B2B Lead Generation: Proven Techniques & Strategies for B2B Success
Table of contents
- What is B2B lead generation?
- Why is B2B lead generation important?
- How to do B2B lead generation?
- Top 5 B2B lead generation strategies
- Strategy 1: Cold emailing
- Strategy 2: Inbound marketing
- Strategy 3: Sales automation
- Strategy 4: Partner up
- Strategy 5: Show up
- How to move further with your B2B lead generation
As you may already know, making B2B sales is already challenging enough. It can be difficult to reach the right people, create interest in your product, and actually convert leads into customers.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help! Our goal is to equip you with the best B2B lead generation strategies to make your life a little easier so you can focus on what’s most important.
What is B2B lead generation? Why is it important? And how do you go about generating new B2B leads?
We’ll walk you through all of this and give you a process that you can follow to consistently draw in the leads you want over time.
Let’s get started!
Here, you’ll discover what exactly B2B lead generation is, how it can help, and how you can do it in a way that works best for you and your business.
What is B2B lead generation?
For most salespeople, lead generation is a daily activity that helps build their contact list of qualified leads. In the B2B world, lead generation is a bit different: you’re trying to contact a business as a business.
This changes the game completely. When you’re generating leads on the B2B side, you’re looking to make connections with businesses that may be interested in working with you, either now or in the future.
Remember though: you’re not, in fact, contacting a business entity, but the individuals within it. So, it’s important to understand who you’re talking to and what motivates them.
The goal of B2B lead generation is to build relationships on trust and credibility. It’s about getting to know your leads and helping them understand why working with you would benefit their business.
Why is B2B lead generation important?
B2B lead generation is an incredibly vital part of any successful sales process.
You can think of it as the building block of your sales process!
So, naturally, it’s quite important! And here’s why:
- Builds a pipeline of prospects: B2B lead generation helps build a steady stream of potential customers, which can be nurtured and converted into actual clients over time.
- Increases sales: With more prospects in the pipeline, the chances of closing more deals and increasing sales revenue also increase.
- Boosts brand awareness: Through lead generation efforts, businesses can reach out to a wider audience and promote their brand, which can help to establish their credibility and reputation in the market.
- Helps understand customer needs: By engaging with potential customers, businesses can gain valuable insights into their needs, preferences, and pain points, which can inform the development of new products or services.
- Improves conversion rates: By identifying and targeting high-quality leads, businesses can increase their conversion rates and reduce the time and effort required to close deals.
- Enables targeted marketing: With a better understanding of customer needs and preferences, businesses can create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to resonate with their target audience and drive engagement.
- Provides a competitive advantage: In today’s highly competitive business landscape, effective lead generation strategies can give businesses a critical edge over their competitors, by helping them reach out to potential customers before their competitors do.
All in all, B2B lead generation is an essential part of any successful business growth strategy. With the right tactics in place, businesses can generate a steady stream of high-quality leads that can be converted into loyal customers.
But in order to reap these benefits, it’s important to have a clear and effective lead generation process in place that can be consistently followed.
So, let’s take a look at the different steps and strategies that can help you generate more leads for your business.
How to do B2B lead generation?
Lead generation is used to nurture audiences interested in your product or service and convert them into customers. This may sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple.
Here are the steps you need to take:
Step 1: Define what a lead means to YOU
The first step in effective B2B lead generation is defining your target audience.
To do this, start by analyzing your existing customer base and identifying the characteristics that they share. Are they in the same industry? Do they purchase similar products or services? What is their typical budget? Once you have a clear understanding of your ideal customer, you can begin to develop strategies to target them.
Additionally, you can use data sources together with automation tools such as LaGrowthMachine to gather information about your target audience.
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For example, since you’re in the B2B industry, it’s highly likely you’re using LinkedIn for lead generation. LaGrowthMachine can help you uncover your prospects on LinkedIn and target them more effectively by using custom filters that you already set up through your targeting. Here’s how:
- Log into LaGrowthMachine (it’s free for 14 days!)
- Connect your LinkedIn account, we suggest you get yourself a Sales Navigator license!
- Create a new audience on our platform and click on “Import from LinkedIn”
- Once you’re on LinkedIn’s interface, you can set filters such as company size, job titles, department count, and even years of experience to identify your target.
- Using the “Account” section on Sales Nav’, you’ll get a first query with companies that fit your target criteria
- Switch to the lead section and that will include the companies you got in the previous step
- That’s it! You now have a list of people that work in the companies that fit your target customer.
Pretty neat, right? This is called the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) method. This allows you to find the right people working in the companies you targeted and target them directly.
Step 2: Collect the right data
In order to effectively target prospects, businesses must be able to collect reliable and accurate data about their prospects. This includes everything from contact details to buying intent signals.
Well, LaGrowthMachine can help you do this as well! With our lead enrichment feature, you can collect data from multiple sources and enrich it with the relevant information.
