Top-Performing Lead Sources for B2B Prospects

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Building efficient lead sources allows your team to develop strategies that generate high-value prospects. As a result, you can optimize your sales process and increase the chances of converting more prospects into customers. 

What are Lead Sources?

Lead sources are how prospects learn about your brand and offerings. They can be a combination of traditional and digital channels that attract your target audience’s attention. 

Understanding where prospects come from is crucial for businesses to create campaigns that resonate with their ideal customer profile (ICP). This process also increases the chances of finding leads that are quick and easy to convert.

Top B2B Lead Sources

It’s essential to understand what distinguishes each lead source to assess whether they are a good fit for your target audience and offers. These are the best channels to find B2B prospects:

  • Social media
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
  • Customer referral
  • SEO
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing

Social Media

More than 4.26 billion individuals used social media in 2021, and this number is expected to rise to over six billion by 2027.1 With each user spending an average of 2.5 hours online, this channel can be an excellent lead source of wide reach and diverse demographics.2

In this video, Neil Patel, a marketing guru and New York Times best-selling author, explains why choosing the right platform is key to successfully generating quality leads through social media.

Because B2B transactions require decision-makers to sign off deals, LinkedIn is the ideal social media platform for salespeople. It has features that allow professionals to collect data and identify prospects that fit their company’s ideal customer profile. 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) 

Paid ads allow your brand and offerings to be visible on top results pages without investment in organic SEO. It’s an excellent channel to attract B2B customers because it’s highly versatile and enables tailoring campaigns to your target audience, increasing the chances of catching their attention. 

PPC advertisements, if executed properly, can also save money. On average, companies receive a $2 return on investment (ROI) for every $1 spent on Google Ads.3

If you’re planning on using PPC as one of your main lead sources, it’s important to know how to calculate ROI to determine the progress of your campaign. 

Here’s the formula for calculating the ROI of paid ads: 

ROI= (Revenue – Costs) / Cost

Customer Referrals

A recent survey from the Chief Marketing Officer Council indicates that customer referral is the top lead source for B2B prospects.4 This is because most decision-makers are not easily swayed by bold claims but rely on the recommendations of those they know and trust.

These tips will help you generate more leads with customer referrals:

  • Invest in customer satisfaction: Providing excellent products and services is the most organic way of getting customer referrals. Because clients are impressed with your performance, they are highly likely to recommend your business to their friends and colleagues. 
  • Build a referral program: Providing clients with incentives is another way of gaining recommendations. It’s possible to use rewards like rebates, coupons, and freebies to motivate customers to bring new prospects into your business. 

Leads generated through referrals are typically warmer, which makes them faster to convert. There’s already a level of trust between the prospect and the brand, making it easy for salespeople to establish rapport and successfully close deals. 

SEO

SEO aims to improve website rankings on result pages. This helps increase organic traffic and brand visibility. 

SEO is one of the most effective lead sources for B2B prospects, as 68% of online transactions begin with search engines like Google.5 Aside from that, most prospects generated through this strategy are middle-of-the-funnel leads. This shows they are well aware of their problems and actively consider various solutions, making them more open to converting into clients.

Here are tips that will boost SEO as a lead source: 

  • Make your website user-friendly: Websites that provide a smooth user experience tend to rank higher in search results. Allocating resources toward technical SEO and design is crucial to make your pages run smoothly and look visually appealing. 
  • Optimize content: It is critical to optimize your content so that new leads find your website through keyword searches. The information you provide must be relevant and valuable to guarantee you collect prospects’ data.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another great source of B2B leads. Unlike paid ads, emails are less likely to be overlooked, as they go directly to the receiver’s inbox. 

According to HubSpot Blog Research from 2021, the most effective forms of email marketing campaigns are:

  • Message personalization
  • Email segmentation
  • Email automation

Other than generating new leads, email marketing is a great channel for reconnecting with top-of-the-funnel prospects who are not yet ready to buy. You can use it as a tool to push them to the next stage of the buying journey. 

Tips for Managing Your Lead Sources

Knowing how to properly manage lead sources can increase the efficiency of your lead generation process. 

Here are helpful tips for managing your lead sources: 

Establish a Proper Lead Scoring System

Leads are often graded according to their potential worth, with higher scores indicating more engaged interest in the company’s offerings. This process, known as lead scoring, is used to determine which leads have the most chances of turning into customers.

Label Leads Properly

One of the common mistakes in managing lead sources is categorizing prospects based on the campaign that got them into your funnel. This can create confusion not only in the sales team but with other departments. The solution is defining what different types of leads mean to your organization. 

Leads can be classified as follows:

  • Information Qualified Leads: IQLs are prospects at the early stages of the buyer journey. They typically discover your brand or offerings through content with information about their problems and possible solutions. 
  • Marketing Qualified Leads: MQLs are the equivalent of warm leads. They’re easier to convert, as they already know their problem and have shown interest in your brand and offerings. 
  • Sales Qualified Leads: SQLs have the highest chances of converting, as they are ready to make buying decisions. 

Assess Your Channels

Not all lead sources are made equal; some work better for specific demographics and niches than others. This is why it’s essential to assess your channels and see whether they bring in leads the way you expect them to. To do this, you’ll need to keep an eye out for specific figures, such as:

  • Number of leads
  • Attribution channels
  • Engagement
  • Customer acquisition cost

Tools such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can make tracking lead source KPI more convenient. They have features that organize data and automatically generate reports to provide much-needed insights. 

Bottom Line

Reaching high-quality prospects is crucial to the success of your lead generation strategies. Picking channels that work best for your business and target audience is crucial for optimizing the sales cycle and achieving business objectives faster.

Resources

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/
  2. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/04/social-media-internet-connectivity/
  3. https://www.webfx.com/blog/marketing/average-roas-by-industry/
  4. https://www.business.com/articles/the-five-best-sources-of-b2b-leads-prospects/
  5. https://videos.brightedge.com/research-report/BrightEdge_ChannelReport2019_FINAL.pdf
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