How To Generate B2B Leads : 13 Strategies You Can Use In 2024

The B2B marketing landscape is competitive, and generating qualified leads is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Unlike B2C marketing, where you might target a broad audience with general interests, B2B marketing requires a precise and targeted approach.

You must connect with specific businesses, find the decision-makers, and send the right message at the right time.

In this guide, we’ll share proven strategies on how to generate B2B leads. We’ll recommend what has worked for us and help you avoid common pitfalls.

What is B2B Lead Generation?

B2B lead generation is a crucial component of a B2B sales funnel.

It involves identifying specific businesses or organizations that need your product, engaging with them, and ultimately converting them into clients.

The goal of B2B lead generation is to capture the attention of decision-makers within target companies, providing them with valuable information. This information should address their challenges and generate interest in your products or services.

Marketers use various tactics to achieve this goal, including content marketing, email campaigns, social media advertising, webinars, and more.

When B2B lead generation is done well, it leads to:

  • A steady influx of qualified leads, filling the sales pipeline with potential customers
  • Higher conversion rates from targeted and relevant leads
  • Better return on investment as resources are allocated efficiently towards pre-qualified leads
  • Increased brand awareness and visibility in the target market
  • Competitive advantage, larger market share, and stronger market position

Generating B2B leads can be tough, but with the right strategies and tools you can create a steady stream of opportunities.

Inbound vs Outbound Lead Generation

inbound vs outbound infographic

Image Via LinkedIn

There are two main approaches to B2B lead generation: inbound and outbound lead generation. These two strategies differ significantly in their methods, target audiences, and engagement techniques.

Let’s discuss each briefly.

Inbound Lead Generation

Inbound lead generation focuses on attracting potential customers to your business rather than reaching out to them. It’s about creating valuable content and experiences tailored to your target audience.

The goal is to establish brand trust and draw prospects to your business organically. This approach relies heavily on content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing.

Outbound Lead Generation

Outbound lead generation, on the other hand, is more proactive. It involves reaching out to potential customers directly, using methods like cold calling, email prospecting, event marketing, and targeted advertising.

While both approaches have their merits and drawbacks, many businesses are shifting towards a more inbound-focused strategy.

Inbound lead generation aligns better with modern buyer behavior. Customers now prefer to research and engage with brands on their own terms. Creating an appropriate customer journey mapping can help brands design effective B2B lead generation campaigns.

However, outbound tactics can still be valuable for reaching specific audiences or complementing inbound efforts.

13 Strategies to Generate B2B Leads

With the foundation laid, let’s consider proven tactics you can use to generate B2B leads. Here are 13 powerful strategies to consider.

1. Use Content Marketing

Content marketing is a powerful inbound lead generation strategy. It involves creating and sharing valuable content that resonates with your target audience. This attracts and engages your audience by providing solutions to their problems.

In 2023, 58% of B2B marketers attributed increased sales and revenue to content marketing, according to Content Marketing Institute’s data.

In our experience, content marketing has consistently proven to be an effective way to generate B2B leads.

However, before you start creating content, you must understand your audience and the kind of content they find valuable.

Also, there’s a ton of content online. To stand out, you have to deliver top-notch quality to your readers.

Here’s an image showing the types of content that perform best based on Semrush’s State of Content Marketing Report.

content formats performance chart

Image via Semrush

2. Capture Leads With Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are incentives you offer to your target audience in exchange for their contact information. Marketers include templates, checklists, ebooks, industry reports, how-to guides, or webinars in their inbound SEO lead generation strategy to generate leads from their sites.

Create a dedicated landing page for each lead magnet. This page should communicate the value of the offer and include a form for visitors to enter their contact information.

Once a visitor has filled out the form on your landing page, it’s important to follow up. Send a thank you email and additional resources, or schedule a call to discuss your products or services further.

For example, to access the previously cited Semrush State of Content Marketing Report, you must provide your contact information (as seen in the image below).

lead capture example semrush

Image via Semrush

Lead magnets are highly effective in generating B2B leads. By offering value upfront, they encourage prospects to share their details, which facilitates lead nurturing and conversion.

