Sales Tips

B2B Sales Leads: The 32 Best Ways to Generate More Leads

B2B Sales Leads are qualified leads that sales people reach out and sell to. Being able to generate high-quality leads that will convert into clients is difficult. But, if done correctly, it will help your business beat the competition and grow significantly.

Quality is one of the most important criteria. If you simply increase the volume, but do not qualify these leads, then you will only end up spinning your wheels more. However, if you can increase your volume of leads by 20% without decreasing your quality then your business makes 20% more income.

Unfortunately, lead generation is tough. 85% of B2B marketers consider lead generation their #1 challenge.

Here are some of the best strategies to help you generate as many new B2B sales leads as possible.

32 Ways to Get More B2B Sales Leads

1. Get in as many conversations as possible

Relying solely on your website, blog posts, or videos for leads to find out about your business is dangerous. Sales is about building relationships; you want to have as many real conversations with your prospects as you can.

For example, if a lead asks about a feature in an email, don't just offer a link to your website. Instead, answer their question and offer to jump a quick phone call or video call to walk through the feature’s functionality with them.

2. Generate a targeted list of business contacts

Generating a targeted list of B2B leads is an essential tool to generating new B2B sales leads. Lists allow you to easily get in front of a large number of potential buyers fast by using cold emails.

Unfortunately, not all lead databases are created equal. Many databases contain:

  • Outdated and/or incorrect information
  • Leads that don't match your target job titles, company size, location, or industry
  • Leads you already have in your CRM
  • Leads that are already customers

To fix this, Growlabs provides the most up-to-date and accurate B2B lead generation software. The Growlabs database has 320 million searchable leads and 12 million searchable companies. Leads can be filtered by company size, industry, location, revenue, funding, technology used, job title and more. Leads that you have already engaged are automatically removed.

Growlabs also includes:

3. Send cold emails

Make sure to customize your cold emails and personalize them using merge tags. Merge tags allow you to replace the first name or company name in each email so each email you send looks completely personalized to each lead. A targeted, personalized email is more likely to get a response from the recipient.

4. Make warm calls

Cold calling is when you call a prospective customer that you have had no previous contact with. Warm calling is when you call someone who has heard about you in the past. Warm calling can be extremely effective if done right. I talk in length about this approach here.

5. Use Marketing Automation to nurture your leads

Once you’ve collected email addresses, you can use marketing automation programs to segment customers to target them with specific messages to get the conversion. Leads in the marketing funnel can also be converted to Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) by the sales team.

You can also use outbound automation software that will help send personalized emails at scale and nurture these leads into SQLs automatically.

6. Set up a live chat on your website

Studies have shown that 42% of customers prefer live chat for customer support questions.

Live chat tools such as Intercom or Drift allow you to engage with your customers immediately. If you can collect email addresses as well, you can nurture those leads to generate more B2B sales leads.

7. Update your email signature with an embedded promotion

Include a link to a promotion for relevant content found on your site in your email signature. By integrating a link, you will get more sales leads to your landing page for free.

8. Join relevant social media groups

Interacting within relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups will help you reach and engage with more leads. Ask interesting questions to begin conversations and respond to comments already posted.

9. List your company on directories

If you are a B2B company selling a product or service, make sure you’re listed in online software directories. This will help drive leads to your site who are looking for similar products.

Some online directories include:

  • G2Crow
  • Capterra
  • GetApp
  • CabinetM
  • Software Advice
  • SaaS Genius

10. Use online forums to generate more leads

Industry forums allow you to meet new leads and get to know your existing customers better. By sharing your views and answering questions you can showcase your expertise and build trust.

11. Answer relevant questions on Q&A websites

Websites such as Quora can offer a great source of new sales leads. Reach potential customers by finding the right questions and providing answers. These customers should be trying to solve the exact problem that your service solves. Start by researching existing questions that are relevant to your business.

12. Get more online reviews

87% of B2B decision makers look online for honest reviews before purchasing. If you have customers leaving good reviews, you should be able to generate more leads. Customers with high NPS scores are most likely to give good reviews.

13. Use lead generation ads on Facebook or Twitter

Facebook and Twitter offer lead generation ads where you can collect email addresses. Unfortunately, your results may vary depending on the content you promote.

Make sure to send your social media visitors to specific landing pages that get email signup information. You can also allow newsletter signups from your Facebook page as another way to get email addresses.

14. Use Google Adwords to increase website traffic

Increasing traffic with paid ads is straightforward, but it can get tricky as well as expensive depending on your industry and competition. Ensure that you target sales leads by looking at keyword search volume and user intent.