Best of all, if you have a CRM system such as HubSpot or Pipedrive, you can easily connect it directly to our platform and automatically add lead data to your CRM. This is useful to understand and qualify leads better.
Step 3: Create compelling content
Now that you have your ideal customer defined and the right data to target them, it’s time to create content that resonates with them.
Content creation is a key part of any successful lead generation campaign as it allows you to engage potential customers while providing valuable information and insights into your product or service.
Try creating different types of content such as:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Case studies
When creating content, be sure to craft compelling headlines and include calls-to-action (CTAs) that encourage the reader to take the specific action you want them to.
Crafting high-quality content is essential, but promoting it properly is just as important. This might include things like sharing your content on social media, leveraging email marketing, or even using paid advertising to promote your content to a wider audience.
Step 4: Leverage Social Media
Speaking of promoting your content, social media is a powerful -and pretty much the only medium to do just that! But it’s not all about posting a few tweets and calling it a day.
Go where your lead is, don’t make them follow you! They simply won’t.
It’s important to understand which channels are the most effective for your company and target audience.
To effectively leverage social media, start by optimizing your profiles and ensuring that they are up-to-date and reflective of your brand and messaging.
So, in the case of LinkedIn, make sure you fill out all the relevant sections in your and your company’s LinkedIn profiles and include keywords that are related to your industry.
You can also use LinkedIn’s native ads and sponsored updates to promote content directly to your audiences. Or try other social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or even TikTok.
But it doesn’t stop there! You also need to keep engaging and being engaged with your followers by responding to comments, asking questions, and creating polls/surveys.
This will establish your credibility and help you build partnerships over time.
In addition to organic social media efforts, you can also use paid social media advertising to reach a wider audience and drive lead generation.
With their extremely precise targeting capabilities, you can ensure that your B2B lead generation campaigns are reaching the right people.
Step 5: Measure your progress and reiterate
Once you have everything in place, it’s time to measure the success of your lead generation efforts.
By collecting and analyzing data, you can determine which channels are producing the most leads and where you should focus your efforts. This can also help you to adjust and fine-tune your campaigns over time.
Analyzing data is essential in lead generation, so make sure you have the right tools in place to track and measure results accurately.
We recommend you use A/B testing if possible as this will allow you to experiment with different approaches and see which one is the most effective.
Here again, LaGrowthMachine should be your go-to tool because of our powerful analytics and reporting capabilities. We can help you track your lead generation campaign and measure the success of each step.
We also provide detailed insights into the performance of each channel, so you can quickly identify the most effective ones and focus your efforts on those.
Finally, based on the data collected, you can make tweaks and adjustments to your lead generation efforts in order to ensure optimal performance.
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Top 5 B2B lead generation strategies
Earning leads, no matter the industry, is a difficult but important task, of course. Finding out what they truly need is the key to generating qualified leads. Prospecting requires a great deal of consistent work, but if you stand out with your outreach, you’ll attract more genuine interest.
Reach out to the right people, in the ‘right’ way and you’ll likely develop your own strategy as you go. These will help get you started in the long-term lead generation strategies for your business.
Strategy 1: Cold emailing
Ever since the dreaded ‘no-call’ lists, emailing has built up quickly as the go-to for many. The reason? It’s so much easier to mass email than to mass call anyway!
Some people might say it’s outdated, but I beg to differ. Why? Because it simply works!
Getting in touch with hundreds of people in one click has the appeal you crave in your business. The challenge, though, is to contact people who actually would be interested — and in a way that they’ll respond positively to.
That said, if you followed the previous steps we outlined, your email outreach should have better results.
But there’s a catch! You can’t just blast a generic message to everyone and expect to see results.
You need to take into account and apply best practices to get the most out of your cold emailing campaigns, here are the most crucial ones:
- Personalize your message.
- Make it relevant and related to their pain points.
- Be concise and to the point.
- Set yourself apart from competitors with a unique and catchy subject line.
- Focus on quality rather than quantity.
If you’re using LaGrowthMachine, these best practices are pretty much a given. Our emailing tool is equipped with powerful personalization capabilities, so you can send highly relevant messages that speak to your audiences’ specific needs.
And the cherry on the cake is that you can ask our team of sales experts to review your campaign!
They will review not only your LinkedIn and email copy, but also the sequence you built, to ensure it’s effective and optimized for results.
Strategy 2: Inbound marketing
Getting people to come to you may sound like just a dream, but it’s an achievable one if you put the work in! And who doesn’t like being the popular kid on the block?
To get started with inbound marketing, you need to create valuable content that your target audience will love.
And we’re not talking about boring old white papers. We mean blog posts, videos, webinars, social media posts, etc.
Additionally, using different channels to reach out to your prospects will yield you a steady stream of leads over time.
Si vous avez déjà reçu un appel d’un ami d’un client, vous avez fait l’expérience de la beauté des recommandations. Ce n’est qu’un exemple du marketing entrant.
Ces leads entrants sont l’objectif de tous les vendeurs – et ils les obtiennent s’ils aident réellement leurs clients.
