B2B Lead Generation: Tools & Strategies For 2021

8 min read

Have you ever felt like B2B lead generation wasn’t easy? Well, you’re not alone. And it has only gotten more complicated with this years’ pandemic crisis and everyone being online so much more. So how exactly do you find your path through the thick woods?

The trick is treating each touch point as if you’re speaking to a person. Oh wait…that’s right, they are people!

If you’ve ever made a friend (though it’s perfectly ok if you haven’t), you’ll remember that you worked to create a friendship – especially as an adult. Think of it the same way when creating B2B lead generation strategies where you:

  • met somewhere based on a common interest or friend most likely.
  • had a conversation to see if you liked the same things.
  • reached out to have some more conversations, coffee perhaps.
  • built a relationship by discussing what’s important to you both on a regular basis.

Mutually beneficial. You both get something out of it, even if it’s just a nice conversation. If you want to make connections with the right people in your target market, consider what would be important to them first instead of what you want to say. Listening is 80% of building a relationship.  

Find out what’s important to them. What their needs are. If you’re not listening, you’re not connecting. In fact, they may tell you exactly what you were going to say anyway if you just hear them!

listen to your audience to generate B2B leads

Now the question is, what tools will help you do all of this in a digital world? Here’s how to build a better sales pipeline with B2B lead generation strategies:

Get to selling!

B2B Lead Generation: A Definition

If you’ve heard the terms B2B or B2C before, you may already know they mean business-to-business or business-to-consumer. The lesser known term but more frequently used recently is B2B2C which are companies focused on creating a better customer experience overall for the end consumer.

But did you know that in terms of B2B lead generation strategies, they’re remarkably similar?

You still need a plan, a way to reach out to them, a target niche, and a reason to reach out. So whether you’re focused on building a relationship with your clients only or the overall experience, you’ll want to have a plan in place.

This will not only help you manage your time, but ensure no one falls through the cracks. Your integrity is on the line!

Which Tool(s) Should You Use for B2B Lead Generation in 2021

With the B2B lead generation tools and environment constantly changing, it’s difficult to keep up. We’ve put together this comprehensive list for you in hopes of guiding you to the perfect solution for your business.

Best lead gen tool for emailing campaigns

Building and maintaining a relationship – especially with a company – takes a great deal of time, patience, and quality (both of products and service). With the current privacy climate, developing an email list carefully is vital to the health of your list and your legal obligations.

If you’ve never heard of GDPR or CCPApause your emails! It’s officially illegal for businesses in Europe and California to collect or save anyone’s data – whether company email or not – and solicit them without their permission. The fines are steep if reported so be careful with how you collect and store people’s information.

All that said, there are companies who are compliant and doing some great things to help B2B lead generation with email marketing. Engagement and sales enablement are these companies’ focuses.

Lead Gen and privacy

Here are a few to consider and what you can expect from them:

LaGrowthMachine

Connecting with other people or businesses is much more than sending a comment on their post (though that’s a start). LaGrowthMachine will allow you to set up a workflow that schedules multiple touch points.

From LinkedIn to emails, you can easily design a process that builds trust, your brand, and relationships. This kind of multi-channel approach is 3.5x more efficient than mono-channel outreach campaigns! This is because you can let them answer where they already are online.

Outreach

If you want to create your own touch point sequence, check this tool out. Know exactly when you need to call, email, or text a potential customer. You can use the collaboration feature to schedule meetings, a dialer to call directly, and tiles to save your notes in.

The biggest drawback is that it’s complex and best for more experienced techie types. It’s also not meant for mass mailing as you’ll be hand-selecting individuals for each sequence.

Woodpecker

Use this tool if you’re looking to create and schedule cold emails along with follow-up emails and are custom to each type of recipient. You can also create a segmented workflow. Create emails for those who open or don’t, those who respond or don’t, and see who on the team may have emailed them already.

However, while it’s easy to use, the emails are only customizable to the segment rather than the person. You also may find more affordable products if you’re a small business looking to scale up with tight finances.

personalise your emails for great lead generation

Lemlist

If you want to create and send emails that you can schedule as well as custom tracking domains, this is for you. They also allow you to monitor your emails’ sending health and whether you’re at risk of being blocked by companies like Gmail. Their personalization tools will also help you create a super-customized experience for your recipients.

If, however, you need integrations with other tools like MS 365, you may want to look elsewhere.

PersistIQ

This system is designed to help you sync LinkedIn contacts with your email or database platform and help you manage it in one place. You’ll get an auto-detect feature for time zones so your emails will send at the recipients’ time zone. You can use the template manager, automated emails, and a task workflow to manage all of your emails.

This tools’ biggest pitfall is their customer service so you may steer away if you’ll need a great deal of help setting up or using this platform. In addition, if you’re looking to attach videos or photos it currently doesn’t allow you to.

Most of these integrate with many and different other tools like Slack, Salesforce, Gmail, LinkedIn, etc., so ensure what you’d like to use is also compatible with the rest of your systems.

