36 Best Ways to Generate B2B Sales Leads in 2023
Table of Contents
What is a B2B Lead?
A B2B lead is an organization or person representing one that could potentially become a customer of another business. In other words, this entity fits the general profile of a customer for a given business, but, they may not be qualified yet. Qualified leads have passed some initial qualifying criteria, such as having the budget, need, authority or timing. (B.A.N.T.)
Once a lead passes some qualifying criteria, they are called a marketing qualified lead or MQL. After a higher level of qualification, they are referred to as a sales qualified lead or SQL.
B2B vs. B2C Leads
B2B leads often involve long sales cycles, high price points, and multiple decision-makers.
On the other hand, B2C leads represent individual consumers who are potential customers of businesses that sell products or services directly to the public, such as retailers or e-commerce sites. B2C leads typically result in faster purchase decisions, are influenced more by personal preferences and emotions, and have a broader audience base than B2B leads.
Where and How Do You Find B2B Leads?
There are many places to acquire b2b leads. If you are stuck and wondering where to find b2b leads, a good way to start is to first ask others in your line of work where they obtain the best b2b leads. Another way is to leverage sales trigger events. If you are not toom familiar with sales triggers, you can obtain your free sales trigger event certification.
A very popular source of b2b leads include databases and sales intelligence tools.
If you are thinking about purchasing a b2b lead list, think carefully before moving ahead. Many b2b lead lists are both very expensive & ineffective for a variety of reasons, including often having outdated data & inaccurate data. A better approach is to leverage a top b2b leads database, which can generate timely lists of b2b leads on demand.
What are the Best Ways to Generate B2B Leads in 2023?
The following are 36 of the top ranked ways to generate more b2b sales leads in 2023, factoring in quality, quantity and accessibility in implementing these programs. Leverage these strategies and tactics to increase sales leads in 2023.
Content Marketing with SEO: Producing high-quality, value-driven content remains vital to acquiring more b2b sales leads. The key is to ensure content is optimized for search engines, especially given Google's evolving algorithms. Thought leadership content, such as in-depth articles, webinars, and podcasts, can position companies as industry experts. HubSpot's statistics suggest that companies that produce consistent, valuable content generate 3.5x more leads than those that don't. This content not only attracts leads but positions companies as thought leaders in their niche.
In the evolving landscape of content marketing and SEO, artificial intelligence (AI) and models like ChatGPT are making significant strides.
ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, exemplifies how deep learning techniques can generate coherent and contextually relevant text over extended interactions, making it a valuable asset in content creation, curation, and optimization.
AI-driven tools can assist marketers in deciphering search intent, predicting content trends, and optimizing content for search engines in real-time. For instance, AI can analyze vast amounts of data to identify which keywords or topics are gaining traction, offering insights that might be missed by traditional keyword research tools.
Furthermore, by utilizing AI's natural language processing capabilities, businesses can ensure their content aligns better with semantic search, enhancing its relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines. In essence, the integration of AI and models like ChatGPT can streamline and refine content marketing strategies, driving better engagement and improved search rankings.
- Referrals: Building strong relationships can help you can obtain more referrals, which are consistently ranked as the highest converting source of leads to new customers. Strengthening your emotional intelligence can help you build more and stronger relationships. There is now a free video course which will help you improve sales emotional intelligence and even add a Sales Emotional Intelligence certification to your LinkedIn profile upon passing the online exam.