3. Utilize Social Media Channels (Social Selling)

Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter aren’t just for announcing company updates. They’re powerful tools for B2B sales lead generation, especially when combined with social selling techniques.

Post informative articles, industry insights, and engaging visuals that resonate with your target audience regularly.

Join relevant groups and discussions on social media. Share your expertise, answer questions, and connect with ideal customers.

See how HubSpot used its LinkedIn account to direct potential B2B leads to its 2023 State of Unicorn Report.

hubspot state of unicorn report 2023

Image via LinkedIn

You could also run targeted social media ads. Paid advertising allows you to reach a wider audience. Target your ads to specific demographics and interests to ensure you’re reaching the right decision-makers.

Use social media analytics tools to track your social media performance. Leverage the insights to identify areas for improvement and refine your strategy.

4. Run Targeted Email Marketing Campaigns

Building an email list of qualified leads is crucial for B2B success. Targeted email campaigns nurture these leads, build relationships, and convert them into customers.

One effective way to grow your list is by offering lead magnets in exchange for email addresses, as discussed earlier.

Effective email marketing campaigns require a delicate balance between providing value and making sales pitches. To achieve a high engagement rate, segment your audience based on their needs and tailor your content accordingly.

Nurture leads with valuable resources and thought leadership pieces to build trust and position yourself as a trusted advisor.

Thereafter, promote your offerings, highlighting how they solve specific problems, but maintain a balance with informative content.

Email marketing metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, should be closely monitored. They should also be optimized to ensure your email campaigns resonate with your audience and get the desired results.

You can also utilize lead generation automation tools to streamline the follow-up process and track interactions within your sales pipeline.

5. A/B Test Your Landing Pages

A/B testing is a method of comparing two versions of a webpage to see which one performs better. It’s a powerful strategy that can help your marketing team maximize the effectiveness of your landing pages.

First, you need a lead generation software solution that supports A/B testing. You can review expert-curated lists like this from Attrock to find the best one.

When conducting A/B testing, you create two versions of a landing page (version A and B) and change one element on version B. This could be the headline, call-to-action  (CTA), image, or any other element on the page.

You then show version A to half of your visitors and version B to the other half. By using analytics tools, you can track which version leads to more conversions.

To illustrate this point, consider this image from Unbounce, showing two versions of the same landing page.

unbounce landing page example

Image via Unbounce

A/B testing helps you make data-driven decisions about your landing pages, ensuring that every page element is optimized for conversions.

6. Host Webinars or Live Events

Webinars and live events are perfect for showcasing your expertise and attracting high-quality leads. They provide an excellent opportunity to educate prospects, address their pain points, and establish your thought leadership within the industry.

Attendees often provide their contact information, such as company name, job title, and phone number, for registration. This gives you a pool of qualified leads for your sales team to nurture.

Testimonials from satisfied attendees can further boost your credibility and lead generation efforts.

7. Attend Networking Events and Conferences

From experience, we can surely say that attending networking events and industry conferences is a powerful lead-generation strategy. These face-to-face interactions provide invaluable opportunities to connect face-to-face with potential leads and decision-makers.

One tactic that has worked well for us is participating as speakers or panelists at these events. This often leads to attendees seeking us out for further discussions and exchanging contact information.

Additionally, we’ve found that leveraging social media before, during, and after these events can amplify reach and visibility.

Sharing updates and engaging with industry influencers and attendees on social media helps you connect with potential leads who didn’t attend in person.

However, it’s important to note that not all networking events and conferences are equally valuable for B2B lead generation.

It’s better to prioritize and attend events that align closely with your target audience and industry.

8. Run Referral Programs

Referral programs are a form of brand ambassador marketing where your customers become your brand advocates. It’s a word-of-mouth marketing strategy that almost always produces top-notch leads, based on our experience.

This approach turns your happy clients into brand ambassadors who eagerly suggest your product to their connections. This strategy offers several advantages for generating B2B leads.

