B2B lead generation identifies ideal customers and attracts them based on their interest in your products and services. It’s one of the most critical activities for B2B marketing and sales professionals.
B2B Lead Generation Strategies
B2B leads refers to businesses or people who are potential clients. The first step in any lead generation strategy is identifying the ideal customer and creating a detailed buyer persona. This will be a fundamental step to developing a targeted approach in marketing and sales.
Different B2B leads require different approaches to convert them into buying customers.
B2B Content Marketing
B2B content marketing refers to crafting and publishing relevant and consistent content to attract a company’s target audience. The most used B2B content marketing formats include:
- Blog Post: This content format educates the target audience and increases your brand’s reputation. It could be anywhere between 300 to 2000 words, depending on the topic you want to cover.
- White Paper: White paper content is usually longer and more informative than blog posts. This content format is often “gated,” which means that website visitors have to input their information to gain access, allowing you to get warm leads.
- Case Study: Case studies are informative deep dives into projects you’ve delivered for other clients. They allow you to showcase how your products or services can address your customers’ pain points and help leads to get a clear idea of what to expect when purchasing your offerings.
- Webinars: Content is not only words; it can also be in the form of webinars. Webinars are hosted online, can be either live or pre-recorded, and are shared via social media or website.
- eBooks: Compared to white papers, eBooks are less academic, but they give more detailed explanations of a specific topic. It’s an excellent content format if your goal is to teach leads how your product can be a solution to their pain points.
|Point of comparison||B2B Content Marketing||B2C Content Marketing|
|Target Audience||Buying committee of decision-makers||Consumer|
B2B and B2C content marketing are often similar, but they have different strategies that mainly differ in target audience. In B2C content marketing, the target audience is anyone who might be interested in buying products, while B2B content marketing is more focused on attracting company decision-makers who often make decisions together as a buying committee.
Another key difference between B2B and B2C content marketing is the distribution method. It’s common to see B2C marketing on social media platforms, getting plenty of interactions. B2B content marketing efforts on social media look different because they are targeting groups of buyers for longer sales cycles. This isn’t to say B2B or B2C marketing takes place exclusively on these channels, only that different target audiences lend themselves to different channels.
|Point of comparison||Evergreen content||Timely content|
|Topics||No change over time||Trending topics|
|Examples||Product reviews, how-to guides||News, trending topics|
Evergreen content refers to optimized content that is continually relevant and fresh for a long time. Examples of evergreen content include:
- Product reviews
- How-to content
It is important to keep in mind that producing and publishing these content formats does not automatically make them evergreen. What makes content evergreen is the way it is written. The information readers get from evergreen content has no expiration, meaning it’ll still be helpful even after a few years.
The biggest advantage of evergreen content for B2B lead generation is that it can continue to drive organic leads over time, unlike its time-sensitive counterpart. The longer it’s published, the more traction it pulls to your website and the higher ROI you’ll get.
Updating evergreen content is more efficient than creating content from scratch, since it does not take as much time and effort.
Create Effective Lead Magnets
Lead magnet refers to free services, items, or digital goods given away by companies to collect site visitors’ contact information. You can think of lead magnets as incentives in exchange for visitors’ information.
Most companies mistake high-level content for lead magnets. This is why most of the content created is blog posts that offer general information, while a high-converting lead magnet is built up of two main components: relevance and perceived value.
A good quality lead magnet must be useful for your target customer. Ideally, it should offer solutions and guidance for their pain points.
- Perceived Value
The lead magnet must be a fair trade for the target customer’s email address. It should offer insider knowledge or expert insight not readily available via Google search. If it is already published online, there’s no reason for the target customer to share their information.
What is the most effective type of lead magnet will depend on your target customers, but these are some good examples of content to try:
- Comprehensive how-tos
- In-depth guides
- Resource libraries
- Case studies
Take Advantage of LinkedIn
It’s less common to use social media platforms as part of B2B lead generation strategies. This is because the target audience of B2B lead generation is not an individual who wants to buy a product but the decision-makers of companies.
LinkedIn is a platform specifically designed for business owners and professionals to connect. Because of its professional leaning, it’s a great avenue for generating high-quality B2B leads.
Through LinkedIn’s Sponsored Content and Lead Gen Form features, LinkedIn eliminates barriers that prevent leads from connecting with your company, like needing to fill in forms manually. If a lead clicks on the call-to-action button, LinkedIn will automatically fill in their contact information.
Another benefit of LinkedIn is using it to nurture leads. Lead nurturing refers to developing and maintaining relationships with target customers. This can be done by sending direct messages and posting content.
Finally, LinkedIn’s professional audience gives it an advantage over other social media companies in terms of targeting as you can target users who exactly fit your ICP (industry, job title, company size, etc).
Build a Referral Program
A referral program capitalizes on social proof, which can be a powerful lead generation strategy. It’s natural for buyers to doubt the products and services you offer, but you can eliminate this barrier by having someone they trust referring to your products and services.
A referral program is a win-win situation for the old customers, new customers, and your business. Here’s why:
- Old Customers: Old customers will receive an incentive when they share your products and services. These incentives can be cashbacks, store credits, and discounts.
- New Customers: New customers usually earn the same incentive as old customers when they buy products and services through a referral program. This allows them to get more value for their money from the get-go.
