B2B lead generation is tougher today than it’s ever been.
Organizations seeking to generate higher-quality leads and increase sales face a growing number of challenges. Chief among them are tech-savvy consumers with lots of options, low levels of brand loyalty, high levels of buyer distrust, and yes—the ravenous hordes of competitors.
Demands on consumer attention are at all-time highs—as are consumer expectations. Without a well-defined B2B sales strategy and framework, understanding of sales enablement, and a concerted marketing effort to educate and equip consumers for their buyer’s journey—many organizations struggle to generate leads and grow revenue.
In a digital age of pocket-sized computers and global search—consumers have instant access to the wealth of knowledge on the internet. They can find scores of solutions and vendors within seconds. And within a couple of clicks, taps, or words they can schedule an appointment or make a purchase.
This just means that if your B2B lead generation tactics are going to be effective—your marketing and sales teams have to be aligned. You also need a deep understanding of your prospective buyer’s decision-making process, their pain points, and their goals. Then you’ve got to use that knowledge to align the messaging around your solution/offering with consumer needs to spread the word and garner interest.
At Squad4, we specialize in helping organizations implement cohesive B2B lead generation strategies to align and support both marketing and sales. Achieving MQL, SQL, and revenue growth goals typically requires a blend of strategies including:
- Website & conversion optimizations
- Content marketing & email outreach
- Social media & paid advertising
- Buyer’s journey & customer journey mapping
- Sales collateral & enablement
- CRM operations & automation
But—you’re here for tactics… So let’s jump in.
Briefly… What Is B2B Lead Generation And Why Is It Important?
B2B stands for business-to-business. It describes businesses that typically sell to other businesses—rather than directly to consumers (aka B2C).
Most B2B lead generation efforts revolve around collecting information from a potential customer (lead)—typically a name, business email, job title, company name, etc. This information enables you to perform more research and begin understanding their needs.
The ultimate goal of B2B lead generation is to consistently generate Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) to fill your organization’s B2B sales funnel.
Ideally, all B2B leads would already be qualified to buy—having high intent, a good fit, and an appropriate budget. Unfortunately, that’s not typically the case. To achieve higher-quality leads—and results from your B2B sales funnel—a number of components need to be working together to educate buyers, set expectations, and even qualify/disqualify potential conversions.
Did you know: 73% of leads are not sales-ready?
Streamlining your B2B lead generation and qualification process is paramount to success. Consider—the B2B sales process can be long, drawn out, and complicated. It often requires nurturing, multiple touch points, and even 6–10 stakeholders or decision makers.
Poor B2B lead generation will not not only cause you to miss out on opportunities—it will typically also generate “bad fit” leads that waste your sales team’s time and resources. Or worse—damage your reputation.
25+ B2B Lead Generation Tactics, Ideas, & Examples
And finally, here are our 30 B2B lead generation tactics and ideas to increase b2b leads, conversions, and opportunities for your B2B sales team:
1. Consistently write and publish high-quality blogs for your brand
Yes, blogging is time-consuming. Yes, it can be competitive and saturated for many industries.
That said—creating high-quality blog content is still one of the best ways to generate B2B leads. It also has one of the highest returns on investment (ROIs) of any marketing effort in the medium to long term.
High-quality blogs can contribute to increases in search traffic—if not directly lead to more conversions. Blogs enable you to tailor content to different stages of the buyer’s journey or customer journey to generate awareness as well as nurture leads towards a buying decision.
There are lots of different blog types and strategies you can leverage to deliver value on your lead generation website.
If you really want to build an autonomous B2B lead generation “engine” that generates a steady stream of B2B leads—and you’re up for the challenge—blogging can be a secret weapon.
2. Create ebooks, walkthroughs, and checklists as conversions to generate leads
Also referred to as “conversion content,” resources like ebooks, walkthroughs, and checklists are valuable pieces of “gated content” that potential buyers will happily trade an email address for.
It’s just one step away from “free.”
Effective B2B lead generation often starts with a piece of awareness content (like a blog or post) that nudges the visitor (prospective buyer) toward a conversion. They then provide some piece of personal information as a trade for something of value.
From a decision-making standpoint they are basically saying “yes, I will trust you with my email address because I think your download will impart knowledge (or something else) to help me solve my problem.”
Just remember that if you provide low-value or toothless “conversion content”—that will invariably have some sort of impact on how the potential buyer perceives your brand.
