Learning how to generate B2B sales leads is a key component of any successful B2B marketing campaign. Without leads, you have no way of converting prospects into paying customers.
So, if you’re seeking to expand your B2B sales process in 2022, you must prioritize your sales funnel above all else. Marketing activities alone are insufficient to accomplish this objective.
It was the Covid-19 pandemic that compelled B2B market participants to adopt a large digital transformation strategy.
What began as a crisis reaction has now become the new normal, with significant ramifications for how B2B consumers and marketers will conduct business in the long term.
But, how does it affect your business?
A 2020 study suggests that the conventional method of one-on-one interaction has dropped by 52% since the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, digital interaction between buyers and B2B sales and marketing teams has skyrocketed.
To understand the change, let’s take a look at this chart –
Image via McKinsey & Company
In this blog post, we’ll discuss 9 effective techniques that you can use to generate more B2B sales leads.
Implementing even a few of these strategies will help you see a significant increase in lead generation activity.
Let’s get started!
How to Generate B2B Sales Leads Utilizing Sales Best Practices
According to a recent survey, most of the top B2B marketers reported generating sales leads as their top marketing priority for the next 12 months.
Image via HubSpot
The process of generating high-quality leads for B2B sales can be a difficult task, though.
However, there are some tried and tested tactics that will work in nearly any situation for sales and marketing teams.
The following tips are sure to help anyone looking to generate B2B sales leads.
1. Use Digital Tools for Effective Sales Qualified Leads
Can you fathom producing leads without the assistance of technology in this day and age?
Thankfully, there are a number of helpful B2B marketing tools available at your disposal to generate sales leads effectively.
ZoomInfo is one such popular and handy tool that can be used for this purpose. It provides information about potential leads in terms of their location, contact details, and so on.
Are there more lead generation alternatives, you may ask?
Yes. Some other notable alternatives to Zoominfo that can generate high-quality leads include Lusha, Pipedrive, Clear, and Cognism, among others.
Image via Lusha
With these effective and productive B2B lead generation software, you can save both time and money.
2. Leverage AI Chatbots to Maximize User Interaction
The percentage of businesses that reported employing chatbots for marketing purposes has increased to 47% in 2021 (according to the previously-cited HubSpot study), witnessing a rise of 45% from the previous year.
This number is only going to grow as the technology improves and more companies see the benefits of using chatbots to generate B2B sales leads.
Why are AI chatbots popular among sales reps?
There are a few reasons for this:
- They’re available 24/7: Customers can get in touch with you at any time, day or night.
- They’re personal: Customers feel like they’re interacting with a real person, not a faceless corporation.
- They can handle multiple chats at once: A chatbot can talk to several customers at the same time, freeing up your sales team to close more deals.
Intercom conducted a study of 500 random firms and found that chatbots saved business owners an average of $300,000 in 2019, with the biggest beneficiaries being the support and sales departments.
To summarize, if you want to relieve your sales and marketing team of some of their responsibilities, deploying chatbots might be the answer.
Moreover, the same study suggests that the sales process was the most common use case of chatbots.
Take a look at the stats:
Image via Intercom
If you’re not using a chatbot to generate B2B sales leads yet, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Here are a few tips on how to get started:
- Do your research: There are a lot of different chatbots on the market. The most popular live chat software are Zoho SalesIQ, Salesforce Live Agent, LiveChat, HubSpot, and Drift. Take the time to find one that will work best for your business.
- Choose the right features: You want to make sure that your chatbot has all the features you need to generate leads effectively. Look for a chatbot that can collect information about leads, such as their name, contact information, and what they’re interested in.
- Train your team: Once you have your chatbot up and running, make sure you train your sales team on how to use it effectively. The more they know about the features and capabilities of the chatbot, the more likely they are to close leads.
3. Generate Organic Leads via Social Media
Organically generating sales leads via social media may seem like a daunting task, but with the right strategy in place, it can be a highly effective way to connect with potential customers.
In B2B marketing, social media has emerged as one of the top platforms, with 80% of companies utilizing it to help with content marketing, according to a recent survey.
Image via Content Marketing Institute
When it comes to B2B lead generation via social channels specifically, LinkedIn is the clear leader, with 40% of social media leads coming from the platform, followed closely by Facebook.
Check out these numbers:
Image via Social Media Examiner
Not to mention, organic lead generation via social media tends to be significantly less expensive than other paid marketing methods.
Running a contest on social media or trying your hands at influencer marketing are great techniques to generate leads.
What about other social networking sites?
Don't be afraid to go out beyond the main players like LinkedIn and Facebook. By publishing user-generated content on Instagram and Pinterest, you can still generate leads.
4. Leverage Cold Emails and Calls to Reach Potential Customers
Despite the development of new digital means for prospecting leads, cold calling and emailing are still viable options.
What makes cold calling effective even today?
C-level executives are notoriously difficult to reach through emails and other digital channels. They are often shielded by layers of gatekeepers, such as administrative assistants.
However, a study shows that 57% of C-level buyers prefer to be reached over the phone.
Here are some more compelling statistics regarding cold calling to sway your opinion even further.
Image via Crunchbase
You can't go wrong with either cold calling or cold emailing. Quite the combination, this one.
Do you have to choose between the two?
Not at all.
Both are necessary for B2B lead generation.
According to a survey released in 2021, 76% of firms opted for email marketing, making it one of the most popular digital marketing channels. Combining the two can help you get the best of both worlds.
