30-Second Summary:

  • B2B lead generation is identifying and qualifying your prospective customers.

  • B2B lead strategies should focus on both how you speak to your customers and the language you use in the buyer’s stage.

  • There are many ways to generate leads that include advertising, social media, and email marketing.

  • Different stages of lead generation include Marketing, Sales, and Product Qualified Leads (MQL, SQL, and PQL).

 

Whether doing B2B lead generation for technology companies or service companies, business owners like yourself must know the process. Without lead generation, there is no money to be made, making it impossible to operate.

Below, you’ll find out more about the two halves of the B2B lead generation process: how to find customers and how to speak to customers depending on where they stand. Use these proven strategies and methods to boost your sales.

What is B2B lead generation?

Business to business lead generation is identifying and qualifying ideal customers (or leads) for your business. Once you determine these customers are your best match, the lead generation process attracts them to buy.

A good lead generation process follows the same three stages:

  1. Someone expresses interest from one of your marketing channels (social media, advertising, etc.)
  2. The visitor clicks your call to action (CTA) and reaches a landing page
  3. The visitor fills out information to accept the offer or declines the offer

Bringing your prospective customer through these stages involves lead qualification. When a lead is qualified, it means you can safely determine they are a good customer for your solution.

To start, we will go through different ways on how you can communicate with customers.

Eight B2B lead generation strategies with proven effectiveness

1. Creating dynamic and engaging advertising campaignsOnline advertising on mobile device - Programmatic Advertising cross targeting

In North America, advertising is a $300 billion industry. Much of this advertising goes into major players like Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

Digital advertising is useful because it provides measurable results. Using tracking mechanisms, you can find out how many customers engage with your ads.

Here are some tips to make sure your ads are very effective:

  • Use A/B testing to and change one thing (the copy, the image) between your ads to determine which is more effective. Changing one thing in the ad allows you to find out what appeals most to your customers.
  • Ad retargeting (or targeting people who have already engaged with your ads) receive 80% more clicks than standard ads for new customers. Focus on customers who already have expressed interest and you will get more sales.
  • Change the wording of your ad based on the qualification stage they are in (read below)

2. Getting into customer’s inboxes using effective email marketing campaigns

With social media platforms like TikTok or Facebook, marketers sometimes forget about email. Proven email marketing techniques can help get you into customer’s inboxes and engage them.

A common way to get into inboxes is to provide something of value in exchange. For example, you can provide a short eBook on how to solve a pain point they have. For example, if you are a PR agency, you can provide a book on common PR mistakes.

From there, you need to keep your newly subscribed person reading. To do this, you need to provide constant value through emails.

While making the customer aware of your product is important, email marketing works better when you maintain readers by giving them something valuable.

To make this easier for you, check out email marketing software like SendinBlue. It uses email marketing automation, which allows you to create the content and allow the content to be sent on a regular schedule.

3. Using social media to address to the customer

With 93% of businesses using social media, there’s no doubt that your target audience is there. To know what they want, social media can be an excellent tool to track your audience.

It also provides you another potential sales channel. Much like email marketing, most of your content should focus on creating helpful content. Sales-driven social media content still works, but needs to be supplemented with value.

Content on social media should transform what you use on your blog, YouTube videos, and emails, but in a condensed format.

Be aware that each social media has different requirements (character counts, professionalism expectations, etc.), so tailor your content for each social platform.

4. Content marketing with SEO and organic rankings

Digital marketing strategy of promote traffic to website. Hand holds wooden cubes with the icon of magnifying glass with alphabets abbreviation SEO

In making a website, you want it to be found on search engines like Google. To do this, Google needs to recognize you as an authority in your field. This process is search engine optimization (SEO).

Search engine optimization is building your website to be most appealing for Google. When doing so, Google likes to focus on the user experience above all else. This means you need to meet the user’s needs depending on what they search for.

Given there are unlimited questions about your industry on any day, people are searching for answers all the time. By answering those questions, you can place your business as one potential solution for related problems.

When you answer those questions, you establish authority, making your website appear higher in the search rankings. However, you’ll want to be careful to answer questions relevant to your industry. If you can’t see how the question leads to a sale, you might avoid writing content about it.

Using SEO-driven CRM software like HubSpot can help you track your website information alongside customer data.

5. Use video marketing via YouTube and other video-based social channels

Young man using smart phone,Social media concept

As of this year, online videos make up about 80% of customer traffic. Video marketing is huge, and ignoring it is a huge mistake.