That’s the essence of customer experience. Every interaction or experience will leave an impact. And all of those individual interactions add up to your overall customer experience.
3. Create "tools" or "calculators" as conversions to generate leads
Similar to “conversion content” like ebooks and guides—tools and calculators on your website can be a powerful way to generate B2B leads and build trust with visitors.
Whether you and your marketing team build them out in a “resources” section or you embed them into blogs that you create (or both :O), these can drive higher website engagement, return visits, and better conversion rates.
Tools and calculators are effective because they enable a visitor to achieve, visualize, or understand something by going through the process. Simple equations that demonstrate costs or ROI help potential customers understand value and make decisions.
4. Create and share instructional videos to post on YouTube and your website
Did you know: 88% of marketers report positive ROI using video? The simple fact is—video earns higher engagement rates and even has higher information retention rates with consumers compared to blogs and other written content.
The human brain is hardwired to remember faces and stories told through both audio and visual elements—so use it to your advantage. Having the capability to produce on-brand video can give you a major edge over competitors.
Short, engaging videos where you answer specific questions can be really powerful on your brand's site or on social platforms. Check out this blog from UK-based sustainable ecommerce packaging company, SR Mailing, for a huge list of benefits and video marketing statistics.
Not only will video gain more attention and resonate with more users—you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of video search engines like YouTube. Plus, when you post it on your own website—video can even increase time on page and engagement, thereby improving your ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
For more on that, check out our blog on 10 SEO Fundamentals.
5. Create on-demand videos or webinars
If you’re already versed in producing video for your business—a powerful B2B lead generation tool can be on-demand videos and webinars. With a 25–40 minute overview or tactical walkthrough on a particular topic—you have a number of opportunities to:
- Tell a story and connect
- Gain personal recognition and associate a face with your brand/content
- Demonstrate mastery and value
- Educate the visitor and overcome a number of objections
- And more…
If a visitor is interested and engaged enough to want to watch a half hour of your content—you can be pretty confident that they have high intent. In many cases, all you’ll have to do after that point is verify that their use case is a good fit and that they have a budget for your solution. Boom. SQL.
6. Create templates that can be easily modified
A great way to generate conversions is to create “boilerplate” templates that are useful to your prospective buyers.
If you can create simple templates that others can easily repurpose—it’s likely that you’ll find other businesses that need your services or expertise.
This can be in the form of designs, spreadsheets, code, apps... whatever. Build them as conversions or build them right into your product/service strategy.
7. Create audio content that can be shared
Audio content has been gold over the past few years.
“According to our inaugural forecast for US weekly podcast listeners, 77.9 million people will listen to a podcast at least once a week, meaning weekly podcast listenership has more than doubled since 2016.”- Insider
Podcasts and audio bytes are being consumed at higher rates than ever before. People are “on the go” and seeking to use their travel time to learn, grow, or at least consume content.
Think about how you can turn your blogs and insights into podcast material or even just short audio segments that are easily shareable.
8. Craft hyper-niched landing pages
Landing pages are one of the most powerful tools you have in your conversion toolkit. Use them in coordination with paid advertising, social media material, etc.
The most effective landing pages speak directly to the needs of a single buyer persona, pain point, and/or business need. Keep them as simple and brief as possible to effectively communicate a pain point and/or solution.
Demonstrate value. Push—or nudge—the visitor toward a conversion.
9. Publish and promote your B2B case studies
B2B case studies are a powerful way for you to demonstrate your expertise and track record of success with other organizations.
While we’ve listed this as it’s own “tactic,” it can similarly be used as “conversion content.” In most cases, we recommend making case studies available to the general public and not “gating” them.
However, in some cases, it can be effective to provide a basic overview and then “gate” the full case study behind a conversion form. If you have the tools and ability to segment your user base—many organizations use their B2B case studies to effectively nurture existing leads and generate further engagement/opportunities.
10. Publish and promote your B2B testimonials
Similarly, B2B testimonials and reviews offer a tremendous opportunity to build trust by demonstrating the trust that other consumers have in your brand. This is referred to as “social legitimacy” and is one of the most effective ways to build trust with potential customers—particularly as they approach a buying decision.
Don’t go overboard—but think about ways to leverage your B2B testimonials on product and service pages, in blogs, even in your ebooks and downloads.
