Looking for B2B lead generation tips so you can take your marketing to the next level? We spoke to 21 experts to get their insight on how you can drive more leads in the B2B space.
Lead generation isn’t easy. Your marketing has to work hard to drive traffic to your site, and then convert that traffic into viable leads. So how can B2B marketers drive more leads from their website?
Jon Buchan, CEO of Charm Offensive summed up the difficulties for lead generation in the B2B market well: “The B2B market is more value and price-sensitive than B2C. This basic difference often dictates the kind of strategies you’ll use for your business. B2B is largely about building personal relationships that guarantee long-lasting business bonds.”
When leads are the lifeblood of your business, it’s paramount that you understand what generates leads. But, more importantly, you must understand what generates high-quality leads. Learn more about lead tracking here.
We all know that leads don’t convert into sales right away. So, while your sales team is nurturing your qualified leads, how can you top up the funnel?
Related: We compiled our internal stats on lead generation to give you 35 key insights to lead generation in 2021.
To help, we reached out to experts in their field for B2B lead generation tips you can use to get more out of your marketing efforts. So, let’s get stuck in.
Leads are tricky because of the data discrepancies surrounding them. If you set a new campaign live to drive more leads, how are you tracking the source of any inbound leads? Without this proper tracking in place, you’ve got zero visibility of where your leads are coming from.
And it doesn’t end there.
While capturing your lead source is important, you need to go beyond that too. Tracking leads through the full customer lifecycle means that you can attribute closed revenue and sales back to your marketing. Before you dive into these lead generation tips, make sure you understand which channel is working hardest to drive high-quality leads.
Not sure how to make this a reality?
To get started, you can download our conversion benchmark report to reveal which marketing channels drive the most valuable leads across 14 industries.
When it comes to lead generation, everyone has a different idea or strategy. But the truth is, you need to go with what works best. One way to do that is to measure by revenue. You can find out more about that here.
Jimmy Page, CEO at Inseev Interactive suggests this, “Find out what works for your audience. The lead generation strategy that will work best for your brand is entirely dependent on:
“Check out what other successful companies in your space are doing and see what you can mimic for your brand. Try to come up with ways of putting a new or unique spin on it. Find out what will resonate with your audience and come up with ways you can leverage that to generate new customers. Think outside of the box and don’t be afraid to try something new.”
Do you know exactly what you’re looking for from a lead? There’s nothing worse than driving hundreds of leads for none of them to convert.
Without sales and marketing alignment, you’re going to find it hard to even get visibility of your leads past the point of conversion. The first step to get aligned is to create a buyer persona that will help you understand exactly who you’re looking for and where you can find them.
Madhav Goenka, Co-Founder and CMO of Frazile Media added, “My biggest tip to others looking to generate B2B leads is to create a customer avatar or buyer persona of their ideal customer.
“Instead of trying to target anyone and everyone, it is better to go after a niche that they specialize in. This will make it a lot easier for you to generate leads and convert them into sales. Also, remember that personalization is the key when it comes to B2B lead generation. Nobody likes to receive general spammy pitches. They will be interested and respond only if your content is solving the correct pain points.”
Thought leadership has always been key. But in this day and age, there are more and more channels you can take advantage of once you’re established as a leader in your industry.
Paige Arnof-Fenn, CEO at Marketing Mavens and Moguls agreed, “Thought leadership is a great way to build your brand, raise your profile and attract more clients. Activities like hosting a webinar, creating a podcast, writing articles and building your following on social media increase your awareness with potential customers and build your credibility with a larger community.
“Instead of trying to start your own blog/newsletter, try contributing regularly to existing well-trafficked blogs in your industry. Reach out to owners of newsletters in like-minded organizations reaching the same target audience as you. LinkedIn has become more than an online resume, it is the foundation for building trusted relationships in the digital economy. You do not need to blog or be on all social media platforms. But on the ones you do choose to post on, be active. That means sharing content but also engaging too. For many professional service businesses like mine, LinkedIn matters the most.”
There’s clear value in becoming a thought leader in your space. And Drewbie Wilson, VP at Break Free Academy, shared this as his main tip for lead generation: “Be the authority in your field by creating value-based content and giving it away for free.”
And many other experts agreed that social media was an excellent place to create new leads and connect with existing customers.
Veronica Miller, Cybersecurity Expert at VPNoverview said, “Using platforms to support a hard sale is one of the most basic mistakes marketers make on social media. While some prospects may convert as a result of your social media material, the main purpose of social media is engagement.
“Individuals can see the personality of your brand and engage with the people who make your company great by using social media channels. It has a powerful humanizing effect, allowing new prospects to form the type of personal connection with your business that converts them into high-quality leads.
“LinkedIn is an especially excellent platform for B2B companies looking to create motivated leads. When combined with other content (blog posts, videos, white papers, etc.), it can deliver a powerful one-two punch that offers genuine value to organizations.
Leads will be more attentive to your sales messages and more likely to convert if you’re giving them something for nothing.”
Educating your audience is a key way to increase their understanding of your product and service, and sell it subliminally.
