Generating B2B leads and then converting those leads into sales can be a real headache.
If you’ve ever tried to increase sales using B2B lead generation strategies, you know it’s tough.
You have to generate many leads and ensure each one is nurtured sufficiently before closing any deals. In fact, your sales cycle could drag on for months, or even longer, if you lack effective B2B lead generation ideas.
So, what can you do to make things easier? How can you get more leads and convert those leads into sales faster? The answer lies in your B2B lead generation strategy. You have to create an effective lead generation strategy that provides real value to your target audience by solving a problem they are having right now.
Don't know where to begin your lead generation efforts?
Let's explore 17 B2B sales lead ideas to get you started on a solid strategy and provide leads interested in your company's products or services.
B2B lead generation is a collection of techniques and strategies to attract, qualify, and present potential clients to companies. Here the term leads in B2B lead generation refers to potential customers in the target industry who are likely to buy your product or service.
These leads can be qualified by their size, budget, and other factors that help you determine if they are a good fit for your offering.
But it's different from a B2C lead generation strategy, which focuses on getting a large number of leads to qualify them later.
In B2C lead generation, you need to focus on the needs and wants of your customers, while in B2B lead generation, the focus shifts to what they need.
B2B lead generation is a cyclical process that spans the length of both marketing and sales. If your product is desirable and appropriately priced, and you have an excellent sales team, lead generation is arguably the most significant factor in determining how many deals you’ll close.
Before diving into the lead generation strategies, you must first understand the essentials of B2B lead generation. No matter what kind of company you are in, there are a few things that you need to get right before you start generating leads.
The following are some of the essential aspects that you need to take into account when implementing your B2B lead generation ideas:
The first thing you need to do is understand your customer's pain points. Ask yourself,
Your lead generation strategy should focus on solving these issues and addressing the needs of your target audience.
Few visitors will ever land on your homepage unless they arrive via a direct link or search engine. They are much more likely to enter through an interior page relevant to their specific query.
To make your message clear and consistent, every page must have the same look and feel. If one page looks out of place or doesn’t get your message across effectively, it will hurt your website's overall appeal.
Getting caught up in trying to sell your product and make as much money as possible is easy. But if you want people to come back and use your website again, you need to focus on helping them instead of just trying to sell them something.
Determine what works by testing various versions of your landing page, then implement the most successfully. You will know the version is working when you get more conversions. You can try different elements, such as text, images, and layout, to see if they influence your conversion rate.
When you create a campaign, make sure to analyze the results and use that data to enhance your campaign. If you have a successful campaign, keep the same elements and make minor changes to your landing page. If the campaign is unsuccessful, try something new by changing one aspect simultaneously.
To fill your pipeline with quality leads, you have to focus on using multiple strategies to generate leads for your business and increase sales.
B2B lead generation may seem overwhelming, but many ways exist to create a steady flow of qualified leads.
Here are some of the best lead generation ideas you should try in 2023:
Sales intelligent tools are a great way to generate B2B leads. They help you find the right prospects, analyze their behavior, and provide valuable insights on how to engage with them. You can use these tools to understand your target audience better, which will ultimately help you create more effective sales messaging.
Sales intelligence is about figuring out what your buyers want and how to get it. The more you know, the better equipped you are to reach them with relevant information and a plan for closing sales.
When you collect data about a person's intent and then integrate it with your sales intelligence software, you can begin to receive alerts when certain "buying signals" suggest that prospects are converting into customers.
These leads can be processed exclusively by your sales team, who will offer gentle nudges to encourage these prospects to convert.
When you’re trying to reach busy decision-makers, the best way to get your foot in the door is with a well-crafted email. While it may seem daunting initially, cold email outreach improves conversion if done correctly. It all comes down to targeting your audience and crafting a personalized email that will resonate with them.
As you are competing with other companies trying to reach these decision-makers, making sure your content is as unique and relevant as possible is essential. This will give you a competitive advantage and help you stand out in their inboxes.
You can embed interactive product demos and videos directly into your emails to give prospects a feel for your product's work. This can be especially helpful if you’re selling something more complex or expensive than most companies offer.