11. Use a chatbot to engage and qualify website visitors
There are a wide variety of uses for chat—and there is no “one size fits all” solution.
Sometimes chatbots can be used to directly connect customers with support personnel. Other times the same “technology” can be more effective when used as an automated qualifier on targeted web experiences (or pages).
Even if your organization doesn’t have the bandwidth or support staff to chat with clients on your website—a chatbot can still be valuable and generate B2B leads.
Consider putting an automated “qualifier” chatbot on specific pages like your pricing page or FAQs page. The chatbot can serve as a facilitator to help visitors find information they are looking for—and even gather visitor information so that a staff member can get back in touch to answer a specific question.
12. Optimize your webpages for conversions
Your website, blogs, and other content are never really “finished.” The world, the internet, and consumer expectations are all in constant states of change. There is always room for improvement.
Organizations that continuously monitor changing market conditions and optimize existing webpages, blogs, and other content ultimately see higher conversion rates—and thereby more leads.
This tactic is a catch-all for a wide range of activities you can—and should—engage in to drive more conversions. That said—it should underline the importance of building your digital experience (website and other systems) on a platform and with the technologies that make it easy for your organization to continuously measure and improve the experience.
13. Share your thought leadership on LinkedIn
Alright, let’s move a little further away from the garden that is your own brand’s website or content space.
The content you produce for your brand—and especially variations of it—can still provide enormous value offsite and on social media platforms. Just like LinkedIn.
- What valuable insights can you provide to prospective buyers?
- What experiences have you been through that prospective buyers would relate to?
- What is it that you’ve heard from potential clients, partners, and other friends that is relevant to your industry or offering?
Every organization can find stories and experiences that others have not been through—and therefore would find informative and valuable. They don’t have to be earth shattering! Get out there and start sharing what you’ve learned!
14. Hold a giveaway or contest
Giveaways and contests are great ways to hone your messaging, offering, and provide value—while at the same time gathering leads from organizations or individuals who are interested in your product or services.
A successful giveaway or contest will likely require a variety of messaging to spread the world and garner engagement such as emails, texts, social media posts, videos, etc.
If you’ve never held a giveaway or context before—put your thoughts and plans together and try to prepare for it at least a few weeks in advance.
Remember, most strangers will need at least several interactions on social media before they trust and engage with your brand. This means that you should plan on sharing your message multiple times and that you should make several posts in order to gain engagement.
Especially if you don’t yet have a large network—more touch points often means greater results.
15. Answer questions on Quora, Reddit, StackOverflow, etc
A great way to drive high-intent, relevant traffic back to your website is to seek out and answer questions on forums across the internet.
To help automate this effort—consider setting up Google Alerts for your brand topics and particular question types. You can even create yourself a “jump list” of channels or threads to visit at a set frequency (once per week, per day, whatever). Seek out opportunities to talk about your expertise, add context, and engage with others on the internet.
16. Comment on other blogs or social posts
Engagement is everything.
The branded blogs, social media posts, and expressions you put out will only take you so far if you’re not engaging with others. It’s critical that you participate in others’ posts. Seek out other influencers, brands, and individuals and engage with them on their terms.
This should also underline the importance and value for organizations to develop a “community engagement” strategy. Brands can be personal too. And the brands that are able to get involved, create communities, and support their followers on different channels and platforms are the ones that are winning in 2021 and beyond.
17. Interview customers, influencers, and leaders in your industry
Regardless of whether or not you have a podcast—you should be interviewing in some fashion. In fact, go ahead and consider the first few steps of any sales prospecting process an interview… Because that’s what it is.
Asking questions and talking to prospective buyers, influencers, and leaders in any industry is one of the best ways for organizations to keep up with continuously evolving marketing characteristics and customer expectations. You shouldn’t need any more motivation than that.
If you can “operationalize” and make a habit out of engaging with others in your industry—you’ll probably also be blessed with a steady stream of fresh ideas and great content. Ask questions to everyone in your industry—regardless of whether they’re customers or not.
If you can maintain an open dialog with others in your industry—even when you’re not making sales, you’ll be developing relationships that help you generate content ideas, sales opportunities, and spread your message.
18. Be a guest on podcasts or radio shows
Similarly, look to put yourself out there and be a guest on others’ podcasts or radio shows.