Logan Mallory, VP of Marketing at Motivosity, suggested setting up direct contact with your audience, “The B2B sales cycle is typically slower and can be more complicated because many stakeholders can be involved to close a deal. We regularly organize networking sessions as we recognize that it’s important to form closer relationships with your audience to turn them into quality leads and increase conversion rates.”
According to HubSpot, more than half of marketers say webinars work best to generate the most high-quality leads.
Is this surprising? Webinars are a great way to exchange your insights for data. A good webinar should be around a key topic that ties into your proposition. So, those who attend will therefore have a close interest in your proposition and so should be easy to convert.
And Tanya Zhang, Co-Founder at Nimble Made agreed: “The need for B2B marketers to incorporate webinars into their marketing strategies will be even greater in 2021.”
Chris Nutbeen, Founder and CEO at Nuttifox added, “Webinars offer B2B companies a one-of-a-kind opportunity to educate, engage with, and place them as industry experts to their target audiences.”
We know customer journeys are getting longer and longer. But many of those journeys likely include organic search. According to Think with Google, the average B2B buyer will do 12 searches before engaging with a specific brand’s website.
So, it’s only natural to assume that organic search will play a key role in B2B buyer’s journeys.
Naomi Bishop, Chief Insurance Officer at Surfky, said, “The best way to approach this is to write long-form papers and to study and use keywords naturally. Include specific keywords in URLs, connect to relevant, high-authority sites, write persuasive meta descriptions, and optimize title tags. If you do it right, your material and website will rank higher in search engines. This will increase website traffic while also generating and nurturing top-of-funnel prospects for your company.”
By increasing your net at the top of the funnel, you’re exposing yourself to more potential customers. Ensure your top of funnel content pushes users down their customer journey and organic will work to drive users and new leads.
William Munir, CEO at Groominghut.com agreed, saying, “When it comes to B2B digital marketing, content is crucial for attracting, creating, and cultivating leads as they progress through the sales funnel. Create and post blogs or articles that teach and inform your intended audience.”
If you work to drive leads, then chances are you’re writing a huge amount of content to hit target keywords and phrases. While you might be getting organic traffic and rankings from these blog posts, one easy way to convert this traffic into leads is to offer eBook and guide content.
Tony Kelly, CEO at CameraGroove, said, “This is the most popular technique for generating leads. The beauty of this approach is that you’re already devoting time, effort, and resources to producing content for your website, blog, third-party pages, social media networks, and other outlets. You want to get the best out of your money. So it only makes sense to take that content, organize it into relevant categories, and then transform it into much larger content bits. For example, you could compile all of your blog posts on business management into a detailed guide to business management that business owners may be interested in downloading.”
Ben Richardson, Director of Development Academy agreed, “Remember to offer website visitors free content as an opportunity to collect more information about their profile. Lead magnets are important for increasing B2B lead generation as well as establishing a reputation as industry experts and thought leaders.”
While there are plenty of organic opportunities to generate leads, don’t forget about paid avenues too. You can create highly targeted advertising campaigns across a multitude of channels.
Ben Richardson, Director of Development Academy said, “If you’re serious about seeing faster results from your B2B lead generation efforts, paying for more website traffic is a must. Creating tailored campaigns that target the right demographic and user groups can help to increase brand recognition and exposure. This does, however, imply that your website’s landing page should be exceptionally well-optimized and consistent with your SEO strategy.”
Live chat is a fantastic resource for businesses looking to directly engage website visitors. Our recent survey found that 33% of marketers use live chat on their website. But of that group, a massive 53% didn’t know how to track conversions and conversations.
Related: Read our full report on marketing attribution and reporting.
And with live chat tools come chatbots. They’re a great way to automatically respond to potential leads engaging with your website content.
Sasha Quail, Business Development Manager at Claims UK added to this, “According to a lead response survey, reacting to new leads within 5 minutes is critical, but still, only 10% of B2b businesses are capable of doing so. People expect prompt answers to their queries or inquiries. Chatbots, which are driven by artificial intelligence, provide a fast and simple way for B2B companies to communicate with their target demographics.
They can be streamlined and used to automatically greet and direct leads. You’ll be able to collect lead data such as names, email addresses, contact information, pain points, suggestions, and even style preferences as prospects communicate with your chatbots.”
P.S. Remember, we can help you track your live chat conversions and conversations. Read our guide to tracking live chat here.
How many times have you found yourself searching for “X reviews” or “X alternatives”. It’s a common search term for those in the B2B space, in particular.
For these searches, you’re bound to find websites like G2 and Capterra. Being found on these sites for your relevant search terms is one way to get new traffic to your site.
Andrew Smith, Founder at CozySeating agreed, adding, “Directories have evolved in this digital age and are now available online. B2B buyers are always looking for reliable, highly effective solutions online, especially with so many companies that offer services. Adding your goods or services to an online directory boosts your exposure and generates new leads for your business.
B2B customers looking for a product like yours will be able to find it, read reviews, and learn so much about your business. Yelp, Bing, LinkedIn Directory, Google My Company, and SaaS Genius are some other online directories where B2B businesses can consider listing their products.”
Email marketing continues to be a strong tool for B2B leads. We found that 70% of marketers use email marketing in their strategy.