LinkedIn: Utilize LinkedIn, Sales Navigator and LinkedIn ads to reach decision-makers. Resource: LinkedIn
Sales Trigger Events: Monitoring events like company funding, leadership changes, or new partnerships can indicate a potential sales opportunity. Resource: Fundz
SMS Marketing: Send offers, updates, and more via SMS. Resource: Twilio
Email Marketing: Regular newsletters and email drip campaigns can be very effective. Resource: HubSpot Email Marketing Statistics
PPC Advertising: Google Ads and Bing Ads can drive immediate traffic. Resource: Google Ads Resources
Webinars: Host online seminars to showcase your expertise. Resource: GoToWebinar
Social Media Marketing: Not just LinkedIn, but Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram can be B2B platforms. Resource: Sprout Social
Guest Blogging: Write content for industry-specific blogs. Resource: GuestPost.com
Affiliate Marketing: Create partnerships with businesses that share your audience. Resource: Affiliate Summit
Retargeting Campaigns: Re-engage visitors who've been to your site. Resource: Google's Retargeting Guide
AI Chatbots: Implement chatbots on your website for 24/7 interaction. Resource: Drift
Influencer Collaborations: Partner with industry influencers for wider reach. Resource: Influencer Marketing Hub
Podcasts: Start a podcast or get featured on one. Resource: Podcast Insights
Direct Mail: Send physical mails with compelling offers or insights. Resource: USPS's Direct Mail Guide
Account-Based Marketing (ABM): Tailored strategies for individual leads or accounts. Resource: ITSMA's Guide on ABM
Quora & Online Forums: Answer industry-specific questions to showcase your expertise. Reource: Quora
CRM Lead Management: Properly manage and nurture leads using CRM tools. Resource: HubSpot
Partner & Reseller Programs: Work with complementary businesses to reach a wider audience. Resource: PartnerStack
Review Platforms: Ensure a presence on B2B review platforms like G2 or Capterra. Resource: G2
Community Participation: Engage in industry forums, groups, and online communities. Resource: Stack Exchange
Local SEO: Optimize for local search to attract businesses nearby. Resource: Moz's Local Search Learning Center
Sponsorship: Sponsor industry events, webinars, or podcasts. Resource: SponsorMyEvent
In-person Workshops: Offer training sessions or workshops. Resource: Meetup
Case Studies: Showcase success stories to build trust. Resource: Case Study Buddy
Voice Search Optimization: As voice searches grow, ensure your content is optimized. Resource: Search Engine Journal
Podcast Advertising: Advertise on industry-relevant podcasts. Resource: Midroll
B2B E-commerce: For product-based businesses, an online store can be effective. Resource: Shopify B2B
Native Advertising: Content-rich ads that match the platform they're on. Resource: Taboola
Mobile Optimization: Ensure lead capture strategies are mobile-friendly. Resource: Google Mobile-Friendly Test
Employee Advocacy: Leverage employees to share and promote company content. Resource: EveryoneSocial
Affinity Partnerships: Collaborate with non-competitive businesses that share your target audience. Resource: Affinity Solutions
B2B Influencer Collaborations: Partner with B2B influencers for content creation and promotion. Resource: TopRank Marketing
PR & Media Appearances: Get your business mentioned in media.
Where and How Do You Find Free B2B Leads?
The following article from UpLead shows where you can find free b2b leads.
What is B2B Lead Generation?
B2B Lead Generation refers to the process by which businesses identify and generate b2b sales leads for their products or services within the business-to-business (B2B) marketplace. Unlike B2C (business-to-consumer) lead generation, where companies target individual consumers, B2B lead generation focuses on attracting and converting other businesses into potential buyers or partners.
The process often involves multiple stages, beginning with raising brand awareness through tactics like content marketing, attending trade shows, and digital advertising.
As potential leads show interest, they're further nurtured through targeted marketing efforts until they're ready to make a purchase decision. In the B2B space, the decision-making process can be intricate, often requiring input from multiple stakeholders within an organization.
Hence, B2B lead generation strategies prioritize quality over quantity, aiming to engage with leads who have a genuine interest and authority to purchase. This emphasis on high-quality leads is supported by statistics from HubSpot's report, which found that 61% of marketers consider generating traffic and leads their top challenge.
The B2B Lead Generation Process
The B2B Lead generation process is the process of attracting, converting, closing and delighting customers. But, it all starts with analysis and planning.
Step 1: Analyze and Plan to Generate B2B Sales Leads
Setting clear objectives is paramount for successful lead generation. Begin by outlining your desired outcomes and pinpointing the KPIs to gauge your advancements. For instance, by reviewing sales targets, you can ascertain the monthly lead count required and then allocate your budget in alignment with this.
Allocate specific roles to individuals or teams based on their expertise. The multifaceted nature of lead generation entails skills in writing, investigative research, and in-depth analysis. Potential role distributions could be:
After you've evaluated different content marketing strategies, assign a content creator for drafting compelling content for emails, advertisements, and social media posts.
Marketing Director to synergize marketing and sales endeavors.
Marketing personnel for in-depth competitive research, strategizing, and audience analysis.
Data specialists to extract and present precise sales metrics.