Even if the podcast has a tiny following—practicing your sales pitch or message and offering has tremendous value. Every speaking engagement provides you with room to grow and an opportunity to be recirculated across the internet—whether on a website or on platforms like YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify, and others.
Just make sure to do your homework and some preparation before you go on. We’d also recommend that you choose podcasts and shows that fit your passion or niche.
19. Participate in online network groups and forums
Online networks, groups, and forums offer opportunities to market directly to potential customers that are already engaged with a topic that you have in common.
That’s prospecting gold.
Share your insights, recirculate the blogs and other content that your brand is creating, and get involved.
20. Speak at events or conferences
Nothing “sharpens the blade” (or “terrifies”) like public speaking at events or conferences. And no form of networking is more effective than in-person engagements.
Free speaking opportunities come up every once in a while—but typically you’ll have to pay for them. You should consider them some of the best advertising opportunities available.
If you’re already creating content and blogs on a regular basis—you’ll have nothing to worry about. Focus on the content you’re familiar with and that differentiates your brand.
21. Host an event (in person or virtual)
People are always looking for opportunities to congregate, engage, and find value. It’s human nature. And it’s also critical to everyone’s sales process.
Think about how you or your brand can put together an event and attract potential customers, industry influencers, and others. Whether it’s in person or virtual—there are ample opportunities to bring people together and talk about our common interests.
For more ideas and opportunities—look at your local BNI or other professional groups, shark tanks, etc.
22. Join a cause or find nonprofit partnerships
Speaking of common interests—when you get involved with a purpose-driven cause—you’re likely to find prospective buyers who believe in the same things you do.
Additionally, most nonprofits and organizations already understand the value of community. They go out of their way to put on social events, happy hours, and engagement opportunities not only to spread their own message—but to keep their contributors engaged and finding value.
At Squad4, we proudly support 1% for the Planet and the National Forest Foundation. Both of these nonprofit organizations hold regular meetings and social activities for their partners. They even promote marketplaces for their partners to help one another!
23. Conduct surveys on social media or your website/blog
Polls and surveys can be fun ways to drive engagement with your audience—whether on your own website or on social platforms.
These do work better on social media with brands who have an established following—but with a little coaxing and a little influencer engagement can be highly effective.
Polls and surveys can even be used to generate content ideas for your content engine. Or for organizations who are really looking to level up—use polls and surveys as an opening for sales prospecting and cold outreach.
Here's an example...
“Hey, we’re conducting some industry research about [X Topic]. Your organization is [insert flattering or respectful reason here] and I’d love to get your thoughts on the topic. Would you have a few moments to discuss? No sales pitches or pressure—I promise.”
24. Publish research to generate awareness from savvy buyers
Speaking of content ideas from polls or surveys, publishing research can be a powerful way to generate awareness and credibility within an industry or network.
Websurfers are already looking for information, statistics, and inspiration on the internet. By doing some research (aka “work”) and providing it for free—or nearly “free” with the trade of an email—you can drive engagement, credibility, and even leads into your organization.
25. "Gate" LinkedIn content to generate more leads and follows
Social media posts are a great way for brands to generate awareness and stay top of mind. Additionally—social advertising is one of the most effective AND affordable means of paid advertising.
Either the free or paid approach works, but if you’re already creating “conversion content” on your website—consider how you can leverage it on social platforms like LinkedIn as well.
Offer the same copy of your guides, walkthroughs, checklists, white papers, or sales sheets for just an email or subscription.
Some Additional Thoughts On Generating Leads
There are numerous ways to generate B2B leads for your organization and this list is far from comprehensive. We’ll continue to add new tactics and examples in an effort to optimize our existing content (tactic #12) for higher engagement and conversion rates.
As we’ve mentioned, successful B2B lead generation requires several components that work together to drive high-quality and high-intent traffic, engagement, and conversions.
Yes—it’s possible to generate more leads by focusing on just one or two of these components. However, organizations that take a holistic approach to streamlining their sales and marketing efforts realize significantly higher rates of engagement and growth.
Now that you know a variety of B2B lead generation tactics—let’s explore the key ingredients for a successful B2B Lead Generation: The Ultimate Guide To Revenue Growth (Coming Soon).
At Squad4, help organizations leverage Inbound Marketing and content marketing to drive more traffic and leads for our clients in SaaS, MedTech, & B2B.
June 10, 2021