L’astuce ? Demandez-les. Voici quelques moyens de rester en contact avec vos clients et de leur demander des pistes :
- Faites un suivi de vos prospects ou de vos clients
- Reconnaissez vos clients dans les médias sociaux
- Organisez des événements et invitez votre public cible
- Offrez des cadeaux en échange de recommandations.
Quel que soit le moyen que vous utilisez (et vous pouvez certainement en utiliser plusieurs !), assurez-vous de faire en sorte qu’il soit aussi facile que possible pour eux de vous envoyer ces pistes.
Another example of inbound marketing is Search Engine Optimization (the almighty SEO!).
By creating highly targeted content, and optimizing it for relevant keywords to your industry, you can rank higher in the SERPs and get more website traffic.
By making sure your website and content are up to date, you can become an authority in your field over time.
The only “downside” to the SEO strategy is that it takes time, effort, and consistency to actually start seeing results.
But I promise you, it is worth it!
Strategy 3: Sales automation
As I mentioned throughout this article, automation can be an incredibly useful tool for you to complete tasks quickly, easily, and at scale.
Use something like LaGrowthMachine and set up multichannel outreach sequences to make sure you reach out to the right people, at the right time.
From simple to complex, you can set up as many workflows (like the one shown below) as you’d like to run automatically while you focus your time elsewhere.
You can also use automation to track customer activity and send personalized emails at the right time.
Apart from saving you a ton of time, LaGrowthMachine centralized your messages for you in a single interface. With Inbox, you can monitor progress and track response rates with ease.
Plus, you can filter conversations by which campaign they belong to, lead actions (answered or not for instance), and more! This will allow you to focus on the hottest leads -that matter the most.
There are also sites built to help you automate small tasks like IFTTT and Zapier. There is even a whole list of LinkedIn-specific automation tools to save you time with your prospecting.
Strategy 4: Partner up
Two heads are better than one, right? Well, that’s the idea behind partnering with other businesses. You’re making friends… but in a professional way.
Identify people you trust in companies that complement yours. For example, if you sell marketing software, yours can work well with Customer Relationship Management software. As long as important features do not overlap, you can refer each other to customers.
Better yet, you can co-create content, run joint webinars, or even do a referral program. The opportunities are almost endless!
This will allow you to “access” their client list and quickly generate new leads.
You can also offer your prospects discounts based on whether they participated.
This works best when you’re teaming up with bigger, well-established companies in the industry. But, even when you’re not, it’s still worth a shot.
Remember that networking, networking especially on LinkedIn is key and this type of partnering up can bring in more (and better) leads for your business.
The idea is to find businesses that complement your offerings and have a similar vibe, without cannibalizing each other.
By doing so, you’ll be able to quickly and easily increase your lead pool. This will also give you the connection that you simply cannot get from a cold email.
Strategy 5: Show up
Last but not least, we have the oldest trick in the book: showing up. Yep, it’s that simple.
No matter how long you’ve been in your job, you need to put yourself out there to your prospects. Develop a strategy that works well for you — and one you’ll stick to — so your prospects know they can depend on you. Building trust is vital here.
There are several great ways to show up and generate B2B leads. One of which is simply recording videos that talk about what your product can do, answering common questions, and sharing it everywhere. Simply being out there as someone who helps people with a problem is a start. And a great one at that!
Showing up to relevant events in your industry is another way to get your foot in the door with prospects, partners, or collaborators.
But don’t just show up and expect people to flock to you – be proactive and make connections. Strike up conversations with people, exchange business cards, and follow up with them after the event.
You don’t have to limit yourself to physical events either – webinars, virtual conferences, and online forums can all be great places to meet people in your industry.
The key is to be visible and engaged, but also engaging. Make sure to also be authentic and not just show up for the sake of it.
Overall, “showing up” is about making the effort to be “there” every time, and to build relationships with people who can help you grow your business. By taking the time to attend events and connect with others, you’ll not only generate new leads but also gain valuable insights that can help you take your business to the next level.
Quick tip 💡
The first and most important step in lead gen is knowing your audience! Take the time to understand their needs and pain points, the rest should come easily.
This is where you apply the strategy that would best fit your business and audience.
How to move further with your B2B lead generation
For starters, if you haven’t implemented any of the above strategies, you’ll want to do that first. Once you’ve established a preferred way to conduct your prospecting, you can add on. Don’t feel like you must do it all because not everything works for everyone or every lead. Focus on one thing at a time.
Next, review your findings. If you tried to do a webinar and no one showed up, that may be a sign that your prospects aren’t interested in those, but would rather see you live streaming. It will be different for every industry and target audience, but figure out where you get the most interaction and go with it.
Once you’ve established one or two main ways of reaching out to leads, you can either scale up by contacting more people or think of new strategies to access different people.
What’s most important is that you don’t ignore the data and facts. You’ll only create successful B2B lead generation processes if you learn and improve on what didn’t work and do more of what did.