Lead generation is one of the most important tools offered by marketing teams, and it can be the key to the success of your B2B company when used well.
As a B2B company, your brand will be nothing without its business contacts, and this is what generating high-quality leads is all about. Lead generation is a part of any marketing strategy, and it applies to all sectors but is especially important for B2B sales teams.
Generating leads is behind almost all the work you will do as a B2B company because you need to have customers coming into the company before any sales can be finalized. Lead generation is focused on ensuring there is a good cycle of customers coming into the business and being introduced to the sales funnel of your brand so they can contribute to your success.
There are various ways that you can work on generating leads yourself, but it is also very likely that you will also be familiar with sales and marketing teams that can provide this service for your B2B business as well. You have most likely been contacted many times on this subject, so you know help is out there.
Generating leads, no matter what way you go about it, is not as easy as it may seem, as there is a lot of work that goes into finding customers and ensuring they enter the pipeline to bring money into your business.
In this guide, we are sharing some of the ways that you can get more B2B sales leads and determine the success of your brand.
What is Lead Generation for B2B?
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Sales leads are a term that you will hear a lot in the B2B business, whether this is coming from within your own company or from marketers across the industry who are trying to work with you.
Before we can work on lead generation for your brand, it is a good idea for you to understand what this term is and what it means for the success of your business. Sales leads refer to potential customers that you can bring into your business and direct to the sales funnel.
Whenever you hear the term ‘B2B sales leads,’ it is simply referring to the target audience and potential customers that you can bring into your B2B brand.
Understanding sales leads takes more than knowing the definition of this business jargon, as the whole process depends on this. Likewise, understanding that sales leads are your customers is only one part of the process, as B2B companies need to also understand who their ideal customer is, customer behavior, as well as many other factors which can contribute to lead generation.
Without this research into your audience and who you are attempting to attract with lead generation, it will be difficult for your business to move forward. This is why lead generation can take a lot of work, but it can also be highly rewarding when done right.
In the B2B sector, there are two kinds of leads that you should aim to generate:
- Sales qualified leads
These leads have been contacted by sales reps and have been verified to be actual customers of your business
- Marketing qualified leads
These leads have taken specific steps on your website, such as viewing specific pages or downloading content, which indicates they are interested in the work you do
When it comes to B2B lead generation, you will want to get quality leads from these two categories to ensure the success of your company.
As well as these two specific categories for B2B lead generation, you may also see terms being referred to as:
- Cold leads
Cold leads refer to people who have shown little to no interest in your business. This does not mean that these kinds of leads are useless, as they can be a significant part of B2B lead generation if you manage to ‘warm them up’ and bring people closer to the sales pipeline.
- Warm leads
Warm leads are the opposite, as these are people who have shown some kind of interest in your company before, and you may already have their contact details in your files.
These are people that are further forward in the sales process but may just need that final push to complete the sale.
The right kind of lead generation tactic will vary based on the kind of lead you are looking to generate and who you are already working with.
Top Areas To Nurture For B2B Lead Generation
To generate sales leads, there are many things that you can work on, and this can feel overwhelming. This is why many B2B companies will work with other services, such as a lead generation company or marketing automation, to get this done.
B2B lead generation strategies can be split into the areas they tackle, giving you something to focus on when it comes to improving lead generation for your company.
In this guide to B2B lead generation, we will be sharing some specific strategies that you can work on to bring more customers to the sales team of your brand, but as an introduction, let us look at the areas that you need to consider. Leads can come in many forms, whether this is physical, like a business card shared between associates, which is then used in later communications, or something over the internet, such as an email address.
Both forms of B2B sales leads are valuable in their own right, but they target people in different ways. Some of the key areas to focus on when it comes to lead generation for B2B include:
- Email marketing
- Industry events
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- PPC and paid advertising
- Retargeting (such as being able to foster customer recommendations for more leads)
In the past, B2B companies would also rely on print media for sales leads, but as most marketing these days takes place online, this will not be addressed in this guide.
