The past couple of years have been extremely turbulent for many SaaS tech companies. Let’s face it, we all know of a company or two that has had to restructure and do layoffs impacting both marketing and sales departments.
With many organizations pushing to do more with less, it’s now more important than ever to have a comprehensive B2B lead generation model in place that is effective and scalable.
My name is Mohammed, and for close to a decade I have worked with some brilliant B2B marketing and sales folks within tech. This article is a summary of 12 of the most impactful B2B lead generations strategies that I have come across over these years. Take a page out of this playbook and watch your lead gen programs take off.
What is B2B Lead Generation?
On any given day you can find several LinkedIn posts about B2B lead generation or B2B sales. Simply put, B2B lead generation is the process of attracting and capturing businesses who may be interested in your products or services.
Taking it one step further, this process involves using specific tactics to identify, engage, qualify, and convert leads from these businesses.
A Breakdown of the B2B Lead Generation Process:
The b2b sales lead generation process really boils down to four primary steps. Let’s take a look at them:
Step 1: Identify Leads
Start by identifying your target audience and defining your ideal customer profile (ICP). Utilize market research, data analysis, and customer segmentation to identify potential leads that match your ICP.
This may be the most important step in the entire process. Start by identifying your target audience by working with your sales reps, customer success, and revenue operations teams to identify your ideal customer profile.
Use behavioral data that will help you identify which companies and personas have a higher propensity to convert. Layer in market data to understand where there may be low-hanging fruit versus fruit that may be harder to reach due to market dynamics at any given point.
Step 2: Engage Leads
Once you have identified potential companies and leads within those accounts, it's time to start engaging them. Start by using tactics to warm up these companies and leads. Spend some time capturing their attention and generating interest.
Step 3: Qualify Leads
Even with a refined audience, it is important to note that all leads are not created equal. This is why it is critical to focus your time and energy on high-quality leads that have the highest chance of converting to customers.
Leverage lead scoring models to help qualify and prioritize your leads effectively. Trust me, your sales organization will love you for doing this.
Work with your sales organization on creating a sales process that helps them qualify leads into opportunities. You may want to incorporate a sales methodology into your sales process which will help standardize your qualification process.
Setting up these processes will help ensure there is a standardized way of how marketing and sales will qualify leads and opportunities. This is a critical step in driving accountability and improving the overall buyer’s journey.
Step 4: Close Leads
Once you have some sales-qualified leads in your sales pipeline, it is time to convert these leads into paying customers. Demonstrate the value of your solution and provide your customer with offers and incentives that will help drive revenue.
12 Ways to Improve Your B2B Lead Generation
Now that we have quickly talked about the B2B lead gen process, let’s get into exploring 12 strategies that will help you create an effective lead generation model for your company.
1. Understand Your Target Audience
As mentioned above, understanding your target audience is a critical step in defining your lead generation process. Invest the right amount of time in understanding the motivation, pain points, and preferences of your target audience.
This is the first step in creating more personalized messaging that will better engage your potential customers.
2. Use Content Marketing to Your Advantage
Create top-notch content that speaks to the challenges and interests of your audience. Leverage different content pieces like whitepapers, blog posts, and educational content to establish your brand and credibility within your industry.
3. Earn Buyer Trust with Social Proof
Look to leverage positive reviews your company is receiving on social media and websites like G2Crowd as a way to highlight positive experiences and commitment to customer success.
As someone who evaluates and purchases technology for my company quite often, I really enjoy reading about real-life user experiences on these social media platforms as part of my evaluation process.
Spend time creating some really engaging customer case studies and testimonials that speak to various industries, buyer personas, and use cases your products support. Building social proof can become a lead magnet for your organization when done right.
4. Optimize Your Website for Conversion
Optimizing your website for conversion is one of the highest-impact strategies you can focus on to improve your B2B lead generation strategy. Let’s spend a minute unpacking this.
There are a number of factors to consider when thinking about optimizing your website for conversion. Here are three that can help make a big splash on your marketing efforts:
A compelling call to action: Ensure you have persuasive CTAs throughout your website that reflect different parts of your customer journey.
Easy Navigation: Make it easy for customers to navigate your website. For a customer, it should not be difficult finding whatever it is they are looking for. Use clear labels and intuitive menus throughout different sections of your website.
User-friendly forms: Don’t you hate having to fill in a dozen fields on a marketing form to download content? Well, your potential customers also hate this too. If you require visitors to fill out forms, ensure that they are user-friendly. Make it easy for inbound leads to get what they need.
Ask for the essential information and try to keep fields to a minimum to ensure you are increasing your chances of conversion. Use data providers and solutions to help with data enrichment for contact information when you can.
5. Cater to New B2B Buyers on Mobile
If you are anything like me, most of your buying journeys tend to start from mobile. I personally use mobile to do some quick research about a solution I am interested in learning more about.