Satisfied customers singing your praises expands brand awareness and builds trust among potential buyers in their circles.

Referrals are often pre-qualified leads from trusted sources. As such, they are more likely to convert into paying customers due to their familiarity with your brand.

Follow these tips:

  • Structure your program by providing benefits like discounts or credits to existing clients who recommend new customers.
  • Simplify their participation and sales process by offering referral links or templates that they can easily share with their network.

For instance, AAA Insurance strengthens customer relationships and attracts new clients by encouraging members to refer friends.

aaa insurance refer a friend example

Image Via AAA

9. Build Trust With Social Proof

Social proof, such as customer testimonials and reviews, can significantly boost your brand’s credibility. Showcasing positive customer experiences builds trust with potential leads and influences their purchasing decisions.

A survey by ReferralRock found that 24% of B2B marketers consider customer testimonials the most effective way to build social proof.

most effective ways of building social proof chart

Showcase positive customer testimonials and reviews prominently on your website and marketing materials. Feature case studies that demonstrate how your product or service has positively impacted a business.

Consider partnering with industry influencers or brand ambassadors to create a more coordinated social proof strategy to generate B2B leads.

10. Publish Original Research

Publishing original research is a powerful marketing tool that can elevate your brand to thought leader status within your niche.

Groundbreaking research gets noticed.

Industry publications, media outlets, and potential clients will be drawn to your findings, generating valuable brand exposure.

Sharing well-researched insights demonstrates your deep understanding of industry trends and challenges. This positions you as a trusted source and a go-to authority for solutions.

Moreover, research reports can be repurposed for social media promotion and email marketing campaigns, and used in crafting LinkedIn sales prospecting messages.

11. Share Case Studies & Whitepapers

Case studies and white papers play a significant role in B2B lead-generation campaigns.

Case studies showcase real-world success stories of how your solutions helped businesses achieve specific goals or overcome challenges.

They provide concrete evidence of the value you offer, resonating strongly with potential customers facing similar problems.

Take HubSpot, for example, which has a dedicated case studies page to share its clients’ success stories.

hubspot case studies example

Image via HubSpot

White papers provide a more in-depth exploration of industry trends, challenges, and solutions.

This content is particularly valuable for startups. It demonstrates expertise and builds trust with customers who may be hesitant to adopt a new solution from a less established company.

12. Leverage PPC Advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is another solid option to generate B2B leads. You can easily target keywords relevant to your business and only pay when users click on your ads, ensuring cost-effectiveness.

Create compelling ad copy that highlights your unique selling propositions and drives clicks. Use precise targeting options to reach your ideal audience based on demographics, interests, and browsing behavior.

Additionally, leverage retargeting campaigns to re-engage users who have previously visited your website but haven’t converted.

Utilize automation tools to optimize your campaigns, track performance, and maximize your return on investment (ROI).

13. B2B Youtube Channel

Launching a B2B YouTube channel is a powerful tool for generating B2B leads and nurturing them through the sales funnel.

Like every other method discussed, it doesn’t come easy.

To make it successful, follow these key steps:

  • Understand your target audience and create content that addresses their pain points and interests.
  • Produce high-quality videos that provide value to your viewers. This could include tutorials, industry insights, product demonstrations, or customer testimonials.
  • Optimize video titles, descriptions, and tags with relevant keywords for better visibility.
  • Share your videos across your marketing channels, website, and email newsletters to attract subscribers and increase engagement.
  • Respond to comments, questions, and feedback from your viewers to foster a sense of community and build relationships.
  • Use YouTube analytics to track the performance of your videos and adjust your strategy based on what resonates with your audience.

A prime example of a successful B2B YouTube channel is that of Salesforce, a leading CRM provider. It consistently shares valuable content on topics like sales, marketing, and customer service to provide insights into their products and services.

salesforce b2b youtube channel example

Image via YouTube

14. Cold Outreach

Cold outreach is a time-tested and highly effective B2B lead generation strategy. It involves reaching out to potential clients who have not previously interacted with your brand. It is usually executed through emails, calls, or social media messages.

