Driving sales from B2B lead generation can be a massive undertaking. Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming, especially if your company is waiting for a breakthrough.
But lead generation is the lifeblood of your company. It fuels your sales pipeline to acquire new customers regularly. If it dries up, so does the revenue.
To consistently generate quality leads, you need an overarching strategy that defines your priorities, who you’re trying to reach, and what your communicating. But more than a big strategy, you need specific tactics–your specific activities–that will help you accomplish your lead generation goal.
If you want to get your B2B lead generation going or back on track, you’re in the right place. In this post, we will clarify what B2B lead generation is, why it can be challenging, and nine tactics you can implement today.
What is B2B Lead Generation?
You might wonder, what does “B2B” mean? It stands for “business to business.” B2B lead generation is the process of identifying the ideal business for your product or service and enticing them to buy.
This differs from “business to customer” (B2C), in that you work with other companies, not individuals. Think of the difference between a tire manufacturer selling tires to a car manufacturer and then a car dealership selling a vehicle to you, a private consumer.
Nearly one-quarter of all sales in the United States are B2B. Like the tire manufacturer, some businesses’ entire existence hinges on selling their product or service to another business. This is often more difficult than selling to an individual.
The Challenges of B2B Lead Generation
Before we get to some practical tactics to capture leads, we need to understand what makes B2B sales more difficult than B2C. Here are three reasons this can be the case:
- High-value and complicated sales. B2B buys typically invest in extremely expensive products or purchase in large quantities. So decisions are not made lightly, and sometimes it can feel difficult to close a deal. It’s high-stakes for you and the buyer.
- Top-notch customer service is needed. Because of the cost of making a B2B purchase, businesses expect (and deserve) the best customer service possible. So you’ll need to have your A-game when working with a potential buyer. This means you may need to provide customization for each deal.
- You’re playing the long game. Your relationship with a buyer doesn’t end when they make the sale. They may make future purchases or need post-sale support, so it’s not unusual for a B2B relationship to continue for years, if not decades, afterward.
These challenges aren’t insurmountable. They make a B2B sale a bit more complex than we see in the B2C sector. Knowing all this will improve your marketing strategies to help you find new customers.
9 Tips for B2B Lead Generation
Regarding finding great leads, two primary tactics will be the lifeblood of your marketing strategy: finding leads on LinkedIn and great content marketing.
What if you’re only beginning to nurture relationships, and your content marketing strategy hasn’t taken off yet? What do you do in the meantime? When this happens, B2B lead generation can sometimes feel hard and even hopeless. But don’t fear! Here are 9 strategies to help prepare your strategies for lead generation.
Here are 9 quick tips for B2B lead generation you can implement today.
1. Include Relevant Call-to-action (CTAs)
Do you have high-performing digital content or a website/landing page that is out of date?
You can optimize it by adding a call-to-action (CTA) or updating an old one to make it clearer and more engaging. CTAs “call” users to sign up, share, follow, or even buy. It’s simply one of the easiest ways to convert a lead into a customer.
LawRank is a B2B company that helps law firms with their SEO. Notice their clear, simple CTA right in their header:
Now, you can’t just do whatever you want with CTAs. Here are some best practices:
- Keep your CTA above the scroll on a screen. You can also pin the CTA to the screen, so it scrolls with the viewer.
- Don’t overwhelm the visitor with decision fatigue. Give them one clear CTA that encourages them to act now.
- Use action-oriented language (and even first person, if appropriate) like “Sign Me Up” rather than “Subscribe.”
2. Add an Exit-Intent Pop-up
Even the best of us have cursed at a pop-up while scrolling a website. Those can be annoying, but an exit-intent pop-up can uniquely engage prospects. This kind of pop-up appears when the visitor intends to leave your page, enticing them to stay.
To use an exit-intent pop-up properly, remember the following:
- Create clear action triggers. Use one or no images. Keep the text simple.
- If you want to increase conversion dramatically, add a “yes” and “no” option on your pop-up.
- Use A/B testing to discover what works for your audience and what is bringing in the most revenue for your company.
- Use a responsive design, so your mobile users have a pleasant viewing experience.
If you are wondering where to head to get started, try POWR’s popup plugin that will help you create popups that bring in higher conversion rates.
3. Create a Slide Share
If your presentation skills are stuck on PowerPoint, it’s time to join us in the 21st century. Meet SlideShare, a service that allows you to upload presentation slides to share online. SlideShare says over 70 million professionals search their platforms for solutions every month. If you take advantage of this service, you can create many good sales presentations to connect with scores of potential customers looking for what you are selling. This means leads are relevant and very warm.