Additionally, it's crucial to formulate an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) to bring in quality b2b leads. An ICP functions as a guideline, assisting in identifying leads that correspond to the typical demographic, firmographic, and technographic attributes of your top-tier clients. This includes aspects like their industry domain, business evolution stage, and the essential software tools they deploy for daily operations.
Step 2: Deep Dive into Research
Delving into the intricacies of research is indispensable for lead generation. Recognize the sources producing your premium leads and strategize on multiplying them. Spot recurring issues or applications, positioning your offering as a remedy. Understand well both your ideal customer profile and buyer personas.
The key is aligning your product's merits with prospective clients' requirements, enhancing content engagement. Build efficient workflows to monitor lead inflow and employ dashboards to visualize lead progression through the sales pathway.
Step 3: Craft a Resonating Message
Your content should resonate personally with potential leads, irrespective of its medium – be it blogs, advertisements, social platforms, visuals, or eBooks. Align content to cater to customer prerequisites, and amplify landing pages with potent copy and impactful CTAs to augment conversion potential.
Adopt a strategic content rollout; initial stages should amplify awareness using SEO-centric blogs and social engagement. As leads warm up, accentuate your unique value and catalyze conversions with tailored emails underlined by pertinent resources, studies, or endorsements.
For direct mediums like email or LinkedIn, articulate how your offering alleviates their specific challenges. Dedicate 15 minutes for lead investigation and 30 minutes for drafting a custom message, improving engagement odds. End with a CTA linking to an information-rich landing page addressing their queries.
Step 4: Elevate Content through Pre-Targeting
Pre-targeting, an online advertising model, fosters brand rapport within a designated audience, priming them for comprehensive sales pitches. Recognizability enhances ad click-through rates or responses to communications.
If your brand doesn't dominate organic search, think Google Ads. Though paid ads might not always target premium leads, they amplify site visibility. Harness the potential of social media, curating content and investing in ads on platforms where your ICP thrives – be it LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.
Step 5: Architect High-Conversion Landing Pages to Really Increase B2B Sales Leads
Optimizing your website for b2b sales leads generation is important. Landing pages, strategically crafted, dual-serve – as CTA destinations and email links. Design them to elicit actionable responses – be it data submission or sales call scheduling. Yet, compelling design is paramount; they should be mobile-responsive, feature enticing CTAs, adopt high-conversion keywords, and offer immersive user experiences.
Post designing, initiate split tests to discern which variant resonates most with your demographic.
Step 6: Reach Out: Email & Calls
Conversion times vary; it could span months or even years. Persistent emails and calls ensure your brand remains top-of-mind. Promote lead actions: free trials, downloads, or relevant purchases.
Emailing and calling tips:
Anticipate varied email feedback. Be equipped for positive, negative, or zero responses. For non-responses, follow-up within a day to three days.
Deploy a CRM system. It offers insights like email open rates, frequency, and link interaction, aiding sales reps in prioritizing calls.
Automate responses. Actions like content downloads or trials should trigger pertinent emails. Appreciate or solicit feedback, showcasing genuine interest.
Ensure 'unsubscribe' options in cold emails. This adherence to spam guidelines ensures your emails aren't flagged.
Step 7: Grade Leads; Transition to Sales
Once buying-ready, leads require the specialized focus a sales team offers. Overloading sales prematurely results in congestion. Liaise with sales to draft a lead grading mechanism. Prioritize based on intent, demographics, purchase history, and more. Marketing intelligence expedites this, spotlighting highly-engaged leads across channels.
Step 8: Assess Outcomes; Draft Reports
Constantly monitor KPIs throughout the buyer's journey. Post-sales handoff, tracking is pivotal to continually refine strategy. Initiate with metrics like email counts, open rates, and unsubscriptions. Identify stages where leads wane and tweak messaging to sustain their engagement.
Analyze leads slipping through the cracks, considering retargeting or promotional strategies. Such analysis can be cumbersome in spreadsheets; contemplate adopting an advanced marketing platform for nuanced insights.
Step 9: Reflect & Strategize Anew
Both ends of the lead generation spectrum should be encapsulated by analysis and planning. This cyclical review, while seemingly straightforward, is foundational. It offers learnings from prior cycles and preps for ensuing ones. Evaluate the efficacy of employed strategies, and ideate improvements.
Best B2B Lead Generation Tools for 2023
The technological landscape in 2023 continues to usher in sophisticated tools tailored to streamline and optimize B2B lead generation, significantly influencing the sales pipeline's growth, which makes creating and running new businesses easier.