Best lead gen tool for LinkedIn

Reaching out on LinkedIn has increasingly become an acceptable form of communication, especially in the B2B space. Here are some tools that can help you develop connections with the people you want to reach out to:

LinkedIn scrub for B2B lead gen
LAGROWTHMACHINE IMPORT AND LINKEDIN CONNECTIONS
  1. LaGrowthMachine– This is your B2B lead generation system for a seamless combination of tools to connect with LinkedIn contacts and email leads simultaneously. It allows you to create a database of leads from LinkedIn then develop an outreach campaign. Complete with custom text you can enter upon inviting them to connect, you’ll build your network with ease.
  2. Phantombuster – Heavy on the API capabilities for integration, this automation tool helps you scrub your LinkedIn contacts for emails, search Instagram followers for influencers, and automatically follow a list of Twitter profiles. If you’re looking for a time-saver for email contact database building, this will be a great help to you. This tool is time based, so if you’re looking to do this regularly, you may run up the tab quickly.
  3. ProspectIn – If you’re looking for low cost, you can use their free version. It allows you to target a large number of people on LinkedIn to connect with, visit their profiles, and send an automated message to. If you’re needing a database or email workflow, you’ll need to use a separate tool as this is strictly for LinkedIn outreach.
  4. LinkedIn Sales Navigator – Native to LinkedIn itself, this will provide you with an internal search of specific profile types to contact. You can choose the product that best fits your goals and it will help you connect with the best people for it. The biggest catch is that it’s fairly expensive for a 25 message limit per month but great if you have a special niche.

Best lead gen tool for multichannel campaign

LaGrowthMachine – Okay so we may be a little biased, but we know this is your best shot to building true connections and leads in the B2B space. Creating the sequence that best communicates with your contact and audience will give you the leverage you need to make the relationships built a win-win.

Multichannel workflow setup on LaGrowthMachine
MULTICHANNEL WORKFLOW SETUP ON LAGROWTHMACHINE

From the database storage to the tracking of every contact and the touch points, LaGrowthMachine will provide you with the tools you need to manage your time and track sales.

10 B2B Lead Generation Strategies for 2021

Reaching other businesses may be slightly more complex than reaching consumers directly, but only slightly. If you remember, we mentioned that B2B lead generation strategies include using your outreach to speak to the person behind the company you want to work with. Speak directly to the HR director instead of the entire company as a whole, for example.

Whichever route you choose, ensure you’re working toward building a relationship that benefits all parties rather than strictly trying to sell something. This is where the “treat others as you’d like to be treated” fits in nicely – how often do you enjoy being straight-up sold to and not listened to? Right, so give them a reason to listen and then choose the B2B lead generation strategies best for you:

Outreach via Email

Whether you automate your emails using tools like MailChimp or send them one by one, reaching out to your contacts is a top contender in connecting with people and generating B2B leads. Customize them by segments like prospects, previous customers, and current customers but ensure you personalize them as much as possible.

Outreach using LinkedIn

Many of the actions you can take on LinkedIn to reach your target audience can be automated as well. Tools can help you look for a certain job title to message, invite your contacts to a LinkedIn Group, or send a response as soon as you get a request confirmed. You can use Chrome extensions that can help as well like LinkedInHelper.

Whatever you do, try to make it personal. Even if it’s just using their first name.

Multichannel outreach

Building a personal or company brand is similar to generating leads. When people see your name enough times, they’re more willing to listen to you and it builds trust. Without trust, your sales will find that ‘circular file’ (aka trash can) very quickly.

Reaching out via multiple channels means contacting people through email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or anywhere else your target market resides. You can even use your content to make sure your name gets passed around like Sweet Life Blueprint:

Lead Generation by sweet life blueprint

Social Ads

The year of 2020 might as well be called the year of social media. And if you aren’t advertising on it, you’re missing the boat! Facebook ads target a great many types of people especially. Hubspot’s study found that 74% of consumers use Facebook in professional capacities as well as personal.

If your market is on LinkedIn, there are various options now available. Work to connect on a personal level via the LinkedIn Sales Navigator tool.

Google Ads

If you’re in a niche that people google regularly, this is a place to showcase your website and be found much more quickly. Facebook isn’t typically used as a search engine. With Google Ads you’ll find the largest amount of ‘extras’, targeting, and tracking you’ll ever need.

Bing Ads

While sometimes forgotten, many audiences do use Bing! One advantage here is that your ads will be cheaper than Google because they have a smaller market share. However, it can mean more quality leads for you and your company.

Affiliate Marketing

Associating yourself with reputable companies by providing discount or referral links can benefit you both. Just be sure to vet the companies you work with that they’re a quality company representing similar values to yours.

Search Engine Optimization

Better known as SEO, it is essentially optimizing your website. Focus text on the appropriate keywords, links, and quality content to help you generate the right leads from the right people.

Inbound Marketing

If you get someone onto your website, you want to keep them on it. More importantly, you want to know who they are, right? Give them a reason to provide you their information. Try out a freebie to collect their email while providing them great value.

Lead Gen Inbound marketing

Here are a few other ways to get inbound leads:

  • Personalize your landing pages to match google searches with your target keywords.
  • Update old blogs, pages, images, etc.
  • Create intriguing content for your market that they want to know more about or share.
  • Email marketing to people who have signed up to receive information from you.

Social Selling

Did we mention relationship building yet? We did? Well, here it is again: BUILD RELATIONSHIPS.

Companies have their pick of what services they’re going to use. If you’re reaching out to someone who handles the purchasing of your product personally, they’re going to remember you first. LinkedIn found that 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.

Being visible to the people in your target market is not only vital to your success, but the only way to success. If no one knows about you and your company, how will they buy from you? Reaching out as one human to another will bring about the personal connections we all crave, business or not.

Your homework: Search for keywords similar to what you do and comment or reach out to the author offering help. Whether they’re looking for your service or something related, you can build a connection with them. Provide help in any way your business can. If you have a freebie that could help them, an affiliate of yours that has what they need, or simply provide your expertise, they will take notice.

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