technology companies and help them become thought leaders, generate more revenue and scale ahead of peers with actionable and data driven marketing strategies.


Edited by:

Arpan Sarma


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