How To Generate More Leads For B2B
Now that you understand what lead generation is all about and how important it is for your business, it is time to look into the various ways you can get more leads.
Working on lead generation and bringing in more leads for your company is a great way to ensure the success of your brand, improve brand awareness and bring in revenue. There is a reason why any sales team in the B2B sector, as well as any other sector, focuses so heavily on lead generation.
Without sales leads, there will be no money made in the company as there is no one to sell to. Lead generation is the first step in this process, and you can improve your current techniques through the following means:
Work on SEO and Keywords
One of the first things you should do when it comes to working on the lead generation process for your company is to consider the results you are getting right now.
There is no point in trying new lead generation strategies without assessing what is currently working for your B2B brand and where your customers are coming from right now.
A good place to start is by looking at the current traffic of your website.
This will show whether your current content marketing efforts are successful and if so where your customers are currently coming from, for example, which terms they used to find your page and what subjects they are interested in. Most leads will come from keyword searches, and it is possible to see which ones are working the best for B2B lead generation using tools online.
If you are struggling to generate leads for B2B, then it is a good idea to look into the keywords you are using and whether your website is suitable for search engine optimization as both of these fit into content marketing and determine whether your work will be noticed in the first lace. Without people finding and coming to your landing pages, there will be no B2B sales leads to generate.
Keywords and SEO go hand in hand, so this is a good starting point for any lead generation process to begin. Here you can see where your current website visitors are coming from and what it is that connects them. This information can then be used in other formats to generate more leads.
With the right keywords, you can bring in leads from search engine results pages, and people here are actively looking for what you offer.
A large percentage of your existing customers most likely found your company through a simple search done on Google or other search engines, so this can be a good place to find new leads, too, when you pay attention to keywords and SEO.
By looking into the keywords you currently use and the relevant content it appears in, you can determine which are the most successful keywords for your company and which areas should be focused on for more leads to come through.
As well as focusing on the keywords that are currently working for your own lead generation, it is a good idea to look at other B2B websites and competitor sites to determine whether there are any gaps you can work on. Using keyword research of these websites can result in more ways for you to generate B2B sales leads and direct more people to your site instead of any other.
Keyword research is a vital aspect of lead generation, and it can be the way to bring in new leads. A marketing team can help you with this, or you can do the work alone.
Run marketing campaigns across multiple channels
A good way to get noticed online is to make sure you are accessible. A few strategies throughout this guide rely on this, as well as being it being a technique within itself.
While many customers can find your website from search engines, as we have just explored, you will miss out on a large portion of the market by sticking to just one lead generation technique which is why you need to be available across the internet.
This is where lead generation ads come in, as they can be used across the internet to welcome new customers to your site. If you are looking to generate B2b sales leads, then you can do this through multi-channel ad campaigns, which can be found across the internet, showcasing your website and what you offer to people in various locations.
Not only can this increase the number of people that see your ad and therefore click to your website where they can become paying customers, but it can also contribute to brand awareness.
To become a lead magnet, your business needs to be noticed online, and you can do this in various ways, including being present on all forms of websites and social media channels.
Look at any large company out there that has something to promote – they will advertise their business and the event on multiple channels. If you want to get more sales, then you need to capture more people at the beginning of the buyer’s journey, and this means going outside of your own landing pages.
You can capture leads from almost any site on the internet, but paid ads do not come cheap. This is why when working on your multi-channel advertising campaigns, you meet your customers where they are and focus only on relevant pages.
This is where market research is needed, as you need to understand the behavior of your target audiences and where you can find them, as this is where paid ads should be for the most success.
Any advertising campaign should include social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, as well as paid ads on other relevant sites to generate more leads.
Upgrade previous content for email marketing
Having call to action prompts on website landing pages, such as asking for an email address before readers can access a blog post, can be a good way to push this process forward and generate leads.
This is a way of getting the information of your customers so you can target them further and get them to move through the sales pipeline.
This lead generation strategy is based on a similar process, but it relies on using the valuable content you already have available. As an established B2B company, it is likely that customers are continuously finding your website and the work you do.
