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Best B2B Lead Generation Strategies for High Growth Companies

Updated: Jan 25



What is B2B Lead Generation?


Business to business, or B2B lead generation identifies customers (leads) for a business's products or services. Lead generation is typically the first step in the sales process, followed by pipeline management and prospecting.


B2B lead generation can be done through various means, including cold-calling, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing. B2B lead generation aims to generate more sales leads for the sales team.


Additionally, lead generation can help to build brand awareness and create a pipeline of potential customers even if they don't convert immediately. Cold-calling, for example, can be an effective way to introduce potential customers to your products or services even if they're not ready to buy yet.


By staying top-of-mind, you increase the chances that they'll reach out when they are prepared to make a purchase.


Why is B2B Lead Generation so Critically Important?


Why is B2B Lead Generation so Critically Important?


Sales is a bit of a funny game. If you don't have any leads, you're not going to make any sales. It's as simple as that. But what exactly is a lead? A lead is simply someone who has somehow shown interest in your product or service. Maybe they've filled out a form on your landing page to grab a lead magnet or subscribed to your email list.


Perhaps they've even gone so far as to purchase something from you. Whatever the case may be, they've moved further down your sales funnel and become warmer to the idea of doing business with you.


That's why B2B lead generation is so important. To keep your sales pipeline full of prospects, you need to constantly generate high-quality leads. And not just any old leads, but high-quality leads that are likely to convert into customers.


There are several ways to generate leads, but content marketing, search engine optimization, digital advertising, and social media marketing are some of the most effective.


By creating helpful content and making it easy for potential customers to find you online, you can generate a steady stream of high-quality leads that will help keep your business booming.


What Does an Excellent B2B Lead Look Like?


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Sales are the lifeblood of any business, but generating leads can be challenging, especially for companies that sell to other companies. So what does an excellent B2B lead look like? First and foremost, it should be relevant to your business.


That means it should come from a company that operates in the same industry and needs your product or service.


It's also essential that the lead be high up in the sales funnel. In other words, they should already be aware of your brand and be interested in learning more about what you have to offer.


Finally, an excellent B2B lead should be "cold." That is, they should not have any preexisting relationship with your company. If you can find leads that meet all of these criteria, you'll be well on your way to closing more sales and growing your business.

What is a Marketing-Qualified Lead?



Marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) are sales leads determined to be more likely to convert into customers than other leads. This determination is usually based on factors such as lead score, online behavior, and engagement with marketing collateral.


In most cases, MQLs are generated by marketing activities such as website visits, white paper downloads, or email opens. Once a lead has been identified as an MQL, it is passed on to the sales team for further nurturing and development.


The main difference between an MQL and a cold lead is that an MQL has already shown some interest in your product or service. This means they are more likely to convert into a customer than a cold lead who knows nothing about your brand. For this reason, MQLs are often referred to as "warm" leads.


While cold leads can be generated through various means, such as trade shows or list purchases, MQLs are typically generated through inbound marketing activities.


This could include website visits, organic search traffic, or social media interactions. For a lead to be considered an MQL, they must typically perform some action that indicates they are interested.


What is a Sales Qualified Lead?


A Sales-Qualified Lead (SQL) is a lead that has been vetted by the sales team and determined to be a good fit for the company's products or services. In other words, it's a lead that's worth taking the time to pursue.


SQLs usually come from Business to Business (B2B) companies, although they can also come from Business to Consumer (B2C) companies. These leads have been subjected to marketing, whether an ad, a website, or even just word-of-mouth.


The SQL then goes through a sales funnel designed to weed out the less interested leads. By the end of this process, the SQL should be excited about your company and ready to buy what you're selling.


If all goes well, the SQL becomes a paying customer. But if not, they become a cold lead, which is essentially a dead end. sales-qualified leads are essential for any business that wants to increase its sales and grow their brand

Who is Responsible to Generate Leads?



Sales representatives have traditionally been responsible for lead gen, but the process has become far more complex in the modern world of business-to-business (B2B) sales. No longer can sales simply make a few calls and hope for the best.


Instead, they must now work hand-in-hand with marketing teams to create a comprehensive lead generation strategy. The first step is to create awareness of the brand through various marketing channels.


Once potential customers know the company and its offerings, they can be funneled into the sales process through various lead generation activities. These may include attending trade shows, participating in webinars, or filling out online forms. The goal is to eventually land a meeting with a potential customer, at which point the sale can be made.


Thanks to the internet and other modern tools, B2B lead generation has become a far more complex process than it once was. However, by working closely with marketing, sales teams can still be highly successful in generating new leads and closing deals.


Sales Contributors


Sales teams are often split into two groups: those who focus on generating leads and those who focus on converting leads into customers. While both groups are essential to the success of a business, they operate in different ways.


Lead Generation Focused

Lead generation teams are responsible for generating interest in a company's products or services. They do this by creating brand awareness and driving traffic to the company's website. Cold calling is also often used to generate B2B leads.


Lead Conversion Focused

Once a lead has been developed, it is passed on to the lead conversion team. The lead conversion team then works on converting the lead into a paying customer. They move the lead through the sales funnel, from initial contact to closing the deal.