At the helm is HubSpot, a comprehensive inbound marketing, sales, and CRM platform. HubSpot's suite doesn't merely provide CRM capabilities; it's a powerhouse for lead generation, scoring, and nurturing. As Gartner observes, HubSpot remains a pivotal player in the CRM sector, given its broad range of tools tailored for businesses. HubSpot's user-friendly marketing automation is especially important today, with it now taking up to 20 touches to turn a prospect into a sales ready lead
One platform that's been capturing attention, especially for businesses keen on real-time insights, is Fundz. Positioned as the leading sales trigger event platform, Fundz leverages timely and actionable insights from various business trigger events, allowing sales and marketing teams to act swiftly on new opportunities. The benefit of leveraging such real-time events is underscored by studies that emphasize how companies acting on sales trigger events can potentially boost their conversion rates substantially.
LinkedIn's Sales Navigator continues its reign for businesses intent on extracting the best from social media. Data-driven insights from LinkedIn suggest users of Sales Navigator not only identify potential leads more effectively but are also able to drive a 5% higher win rate.
Apollo.io stands out for its holistic approach, seamlessly blending database services, sales engagement, and tracking in one unified platform. Feedback on platforms like TrustRadius highlights Apollo's capability in lead discovery and systematic engagement.
In the realm of email marketing, Mailchimp continues to be a dominant force, offering an array of features beyond the basic email campaign. Its automation coupled with analytics allows businesses to refine their outreach for maximum efficacy. However, when it comes to ecommerce businesses, Klaviyo is king.
For those businesses with an inclination toward SEO, SEMrush and Ahrefs are indispensable. Offering insights spanning keyword analytics, backlink strategies, and competitor metrics, these platforms equip businesses to ensure online visibility. SEMrush’s extensive database is testament to its capabilities, housing over 20 billion keywords for SEO strategizing.
To conclude, 2023's lead generation paradigm is a blend of strategic insight and leveraging the right tools. With platforms like Fundz offering timely data, and others like HubSpot providing comprehensive solutions, businesses have never been better equipped to maximize their lead gen efforts.
B2B Lead Generation Examples
Various B2B companies of all sizes have implemented distinctive lead generation campaigns, yielding remarkable results.
On the large enterprise side, General Electric's (GE) "The Message" podcast series wasn't just entertainment; it was a strategic B2B campaign targeting technology professionals, and it achieved a top spot on iTunes charts, driving a significant increase in GE's brand awareness among its target audience.
Adobe's CMO.com, on the other hand, was developed as a digital platform to offer content specifically tailored for chief marketing officers (CMOs) and senior marketing professionals, and it has successfully positioned Adobe as a leader in the digital marketing space.
Small companies have also often punched above their weight with innovative B2B lead generation digital campaigns, displaying the power of creativity and strategic thinking.
Buffer, a social media management tool, used content marketing as a major driver of its growth when it was still a small startup. They consistently published high-quality, valuable content about social media marketing, which helped them drive significant organic traffic. Their transparent sharing of metrics, revenues, and challenges also fostered a deep trust with their audience.
LeadFuze, specializing in lead generation software, initiated a partnership with influencers in the same space. By offering influencers a free account and integrating their feedback into product development, they achieved a dual feat: enhanced product quality and increased visibility, leading to a significant uptick in leads. These success stories from smaller enterprises underline the potential of unique strategies, trust-building, and collaboration in the digital realm of B2B lead generation.
Best B2B Lead Generation Companies
Although companies have focused purely on organic lead generation in the past, companies of the modern era have the benefit of various lead generation companies. So, what lead generation services do they offer?
A lead generation business oR B2B lead provider is a firm that helps find and qualify B2B sales leads. They take the hassle out of finding leads and provide some level of qualification. The better lead generation companies do extensive research into specific industries to help companies find perfect targets to approach. They should have insight into your industry or vertical, to helps them pinpoint, connect with and qualify appointments for you.
Here are lists of top lead generation companies from G2, Clutch & QuickSpout.
Related Fundz Articles: B2B Leads and Lead Generation Strategies
2023 State of Marketing Report, HubSpot
A Straightforward Guide to B2B Lead Generation, Entrepreneur
10 Expert-Approved Lead Generation Strategies, WordStream