When trying to generate B2B sales leads with cold emails, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Make sure your email list is clean and up-to-date
- Keep your subject lines short, sweet, and to the point
- Personalize your emails as much as possible
- Make sure you follow up regularly
5. Answer Quora Questions for Enhanced Brand Visibility
If you're looking for a way to generate quality B2B sales leads and enhance your brand's visibility, consider answering questions on Quora.
Want to know how?
By providing thoughtful, insightful responses to questions in your area of expertise, you can position yourself and your company as thought leaders in your industry.
Not only will this help you generate leads, but it’ll also help build trust and credibility with potential customers.
Nicolas Cole, for example, is a master of this technique. Quora has helped him build an army of followers and solidify his image.
See for yourself:
Image via Quora
6. Increase Market Value with Customer Reviews and Referrals
Positive customer reviews can help increase your company's market value, while referrals can help you get new potential customers.
Why is that important in B2B sales lead generation?
According to a survey, 44% of B2B buyers emphasized the reliability of the source, such as peer reviews, which is more trustworthy than other forms of content.
Image via Demand Gen Report
How can this impact their buying behavior?
In today's highly competitive economic landscape, there has to be an easier method for potential consumers to verify whether or not other businesses utilizing a B2B product or service are satisfied, and why.
Peer reviews can help them achieve exactly that. 32% of company owners believe that user-generated content from their peers has more credibility.
Through them, they can understand if others had a good experience with your business or not.
This further aids customers in making a well-informed buying choice.
7. Level Up Your Content Marketing Strategy
B2B marketing requires a strong content strategy to attract, generate, and nurture leads through the sales process.
How to do that?
There are a few key ways to generate B2B sales leads with content marketing:
- Publishing original content on third-party websites with guest blog posts
- Updating your company's blog with fresh and relevant content
- Creating gated content like eBooks, survey reports, and white papers
- Sharing infographics
- Optimizing each content piece for lead generation by including keyword-rich titles and descriptions, CTAs, contact forms, or other opportunities to capture information from your audience and improve the content’s visibility on search engines.
Apart from these, audio-visual content such as podcasts and videos should be given equal importance in the lead generation process.
Videos have witnessed the most increase in value over the last year, according to the previously-cited 2021 Salesforce research, making it the star content format of the year.
The report highlighted that over 90% of marketers use it in their sales and marketing toolkit.
Another recent survey found that 86% of enterprises saw an increase in lead generation in 2022 as a result of using videos.
Image via Wyzowl
8. Attract Quality Leads with Powerful Landing Pages and CTAs
The most common error businesses make is to use CTAs to direct their intended audience to the homepage of their website.
Instead, you should make sure your CTA is directing traffic to a specific landing page on your website.
Why is this important?
Your homepage is not designed to generate leads. It's designed to serve as an introduction to your company, and it's usually loaded with links and navigation options that can distract visitors from taking the desired action — in this case, becoming a lead.
A well-designed landing page is focused on a single conversion goal. The page is typically free of links and has limited navigation options so that visitors don't get distracted from the action you want them to take.
And that’s precisely why you should try to divert as much targeted traffic to the landing page as possible to drive your lead generation efforts.
Here's an example of a great landing page along with impressive CTAs:
Image via Teamwork
9. Use Webinars to Amplify Your Sales Leads
If you're looking for new ways to generate more B2B sales leads, webinars should be at the top of your mind.
Because they provide an opportunity to establish thought leadership, build relationships with potential customers, and generate leads in a low-pressure environment.
In fact, the previous Demand Gen Report study showed that webinars continue to rank highly among the most demanded content formats by B2B owners.
Out of the study group, 39% of buyers picked webinars as their favorite method for making a purchase decision.
The best part about webinars is also the fact that you get to clarify your prospects’ doubts in real-time. This, in turn, can play a major role in convincing them to become your sales leads.
Check it out:
Image via Demand Gen Report
If you're not already incorporating webinars into your lead generation strategy, now is the time.
Q1. What are warm leads?
A. Warm leads are potential customers who’ve already shown some interest in your product or service.
Q2. How to identify your target audience as a B2B brand?
A. Here’s how you can identify your target audience as a B2B brand:
- Define the problem your product or service solves.
- Research your competition and understand their target audience.
- Create buyer personas of your ideal customers.
- Use market segmentation to further narrow down your target audience.
Q3. Where can I get free B2B leads?
A. The key ways to generate B2B sales leads free of cost are:
- Attend trade shows and networking events.
- Collect business cards and contact information from potential leads.
- Find leads online using social media.
- Get people to fill up the contact form on your landing page.
Q4. Where do most B2B leads come from?
A. The majority of B2B leads come from channels that you choose to promote your business on. If you choose to promote it online, the main channels would be website traffic, online ads, social media, referral programs, and email marketing. As for offline channels, they are conferences and trade shows.
Q5. What are the three types of leads?
A. The three types of sales leads are:
- Sales qualified leads (SQLs): These are leads that have been vetted by the sales team and are ready to be contacted for sales.
- Marketing qualified leads (MQLs): These are leads that fit your ideal customer profile but have not yet been contacted by the sales team.
- Unqualified leads: These are leads that do not fit your ideal customer profile and are not ready to be moved further down your sales funnel.
Ready to Generate B2B Sales Leads for Your Company?
Now that you understand how you can generate leads for your B2B brand, it's time to put these strategies into action.
But what’s the catch?
Just like any other marketing strategy, lead generation takes time, effort, and consistency to generate results.
But if you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll be rewarded with a steady stream of high-quality leads that will help you reach your sales goals.
Leave a comment below if you'd like to learn more or have any questions about how to generate B2B sales leads for your firm.