15. Use remarketing to re-engage visitors

You can use remarketing tools such as Adroll to show ads on other websites to your past visitors. For example, if a visitor lands on a certain page, you can show them a case study related to what they read. You could also advertise an email subscription offering more information on a specific topic.

Growlabs allows you to automatically push the emails or domains of companies and contacts you are targeting to Adroll. This way, you can warm up accounts to increase your overall conversions.

16. Use SEO to increase website traffic

Use search engine optimization (SEO) to get your website to the top of Google search result pages. You want to make sure to target keywords people enter to describe your service or product. Setting up lead capturing on a page can increase sales leads from SEO.

It is not a smart decision to try to hack Google’s algorithms to rank well with bad content. Since Google search is always improving, you should instead spend your time making great content.

To increase SEO rank, work to build good backlinks by guest blogging or other means. You should also understand which keywords are important and target them with content.

The following is a short list of good tools for optimizing your website SEO:

  • Serpstat
  • Screaming Frog
  • Hit Tail
  • Ahrefs
  • SEO book
  • Google search console
  • Google Analytics
  • Moz
  • Scrape Box

17. Optimize your website landing pages.

A click from a specific keyword search or Google advertisement should go to a unique landing page. Every landing page should offer the exact  solution the person is looking for.

Conversion optimization such as a call to action (CTA) will help increase sales leads. You can ask the visitor to leave a name, email address, and phone number for a free gift such as an eBook.

If you use a third party landing page, you will not increase the SEO ranking for your own website so make sure to house your landing pages on your own server so the traffic goes to your website.

18. Use a blog or newsletter to generate more leads

Blogs and newsletters should have rich content that readers actually want to read. If you have a high quality blog, you can generate sales leads and backlinks by posting on other websites. Creating a newsletter let’s you stay in touch with existing customers.

19. Use webinars to generate more leads

Webinars are online conferences where a presenter discusses a relevant topic to the audience. Webinars are usually done through slides or an interview style presentation.

Common webinar tools include:

  • Cisco WebEx
  • Webinato
  • ClickWebinar
  • GoToWebinar
  • BrightTalk

20. Use e-Books to increase sales leads

eBooks provide sales leads with useful content and show off your expertise. Try to get an email address when visitors download the eBook so your sales team can reach out.

21. Interview decision-makers and influencers for your blog

Reach decision-makers by interviewing them for a blog, eBook, or guest post. Make sure to ask short questions so they are able to share their knowledge. By doing this you will get to build your network and allow other sales leads to see your prowess in the industry.

22. Use white papers to generate more leads

White papers are a great way to attract visitors to a website or business. Creating a report or guide on a subject can generate interest from future customers.

23. Use someone else’s audience by guest posting

Guest posting relevant content on other blogs is a great way to spread your message to new audiences.

If you don’t have time, you can outsource your work to freelancers. Many freelancers will ghostwrite and pitch articles to blogs and other publications. However, give them very specific guidelines and always review the content to adjust the tone to your brand.

Using tools such as justreachout.io will allow you to find and reach out to influencers fast.

24. Use press releases to generate more leads

Issuing a press release will help drive traffic to your website and generate more leads.

Some online press release sites include:

  • Cision
  • Business Wire
  • Marketwired
  • NewsWire
  • PR NewsWire

25. Always be building your network

Networking is an investment, and most people, in general, have a particular goal in mind when they do so. Figure out if you want to get new contacts, produce leads or referrals, or get invited to exhibitions.

People respond in a generous way when others can be of aid to them. Be creative in ways you can help those you meet so they will be more than willing to help you meet your goals.

26. Use current customers to generate referrals

Develop and continuously build trust with your current customers so you can ask them for introductions. Introductions can be to other offices, vendors, or even other companies they know.

27. Foster customer recommendations and referrals

When a customer has a pleasant experience, they may want to refer your business to friends and peers. These customer referrals often result in B2B sales leads. Using NPS score or similar procedures can help you find the leads most likely to promote your tool.

Research shows that more qualified leads come from recommendations than any other source. Here are some software solutions to get started with partner, employee, or customer referrals:

  • Extole
  • Incentivit
  • Vocal References
  • Everfave
  • Influitive
  • InviteBox
  • Invite Referrals

28. Use LinkedIn to get introductions

LinkedIn is a huge source of sales leads, however it is difficult to reach large amounts of people.

To start, you can sign up for a basic account on LinkedIn at no cost. From there, you can connect with all your contacts and look at who they connect with as well. Many users have several hundred connections which allow for easy referrals and introductions.