- Businesses: The leads referred to by old customers are usually warm leads. Warm leads refer to potential customers interested in buying a product or service but not yet ready to make the purchase. At the same time, a referral program can help boost a company’s reputation.
Create Informational Youtube Videos
Using videos as part of your lead generation strategy is great, as most people are visual learners. You can maximize the benefits of your video content by publishing it on Youtube. Youtube is the second largest search engine next to Google and it has over 2 billion monthly user log-ins.
You can use your existing content and turn it into informational Youtube videos. It does not need to be fancy and full of special effects; you can make it straight to the point and add simple tools like infographics to be appealing.
You can use Youtube videos to achieve the following:
- Answer questions: You can use Youtube videos to anticipate and answer questions from leads. It allows you to simplify your offerings and present them in an easy-to-understand manner.
- Engage with leads: Youtube videos have a comment section that lets you interact directly with people interested in your offerings.
- Increase brand awareness: The subscribe and rating features of Youtube can help boost your brand’s reputation.
Another way of using Youtube videos to generate B2B leads is by using Youtube ads. Youtube ads have targeting options allowing you to reach your ideal customers. These targeting options include:
The great thing about Youtube ads is that you are only billed when someone watches your advertisement for over 30 seconds.
Make Cold Calls
Cold calling is the strategy of making calls to prospects that have not shown prior interest or engaged with your products and services. When done right, cold calling can be an effective strategy for generating new B2B leads.
Although it is a valid strategy, the conversion rate of cold calling is only 2%. Cold emailing might sound more efficient because it’s faster and more scalable, but there are a few reasons why calling is still preferred:
- You get quicker feedback: You don’t have to wait for a reply when cold calling to see whether a prospect is a qualified lead. You can immediately determine it from your call, allowing your company to save time and resources.
- There are fewer chances of being ignored: The biggest downside of cold emailing is that it can be easily overlooked or sent to spam. When it does not reach the intended receiver, it becomes useless, but the same doesn’t happen with cold calling.
- Decision-makers tend to prefer interactions over the phone: Social media interaction is effective for the younger generation, but you have to remember that a lot of B2B decision-makers are older and more traditional professionals who prefer phone calls.
Sometimes, companies find cold calling ineffective for lead generation because it is not done right. With that in mind, here are some cold calling tips that will help increase your chances of success:
- Prepare for the call: SDRs must not make a call without knowing anything about the lead because this will make them look unprepared and unconvincing. It’s highly recommended to prepare for the call by gathering the lead’s basic information and pain points. Preparing a script can also be helpful, but make sure to rehearse ahead and avoid reading straight from it.
- Think of the right timing: Calling at the right time can make cold calls more effective. Generally, it’s best to avoid Mondays, as they are usually busy. For the same reason, it is also recommended to avoid mid-day.
- Don’t be too pushy: One of the biggest reasons cold calling has a negative reputation is that salespeople are often too pushy and persistent. Using a friendly approach is always the best option. If the prospect seems busy and unable to talk, ask for another opportunity to make a call.
Consider Outsourcing Appointment Setting
If cold calling isn’t your strongest skill set, one of the most direct B2B lead generation strategies is outsourced appointment setting. It helps fill your sales pipeline with high-quality leads acquired through outbound prospecting.
B2B appointment setting is the strategy of bringing in new leads by setting appointments with prospects over the phone for your Account Executives (AE) to discuss your products and services. The people who make these calls are the Sales Development Representatives, also known as SDRs.
A sales appointment setting program can be in-house. However, building an in-house appointment setting program requires huge investment and takes months before it is fully operational, making it a poor strategy for smaller companies. The good news is you can outsource your appointment setting programs.
Here’s a quick comparison of an in-house appointment setting program and an outsourced appointment setting program:
|Point of comparison||In-house appointment setting||Outsourced appointment setting|
|Cost||High and unpredictable cost||Flexible|
|Sales talent||Requires training||Pre-hired and trained|
By choosing to outsource appointment settings, companies can get the following benefits:
- Increase High-quality Leads
When it comes to leading, the priority must be quality over quantity because that’s where there’s a higher chance of closing deals. Outsourced appointment settings can help increase the quality of leads pushed to the next stage of the sales process. By prospecting and qualifying leads, SDRs can filter good leads from bad ones.
- Boost AE Productivity
Prospecting and qualifying leads can be a time-consuming process. In companies without SDRs, AEs take on these tasks, causing their workload to increase.
By having dedicated SDRs, AEs are unburdened with prospecting and qualifying leads, allowing them to focus more on the necessary preparations for closing deals.
- Improve Brand Awareness
Outbound SDRs are often called cold calling, which is reaching out to prospects who showed no previous interest in the products or services they represent. Although this strategy has a lower overall success rate, it can still benefit companies because it introduces your product to buyers who otherwise wouldn’t hear from you. It also allows you to speak directly to your target audience.
A B2B company can employ more than one lead generation strategy to increase its outcomes. When deciding which B2B lead generation strategy to choose, it’s important to put the company’s buyer persona as the top consideration. The lead generation strategy must be appealing and attractive to the ideal customers so they’ll get interested enough to want to know more about the products and services offered.
Do you need help with your lead generation strategy? SalesRoads is here for you. We’ll help you build a B2B appointment setting campaign that will uncover new opportunities for your business. Get in touch with us today and watch new leads roll in.