Sales and Marketing Teams

Marketing and sales are two essential pieces of the puzzle for growing a business. But while they are closely related, they are very different beasts.


Sales focus on generating leads and converting them into customers, while marketing teams focus on creating brand awareness and driving traffic to the company's website.


Both groups are essential to the success of a business, but they operate in different ways. Sales need to be able to sell sand in the desert, while marketing teams need to put butts in seats. It's a tough job.


Marketing Contributors


Volume Focused Marketing

There are two types of marketers focused on B2B lead generation: those who see the process as a numbers game and those who see it as an opportunity to build relationships. Sales folk tend to fall into the former category.


They're often laser-focused on generating as many leads as possible, with little regard for quality or fit. To them, it's all about volume; the more leads they have, the better their chances of finding a few good ones.


Relationship Builder

By contrast, relationship-oriented marketers take a more long-term view. They know that generating leads is only part of the equation; it's also about nurturing those leads until they're ready to buy. They focus on building trust and establishing credibility so that when their leads are finally prepared to make a purchase, they'll think of the marketer's brand first.


In today's hypercompetitive landscape, both approaches have their merits. But if you ask us, we'll take the relationship-builder every time.

How is B2B Lead Generation Typically Done?


How is B2B Lead Generation Typically Done?

Sales Responsibilities


Cold Calling

Cold calling is one of the essential skills for any sales professional. It can be a great way to reach your target market and build relationships with decision-makers.


However, it can also be challenging, especially if you're not prepared. Here are some tips to succeed at cold calling outreach:


Quality Lists

Make sure you have a solid list of leads. This is the most crucial step in any cold call campaign. Without a good list of contacts, you're unlikely to get anywhere.


Solid Script

Craft a great script. This will be your roadmap for each call, so it's essential to take the time to write something that's both informative and engaging.


Voicemails

Don't be afraid to leave voicemails. Sometimes the best way to reach a decision-maker is by leaving them a well-crafted voicemail.


Staying Persistence

Be persistent. Cold calling can be a numbers game, so the more calls you make, the better your chances of success.


Tracking Everything

Keep track of your progress. Keep careful notes on who you've called and how the conversation went. This will help you improve your results over time.


Email Campaigns

Sales can be a tough gig. You make tons of calls, only to hear crickets on the other end. You leave voicemails that never get returned. It feels like you're constantly hitting a brick wall. But there's one sales tactic that can help you break through the noise and increase your close rate: outbound email outreach.


Email marketing is when you proactively reach out to target prospects via email instead of waiting for them to come to you. It's excellent at helping with the lead generation process and setting up initial conversations with target high-value leads with prospects. And when it comes to outbound email outreach, you should keep a few things in mind.


First, you need to have a strong Sales Development Representative (SDR) team. Your SDRs will be responsible for crafting and sending emails, so it's vital that they understand your brand voice and messaging.


Additionally, they should be experts in email sequencing, marketing automation, and campaign management for successful B2B lead generation.


Second, your outbound email campaigns should be well-thought-out and focused on your target audience to ensure you secure more leads. You don't want to blast generic emails to your entire database - that's a surefire way to get sent straight to the spam folder.


Social Selling

Sales has always been about relationships. In the olden days (aka, before social media, digital marketing, and search engines), salespeople would build relationships with potential paying customers by meeting them in person, shaking their hands, and buying them drinks before they started trying to pry out pain points.


These days, social media has changed the game, and your traditional marketing strategies are less effective at capturing leads. Most companies can now be found online. Thus, salespeople can now build relationships with their ideal customers by connecting with them on LinkedIn, commenting on their social media posts, and sending personal messages. This is what's known as "social selling." And it's a highly effective way to approach B2B lead generation. Here's how to do it to increase sales activities in your target audiences:


First, find your customer profiles on LinkedIn by levering powerful insights gained from looking through detailed search results. Sales Navigator is an excellent tool for this and will help you shorten the sales cycle and lower marketing expenses if done well.


Once you've found a few people in your target group who could be potential clients, begin the buyer's journey by engaging with their content. Take a few seconds and leave a thoughtful comment on their posts or send them a personal connection message. The goal is to build a relationship and become a trusted source of information.


Next, post your content on social media. Write a blog post, create infographics, and ad campaigns, share a real-life example of client success, or even shoot some videos... whatever you think will help you stand out from the competition and show clear business opportunities for your potential leads and sales opportunities for your pipeline. Post your content on LinkedIn and other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.


Finally, keep track of your interactions with potential clients.


Multi-Channel Sales Campaigns

Sales representatives are always looking for that magic bullet to help them with lead generation and close more deals. However, the reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to successful selling. Instead, sales reps need to develop multi-faceted lead generation strategies that take advantage of different channels and touchpoints to generate more qualified leads.


One standard sales cadence is to start with a cold call, followed by an email and then a LinkedIn message. However, this approach can be spammy and annoying for prospects, particularly if they're not interested in your product. A better system uses social media to research your prospects and craft customized messages more likely to resonate.