How to Generate Leads for B2B Sales

How to Generate Leads for B2B Sales

Aki Merced
How to Generate Leads for B2B Sales

Lead generation is one of the most crucial components of a well-oiled B2B sales and marketing operation. To get more clients, you need to get more people to know about your products and services first.

If no one knows what you sell, how do you expect people to buy from you? Lead generation addresses that. In a nutshell, lead generation is the process of cultivating interest in your products and services to generate leads. Leads, in the business-to-business setting, are companies who are interested in your product and are a good fit as customers.

Yes, good fit. Lead generation is more than a numbers game. It’s equally important that you generate quality leads or those which are really suited to be potential customers of your business. These are leads which can be closed by sales or further nurtured to becoming customers.

To generate b2b leads, marketing departments need to take a multi-channel approach. This means they shouldn’t center all their efforts on one avenue–it’s crucial to tap into various channels to get the most bang for their efforts.

Interested in which channels and approaches net the most ROI for B2B marketers? Read on.

 

How to generate b2b leads: 4 Effective Leadgen Channels

There are many ways to generate leads for B2B companies. However, not all approaches are created equal.

Here are four channels that provide the most ROI for B2B companies.

 

Content marketing

Today’s most effective marketing techniques heavily rely on content creation–but creating massive amounts of content doesn’t guarantee an outpouring of leads. The key is to create content that sets you apart from other players in the field. Your content has to be remarkable.

The mass production of low-quality content plagues B2B marketing departments today. These content pieces leave readers with very little value to take away.

Since B2B decision-makers, gatekeepers, and influencers are all sophisticated prospects, you must create content that hits them in different pain points throughout their journey as buyers. A solid content marketing strategy for a B2B company is one that is multi-faceted and takes differing buyers’ journeys into consideration.

SEO

SEO is often regarded as a completely separate matter from lead generation but it plays a very crucial role in generating B2B sales leads.

Most people carry the notion that SEO is only important because it brings people to your website so your brand and content gets noticed. However, with how B2B marketing has evolved in the past few years, SEO is critical in any B2B lead generation effort because it identifies how potential buyers find you.

The importance of “user intent” is one that’s often understated in many marketing departments. Beyond keywords, competitor research, and page analytics, there lies the qualitative data that can elevate the way you do marketing: understanding user intent.

SEO specialists, with their grasp of data, hold the keys to unlocking this knowledge that would help not only the marketing department but the company as a whole. Knowing what your prospects are searching for when they find you holds great value in shaping your messaging and your product as well.

Social media

Social media is one of the “must-haves” of any marketing effort. Despite this, the majority of B2B marketers are not effective in using social media to generate B2B leads.  According to the Content Marketing Institute, 10% of B2B marketers using social media for B2B leadgen, only 10% are able to report concrete results. This implies that many B2B marketers are still not confident in solidly incorporating social media into their lead gen campaigns.

What needs to be recognized and acted upon is that different social media sites provide different marketing value.

Here’s a quick rundown of some popular social media sites for B2B:

LinkedIn

  • Ideal for showcasing services, posting regular company updates, and advertising new job opportunities within your company
  • “Pulse” feature allows the talking heads of your company to pose themselves as authorities in your niche
  • Sales tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator make social selling easier
  • Networking with decision-makers and other stakeholders in your target industries by engaging with them in LinkedIn groups and walls

Twitter

  • Prospect research: industries, job titles, hashtags, connections, lists
  • Engaging with influencers and decision-makers
  • Establish thought leadership through constant updates and engaging in Twitter chats

Facebook

  • Largely considered as B2C playground but gives you access to powerful data
  • Ideal for running very targeted paid ads
  • Some opportunities for professional discussions in Facebook groups

These are just three of the most popular social media sites that B2B marketers use. Something that should be given more emphasis is the quality and quantity of data B2B marketers can get from these social media sites. Also, monitor your niche using tools like Hootsuite or Mention to keep your team abreast with the latest in your industry so you could create content that reflects the interests of your prospects.

Email marketing

Econsultancy reported in a study that 73% of marketers regard email marketing as the most superior marketing channel in terms of ROI. It might seem like email marketing efforts are for naught because you try to put yourself in the recipient’s shoes and you think there’s just no way that marketing emails can be effective.

However, doing email marketing right can net you great results. The key is to strike a balance between assertive and polite. If you create emails and subject lines that are able to tickle your audience’s interests, you’ve already done half the job.

With a lot of players using email marketing, it’s essential to know what works and what doesn’t. It all boils down to the details. Here are some articles we’ve published that go deeper into email marketing best practices:

How to Get Responses to Your Outbound Prospecting Emails

Don’t Let Your Sales Email Kill the Deal

Sales Best Practices: Cold Emails

How to Build a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

5 Mistakes That People Make in Cold Email Outreach

How To Write A Cold Sales Email That Won’t Get Moved To The Trash

 


These are the most effective B2B marketing channels that you should be tapping into to create steady lead streams into your sales pipeline. Without productive lead generation campaigns, companies will struggle to keep afloat. B2B lead generation is a critical partner of sales development and sales. All of them work together to ensure the company’s constant growth.

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Aki Merced

Aki Merced

Aki Merced writes about B2B sales and marketing as a content marketer for Tenfold. Follow her on Twitter @akimerced!