Follow these simple steps to get your recipient’s attention:

  • Personalize each message to show you’ve researched the recipient’s business and understand their needs
  • Highlight how your solution addresses their specific challenges
  • Keep your messages concise, clear, and focused on the value you offer
  • Follow up diligently but respectfully to build a relationship over time

As an example, consider this well-crafted cold email from Billo.

personalizing email example

To streamline your processes, use tools like Evaboot to export lists from LinkedIn Sales Navigator, clean your data, and verify email addresses. This ensures your cold emails are sent to valid, targeted contacts.

15. LinkedIn Outreach

LinkedIn deserves a spotlight of its own. As the hub of B2B connections, no other platform brings corporate executives, decision-makers, and CEOs together like LinkedIn.

Using LinkedIn for B2B lead generation is highly effective, especially when you leverage personalized connection requests.

Before sending a request, research your prospect’s profile to understand their role, company, interests, and recent activities. This knowledge will help you craft a message that resonates with them.

Here are additional tips to help you maximize LinkedIn for B2B lead generation:

  • Optimize Your Profile: Ensure your profile is professional, with a compelling headline and detailed summary that highlights your expertise.
  • Content Sharing: Regularly share valuable industry-related content to establish thought leadership.
  • Engage with Your Network: Actively comment on posts, join discussions, and endorse skills.
  • Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator: Leverage it for advanced lead generation and targeted searches.
  • Join and Participate in Groups: Actively participate in relevant industry groups.
  • Track and Analyze: Use LinkedIn analytics to monitor and refine your lead generation strategies.

Things to Avoid When Generating B2B Leads

Learning how to generate B2B leads is not enough, you need to avoid common pitfalls to ensure you’re successful. Here are some key things to avoid.

Buying Lead Lists

While it may seem tempting to purchase contact lists, this approach rarely yields high-quality leads.

We’ve found that leads from purchased lists tend to be outdated and irrelevant, leading to wasted resources and poor conversion rates.

Overly Aggressive Sales Tactics

Aggressive sales tactics, such as excessive cold calling or bombarding prospects with unsolicited emails can damage your brand reputation.

It’s better to focus on providing value and building trust through content marketing, thought leadership, and nurturing relationships over time.

Neglecting Lead Nurturing

Generating new leads is just the first step; nurturing those leads is crucial for successful conversion.

We’ve seen instances where promising leads were neglected or not properly nurtured, resulting in missed opportunities.

It’s practically impossible to generate qualified B2B leads without investing in lead nurturing strategies. Employ email campaigns, retargeting ads, and personalized follow-ups, to guide prospects through the sales funnel.

Lack of Lead Scoring and Prioritization

Not all leads are created equal, and it’s important to prioritize the most promising ones.

Implementing a lead scoring system helps focus efforts on the most qualified prospects. This system evaluates leads based on criteria like industry, company size, and engagement levels.

Failing to Analyze and Optimize

Continually analyzing the performance of your lead generation campaigns is essential for identifying areas for improvement.

Regularly reviewing metrics like conversion rates, cost per lead, and lead quality has helped us refine our lead generation strategies and optimize our efforts for better results.

Ignoring Target Audience Insights

Generating B2B leads without a deep understanding of your target audience’s needs, pain points, and preferences can lead to ineffective campaigns.

We’ve learned that conducting thorough market research and gathering audience insights is not a fluke. It’s crucial for creating a perfect message and targeting the right prospects.

Final Thoughts

Generating B2B leads is a dynamic process that involves a multifaceted approach.

Whether it’s through content marketing, social media advertising, webinars, or targeted outreach, the goal is to identify and connect with decision-makers.

While traditional methods like cold email campaigns can still yield results, modern B2B lead generation strategies emphasize providing value and building trust.

Effective lead generation is an ongoing process for SaaS and B2B companies. Hence, it requires continuous optimization and adaptation.

Analyze and identify important metrics, such as lead quality and conversion rates. This will ensure your resources are allocated effectively. Good luck!

Author Bio – Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions |  300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.

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