If you’re looking to reach out to decision-makers at large companies, LinkedIn is the place to do it. Using the platform’s advanced targeting tools, you can find prospects based on their job title, industry, company size, and other important factors to your business.
This powerful tool lets you search for specific companies or individuals who fit into certain criteria—like revenue or employee count. As LinkedIn campaigns become more advanced and include various targeting parameters, you can get even more specific with your audience.
Lead magnets are content assets you give away for free to get someone’s contact information. This powerful tool provides value to your audience and enables you to build an email list of qualified leads.
Over time, these leads can be nurtured into customers through personalized engagement tactics like drip campaigns, which send out emails based on specific triggers or actions by subscribers.
A great example of this is Hubspot. Hubspot dominates the search results for most of the marketing and CRM-related queries, and on their ranking pages, you can find a lead magnet.
When users submit their information, they will receive regular emails from Hubspot. This is a great way to build your list and nurture leads into customers.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to attract leads. It’s a powerful tool that can help you establish yourself as an authority in your industry, build credibility with prospects and customers, and drive qualified traffic to your website.
The best example is Neil Patel's content marketing. You can find his voice on every platform —from his website to social media. He’s seen massive success from his content marketing strategy and has become one of the most respected marketers in the industry.
He won’t oversell anything; he just creates impressive content that provides value to the reader and shares it with his audience.
But remember that content marketing is a long-term strategy that requires you to be consistent and persistent. You have to create quality content regularly, promote it across multiple platforms, and measure the results to continue improving your strategy over time.
When you generate leads from websites, they will become marketing-qualified leads (MQLs). You can then nurture these leads into sales-ready leads (SQLs). The best way to generate inbound leads from your website is by embedding an interactive product demo.
When you use interactive product demos on your website, your visitors have to submit their mail addresses to interact with your demo. This helps you fill your pipeline with product-qualified leads (PQLs).
The reason is simple: When visitors interact with your demo, they can understand how the product works and see its value proposition. When you generate inbound leads from your website, you can use them to fill your pipeline with PQLs and then nurture those PQLs into customers.
They saw a 25% increase in leads and trial signups. Through guided demos that showcase features such as agility and flexibility for different businesses, prospects can discover them on their own. An increase in trial conversions led to an improvement in Toplyne's overall revenue.
Long tail keywords are more specific and detailed than common keywords. They often include three or more words, which is why they’re called “long tail keywords.”
They also tend to be less competitive than broad-match terms. Researching long-tail keywords can help you reach customers who use different search queries but ultimately want the same thing: your product or service.
If you notice that your competitors are gaining traction with specific keywords, it may be a sign that they have identified the right ones to pursue. You can use this data to your advantage by running a campaign focused on the exact keywords. This allows you to learn from their mistakes and prevent them from gaining an even stronger foothold in the market.
By targeting the same sites and keywords on which your competitors are ranking, you can drive more sales-ready traffic to your site than they do.
In ABM, sales and marketing teams target a select group of accounts (instead of focusing on big chunks) to nurture them into buyers.
Rather than starting with broad-based campaigns to appeal to the masses, ABM focuses on reaching out directly to ideal customers based on their spending potential or strategic value. To reach those prospects, you can create content that speaks directly to them and launch campaigns targeting them.
According to a report by Terminus, 42% of marketers found that lead generation was the most critical performance indicator in an ABM program. It is also revealed that 9% of marketers find generating new business, retaining customers, and accelerating their sales pipeline the main highlights of a mature ABM strategy.
LiveRamp is a great example. LiveRamp is a data enablement platform that developed intelligence on the 500 largest US companies. The analysts looked at four key trends: growth rate, company size (in terms of annual revenues), sector, and profitability.
Once they had their list, they focused on 15 key accounts. This led to $50m of new business. The key takeaway is the more specific you are in your targeting and the more accurate your data, the better results you will get.
This method is popular among B2B SaaS businesses, as 86% say they prefer to offer free trials over freemium plans. Whether it lasts 30 days or 7, a free trial imposes an expiration date on the user experience that works in favor of vendors.
Although it's possible to do freemium work for your SaaS, the low conversion rate—often 2-5%—is a significant drawback.