It is possible to get site visitors interested in sales processes and eventually become a paying customer simply by editing some of the best content you have already published.
Using the research done by marketing teams, you can determine which web pages are the most visited on your site and where new customers go when they are looking to learn more about your company. These pages can then be used to convert visitors into sales customers by offering them more, whether this is through more content or a call to action prompt.
Sharing content in this way, by referring to previous articles in newer publications, is a great technique to keep people on your website, which will eventually boost sales.
There are various ways that you can go about this, but one of the most effective is sharing views across all content on your website, which in turn benefits SEO and continued traffic.
Connecting old content that did not get the attention it deserved when it was published with popular blog posts, and web pages is a great way to keep customers interested. You can link a past blog post to a new, well-performing page as a way for customers to learn more about what you offer, thus encouraging them to stay on your website longer, which can lead to more sales.
This is essentially inbound marketing that allows you to keep hold of existing customers and ensure they stay on your website, where they can eventually be moved to the sales process instead of going elsewhere.
Email captures for long viewing times
When it comes to lead generation, obtaining contact details from customers is a successful route to take, as this can give you more leads in the future. When you have a way of connecting with people who are already interested in your brand and what you offer, it will be easier to generate B2b sales leads.
Email marketing is one of the best lead generation strategies, but you need the details first. This is why many sites have what is known as an email prompt for visitors.
This is the box that will appear on a landing page when you have been reading a blog post or article asking you to sign up to the company for more. Similar to connecting past content with new to keep people interested in your work, email prompts can be a way to generate high-quality leads from people who have shown an active interest in your brand.
This email prompt can appear on your landing page or any other on your website after a few minutes. When someone spends a few minutes on one page, they are interested in what you offer. This is clear because there is so much competition out there, meaning people could click out instantly if they do not find the answers they are looking for.
As a B2B company, you can use current customers and visitors to your website to generate B2b sales leads by using this email prompt technique. This will ask visitors to enter their email addresses for more information and encourage them to go deeper into your content, which can then turn them into sales.
It is important to note, however, that as with all forms of content marketing, that the quality of your work also applies. People are only going to be interested in signing up for your business if they have found value in what you offer. Content should be informative and entertaining and hit the pain points of the reader to offer value.
It is this value that will encourage people to register with your brand and want to see more.
Appear across the internet to improve brand awareness
Similarly to using multiple channels for any paid advertising campaign, you can continue to generate leads from various platforms across the internet. The internet is one of the best tools for marketing, and it can be valuable for B2B lead generation if you know where to go.
If you are looking to generate quality leads, then you need to make sure your website is noticed in spaces where your audience will be. For example, make sure your brand is part of relevant social media groups, seen in online directories and on social media platforms.
Essentially, to generate more leads, your company needs to appear in as many conversations with relevant people as possible, and these take place across the internet. Much like using live events to network, you can use various platforms on the internet for lead generation, but this will only be worth your time if you are seen in places where your target audience is.
Across the internet, you can rely on other techniques, such as email marketing or social media marketing, to get noticed, but the main focus should be to make sure you are present. You can also use PPC, which involves displaying ads in prominent positions on relevant websites to attract leads.
The more places that your company appears, the more likely it is that your target audience will find you, and this can result in sales leads.
Generating more leads for B2B can be a tricky business as there are many areas to consider. In the B2B sector, leads are so important as they are the backbone of any company.
Without people to sell to, it will be difficult for any brand in this industry to succeed, which is why lead generation should be a constant focus for companies. While your brand may have seen success in the past and now has a range of repeat customers, most brands are looking for the next best thing, which is where lead generation comes in.
This is the process of reaching more people and bringing in customers to your business. Lead generation strategies come in many forms, as we have seen from this guide.
There are various areas of content and online marketing that you should work on to improve lead generation. With more people seeing your content and being aware of your brand, the more likely they are to become customers.
While you can work on lead generation yourself, your brand can also hire professionals to do this work for you. However you go about it, lead generation is a vital aspect of B2B, and you can bring in great success through these strategies.
Please see some useful guides related to generating more business leads.
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