Here are some tips to improve your SlideShare:
- Use bold headlines with keywords and lots of big, beautiful photos.
- Like any good marketing presentation, connect with your audience on their level and with their language.
- Keep it simple and focus on your solution to their problem.
- Keep each slide to one main idea and highlight the data they need to see that shows how your brand is the obvious solution.
- Don’t include large blocks of text until later in the presentation when you share your company story.
4. Repurpose content
There’s a good chance you already have great content on your website or blog that can be used to reach people within your target audience or an entirely new group of potential buyers.
For example, if you own a digital marketing blog and intend on creating a digital marketing course, it would be only natural to take some of your best pointers and include them in the final course.
You can also freshen up content and repurpose it in one or more of these creative ways:
- Write a “best of” list or put a series of posts into an eBook.
- Build an infographic based on some key statistics or recent research.
- Convert a post into a SlideShare (see above).
- Take one of your best posts, re-post it on LinkedIn, and begin a conversation to see who shows interest.
- Want to go to the next level? Turn your blog posts into podcast episodes. That will take more work, but it’s a relevant (and fun) way to position yourself as an industry expert.
5. Gate Premium Content
When you “gate” content, you place it behind a lead capture form. You can create a form like this using POWR’s simple form builder plugin.
That’s a fancy way of saying content for people who subscribe to your website. In exchange for personal information, they get your best stuff.
When you get personal information, you can start to nurture a relationship with that potential client.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind with gated content:
- Create an avenue to access the gated content. It could be an SEO-optimized landing page for each piece. Or it may be a lightbox pop-up that invites them to subscribe to your whitepaper, demo, or ebook.
- After someone gives you their information, redirect them to a thank you page where they have links to share what they did on their social media pages. This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to get referrals.
6. Create a Webinar to Share
This is probably the most time-intensive item on our list. Create a video webinar or online course to establish your brand as an industry expert. You already know that video is the most compelling marketing tool. Why not use it to feature your company’s knowledge, experience, and history so other businesses will see you as the first and best option for their needs?
You can post the videos on YouTube, Vimeo, or even Udemy, an online educational course platform.
Post a webinar or full course on Udemy to connect with potential clients.
The best part? It’s completely free.
7. Offer a Free Assessment or Trial
Everyone loves free stuff. Businesses are no exception. Offering a free assessment or trial is an excellent way to learn about your potential clients’ needs. It’s also a great way to earn their trust. They will learn if you are a good fit for them.
Here’s how to make a great free offer:
- Provide a link (hello, pop-ups!) for a free assessment to see if your product or service is right for them. If you are already using email marketing (and we hope you are), you can also offer this freebie in next month’s newsletter!
- Offer a demo that provides value to the customer while creating a want for more.
- Ask for their feedback, so you can learn more about the customer and yourself–so your product/service can keep improving.
8. Create a Personalized Direct Email Campaign
Use a personalized direct email campaign to reach out to past customers who haven’t engaged. You can then track those emails and send a campaign to those on your list who haven’t made a purchase yet. Using B2B prospecting tools can be beneficial since they allow you to schedule and personalize your emails.
Here’s how you can make the most of this tactic:
- Segment contacts based on their attributes and/or actions. This will most likely mean segmenting between buyers/non-buyers and when they signed up for your list.
- Develop customized messages for each targeted list.
- Provide an incentive to contact your organization by offering a free demo, white paper, or ebook.
9. Co-brand your eBook
Finally, do you have a strategic partnership you can leverage? If so, consider co-authoring an eBook with them. This will help expand your audience since you’ll reach your partner’s audience. It will also help bolster your brand identity as a knowledge expert in the field.
Here are a few things to consider when brainstorming a potential co-author:
- Do not choose a competitor! Rather, choose a company with products/services that complement what you do. It may be something your customers may also need. Even better if they are considered an industry leader.
- Chose a company with a good reputation in the industry. No start-ups or companies with bad reviews on Google.
- Find a business that reaches a different demographic than you but one that has similar pain points.
Wrapping It Up
B2B lead generation is all about access. These tactics are designed to give your future customers more access to discover your business
Flooding that sales funnel will win you more business. As you put these nine tips into practice, don’t forget to track and analyze them to learn which marketing channels are your best performers.
So consider which of these nine tips will be the best for your business, take time to prioritize, then get started generating those leads today!
Author: Freya Laskowski
Freya is the founder of CollectingCents - a website that teaches readers how to better manage their finances, and SERP Maniac- an SEO agency that helps clients get on the first page of search engines. She is a quoted contributor in several online publications, including Business Insider, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance, the Huffington Post, BankRate, and GoBankingRates.