Video marketing can work similarly to creating resource-based blogs. You can focus on answering questions and provide your business as one solution while providing value. Alternatively, you can build your copy around video.

Customers are more reactive to visually driven content. You can see this in action through video courses teaching you to use tools like HubSpot. Much of this occurs because video takes less effort.

If you plan on pursuing video marketing, start small, but commit to a schedule. Try to start with one video every two weeks and gradually build to include more. 

6. Surprise your clients using direct mail campaigns

man sending email campaign from laptop

The next time you look through your mail, look at the ads. Many of them are uninspired and focus on offering a discount. Now, imagine you receive one with a $1 bill in it. Will it get your attention?

Direct mail campaigns offer a unique way to hit a unique channel. They are less popular in B2B channels because people have deemed them irrelevant. However, they present a unique opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Another way to approach this unique marketing channel is through handwritten notes. If your handwriting is good enough (or you know someone), these can stand out too. The point is to use an old-fashioned channel to help your business be unique.

7. Generate social proof through customer reviews

User gives rating to service experience on online application, Customer review satisfaction feedback

Websites like Sonary provide you excellent ways to prove your quality to prospective customers. Customer reviews can be a huge difference maker.

For one example, look at our project management comparison between Monday, Smartsheet, and HubSpot. Specifically, check out the star ratings found on each one.

These are submitted by fellow users, providing your potential customers with another reason to buy. While it is an indirect form of lead generation for your sales process, having established profiles across these sites let you address customer concerns directly. Doing so can help you overcome negative reviews and regain trust.

8. Answer questions on Quora and Reddit

Quora and Reddit are both question-and-answer sites where people ask many things. Within these pages, you’ll find different boards and categories that include your industry.

As a small business owner, you might not have the budget to pay for large spending campaigns. Q&A boards like Quora offer you a cheap way to get your name out there. However, generating leads here is like blogging: focus on providing value.

Answer questions with as much detail as you can. If appropriate, input experiences your business has gone through to cite your sources.

By doing so, people who search for the question will see your answer and (ideally) your business. When they do, it gives you another avenue for people to reach out to you.

Regardless of what strategy you use to bring customers in, how you speak is just as important. Below, we will go through the lead qualification process and how that impacts your strategy.

Lead generation strategies: how to speak to different buyer’s stages

Strategy starts by understanding where your customer comes from. Knowing this, strategy starts by understanding how to qualify your leads.

How to qualify a lead

Stage one of B2B lead generation is asking the right questions to ensure you target the right leads. You can do this by asking the following questions:

  • What are the problems you need to fix (using your product or service)?
  • Why are you looking for a solution?
  • How big of a problem is this for you?
  • What is your budget for solving the problem?
  • Can you implement the solutions provided by my business?
  • What are your reservations about solving this problem?

Proper lead qualification is a strategy by itself because you want to be sure your business is best equipped to handle their problem.

If the company lacks the budget, doesn’t see your solution as necessary, or can’t implement your changes, they aren’t qualified. To make it easier to track your customers, use tools like Pipedrive to better track the status of prospective customers.

How your language needs to change based on the buyer’s stage.

The three later stages of lead generation include MQLs, SQLs, and PQLs. These groups (defined below) are seeking different marketing messages. When developing a lead generation strategy, it’s important to consider how you will speak to each stage.

Marketing Qualified Leads

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) aren’t ready to buy. However, they have asked about the solution you provide by interacting with your marketing material. For example, they might fill out a landing page form or visit your website so they can solve a problem.

MQLs want more information on how to solve the problem they have. They want content on how to address pain points like blog posts or YouTube videos. At this stage, you are still establishing your trustworthiness and authority.

Sales Qualified Leads

A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) takes specific actions showing their interest in buying your product. They’ve either sent questions or called in about more information. Your sales team should be ready and willing to answer questions related to your product.

Throughout the sales call, the salesperson is trying to determine whether the lead is qualified. Meanwhile, the lead is trying to do the same. By treating it as a mutually beneficial exchange both sides can be happy.

Product Qualified Leads

This brings us to Product Qualified Leads (PQLs), which are those who want to become a paying customer after trying your product. Either they use existing products and want to upgrade or have taken advantage of your free trial.

You’ve already qualified the prospect, you just need to close the sale. You can do this with a smooth and defined onboarding process.

Final Word

B2B Lead generation strategies cover how you bring customers in and different stages of the buying process. The entire B2B lead generation process must know both sides to be sure your strategy is complete.

As a business owner, keeping both sides of the process in mind helps. In this way, each lead generation process becomes a sales channel while the different stages dictate how each sales channel functions.