While it’s a great way to educate your leads, you likely also have a historic bank of cold leads that you can re-engage.
Jeff Cooper, Manager at Messagely advised, “Make sure you have a lead magnet to cater to prospects to produce B2B leads with email marketing in 2021. Create visually attractive landing pages, segment your audience, and clean and refresh your email lists regularly based on your target’s behaviour.”
Personalised messaging is key when it comes to converting prospects into leads. If you’re sending a newsletter out, try to segment users based on their previous engagements. Let’s use an example.
You send out a campaign with three different links. Each of those links hits a different aspect of your proposition. Once that campaign has finished, you should segment users based on which links they clicked to better understand both their product-market fit and what content to send them ahead.
One of the biggest compliments for a B2B marketer is when a lead puts “I see you everywhere” in the ‘how you found us’ section on your lead forms.
Devin Ahern, Marketing Manager at Mid Florida Material Handling agreed and said, “My biggest tip for generating B2B leads is to cast a wide net and make it as easy as possible for potential customers.
“For us, this means getting your name out there in every possible channel (running PPC ads, social media, email blasts, etc) and then giving the customer as many conversion points as possible. Some leads like contact forms, some like to pick up the phone. We make sure to have every option available (e-mail, contact form, calls, live chat, etc.), making it simple to gather customer info.”
Quora gets a total of 2.1 million views per day, all of whom are eager to get an answer to a huge variety of questions.
Timothy Robinson, CEO at InVPN said, “How could Quora be providing you with leads? Simply look for questions related to the problem your program solves or in areas where you have experience and begin answering them.
“When compared to other traffic sources, Quora traffic converts to trial users at approximately double the typical rate. We even have a Slack channel dedicated to Quora questions so our entire staff can participate in upvoting answers that we’ve contributed.
“Even if people don’t read your entire answer, Quora displays the first 50 characters of your name and bio above every response you provide, so it’s free advertising for you and your program.”
And it’s not just Quora, there are other sites you can find relevant topics on too. Sites like Reddit, GrowthHackers and Medium are other opportunities to both share and engage with content.
Whether you’re looking at inbound or outbound leads, fewer leads at a higher quality are much better than generating hundreds of leads that never convert.
What good is it to buy and process 10,000 low-cost leads if just 20 of them (hopefully) turn into customers?
Reduce the number of leads and initiate customized campaigns without fear. You’re not missing potential customers; rather, you’re splitting them from others who will never buy from you in the first place.
Alex Claro, VPN Analyst at Credit Donkey said, “Don’t be scared to spend extra. Buying B2B sales leads for a low price won’t get you anything useful. Meanwhile, even a dozen pre-qualified B2B leads will make a difference and, as a result, are cost-effective. Working with fewer B2B sales leads simplifies it for the sales team so they have a better understanding of their customers and know just what to say. You regain your time and workflow as well — no more being sidetracked by invalid emails or losing work hours attempting to figure out why your recipients aren’t responding.”
Related: You can learn exactly what your leads want by investing in marketing attribution. With it, you can track your leads as well as all the web content they’ve engaged with, which will help arm your sales team.
Kent Lewis, President at Anvil Media shared his tactic when it comes to prospecting on LinkedIn. “The most effective LinkedIn prospecting strategy I’ve discovered that generates qualified leads, is to reach out to first degree connections once or twice a year to request a 15-minute call to catch up. It’s a manual process that takes time since I customize each note, but it works.
“I’ve landed half a dozen clients after generating a dozen leads via this strategy the past 2 years. Specifically, I send a 2-3 sentence note to request a call and include a link to our latest news. If the timing is right (it’s all about timing) they respond with interest and we schedule a call. Although my response rate is low the conversion from response to lead is high. Once they are qualified and go to the proposal stage, the conversion rate is very high.”
So there you go, perhaps a new way to utilise your LinkedIn audience.
If you made it this far, well done! You’ve gotten through 3,000 words which have hopefully given you some more B2B lead generation tips. But we’ve got more words of wisdom for you yet!
When it comes to lead generation, data is key. By understanding what’s working, you can double down on what’s driving revenue and quit wasting time (and money) on initiatives that don’t help your bottom line.
Jete Nelke, Head of Marketing at FoodDocs OU said, “My biggest tip to generating B2B leads is to always point out the benefits you are offering, and try different channels and approaches. If you see a channel isn’t working, don’t give up yet but try a different approach. Work through the whole lead generation process and try to find the holes where your leads go missing and why.”
And remember, each department has its role. Marketing’s job is to drive leads, sales is there to convert them. Eric McGee, Senior Network Engineer, TRG Datacenters agreed, “Keep in mind that you should teach rather than sell; that is something your sales team should handle.”
But that doesn’t mean you want these teams to work in a silo. Working together will allow them to work towards the same goals, use the same metrics and track how their efforts are driving what matters most: revenue.
Find out more about how you can attribute closed revenue back to marketing for greater lead visibility. Or, get stuck in with a demo of Ruler Analytics, our marketing attribution tool that allows marketers to track each and every lead (plus every engagement and source) to better evidence the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.