If you're considering a freemium plan, it's essential to know that it will have a negative effect on your churn rate. A free trial is a better option for B2B SaaS businesses as it allows them to get paid more often and collect more data. You must also be strategic with your pricing plans to improve the free trial signup rate. With a super simple pricing model, GrooveHQ increased their free trial signup rate by a whopping 358% and 25% conversion rate.
Alternatively, you can use interactive product demos to show how your product works for their business.
B2B webinars can be a great lead generation tool, as 73% of the attendees will turn into leads for your business.
Hosting a B2B webinar is a great way to demonstrate your expertise, showcase the benefits of using your product or service, and establish trust by addressing potential clients' concerns.
Building relationships with potential clients before they sign up for your product can be a great way to grow your customer base, as the conversion rate is also better for B2B webinars.
Case studies are a great way to demonstrate your expertise and are valuable for lead generation. A Demandgen Report found that 54% of buyers engage with case studies during the purchasing process, so they should be an essential part of your marketing toolkit.
The best way to generate case studies is by reaching out to clients who are happy with your product or service. You can then ask them if they would be willing to share their experience for promotional purposes and provide them with a draft of the case study. Once it’s published, send it out via email campaigns and social media so more people can see it.
The challenge that most B2B marketers face is getting content in front of buyers and finding questions they are asking. Quora solves both problems at once.
As a social Q&A site, Quora can be an effective tool for generating leads. Find the pain points of your target audience, and then write content that answers those questions. You can even take this a step further and redirect the traffic from your answer to your site with a link.
Here is how Nick Hollinger, CEO of Visitor Queue, does the same,
When answering questions, ensure the content is valuable enough for people to get something from your content rather than simply promoting your product.
Trade shows are events where companies showcase technology, products, or services. Attendees discover what businesses offer and sign up to learn more about them—or exchange business cards with one another.
Trade shows with a large number of attendees can effectively generate B2B sales leads. If you can display video and interact with prototypes and demos in your booth space, people will stay longer at your booth—and be more interested in what you're offering.
Here is an example of how Toplyne interacts with its audience,
Make your booth interactive by having a physical display of your product or service. Have a video playing on a loop, so people can see how it works while they are in front of your booth. You can also have trained staff members to answer questions about what your business does and how it can help others.
You can also generate leads by posting regularly on and engaging with other users in subforums of communities like Reddit. Generate expertise by establishing yourself as an expert before making sales pitches—or you risk alienating potential customers.
If you continue to engage with the community and be helpful, you’ll begin having conversations with potential leads regularly—and might even get referrals from other users.
In B2B lead generation, social proof is often a crucial part of your strategy. If customers have questions or doubts about your claims, they'll look for other information—social proof in particular—to help them make more thoughtful purchasing decisions. Here is an example,
The more social proof you can gather on your sites—such as testimonials and other customer endorsements—the easier it is to build trust and increase sales.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to generate B2B leads. Affiliates are independent marketers who promote your products or services in exchange for a commission on sales they generate. About 71% of B2B businesses have seen higher conversion rates from referred customers than other new clients. You can leverage affiliate marketing by creating a referral program. This is where you offer affiliates a percentage of your sales.
You can find affiliates through popular affiliate networks such as Commission Junction and LinkShare. If you're looking to work with someone directly, reach out to bloggers and website owners interested in promoting your product.
You need to consider your target audience and their needs. Then, you can refine your lead-generation strategy to focus on the best ways to reach them, whether it’s through email marketing, content marketing, or social media. Remember that educating your audience and enabling your sales team with the knowledge they need to ace the deal is the foundation of your marketing strategy.
Even after filling your pipeline, to close more deals, you need a solid interactive product demo that educates your audience about the benefits of your product and helps them understand the value it can add to their business.
The demo should be a comprehensive, step-by-step guide showing your audience how to use the software. This is where you get to show off all of its features and benefits—and help prospects decide if they want to buy from you. With Storylane, you can create high-quality interactive product demos in minutes. The best part is that you can embed them on your website and social media so prospects can access them anytime.
With advanced analytics, you can monitor how your prospects interact with your product demo and tailor your marketing messages accordingly.
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