29. Find out who is an unsatisfied customer of your competitors

Look for competitors offering a similar product. Are they priced higher or is their solution less performant than yours?  Reach out.

Search on Twitter for people complaining about their solution and reach out directly.

30. Start an Advisory Board

An advisory board is an informal group who provides advice and a personal network to the business. Many tech startups and small businesses utilize an advisory board to help them succeed.

The most effective have influential and well networked members. In exchange for providing more sales leads members usually receive fees or stock options.

31. Speak or attend industry events

Events and trade shows within your industry are a great way to meet new customers. Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Speak at events where you also have a booth. This gives you the chance to position you and your business as experts in your field.
  • Make sure you can capture lead contact information such as emails or phone numbers. Many events or trade shows offer lead capture equipment for rent.
  • Always network with existing customers to get introductions to new customers.

32. Launch channels for partner sales

Look for non-competing businesses with a similar customer base. Ex: if you are a lawyer - accountants or financial planners may have the same customers.

Having connections with partners will get you more sales leads over your competition.

What is a B2B Sales Lead?

B2B sales leads are people or companies that are potential customers. They start the sales process and are critical to maintaining a stable sales pipeline.

A lead gets generated when a company or person states an interest in your services or products. Lead generation is a process usually owned by marketing to create awareness. Sales may also generate leads by prospecting through the Internet and other sources.

The Perfect Customer

The ideal customer will have several attributes that influence purchasing behavior such as:

  • Industry/vertical
  • Company's yearly sales
  • Geography
  • Marketing technology
  • Job title
  • Number of employees
  • Website technology
  • Currently using a competitor product/service

What Is the Difference Between an MQL Vs. SQL?

A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a marketing sales lead that is likely to become an actual customer. In relationship to your website, the MQL might be a visitor who has shown an interest in your site's content. For example, the person could:

  • Fill out an online form
  • Sign up to receive a newsletter
  • Place items in a shopping cart
  • Download content

Each activity is then given a lead score. The lead score helps marketing and sales figure out the customer’s buying stage. If the visitor is in the early phase of the buying cycle, then marketing should nurture the lead.

The Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) indicates an immediate interest in purchasing your products. In contrast, MQLs are leads that might need more education and follow-up.

Types of Leads

There are 3 main types of leads:

  • Hot Leads - the person is ready to buy, has the money and budget to close the deal
  • Warm Leads - the person may want to buy, may have already done a trial, or may be already locked into a contract with a competitor.
  • Cold Leads - the person does not have any knowledge of who you are, what your company does or could be looking only for information.

The Making of a Good Marketing Campaign

Advertising, cold outreach, and referrals are a few ways to generate B2B sales leads. The primary job of a B2B marketer is to generate leads for the sales team.

Marketers who are less savvy may use basic tricks to get volume, rather than generating qualified sales leads.

A successful B2B lead generation campaign handles the full selling cycle. This means the sales team will not have to start from the beginning with each customer.

A good campaign has the following:

  • The list of targets - which is the most significant determinant of success
  • The offer - which must be compelling and relevant
  • The medium - which has to reach the intended audience in their preferred channel

Note that single touch campaigns such as a white paper download are not as effective as they have been in the past. Most sales people aren’t excited about calling someone who has only downloaded information. Today, that is not a lead, that is a name.

You want to make sure that your marketing campaign focuses on generating leads, not only names. To generate more leads you can increase effectiveness by focusing on:

  1. Creating campaigns with many touches across multiple channels
  2. Making a compelling offer
  3. Including a human touch in your campaign

1. Creating campaigns with many touches

Use integrated media campaigns through different channels like:

  • Sending a targeted series of emails with relevant content
  • Warming up the accounts with vertical-specific ads
  • Calling leads that have downloaded specific content
  • Sending a direct email (if relevant)

A multi-touch campaign takes time to build. Your team will need to iterate and optimize over time to make sure leads convert and you’re generating a positive ROI.  

2. Making a compelling offer

Make sure you understand your customer’s pain points. These may differ by industry or company size, so make sure to adjust your pitch accordingly. One of the most important aspects of the sales process is to customize the pitch to the customer’s specific pain points.

3. Including a human touch in your campaign

Sales is about building relationships. Make sure your sales reps spend time to speaking to prospective clients. Although mass calling is past its prime, one-on-one calls once an account has been warmed up are still effective.

Make sure to also work with your sales team when you design your campaign. The more involved the sales team is, the less likely they are to ignore your leads.

The most important thing to remember about getting B2B sales leads is to be resourceful. By trying different strategies you can keep your business growing with B2B leads.

Jaclyn Klein
January 10, 2018

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