With the increased use of mobile devices, optimizing your website and landing pages should be a top priority for improving your lead gen efforts. Look to create a smooth and responsive mobile experience to capture more leads.
6. Don't Underestimate Email Marketing
Email marketing remains a powerful tool for lead generation when done right. In a survey put together by our friends over at HubSpot, 51% of marketers say email marketing is the most effective marketing channel.
When building your email marketing strategy, be sure to remember some of these important tips:
Quality trumps quantity: When building an email list, consider the quality of that list. Who are the businesses and individuals you are hoping to target? How personalized can you make your campaigns to your audience?
Avoid purchasing email lists as they are often made up of low-quality leads and can harm your reputation.
Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on specific data points you find important i.e. titles, industry, and engagement level. By doing this you can tailor your email content to be very specific and relevant to your audience.
The relevancy of your outreach will surely help drive your conversion rates up and generate more engagement and demand for your products and services.
Use technology to automate: Marketing automation tools like HubSpot and Marketo can be set up to do some really sophisticated things. Use tools like these to set up automated sequences and drip campaigns. These campaigns will allow you to nurture leads over time by sending a series of targeted emails based on triggers and actions taken by your leads.
Take the time required to set up these tools right and you will be sure to improve your lead gen efforts through the use of technology and automation.
7. Run A/B Tests on Key Landing Pages
Optimizing your lead gen strategy should involve lots of testing and reiteration. Look to test and optimize the performances of your website and landing pages by conducting A/B split tests.
You may want to experiment with different page layouts, messaging, headlines, and CTAs. Make sure to review your form fields to identify the most effective elements. Once you have identified some winning formulas based on metrics, look to implement some changes.
Remember, that small incremental changes can lead to significant enhancements and create ripple effects over time. Take your time doing this right and you will surely enhance your customer experience, create cost efficiencies and improve the rate of lead conversion overall.
8. Personalize Your Website with Dynamic Web Pages
When thinking about ways to enhance your customer’s experience, web personalization is a surefire way of providing your website visitors with a tailored experience.
Web personalization is a strategy that involves creating unique experiences for leads visiting your website. Imagine if you land on a company website and you are served up dynamic content based on your interest or exclusive offers that make sense to you. By having personalized experiences like this, you will certainly be taking your lead gen strategy to the next level.
This level of personalization will take time to implement and usually does involve purchasing marketing software to implement. The configuration for this can be highly customized and use data points relevant to you and your business such as web page visits, lead demographics, and downloaded content.
9. Run Campaigns Based on Competitor Keywords
Using competitor keywords is one of the oldest tricks in the book for marketers. And the truth is that many organizations continue to leverage this tactic because it is effective.
This is how it works. Start by analyzing the keywords your competitors are currently ranked for and their overall SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. Find the keywords that align with your own products and services. Create targeted content and ads based on these results. Ensure that your landing pages from these ads are optimized for conversion.
Simply putting your product and services in front of someone is never enough as we all know. Make sure there is a unique value proposition as to why your lead should learn more about your solution rather than your competitors.
10. Organize Webinars to Capture New Leads
Webinars have been around for years but still remain one of the best ways to engage with potential customers.
Host webinars through various channels and require sign-up to capture new leads. Provide value to your attendees and make sure to follow up with them before, during, and after your webinar. Ensure you have a clear call to action for driving further engagement from your audience.
11. Leverage Marketing Automation and CRM Tools
One of my favorite ways how you can improve your lead gen effort is to have robust marketing and sales process support by the best in class sales-MarTech. For example, leveraging tools like marketing automation platforms and CRMs (customer relationship management software) is something you should be actively thinking about.
By enabling your organization to leverage these systems you also provide your salespeople with the right information needed to have meaningful conversations with leads based on lead engagement and behavior. Next time they make that cold call they will be better equipped to have a great conversation.
Marketing automation platforms and CRMs are just scratching the surface in terms of tools that can help drive lead gen efforts. For more detail on this check out our 12 Best Lead Gen Software for 2023 List.
12. Cultivate Strategic Partnerships
Last but not least on my list is cultivating strategic partnerships with businesses that complement your services or with industry influencers. These businesses and influencers can be a great source of referrals for your business.
Your marketing team should be actively seeking ways to create a partnership ecosystem where your company can collaborate on things like joint webinars or generating co-created content. If done right, this will definitely be a win/win for both organizations as they cross-promote each other’s offerings to their audiences.
Bringing It All Together
For B2B companies, improving your lead generation and lead management efforts is something your entire organization should be thinking about often. Stay laser-focused on understanding your target audience, delivering value, and building trust. Continuously test and refine your tactics to ensure your ongoing success.
Enjoyed this article? Learn more about B2B lead generation and other revenue operations topics by signing up for The RevOps Team’s newsletter.